Living in Nicaragua

Essential information for British nationals residing in Nicaragua, covering topics like healthcare, education and employment.


This guide sets out essential information for British nationals residing in Nicaragua. We are unable to provide any guidance on general lifestyle enquiries apart from the information and links listed below. See our information on what consulates can and cannot do for British nationals.

Entry requirements

British Citizens do not require a visa for stays of up to 90 days. A $10 visitors’ permit is purchased on arrival. Further information is available from the Nicaraguan Immigration Office.


There are good international quality hospitals in Managua – Hospital Central and Hospital Metropolitano amongst others. Facilities are less comprehensive outside Managua. Travellers will be required to pay for treatment, and although costs are lower than in Europe or the United States, health insurance is essential. While many providers will accept credit cards and arrangements with insurers, there are reports of some providers requiring cash.


State education in Nicaragua is free and attendance is obligatory. There is an international curriculum offered at the American Nicaraguan School and the Lincoln International Academy. There a number of universities including the National Autonomous University of Nicaragua (UNAN), the Central American University (UCA) and the National University of Engineering (UNI).

Employment and recognised qualifications

It is necessary to have a work visa to take up paid employment in Nicaragua. Check with the Immigration Office for details.

Holders of non-Nicaraguan degrees and other educational certificates should check verification arrangements with the Education Ministry


There are a number of Central American banks in Nicaragua and ATMs are plentiful in the capital. US dollars can usually be readily exchanged for local cordobas, but ensure that notes are pristine and undamaged as you may have trouble exchanging damaged or soiled notes.

Driving licences and vehicles

You can drive on your UK driving licence during your stay as a tourist. As a resident you will need to apply for a local licence. For more information on licences and road matters, see the National Police website

Guidance on bringing medication into country

Prescription medicines should normally be permitted but in case of doubt, consult the Nicaraguan Health Ministry


Please note that this information is provided as a guide only. Definitive information should be obtained from the Nicaraguan authorities.

Published 6 December 2013