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Considering moving to Honduras

I know many people have posted about moving to Honduras but I am seriously considering moving. My husband is from Honduras. His Father is sick and he needs to go home and take care of his family. I do not want to be separated from him, but don't know if I can live there? Let me tell you a little more about me and see if I can get some honest answers/opinions.

I am a small town girl,I don't care about shopping malls or going to the movies etc, but I do like washing machines, tide, charmin etc. =) I do not speak Spanish. I am a RN...can I work in Honduras? What do you think? Can I survive?
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Welcome to Expat.com RN READY FOR A NEW LIFE!

For better visibility, a new thread has been created on Honduras forum.;)

Harmonie

Hi, RN. What a coincidence. I'm from Dallas, married to a Honduran, and I felt like a small town girl even living in Big D. I've been living in Honduras for almost 12 years.

Of course you can survive in Honduras but I would suggest that you both come for a long visit before moving here. Is that possible? You can't know whether Honduras is for you until you've tried it. It is a major life decision and it shouldn't be made blindly.

We have washing machines, Tide, Charmin, and many other US products. Tide and other US imports can be very expensive, though. What part of the country would you be living in? That will make it easier for me to tell you more.

As far as working as a nurse, I'm not sure that is possible, but it might be with a work permit. If you wanted to volunteer with a charity hospital or clinic or medical brigades, I'm sure you would be welcomed. Another important thing to consider is whether your husband will be able to find work at a wage which you all can live on in the part of the country where you need to be (your father-in-law's area).

If you have been married at least three years or have a Honduran child, legal residency is pretty easy to attain.

Since you are considering moving here, one thing I would recommend is taking some Spanish classes at a local community college. Knowing Spanish is invaluable and will make your life so much easier. You will never regret doing that.

Let me know what area you are talking about and we can chat more.

Hola LaGringa,

Since you been living in Honduras for almost 12 years,I was wondering if you could help me finding the best place to live.

I'm looking to be near the ocean and at the same time in a place that is a bit cooler. I heard that the north side should be best.

I beenn on the road for almost 7 years and been to various countries: Mexico, Guatemala, Costa Rica, Antigua WI, Hawaii just to name a few. I am familliar with third country living and I speak Spanish (not quite fluent yet but getting there).

I'm also looking for work as a massage therapist/healer (15 years experience).

Any suggestion where to start?

Thank you so much in advance for your assistance.

FreeSpirit, I don't think there is a place on either coast that is cooler. It is hot and very humid here in La Ceiba and pretty much the same all along the north coast. For cooler, you would need to go to a higher elevation.

To legally work in Honduras, you would need a work permit. Those are generally granted when there are no qualified Hondurans to do the work. I think that some type of legal residency is also required by the law. There are a lot of people who do this differently....

I suggest that you visit Honduras and see what areas suit you best.

Can anyone tell me how to open an escrow account?
My husband is going there next month and we already bought a property and sent a down payment of 10% to the developer.
However I just emailed them saying that we want to open an escrow account in order to protect ourselves.
I know that we should have done it earlier but from afar is hard to get a lawyer.
I have good references about them but it's a matter of having some peace of mind!
So since it will take a while until we need to send more money, can we just open the account with a small amount of money?
I don't even know if they are willing to put our 10% there.Maybe not!
Thanks for any advise you can give me!

Maria (MariaLovesJesus)

i have just bought and moved to honduras from edmonton just get there account number and bank info and do a wire transfer we drove from edmonton to here. there was no problem with our developer chris barrett but you would need to watch of for some  just like any other place  where are you buying

Sasha, thank you for replying.
That's what we did!

Hi LaGringa,
What can you tell me about the north coast?  Between Rio Estaban and Rio Coco?  We are vacationing with friends there in Nov.
Many thanks :)

Hi Sasha,
I'm assuming that you got an investor's Visa.
Did you still need to go to any consulate in Canada with your birth certificate, your marriage license and the police report?
I just read an article in a Roatan's magazine about it!
If so, did you have them translated to Spanish?
I've been reading about Visas for a while but I had just assumed that we wouldn't need all those documents for the Investor's Visa!
I would appreciate all the information you can give me.
Also: now that we have already moved you must know the answer to your question about getting the Canadian Pension abroad.
Can we just have a direct deposit made to our bank account in Canada?
Well in fact I won't have any pension, just my husband!
Thanks
Maria

Sasha,
Also: what about health insurance there?-How much does it cost?
Thanks
Maria (MariaLovesJesus)

I just found out that there is no Honduras's consulate in Toronto.
I guess I have to go to Ottawa next year after I have all the documents to prove my investment and the ones from the country I was born.

Here I am again!

It looks like this blog is of no help to me but in order to help others, here is this information:
I just called the Embassy of Honduras in Ottawa.
They told me tat when the time comes for me to initiate the process of applying for Permanent Residence, I must call them to ask how much it costs so that I can send the money with these documents:

Copy of the Passport

Birth Certificate (if born in another country, certified by the Consulate in the city where you live, In our case we will apply for these documents through the Portuguese Consulate in Toronto)

Police Report

Bank Statement (that we are good clients)

Medical Report (no contagious disease)

Marriage Certificate (also certified by the Consulate of the country where the marriage took place)

We're supposed to mail all these documents to Ottawa and then they will call us to make an appointment (for us to go there).
That's when we will make the application.
I think he forgot to mention that we also have to prove that we bought property on Honduras since we are applying as Investors.

I hope this information will be helpful to someone!

Maria

we just bought our home here going to see lawyer here not doing anything in canada they will do it all here were applying for residency and because we bought a house here we have over already a 50.000 dollard investement  you need just to invest here to apply for youre residency

Sasha,
That's what I thought as well until I read an article Yesterday online ( I forgot where) written by a lawyer in Honduras.
There is also a video on Youtube by TJ (a guy in Roatan that makes a lot of videos)and the lawyer he was speaking to mentioned those same documents (except the Bank statement).
I would appreciate if you would let me know  about your meeting with your lawyer and all he required.
Please remember me!
Thanks
Maria

Just one more thing:
when I called the embassy I mentioned that we had already sent the down payment so they know that we qualify to get the Investor's Visa!

Using the "investor status" for residency is pretty straight forward. You can apply for it from Honduras. I would not and believe you can't apply from abroad. You need to start a Honduran corporation too. The $50K can't be raw land. It's stated as an investment like lets say a B&B. So, you can use your home as the investment. This is the easiest way for residency besides marrying a Honduran.

Cheers

Chris Barrett

I'm just surprised that they mentioned the bank statement because we are not opening any business!
We bought 2 condos!
TJ Lynch has a video interviewing a lawyer in Roatan and he mentions the birth certificate, the police report, etc....
I like what you said better!
That was my impression too and I will be very happy if I got the wrong information.
But how can the embassy not know?
Another thing that surprised me was the fact that I needed to go to Ottawa?
So Chris, besides the property papers, what else do they request there?
Thanks
Maria

You still need the police report and a bank account for your corporation.  The corp bank account needs around $1,000.00 USD in this account for roughly 30 days.
When are you  getting down to Hondurdas ?

My husband is going to Roatan in the end of November and the developer is going to introduce him to the lawyers who work with them and to the expats there!
I'm only going there when the time comes to sign the papers (probably May or June).
Thanks for all your information!

Maria;
There is no such thing in this country as an 'escrow' account. If you go to a bank here and ask them about it they probably will not know what you are referring to. Because of the ZOLITUR laws in the Bay Islands established a few years back (Tax  Free Status), which requires the seller to pay
a 4% gains tax when he sells the property previous to it being able to be transferred to the new owner, real estate companies here have acted as escrow for private parties. Local real estate association bi-laws mandate having separate escrow accounts, (separate bank accounts that are exclusive to escrow and may not be used of operational purposes or any other reason). Over the years people who are 'uneasy' with that have used private escrow services offered by First American and Stewart Title Companies.

Roatan has one of the most advanced REALTOR Associations and MLS data bases in all of Central America and the Caribbean. Doing business on the mainland in Honduras is far, far different than doing business on the island of Roatan. Even if you deal directly with a developer it would be very much worth your while to spend some time with people here obtaining references before you take the plunge.  Ask others, get input.  Here are a couple of links with both FAQ's and info on residency-
                             http://www.roatan-realestate.com/roatan-buyers/
                       
                             http://www.roatan-realestate.com/roatan-investing/

I mention this because obtaining an 'Investor Residency' is or certainly can be a fairly long and tedious process far more involved than presenting some documentation. If you plan on living here
much of the year and will rent out property such as a B & B you may wish to consider a 'Rentista' residency but you are best discussing this aspect with an attorney, which you should also get a referral on.  I would advise making sure that whoever the developer is that you do not use their attorney for all the rest of what you are doing in that that attorney will represent the developer interests, right?

Larry Schlesser
Owner/Broker RE/MAX Bay Islands

Hi Larry

Thank you so much for your comment.

In fact the developer suggested that I contact their Embassy here in Canada.
First I wasn't sure if I should go that far but since I had to ask about the documents, I did.

They are well know by the Embassy because they have fairs here in Canada promoting the new projects in Honduras.

I really appreciate the time you took to inform me about this important issue!

Maria

Larry,

I couldn't apply for 'Rentista" since I already bought 2 condos!
Besides, that would be the worst option for us since it's the one where more income is required monthly.
If we want we could apply fr retirees but the Investor Visa is the best option for us since we can have the option of living there full time, part time or being absentee.
In our case we plan to move there full time!
Maria

Welcome to Expat.com Honduras J-LO,

maybe you could directly share your experience on the forum ?

Thanks,

Julien

(Please note self-promotion is not allowed on the forum)

Hi I am a Canadian planning on moving to Honduras. Hoping someone may be able to give me some information on what is needed. I am in a common-law relationship with a Honduran citizen. We have a child. On a previous visit to Honduras we took my daughter to register her for a "Constancia de permanencia" basically a stamp in her Canadian passport stating that she is aloud to remain in the country because she is a Honduran citizen by birth. I was hoping to obtain citizenship through my daughter being a Honduran citizen (since me and her father are not married) I have been trying to find out the requirements by contacting the Honduran consulate in Canada as well as a number of attorneys in Tegucigalpa, but been unsuccessful. I am hoping someone has experience in a similar situation and can point me in the right direction.

I understand that I have to somehow register my daughters birth in Honduras?

I am not sure if it may be easier, I do have family in Honduras that can "sell" me some land in a rural farming area, maybe I can start a farming business and get residency this way.

Rachel, you'll need to register your daughter's birth with the Registro Nacional de Personas (RNP) and obtain at least a couple of copies of her birth certificate showing she is a Honduran citizen. With that and a bunch of other documents, you'll be able to obtain residency as a parent of a Honduran citizen. You have to hire an attorney to process the residency. Be very careful, there are a lot of crooked and incompetent attorneys who will take your money and do nothing. This is the best kind of residency and you only have to renew it every 5 years, instead of every year like most residencies.

The Banks in Honduras do not have Escrow accounts. At times the attorney you have hired to close the purchase
may do it for you, (do not use the Seller's attorney for this nor a developers) especially on the mainland.  On Roatan or Utila the REALTOR's (who utilize the NAR (National Association of REALTOR's) that abide by U.S. standards escrow funds if they are members of the RRA (Roatan REALTOR's Assoc).

The mainland is far 'trickier'.  No matter where you are do your homework and more importantly get references from other North Americans. Ask for previous buyers names and emails, the same goes for attorneys.

Buy what is there not what is going to be there.  Stewart Title Central America also has an escrow service. You can Google them.

I have been here going on 15 years and there are very few real estate people on the mainland that we do business with. I can count them on one hand.  Not to say others are not up to standards, it is just the ones we have used over the years have proven trustworthy.

Best wishes,
Larry Schlesser
RE/MAX Bay Islands

There are some very good attorneys in Teguc.  One I have found to be very good is Jorge LaFosse
Jorge LaFosse <jorge>   He can answer your questions, lives in Teguc. He does both real estate and can advise on the processes for your daughter.   Another good council is Cristian Stephan
Cristian Stefan <cstefan /></jorge>

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