Work In Nicaragua

A couple of women working in Nicaragua building a wall from natural materials.

Can You Legally Work in Nicaragua?

For some reason a lot of expats assume that they can just move to a country like Nicaragua and begin working.

But for most people, it’s not that easy.

Locals typically work for $1 an hour so it’s very tough to compete with them. And given the poor economy in Nicaragua, it’s probably poor form to do so even if you wanted to.

In fact, almost half of Nicaraguan adults are either without a job or underemployed, so you really need to think hard before planning to take a job away from them.

In any event, if you decide to work in Nicaragua, you’ll need to apply at the immigration office for a permit, which is no easy task. Many expats are dismayed to find out that they cannot take advantage of the tax incentives for retirees and still qualify to work in Nicaragua.

This only makes sense. The tax incentives are in place to attract those who will spend money in the country without taking jobs away. There is one way around this however.

If you own property worth US$100,000 or more, you are eligible to work even if you live in the country under a retiree visa.

Teaching English in Nicaragua

Another myth out there is that anybody can move to Nicaragua and begin to teach English as a second language.

Yes, it is true that there are jobs teaching English in Nicaragua but there are enough people with actual teaching credentials who want these jobs – and they are the ones that typically get them.

That’s not to say that it’s impossible for you to teach English. You could start a business teaching English to Nicaraguans privately. There are plenty of families that would pay you to teach them. But this would mainly be a labor of love as what the average Nicaraguan could afford to pay you would be a pittance.

If you can somehow manage to attract wealthy Nicaraguans and teach them English however, that may be a different story.

Of course, teaching English is not the only business opportunity in Nicaragua, far from it.

See starting a business in Nicaragua for more information.

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