This information is being provided as a courtesy to U.S. citizens who wish to apply for temporary or permanent residence or a work permit in Guatemala. The U.S. government has no authority over this process, and the process is subject to change according to the laws and regulations of the Government of Guatemala.
Applicants should be aware that while the following requirements appear straightforward, applicants for residency often report that unexplained delays in the issuance process makes obtaining a residence permit very difficult. Delays of one, two, and even four years are common.
During such delays, an applicant’s residency status may be uncertain, requiring regular departure from and reentry into Guatemala in order to re-establish temporary status. Intending residents should understand that, as foreigners living in another country, they are subject to the Guatemalan legal system.
Guatemala’s central immigration authority is located at:
Instituto Guatemalteco de Migración (IGM)
6a. Avenida 3-11, Zona 4
Tel. (502) 2411-2411
Working hours are Monday-Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
US Citizens are not required to have any kind of visa to enter Guatemala. However, Guatemalan law only authorizes entry for a 90-day period as a tourist. If you wish to remain longer in Guatemala, you either need to leave and be readmitted for another 90-day period or apply for one of the following categories of temporary residence. If you remain longer than the 90-day period without authorization from the Government of Guatemala, the fine accrues at GTQ 15 per day and is payable in cash upon departure.
Here is a link to IGM forms and requirements and IGM Fees (in Spanish). These requirements are subject to change. Below is a summary of the requirements. Please consult the IGM website for a complete list of forms and requirements. If there is any discrepancy what is written below and what is on the official IGM website, please defer to what is listed on IGM’s website.
Categories of Temporary Residence
Foreigners may apply for the following categories of temporary residence at IGM’s Oficina de Extranjeros (workers, students, artists, athletes, investors, religious workers, intellectual researchers and scientists, and refugees and political asylum seekers). Note that the fee for all applications is USD 25 in addition to the cost associate with the respective category. Any foreign documents to be presented to the Government of Guatemala must be apostilled according to the Hague Convention and Guatemalan law.
The following documents must be submitted in support of an application for temporary residence:
Additional requirements for some categories are listed below (otherwise consult IGM’s website):
The Labor Ministry issues work permits to foreigners in Guatemala in the following categories:
Once all documents are presented to the Ministry of Labor, work permits are usually granted to eligible foreigners within 15-20 days.
The Ministry of Labor is located at:
7ª. Avenida 3-33, Zona 9
3er. Nivel, Edif. Torre Empresarial
Oficina de permiso para extranjeros
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