Nicaragua has had its fair share of internal problems to deal with in recent history, but things are now on the up, and that includes opportunities for ESL teachers. Every year more and more jobs become available for foreign teachers and there is no shortage of teachers looking to take advantage of the situation. What the country lacks in financial incentives, it more than makes up for in adventure and the chance to explore roads less traveled. The main center for teaching jobs is the capital city Managua, although there are several other smaller cities where jobs can be found.
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It is theoretically possible to get a work visa for teaching English in Nicaragua, but it is uncommon as you need to find a school or other employer to sponsor you. Most schools are unwilling to go down this path as it involves a lot of paperwork and finances that most schools cannot afford to part with. If you are lucky enough to find an employer who is happy to sponsor you they will usually expect some form of long-term commitment on your part to make it worth the effort and outlay involved.
As work visas are notoriously difficult to secure for foreign teachers in Nicaragua, most people enter the country on a standard tourist visa and start teaching as soon as they have found a suitable position. Tourist visas are issued on arrival at the airport for many nationalities, although you should check with the embassy in your home country before you set off. On arrival you should have a 90-day visa stamped in your passport at a cost of $10. Regulations may vary from one nationality to the next, but be prepared to provide proof of onward travel, a return air ticket, or proof of sufficient finances to see you through your intended stay.
If you decide you want to stay in Nicaragua once your initial 90 days are nearly up, you will need to renew your original visa in one of two ways. The first option is to cross over the border into Costa Rica for a minimum of three days and then return to Nicaragua where a fresh 90-day visa will be issued for the same fee of $10. Make sure you leave the country before the original 90 days have expired or you might face a fine of $2 for every day you stay over that limit.
The second option for renewing your visa is to visit a local immigration office. If you choose this route you will have to navigate the typically long queues and fill out a form in Spanish. The extension will cost $20 for every 30 days, so $60 for the full 90-day visa. You are only allowed to renew your visa once via this method, so any further renewals will require you to leave the country as mentioned above.