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Immigration

Pensioner or Investor Residency

This type of residency is only for those who have a fixed income from overseas. If you’re retired and drawing a pension, this is your best option.

The main difference between this type of residence and others is that you’ll be unable to work in a paid position (have a job where someone else in Guatemala pays your wages). This doesn’t mean you’re barred from all economic activity here, as in many cases, you’ll still be able to run your own business.

The primary requirement for achieving residency in Guatemala as a pensioner or investor is that applicants be able to prove they have a permanent lawful income of $1,200USD and $400.00 for spouse or other dependents. This monthly income must be generated outside of Guatemala.

Pensioners are considered to be those who are receiving a foreign government’s pension and, or, retirement income, or a pension provided by an international organization or private company.

Investors are those who enjoy stable, permanent income, generated abroad the following way:

  • From deposits, and, or, investments in banks established elsewhere.
  • From investments in companies established abroad.
  • Remittances are originating from real estate income, religious institutions, or academic scholarships.
  • Investments in securities issued in domestic currency by financial institutions legally authorized to operate in Guatemala, where they were purchased with funds obtained by foreign exchange in any of those same institutions.
  • Investments in securities issued in domestic currency by financial institutions legally authorized to operate in Guatemala, where they were purchased with funds obtained by foreign exchange in any of those same institutions, provided that they were purchased with funds raised by the change foreign currency at any of those institutions.
  • Investments in securities denominated in foreign and, or, national currency with the State or its agencies, provided they are obtained by the foreign exchange in any of the country’s financial institutions legally authorized.
  • Once you receive this type of residency, you can travel in and out of the country as you wish. You will, however, lose your status as a resident if you are out of the country longer than a year. That is unless you can prove that illness forced you to be absent from Guatemala for longer than a year.
  • Pensioners and investors are also allowed to file an application on behalf of their spouse, unmarried children under 18, any disabled adult children, and grown children younger than 25 years old provided that attend a university and are financially dependent on the pensioner or investor.
  • For every family member you add to your original petition, you’ll be required to prove an additional $400USD in income each.

Here are the documents you’ll need:

  • A recent photograph.
  • Original passport and complete photocopy of every page in passport notarized by a lawyer.
  • A certificate of validation for your passports issued by the embassy or consulate of your country accredited to the Government of Guatemala (with “Pasos de Ley”), or certified birth certificate for persons from countries with which Guatemala has no diplomatic relations.
  • Proof that you have no criminal record in the country where you have lived for the last five years (with “Pasos de Ley”). If that nation does not extend a similar document, you must show a certificate stating so and an affidavit of “Carencia de Antecedentes Penales” (Lack of Criminal History), and a Police report from Guatemala.
  • Certified documents (with “Pasos de ley”) stating that you receive a monthly pension income or one thousand U.S. dollars ($1,200USD) or more, or its equivalent in local currency. Remember that each additional dependent will require you show an extra income of U.S. $400USD. This document must have a contact email address of the entity issuing the pension or income statement.
  • If your documents are in a foreign language, they must be translated into Spanish by a sworn translator authorized as such by the Guatemalan government.
  • Evidence of-of deposits made from abroad into Guatemalan banks.

Getting permanent residency is not that different regarding paperwork than what’s required to apply for temporary residence. The main benefit is not having to reapply every two years continually, as you’re required to do with a temporary residence.

So it is a relatively simple process but my own personal experience is you will need support from a lawyer, that’s where we come in.