Editor’s note: This post was updated on October 1st, 2015.
When you come into Nicaragua (or most other countries outside your home country) you will be expected to fill out two forms. One is your migration or customs form, and the other is your declaration form. They are slightly different, and we are going to make sure you know exactly how to fill out your migration or customs form after reading this post.
Below, we will go through the form line by line, starting with the first line. They are translated, but even though they are translated, there still might be room for interpretation. We will help you with that.
Line 1: Surname. This is your last name. In my case it is Smith. If you have a hyphenated last name, start with your first last name. In most Latin American countries, people use 4 names, and two of them are last names.
Line 2: First name. This is your first name. In my case it is Jonathan. In most Latin American countries, people use 2 first names. Hence there being a secondary number two in lines one and two.
Line 3: Travel Document Number. This is likely your passport (travel document) number. There are two groups of boxes to check. The first states what your travel document is, (passport) and what type it is. There are two other choices. Most will choose ordinary. (ORD) Unless you are a diplomat, or a government official, you will check the ORD box.
Line 4: Nationality. This is going to be the country where you were born, or where your passport was issued. I put USA.
Line 5: Profession or trade. This is going to be your job title, or your last job title. I put teacher.
Line 6: Date of birth. Pay attention to the order: Day/Month/Year.
Line 7: Sex. Check either Male or Female.
Line 8: Country of Birth. Country you were born in. I put USA.
Line 9: Country of Residence. If you are traveling on a tourist visa, you put your home country, even if you are living in Nicaragua part time, and do not have residency.
Line 10: Travel Purpose. Most people will put Tourism. There are several boxes to choose from; Official, Residence, Transit, Business, Other. Again, unless you are a government official, your work is paying for you to be here on business, you are a resident, or are just passing through (For example by bus from Honduras to Costa Rica) you will put tourism.
Line 11: Foreseen address. This gives people trouble sometimes. Put down your hotel if you know it. If you don’t, there is a good bet you could name a hotel in a city you plan on visiting (Hotel Granada) and that will suffice. If you are coming to take your TEFL class, and you don’t have a place to hang your hat yet, put the school’s address: Iglesia San Francisco 2 Cuadras y 75 varas Abajo. Leon, Nicaragua.
Line 12: Flight number. Put down your flight number. If you are traveling by bus or boat, put that number. If you don’t know that, put the company name. If you walked, put ‘Caminar.’ (It is possible to walk across the Nicaragua/Costa Rican border.) If you were in a rental car, put rental car license plate number.
Line 13: Entry- Departure Country. This is going to be the country you last were in. (Not including flight transfers. If your flight originated at Heathrow Airport, England; you have a connection in Panama City, Panama; and your final Destination is Managua, Nicaragua; you would put England as the departure country-NOT Panama.
Line 14: Exit-Destination Country. This is going to be the next country you are about to enter into. If you are doing a border run to renew your visa from Nicaragua to Costa Rica, you would put Costa Rica as your Destination Country.
- Keep in mind that if you are renewing your tourist visa, it is important to know that you must stay 72 hours in that country you are visiting to renew your visa. That is three nights minimum.
- It is also possible to renew your visa without leaving the country; however you can only do this once a year. This process involves you taking your passport to the local Immigration office, filling out a form, leaving your passport for 3 days, and paying $2.00/day for up to 90 days, in 30 day intervals.
- If you do not want to drop of your passport, you can travel to Managua, and go to one of the Immigration offices. (We go to the one at the Metro Centro Mall.) Realistically, it is a painless process, it just takes time, photocopies of your picture page of your passport, and your last visa stamp of entry into Nicaragua, and about 6 hours, so be prepared.
- For either passport renewal, you will need photocopies of 2 pages in your passport. The first photocopy is of your picture page. The second photocopy is of your latest visa stamp in the country. Sometimes they require 2 photocopies of each, so make two just in case.
- You will also need all the cash on hand, and if you are renewing your visa for 90 days, it can be expensive. $2.00 multiplied by 90 days is $180.00 or 4,626 Cordoba’s. At the Metro Centro Mall, there is a photocopy store, and ATM just outside the Immigration office for convenience.
So there you have it; a step by step process for filling out your Customs form, and useful knowledge for renewing your tourist visa as well.