Those who wish to live legally in Honduras for extended periods must receive permission from the Honduran government. Permits for residency in Honduras are processed in the capital city of Tegucigalpa by the Ministry of Interior and Justice (Secretaria de Gobernacion y Justicia), the Honduran governmental entity that oversees immigration issues. Therefore, finding a local attorney is mandatory as it’s necessary for them to file your application. All residence types take an average of six to nine months to process in their entirety, but you may enter the country as a tourist and begin your application process while in Honduras.
Residency in Honduras falls into four basic categories. Permits that may be acquired are:
Retired: You must be receiving a minimum of $1,500 a month, for the rest of your life, from either a private or government institution.
Relative: You must be related to a citizen of Honduras.
Rentist: You must be receiving an income of at least $2,500 a month from a source outside of Honduras (e.g., rents, deposits, bonds).
Investor: You must be able to prove that your project is, or will be, represented by an investment of no less than $50,000. You should also have a business plan and a feasibility study. The company has to be a registered Honduran company, plus you must make a deposit of $5,000 in the Central Bank. Sometimes a property will be accepted in lieu of the deposit to guarantee the project.
Prior to moving to Honduras, it’s important that the proper paperwork be compiled and you visit your local (in your home country) Honduran consulate. The following is a list of required documents:
Honduras, the second-largest country in Central America, is a vibrant country, brimming with clear turquoise waters, pristine beaches, lush jungles, breathtaking mountains, challenging rivers, and ancient ruins. Prior to being conquered by Spain in the sixteenth century, Honduras was home to several important Mesoamerican cultures, most notably the Maya. The north coast of Honduras borders the Caribbean Sea, and the Pacific Ocean lies south through the Gulf of Fonseca. Natural resources include timber, gold, silver, copper, lead, zinc, iron ore, antimony, coal, fish, shrimp, and hydropower.
The population is approximately 8.2 million, consisting of 90% Mestizo (mixed Amerindian and European), 7% Amerindian, 2% Black, and 1% White. The country is predominantly Christian.
The official language of Honduras is Spanish. There are also dozens of American Indian languages that are spoken natively in homes, with many of these people learning Spanish as a second language.
The climate varies from tropical in the lowlands to temperate in the mountains. The central and southern regions are relatively hotter and less humid than the northern coast. The ideal time to visit Honduras is during the dry season, which extends from February to September. However, even the green season can be pleasant; most showers are short and refreshing.
Tegucigalpa, located in a high valley between pine covered mountains, is the capital and seat of government of the Republic, along with its twin sister Comayagüela. It is the largest and most populous city as well as the nation's political and administrative center. The city’s cool evenings invite one to stroll the Plaza Morozan or visit its historic churches. La Tigra National Park, just fifteen miles from the capital, is a cloud forest preserve that sustains orchids, monkeys, ocelots, and hundreds of bird species, including brilliant green and red quetzals.
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Honduras is known for its rich natural resources, including various minerals, coffee, tropical fruit, and sugar cane, as well as for its growing textiles industry, which serves the international market. However, the presence of apparently extensive land is misleading because the nation's rugged, mountainous terrain restricts large-scale agricultural production to narrow strips on the coasts and to a few fertile valleys. Nevertheless, economic growth in the last few years has averaged 7% a year, one of the highest rates in Latin America, and the gross domestic product in 2013 was $18.55 billion. In 2005 Honduras signed CAFTA, the free trade agreement with the United States. The Honduran lempira is the currency.
How to get there?
Major international airports with daily flights to Atlanta, Miami, Fort Lauderdale, New York and Houston are in San Pedro Sula, Tegucigalpa and Roatán. The main international airlines serving the region are Avianca, Copa Airlines, Delta Airlines, United Airlines, Spirit, American Airlines and Iberia.
Will I be liable to any taxes in Honduras?
Foreign residents living on their foreign income, including pensions, are not subject to income taxes; only the income earned in Honduras will be taxed. Business income is taxed on annual profits. If you choose to start up a government-approved tourism business (restaurant, souvenir shop, hotel, etc.), you will pay no income tax on your profits for 20 years.