January 22, 2018 | 7:50pm |
New Yorkers rarely stop to rest. Last year, I diagnosed myself with chronic over-scheduling: 12-hour work days and social events that led to burnout.
The cure: Nicaragua, essentially the wilder little sister of its popular neighbor to the south Costa Rica.
I plotted out 10 days exploring the Central American country’s jungly landscape, peaceful waterways and scenic shores along the Pacific and Atlantic. Its pace was slow, its landscapes jaw-dropping, its locals welcoming.
The nation of 6.5 million — slightly smaller than New York state — has cultural lures, like festivals tinged with native and Spanish traditions. There’s plenty to do without a ton of must-sees, making it ideal for some R&R. Here’s how to recharge in settings from mountains to beaches.
Most visitors pick Granada as their home base. And for good reason: It’s less than an hour from the capital of Managua, where the major airport is located, as well as lakes and volcanoes of interest. Its cobblestone streets are lined with pastel-colored facades that hide lush interior courtyards and intricate tile work. Prime spots to ogle the latter include the trendy Tribal Hotel (from $145), owned by New Yorkers Yvan Cussigh and Jean-Marc Houmard. Its seven rooms book up fast, thanks to an inviting pool with a patterned bottom and photogenically funky decor sourced from Nicaragua and surrounding countries, as well as Turkey, Morocco and Thailand.
*This article is an edited and improved version of an article I posted years ago in The Nicaragua Dispatch. – Paul Tiffer R., Attorney at Law
Nicaragua is receiving more and more foreigners who want to live here for a variety of reasons. For expats, one of the most important steps for moving to Nicaragua is learning how to apply for residency first, to be legal in the country.
Some people have been living in Nicaragua as “tourists” for years and just cross the border to Costa Rica from time to time to obtain extensions of their Tourist Visa. However, Immigration authorities are eager to end this practice and wish to have foreigners obtain residency.
According to Immigration Law (law 761) there are two kinds of residencies:
Permanent: Which is granted for five years. Retirees, Rentiers and Foreign Investor receive this kind of residency. Those who receive it are not required to make a deposit equivalent to a one way ticket to return to their countries.
Provisional: It is granted for one year and for those who receive it is mandatory to make a deposit equivalent to a one way ticket to return to the country of origin. Businessman, workers, missionaries and spouses receive this kind of residency.
The law states there are different ways to apply for residency or sub categories, I will refer to the most common:
1. Residency as Foreign Investor:
Foreign investors can apply for residency if applicants run a business, incorporate a corporation and invest at least $30,000 in Nicaragua in any sector or economic activity.
It is imperative to follow several steps and a Government Appraiser the Ministry of Development, Industry and Commerce (MIFIC) will confirm the investment by visiting the place where the investment is. Once MIFIC grants an endorsement’s certification for the business, the applicant will be able to apply for a five-year.
The endorsement would cover the shareholders or investor; and the investor’s family members.
Foreign Investments – for residency purposes in Nicaragua – is when foreigners invest their money in properties or goods for business.
A house for vacations is not consider Foreign Investment, unless this house is used for business/rent and is handled by a Corporation.
For further information CLICK HERE:
2. Residency as Businessman:
This option can be considered when applicants cannot invest more than $30,000 stated above. Some companies do not need to invest so much money. A Real Estate Agency for example.
In that case, according the law to obtain the ID of the DGI (Nicaraguan tax and Revenue Office) foreigners have to run a business through a Corporation or Sociedad Anónima.
Applicants receive a Provisional Residency per one year.
3. Residency as a Retiree:
A retiree according the law 694 is a person who receive from abroad a monthly pension from the government (social security administration or any other agency) or from a private company. The monthly pension has to be over $ 600 per month.
4. Residency as Rentier:
Rentier is a person living on income from property or investments. The law states the applicant has to receive $ 750 as a minimum per month. Salaries do not apply in any either cases.
Savings in banks do not apply, unless the applicant receives from his/her bank a letter confirming monthly installments for five years to the owner.
Both sub categories – Retirees and Rentiers – have the same benefits.
The Law “694” states that the minimum age is 45 years old to apply as Retiree or Rentier. There is an exception only for people with a disability pension.
Retirees and Rentiers are not allowed to work in the country.
For further information CLICK HERE.
5. Residency as Employee:
Some companies hire foreigners to work, especially for upper management positions. In that case the company has to provide all legal documents to the application and sign a labor contract with the employee.
The labor contract has to be certified by the Labor Ministry of Nicaragua.
6. Residency as Missionary.
The Immigration law considers missionaries to those who work for a domestic NGO or a foreign NGO, in that case the NGO has to be duly register at Ministerio de Gobernación de Nicaragua (MIGOB). For that purpose, the NGO has to endorse the application and provide all the legal documents – copies – from the organization.
7. Residency as Spouse:
To be able to apply for residency as spouse it is mandatory to prove the foreigner has been married to a Nicaraguan for at least two years or longer at the time of the application. The applicant has to show proof of income; it could be:
The Nicaraguan spouse supports the applicant; in that case the Nicaraguan spouse has to have a job.
The foreigner has a job or business in Nicaragua. In that case he/she has to prove and provide legal documentation of it.
In all cases, the applicants for residency have to be in Nicaragua to submit the application. When they apply, they must provide the following documentation:
1. Birth Certificate.
2. Police Record.
3. Health Certificate.
4. Copies of the Article of Incorporation of the company. (for Foreign Investors)
5. Pension letter (for retirees).
6. Private Income source (for renter).
7. Marriage Certificate. (When applies)
Number 2 and 3 are accepted from the country of origin or can be obtained in Nicaragua. The INTERPOL Certificate is granted in Managua at the INTERPOL Office and the Health Certificate has to be obtained from a public clinic of the government named: “Centro de Salud”.
Documents from the applicant’s country, as birth certificate, have to be legalized first in the country of origin. There are two options:
Apostille, it works for those countries members of The Hague Convention for Public Documents, as USA and Europe.
Authentication, it is mandatory for those countries who are not members of The Hague Convention for Public Documents, as CANADA.
Since there are not Nicaraguan consulates in Canada, Canadians have to authenticate their documents in Canada first – Usually at the Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada in Ottawa – and then send it to a Nicaraguan Consulate in USA, my advice is to send it to the Nicaraguan Consulate in Washington, D.C.
For further information for Canadians, CLICK HERE.
Once documents are legalized it is mandatory to be translated into Spanish.
It’s also worth noting that police records and health certificates have an expiration date, depending where are issued.
In all the cases or sub categories, an Immigration agent will visit the applicant in his/her house and will interview to some neighbors.
Freelance workers do not qualify for residency, the law do not state this option.
To be able to apply for citizenship is mandatory to be resident first, for four years as minimum. The applicants have to follow a new process. It is not automatic and Nicaragua has the right to deny it.
In Nicaragua, there is no citizenship for investment.
For Foreign Investors, Immigration charges C$ 6,400 (Córdobas).
For Retirees and Rentiers, Immigration charges C$ 5,900 (Córdobas).
For Provisional Residencies, the cost is C$ 3,900 (Córdobas).
It is illegal to offer any tips or bribes to immigration agents.
If you would like to apply for residency, or information regarding other important legal matter, you can contact me at: firstname.lastname@example.org
This article is based in my expertise, working on this topic since 1999. Law and the internal rules of application are subject to change.
Attorney at law
Monday, January 22, 2018
With 19% endemic poverty, 10% open unemployment and 40% informal employment, and some of the highest electricity rates in the region, Costa Rica is opposed to $1 billion in clean energy investments.
By Jorge Cobas González
Meanwhile, the bureaucracy of state-owned companies continues to prescribe first-world remuneration, and continues to protect its privileges following ECLAC development concepts from the middle of the last century, which are utterly out of place today. Because Costa Rica does not have the investment capacity or know-how necessary for the development of latest generation renewable energy projects, even though it has all of the necessary primary conditions: sun, wind, thermal energy.
The state company that holds the monopoly on energy production, the Costa Rican Institute of Electricity (Instituto Costarricense de Electricidad or ICE), boasts that the largest percentage of energy consumed by the country comes from renewable sources, which underpins the image of Costa Rica as leader in environmental protection, but does not boast – of course – that the price paid by consumers for this clean energy is the most expensive in Central America.
And the environmental paradox is that the weight of such high tariffs not only directly affects the competitiveness of the Costa Rican economy by increasing production costs, but also discourages replacement of energy from oil with clean energy, both in the vehicle fleet and in the industrial sector.
Just as the break-up in 2010 of the telecommunications monopoly significantly boosted the development of this sector -which was stagnant- the liberalization of the energy market would provide a strong impetus for the Costa Rican economy, to attract the necessary strong investments, with the consequent generation of genuine employment, and ultimately, increasing the country’s competitiveness by decreasing production costs.
Costa Rica’s own investment promotion agency, CINDE, says: “In the last five years, Costa Rica failed to receive more than $1 billion in direct foreign investment from companies interested in setting up renewable electricity plants (wind and solar) due to the legal limits on the size of those facilities. The current model does not allow an investor to come and spend $100 million on a solar plant and sell energy to customers. The law prevents it. In Costa Rica, private investors are prevented from building generation plants with clean sources of more than 50 megawatts (MW) of capacity.”
Monday, January 22, 2018
On January 19, 2018, the Central Bank of Nicaragua (BCN) published statistics on the labor market (employment and salary) for the month of November 2017.
The administrative records of the INSS indicate that in November membership was 921,328 workers, 5.0 percent higher than in the same month in the previous year. In interannual terms, the economic activities that experienced the greatest increase were: agriculture, forestry, hunting and fishing (10.8%); electricity, gas and water (10.2%); commerce, hotels and restaurants (6.8%); and transport, storage and communications (4.4%).
In addition, it was observed that the average nominal salary of affiliates stood at 9,909.8 cordobas, registering a year-on-year increase of 6.1 percent. On the other hand, the real wage showed a slight year-on-year increase of 0.7 percent, standing at 4,536.4 córdobas in 2006.
Coconut water is the liquid inside coconuts. It is usually extracted from young and tender coconuts, which are six to nine months old, wherein maximum yield of desired taste can be extracted. This ubiquitous juice product has displayed a stellar growth in the consumption over the past few years and is often referred as a major growth story in the beverage market.
The global packaged coconut water market will cross US$8.3 billion, growing significantly with a CAGR of 25% during the period 2017-2023. The market is expected to increase in terms of volume and revenues. The market is set to expect the entry of major FMCG companies and major retailers looking forward to launching coconut water on their own labels. Majors such as PepsiCo, Coca Cola and Vita Coco are expected to commit investments to the tune of $1 billion over the forecast period.
The report provides a holistic view of the global market, companies involved, and factors driving the growth of the market. It also provides information about the latest trends that have started to surface and are likely to become strong market driving forces over the next five years. This report also provides the Porter’s Five Forces analysis along with a description of each force and its impact on the market. Further, the report also provides complete value chain analysis of the global market.
How dark do you like your chocolate? Probably not as dark as this news: There might not be any left to eat in as soon as 2050. A chocolate shortage is a looming reality, according to some experts.
Cocoa beans, the plant responsible for one of the world’s favorite sweet treats, can grow only in mild, humid rainforest conditions. Due to global warming, the climates of these cocoa-growing regions are expected to get hotter and drier over time, threatening the lives of the plants.
In a panic, farmers will be forced to attempt to move their plots to higher ground. There are limited areas at higher elevations however; the competition will be fierce until, eventually, those areas become uninhabitable, too.
Already, the demand for chocolate is soaring higher than the ability of farmers to supply it. The average American eats close to 10 pounds of chocolate per year. The average Swiss person eats almost 20 pounds. That’s a whole lot of cocoa, considering just one bar of chocolate can deplete 40 cocoa beans from the stingy supply.
A world without chocolate would be a somber world, indeed. People are going to have to find a new favorite coping mechanism for their breakups and stress.
The United Nations World Tourism Organization has ranked Nicaragua among the top 10 World’s Fastest Growing Tourist Destinations, up 28.4 percent in 2016, and indeed, Central America’s largest country has become a go-to pick among savvy travelers looking for new vacation horizons.
Some of us had already been there and done that—fallen in love with the most storied of colonial towns, Granada; shopped ‘till we dropped at the Masaya market; ziplined through the canopy above Lake Nicaragua; watched the surfers catch the waves around the laid-back beach town of San Juan del Sur; searched for ancient hieroglyphs on Ometepe, the island between two volcanoes; gathered eggs for breakfast at Morgan’s Rock (the founding pioneer of upscale eco-lodges in Nicaragua); and savored Pacific sunsets from rooms with private plunge pools at five-star+ Mukul Resort & Spa, spread along the Emerald Coast—but it seemed a good a time as any to go back and see what the ongoing buzz was about. A friend and I booked our paid arrangements with Lourdes Fuentes, sales director of Managua-based Careli Tours, who told us: “Guests coming to explore our safe, beautiful, adventure destination before it becomes mainstream often compare Nicaragua to the Costa Rica of 30 years ago. I think we’re surprising them, pleasantly and most particularly with our 21st century comfort level of elegant boutique hotels in the towns, stylish eco-lodges in the wilderness and luxury resorts by the sea.”
The Central Bank of Nicaragua (BCN by its acronym in Spanish) has presented an estimate of the main macroeconomic picture of the country for 2018. The details are contained in a report called “Macroeconomic Projections 2017-2018” (presented on December 29th 2017). The summary uses the information available at the date of preparation and relies on estimates of economic growth, inflation, balance of payments, and monetary and financial indicators of Nicaragua. Those estimates also consider data from international financial organizations in relation to how international influences will affect the national macroeconomic performance. The report is intended to be used as a tool in the decision-making process of economic agents and as a source of knowledge for those looking to find out about the Nicaraguan economy.
Growth: In general terms, in 2018, Nicaragua should maintain a growth rate of between 4.5 and 5.0 %. This will be mainly driven by the contributions of manufacturing, commerce, agriculture, livestock and construction activities.