Sunday, September 03, 2006

And today... Fun with Residency!

Alright people, I am so thoroughly confused on this residency business I could scream!

If I could get even JUST TWO people telling me the same thing it would be amazing...

Here's the problem in a nutshell:

I cannot figure out whether I need rentista or investor status, nor what the exact specifications/requirements/benefits are of either one. Everywhere I go I hear something different.

So I was under the impression that "rentista" residency was for people (non-retirees!) who had a documentable income stream (from outside of the country) of US$1,000 or more. (I also thought that retirees - "jubilados" - only had to have US$600)

Then I hear from another person that rentistas merely have to exchange US$1,000 into Lemps every month, and that furthermore, it doesn't even have to be monthly like clockwork, but can be spread out over time, for example if you change $5k to do something in particular, you're good for five months...

NOW, I am told that rentista status actually requires US$2,500 per month of documentable outside income.


So let's look at investor status now. What I learned from various documents scrounged up on the internet was that a potential investor had to:

a) submit all sortsa docs regarding the potential business
b) submit a refundable (AFTER ONE YEAR) US$5,000 deposit with the Ministry of Tourism
c) have invested US$25,000 in Honduras at the time of application for status, and
d) ultimately invest a minimum of US$50,000 in said business



There are a zillion questions rolling around in my mind about all of the above, so I decided to email some people and enquire about their own experiences. I received a hodge-podge of different answers, but the vast majority of people simply said:

"You need to contact an attorney about these issues!"

Okay, fine. Thanks.

So I emailed three different lawyers, as well as the tourism person at the DC Embassy. I just received my first response from one of the lawyers, and this was it:

It would be in your interest to file for a residency if married before, so
1) retiree=proof of $1500 monthly income
2) investor= proof of $2500 monthly income plus show $50,000 investment in Honduras
With both residencies you can bring household goods and vehicle (along with set fee for each one) and with No.1 residency you can invest in tourism/agricultural projects like anyone else.
Fees for either residency are usually $5,000 and $4,000 to set up corporations with the minimum investment (including all expenses and legal fees.)
If interested let me know. Sincerely, XXX XXXX, Attorney

Ummmmm.... what?

First of all, what happened to rentista? Is it now the same as jubilado?? And second of all, investors now have to maintain an income stream from outside of the country AS WELL AS invest $50,000??

I am soooooooooo confused....


At 4:02 PM, Blogger La Gringa said...

Oh boy! Lies, lies, lies!

The normal attorney fee for rentista is definitely NOT $5,000! I paid $1,400 in attorney fees for residency and the two dispensas. It could be higher now, but not $5,000. Email Felipe Danzilo at fdanzilo at

I have to show that I convert the equivalent of $1,000 per month to Lempiras. Since I can use all the money spent on building the house, I'm currently up to date to 2008. They LOST the copies of my last $50,000+ in divisas so I'm probably actually current through the next decade. They just keep a running total of your divisas. I send them copies every couple of years.

If I spend money in $US in Honduras, for example cable and cell phone bills are paid in $US, that doesn't count.

My experience has been that any "deposit" to the Honduran government will never be returned -- but I don't know anything about the investor status, so don't listen to me!

Have you looked at this site?

At 4:05 PM, Blogger La Gringa said...

Oops, forgot to say that you need to talk to a Tegucigalpa attorney about residency. The one I gave you, Danzilo, is in Tegucigalpa.

At 6:31 PM, Blogger Bound for Ceiba said...

Yeah, my "realtor" said the same thing... she actually started laughing like crazy when I related this message to her...

oi veh.

At 3:39 PM, Blogger jungle said...

it's ok to be confused by all this...the "lawyers" don't know, either.

my residency papers have been sitting in Tegus for almost two years waiting to be signed.

the hold up?

the two top immigration officials were BOTH put in prison for least that's what my lawyer told me.

pura vida!


At 12:29 PM, Blogger DON GODO said...

I hope that the attorney I recommended didn't quote $5000! Please let me know, because if so, I won't recommend her any more.

At 1:07 PM, Blogger Bound for Ceiba said...

Jeff, it was not your attorney, but I think it may have been her firm... I will double-check and let you know. (I have contacted so many lawyers now that I have to create a spreadsheet or something to keep them all straight!)


At 1:11 PM, Blogger Bound for Ceiba said...

Just checked on the atty that sent that message (I don't know why I x-ed her name out on the post actually... that was silly.) It was Julia Fiallos with Bufete Cedeno.

And for the life of me I can't remember where I got that referral from now!

At 4:13 PM, Blogger Jill said...

Residency is a total pain for most people! My job did it for me though, but it took them a year. Good luck!


Post a Comment

<< Home