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How To Get Your Residency In Honduras Today

4 min read

How To Get Your Residency In Honduras Today

Honduras is one of the poorest nations in Latin America. Once home to the ancient Mayan civilization, modern Honduras was rocked by prolonged conflict during the latter half of the 20th century. Natural disasters like Hurricane Mitch also caused significant destruction to the impoverished nation.

 

Honduras can be a very dangerous place. There are high levels of violent crime, and some have accused Honduras of becoming a narco-state. While certain tourist areas are significantly safer and more heavily policed than the rest of the country, it is important to take care at all times.

In recent years, Honduras has registered the second highest economic growth rates in Central America, only behind Panama; 4.8% in 2017, 3.7% in 2018 and 2.7% in 2019.

Aside from the above, Honduras has a lot to offer, especially for people who love to scuba dive. This can be a big draw for anyone who enjoys the water, not just those that are of retirement age, but anyone who wants to work and live there.

 

Fish swimming near corals

View of Honduras Sea

Honduras has a tropical climate and is home to many different forms of wildlife including more than fifty different varieties of bats. Some of the more exotic animals that call Honduras home include the American crocodile, the brown basilisk, and the northern boa. Despite significant deforestation, Honduras still has significant stretches of rainforest and cloud forest.

Fresh fruit is both cheap and abundant, you can purchase it from street vendors almost anywhere. Honduran cuisine is a mix of many different influences. Meals frequently include rice, beans, and tortillas, as well as some sort of protein like pork or beef. Seafood is also very popular, as are coconut products like coconut oil or coconut milk.

 

Copán Ruins, Honduras

Copán Ruins, Honduras

HOW TO APPLY FOR RESIDENCY IN HONDURAS

In order to apply for residency in Honduras as a pensionado or rentista, you will need to first gather the necessary documents from your home country, then have them translated and apostilled. The necessary documents are:

  • A clean criminal record from your home country and/or country you have resided in over the last five years
  • Proof of your monthly income
  • Birth certificates and marriage certificates for any dependents you may have
  • Clean bill of health, including a negative HIV test. This document must also be authenticated by the Honduran consulate in your country.
  • Completed application form
  • Passport photos
  • A document granting power of attorney to a local Honduran attorney
  • Documentation concerning any countries you have travelled to or lived in
  • Clean criminal record from Honduras

You can apply for your permanent residency in Honduras, after you enter as a visa-exempt individual, and stay there until your application is ruled upon. You will need to submit your application to the Secretaria de Gobernacino y Justicia in Tegucigalpa, the capital of Honduras, with the assistance of a local attorney.

There are a number of categories by which a foreigner can gain residency in Honduras. There is the rentista or person of means category, by which you must demonstrate an independent income, say from your retirement portfolio or business interests you may own. Then there is the pensionado permit, which is for retired people who have a guaranteed income from the government or a private pension plan or an annuity. There is also the option for people who want to invest $50,000 in Honduras in “lawful investment areas”. This also requires a deposit of $5,000 with the central bank of Honduras. Another residency path is for those who marry or have family ties to a Honduran.

 

Pulhapanzak Waterfall, Honduras

Pulhapanzak Waterfall, Honduras

Rentista 

To qualify for the rentista residency, you must prove a stable income of at least $2,500. In the alternative, you can prove that you have sufficient assets and net worth to qualify. A precise listing for net worth is not given, but it is presumably some large multiple of $2,500 and possibly up to the discretion of the migracion officer who will be reviewing your petition. You also have to provide documentation proving that this income will be going through a Honduran financial institution, such as an arrangement to transfer $2,500 a month from your retirement account to the Honduran bank.

 

Pensionado

The threshold of income for the pensionado residency is much lower, all you need to do is show $1,500 of stable, guaranteed income from a pension through accompanying documentation, as well as provide documents that show the pension will be routed through the Honduran financial system.

 

Inversionistas

This investor's permit allows you to reside in Honduras if you invest $50,000 USD as well as deposit $5,000 USD with the Honduran Central Bank. You also need to register with the Registry of Investors with the Ministry of Industry and Commerce. In addition, you will have to commission a study of feasibility, schedule, and investment for your investment, and the investment must be made in a lawful investment area.

 

Map of Central America

Map of Central America

Work

For this residency permit, you will need a commitment letter from your employer which has been authenticated by a notary of the public.

 

Spouse

If you are moving to Honduras on the basis of marrying a Honduran, then you will need to provide documentation to that effect.

After five years of residing in Honduras, and without being deported or violating any laws, you can apply for Honduran citizenship and a second passport.

 

COSTS AND OTHER INFORMATION

The residency application itself has a cost (filing fee) of $150. If you need any documents authenticated or translated, you can get that done at the Honduran embassy in your country, and there will be charges for that as well. It typically takes anywhere from six to nine months to have your application processed from when you submit it.

There are no immunization requirements to visit or live in Honduras, but you will need to make sure that your passport is valid for at least six months from the time that you enter.

 

Honduran Lempira

Honduran Lempira

TAX IMPLICATIONS OF HONDURAN RESIDENCY

One very important fact about the Honduran tax regime is that they do have a territorial system of taxation. That means that only income sourced from within Honduras is taxed by the Honduran government. Any income coming from overseas is not subject to their taxation. Honduras has a corporate income tax of 25%, and a sales tax with rates of 15% and 18% (although some things are exempt, for example, groceries and health care are both exempt). There is also a personal income tax with a top rate of 25%.

 

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Mikkel Thorup

Written by Mikkel Thorup

Mikkel Thorup is the world’s most sought-after expat consultant. He focuses on helping high-net-worth private clients to legally mitigate tax liabilities, obtain a second residency and citizenship, and assemble a portfolio of foreign investments including international real estate, timber plantations, agricultural land and other hard-money tangible assets. Mikkel is the Founder and CEO at Expat Money®, a private consulting firm started in 2017. He hosts the popular weekly podcast, the Expat Money Show, and wrote the definitive #1-Best Selling book Expat Secrets - How To Pay Zero Taxes, Live Overseas And Make Giant Piles Of Money, and his second book: Expats Guide On Moving To Mexico.

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