As far as offshore locations go, Nicaragua is one of the most underrated offshore financial locations in the world today. The people are welcoming and economic policy is becoming increasingly open to foreign investments as the Nicaraguan government tries to enhance its economic stability. The upshot of all this is the leveraging of nationalities in return for investment opportunities in teak and start-up ventures for tech outsourcing that is becoming a huge market across Latin America. You can easily acquire a Nicaraguan passport in addition to getting access to lucrative investment options to increase your existing wealth.
Anyone looking to move their funds offshore or looking for tax avoidance strategies, Nicaragua is a great place to move your investments and obtain a passport; ensuring privacy in banking and lucrative investment strategies.
Nicaragua: An Economic Overview
As of 2018, the Nicaraguan GDP has increased by nearly 48% to a total of 13.1 from 8.8 billion in 2010. Much of this growth stems from a steadily growing services sector, which makes up to 50% of the total GDP. The largest contributions are made by the hospitality industry, business services and government services sectors, which also incidentally receive the highest FDI in the country. Outsourcing, tourism and real estate are thriving in the country owing to foreign interests in these sectors, facilitated by an open investment policy implemented by the existing government.
Considering the current economic recession, there is much room for investment that the government seems to be cognizant of and is making multi-tiered diplomatic and economic efforts to fill up. I’ll get into that later, however, anyone looking to make a fair gain on investments should really consider the Nicaraguan economy considering how it’s overcoming the slump aided by foreign investments. This falls in line with the inflationary pressures in the economy with a corresponding rise in GDP per capita by 10% to just over $2000 in the past five years.
Anyone who can capitalize on these trends is sure to feel pleased over their decision since the economy is bound to rise, projected to increase by up to 5% over the next 5 years. Considering the access to a second passport and some of the most private financial sectors in the world, there are so many more benefits of moving money into the Nicaraguan economy.
Diplomatic and Passport Policies in Nicaragua
Cases like Nicaragua’s that make me think that open markets, that allow as many people in as possible, highlight the superiority of financial libertarianism. It’s heartening to see that different political and economic institutions working together to bring about the gain of all in the society. In a political masterstroke, the Nicaraguan government has allowed for retirees and investors to get second passports for the country in return for bringing their funds into the economy.
The citizenship program in Nicaragua is one that lasts for five years and all interested people are required to make an investment of $30,000 while staying in the country for at least six months every year. Upon completion of this time period, you will be awarded a Nicaraguan passport that doesn’t require you to give up any of your other nationalities.
In addition to this, the government has also introduced two separate sets of laws that incentivize investments in tourism, agriculture and foreign investments.
Once you receive your passport, you can then access other investment opportunities and financial services to cement your financial well-being.
Tax Policies in Nicaragua
Nicaragua follows a territorial tax system, where only the income derived from local sources is taxed. The country follows a progressive tax system of up to 30% on all individual income which, if derived out of a foreign investment, is completely nullified owing to their business-friendly tax regulations. As such, these laws allow foreign investors to repatriate profits back to the home country free of cost; they’ve developed special import duty exemption zones and free trade zones to help facilitate the development of foreign businesses in the economy.
So if you bring investment with you, any profits you make from it will be entirely yours to keep and you can move them around as much as you like to whichever country that you want without additional payments.
If you’re looking to save up money on corporate taxes and any returns on your foreign investment, you should consider moving your money to Nicaragua; considering its economic growth and lax tax policies. As such, the tax policies in Nicaragua are as follows:
- No taxes on dividends from economic activities; i.e. profits. However, capital gains are taxed at a rate of 10%
- Corporate tax rates are 30%
- There is no capital duty
- Real estate tax is at 1%
- No transfer taxes
- 15% personal income tax on non-residents
- No capital acquisition taxes
- Inheritance taxes range between 1% and 4%
- No wealth taxes
Nicaraguan Passport Advantages
The Nicaraguan passport ranks in the top 50 most powerful passports in the world. Currently ranked at number 46, there are myriad benefits of owning one. These can include:
- Low cost of living and low real estate prices.
- No travel restrictions in 112 countries.
- Easy access to the European Schengen zone.
- Pension and medical programs.
- 5-year renewable passport with a driver’s license and a NIC.
- If you’re an investor, you can get everything within 60 days.
How To Get A Nicaraguan Passport
Nicaraguan passports are very easy to acquire. Especially with the help of the residency by investment programs in the country, you can choose one of two routes to acquire your passports. These are:
- Make a $100,000 investment into the country through a Nicaraguan Corporation.
- Purchase real estate worth $100,000 in Nicaragua.
Upon meeting these requirements, you are eligible to claim Nicaraguan citizenship that comes with the advantages that I’ve spoken of before.
The Process To Acquire A Visa And Passport
You would do well to work with a lawyer who can guide you through all the legal and financial process to acquire this visa. If you’re looking to get another citizenship, the Nicaraguan government has really simplified the process, but it can get easier if you were to work with CBI firms that specialize in citizenship by investment programs.
However, the documentation requirements are as follows:
Temporary Residence For Entrepreneurs
- Photocopy of the deed of ownership of the company and the regulatory statutes of the company.
- Proof of registration.
- Proof of sources of income
- Certification and residential information of the legal representative of the company.
- Additional documentation might be required.
Permanent Residence Requirements For Investors
- Submit application form
- Residence application letter addressed to the General Directorate of Migration and Immigration
- Original and photocopy of the passport of the country of origin
- Birth or naturalization certificates
- Criminal record certificates
- Health certificates
- Certificates of investment registration
- Declaration as a merchant issued by the merchant Mercantile Registry
- Taxpayer registry
Documentation Requirements for Retirees
- Certification of origin of pension being received from the employer
- Proof of authenticity of pension certifications by the Nicaraguan Institute of Tourism
- Additional documentation is sometimes required
This entire process doesn’t take too much time; however, you might need to hire a specialist company to do this for you. There are plenty of companies that would take on your case and manage all of the payments/submission requirements to acquire a Nicaraguan passport. Considering how there are different regulations that need to be met for each individual route being taken, relying on these companies is probably a good idea.
Easiest Markets To Invest In Nicaragua
There are multiple investment opportunities in Nicaragua that you can look into to acquire citizenship. The government has incentivized investments in specific sectors of the economy to help provide a much needed economic boost. These sectors include:
Tourism and hospitality are two of the fastest-growing sectors in the economy. Accounting for a major chunk of the GDP, the tourist market has been consistently expanding over the past decade. The government has incentivized investments in this sector, by providing tax breaks, tax exemptions and reducing the fees associated with the business registration process.
With this easy access to the sector, there is little effort required to invest.
Textile And Light Manufacturing
Nicaragua is slowly becoming a dominant textile exporting economy around the world. With these growth levels, the textile sector can be a very lucrative investment opportunity for anyone looking to make high returns.
Teak And Hardwood Forestry
This is widely recognized as one of the largest growing markets in Nicaragua. Considering the Nicaraguan geography and the environmental conditions, there have been massive investment shifts to cultivating teak because of the high prices in the global markets. Intending to increase its market share in global teak markets, there is an immense Nicaraguan state-sponsored economic plan to foster investments in teak cultivation. As such, interested investors can choose to go into teak investments to get their nationalities as well.
The services sector, as I’ve mentioned before, is one of the most promising candidates for investments in Nicaragua, particularly the tech sector which has been exporting services for the better part of a decade. The market has been booming in the United States where an increasing number of organizations are opting for nearshore outsourcing to run their software development projects.
The Nicaraguan tech industry is one that stands out amongst the many others in South America, to stand head to head with those in Brazil, Argentina and Costa Rica. With the amount of business that is being sent into the region, the services sector is one of the best options for investments in the country.
The Advantages of Dual Nationalities
When you have dual citizenship, you will be protected from encroachment from the state from either of the two nations. With the ability to buy property, set up businesses, financial accounts and much more effective tax avoidance options, you can live in peace knowing that no one can touch you.
Nicaragua, in particular, is a great place to avoid having to pay taxes on your profits while working in one of the most promising economic climates around the world. The assistance offered by the state, the easy access to investment opportunities and the expected growth of the economy will protect your financial assets, as well as, help continue growing your wealth.
I have advised a lot of my clients to think of investing in Nicaragua for these very reasons and continue to do so, mostly because this is as safe as you get with your investments. When combined with the widespread banking networks and passport access to most major European regions around the world, Nicaragua can serve as ground zero for your future financial success.
If you are interested in a teak investment in Nicaragua, please contact us HERE and one of our representatives will be happy to discuss future investments with you. Interested in obtaining a second passport in Nicaragua? contact us HERE.
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About The Author
Mikkel Thorup is the host of The Expat Money Show podcast and the author of #1 Best-Selling book Expat Secrets on Amazon. He has spent nearly 20 years in continual travel around the world, visiting more than 100 countries including Colombia, North Korea, Zimbabwe, and Iran.
His goal is to help Expats like you to generate additional streams of income, eliminate your tax bill, and take advantage of offshore structures so you can travel the world freely and never have to worry about money again. For more information on his legal (but creative) tax strategies for Expats watch this free video.