IMPACT – MEDIUM

What is the change? Nicaragua has suspended its visa waiver for Iranian nationals.

What does the change mean? Iranian nationals planning to travel to Nicaragua are now required to apply for a Consulted Visa before traveling.

  • Implementation time frame: Immediate.
  • Visas/permits affected: ”C”-type Consulted Visas, CA-4 Central American visas.
  • Who is affected: Iranian nationals holding ordinary passports. Those holding official or diplomatic passports are exempt from the new policy.
  • Impact on processing times: The Consulted Visa requires applicants to submit medical and criminal records as well as a birth certificate.
  • Business impact: Previously, Iranian nationals were visa-exempt and permitted to conduct business activities for up to 90 days without obtaining a visa before travel.

Background: The Nicaraguan General Directorate of Migration announced the policy Nov. 17, saying it would go into effect immediately. In addition to losing visa-exempt status, Iranians can no longer avail themselves of the CA-4 common visa, which allows foreign nationals to travel among Nicaragua, El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras with the single visa.

BAL Analysis: Iranian nationals should be aware that they are no longer visa-waived and should allow plenty of time to gather necessary documents to apply for a Consulted Visa before making travel plans.