Marrying and Sponsoring a Nicaraguan Citizen

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Marriage to a Nicaraguan Citizen

Every country has its own laws that apply to its citizens marrying a person from a different country. Getting married to a Nicaraguan citizen with the goal of eventually bringing them to Canada to live is a process with many steps.

If you want to bring your Nicaraguan spouse or partner to live in Canada, you must then file a sponsorship application for them to become a permanent resident. If they would like to visit you in Canada while their application is in process, they must also apply for a visitor visa. For more information, please see our family sponsorship page and our visitor visa page.


Nicaraguan Marriage Basic Requirements

In Nicaragua, legal marriages can be performed by either a Nicaraguan notary or judge. The Canadian Embassy consular officer may authenticate foreign marriage documents but this is not required for the marriage to be considered valid outside of Nicaragua. The fee for the authentication of a document is $30.00. The civil marriage is considered the legal marriage though the family may also require the church wedding.

To legally marry in Nicaragua, a foreigner must present a valid passport (or other acceptable identification document) and sometimes a birth certificate.  In addition, persons previously married must present evidence of the dissolution of the previous marriage (e.g. a divorce decree or death certificate of the previous spouse) and/or proof that they are single.
With the documentation listed above and two witnesses with Nicaraguan cedulas, a Nicaraguan notary or judge can marry you.


The groom has to be over the age of 21 or legally emancipated through court order.  The bride must be over the age of 18 or legally emancipated through court order.

If the bride and/or the groom are under the ages listed above and have not been emancipated, the parents and/or custodians of the underage partner must consent to the marriage.

Impediments to marriage are mental disability, pending dissolution of prior marriages, among others. It is illegal to marry your sibling in Nicaragua.


Family Members

If your Nicaraguan spouse has dependent children, this does not affect the Nicaraguan Marriage document application.

If you have dependent children, they have no effect on the application to marry a Nicaraguan citizen.


List of Nicaraguan Consulates in Canada

Click here

Calling Nicaragua from Canada

To make a direct call to Nicaragua from Canada, you need to follow the international dialling format given below. The dialling format is the same when calling Nicaragua mobile or land line from Canada.

011 – 505 – landline or cell code – local number

  • 011 – Exit code for Canada, and is needed for making any international call from Canada
  • 505 – ISD Code or Country Code of Nicaragua
  • dial 2 for landlines or 8 for cell phones

Nicaragua no longer uses area codes.


Calling Canada from Nicaragua

To make a direct call to Canada from Nicaragua, you need to follow the international dialling format given below. The dialling format is the same when calling Canada mobile or land line from Nicaragua.

00 – 1 – Area Code – local number

  • 00 – Exit code for Nicaragua, and is needed for making any international call from Nicaragua
  • 1 – ISD Code or Country Code of Canada

List of area codes in Canada

Province Code Province  Code
Alberta 403 / 587 (southern Alberta)

587 / 780 (central and northern Alberta)

Nunavut 867
BC 236 / 250 / 778 (majority of BC)

236 / 604 / 778 (Metro Vancouver)

Ontario 226 / 519 (southwestern Ontario)

249 / 705 (northeastern Ontario)

289 / 365 / 905 (Greater Toronto Area)

343 / 613 (eastern Ontario)

416 / 647 (Toronto)

807 (northwestern Ontario)

Manitoba 204 / 431 PEI 782 / 902
New  Brunswick 506 Quebec 418 / 581 (eastern Quebec)

438 / 514 (Montreal)

450 / 579 (Greater Montreal)

819 / 873 (remainder of Quebec)

Newfoundland and Labrador 709 Saskatchewan 306 / 639
Northwest Territories 867 Yukon 867
Nova Scotia 782 / 902


Time Difference

Nicaragua is on Central Standard Time. Nicaragua does not participate in Daylight Saving Time due to its proximity to the equator.

Canadian Time Zone # of Hours Nicaragua is Ahead or Behind # of Hours during DST
Pacific (BC, Yukon) 2 hours ahead 1 hour ahead
Mountain (Alberta, western Nunvaut, Lloydminster, Saskatchewan) 1 hour ahead Same Time
Saskatchewan Same Time Same Time
Central (Manitoba, Northwest Territories, central Nunavut, northwestern Ontario) Same Time 1 hour behind
Eastern (most of Ontario, most of Quebec) 1 hour behind 2 hours behind
Atlantic (Labrador, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, PEI, eastern Quebec) 2 hours behind 3 hours behind
Newfoundland 2.5 hours behind 3.5 hours behind


Emergency Information for Canadians in Nicaragua

Office of the Embassy of Canada in Managua

De Los Pipitos, 2 Blocks West
El Nogal Street No. 25
Bolonia, Managua

Postal Address:
P.O. Box 25, Managua, Nicaragua

Telephone: 505-2268-0433; 505-2268-3323
Fax: 505-2268-0437
E-mail: [email protected]
Website: No Website

View Larger Map

Embassy of Canada in San Jose

La Sabana Executive Business Centre
Building No. 5, 3rd Floor
behind the Contraloría General de la República
San José
Costa Rica

Postal Address:
P.O. Box 351-1007, San José, Costa Rica

Telephone: 506 2242-4400
Fax: 506 2242-4410
E-mail: [email protected]

View Larger Map

Emergency Numbers

  • Ambulance: 118
  • Fire: 118
  • Police: 118


The Goverment of Canada’s Travel Alerts for Nicaragua

For travel alerts, click here

Nicaraguan Money

The córdoba (C$), is the currency of Nicaragua. It is divided into 100 centavos. Sometimes córdoba is called a ‘peso’ or ‘real’ by locals, or a ‘cord’ by expats.



In 1994, coins were issued in denominations of 5, 10, 25 & 50 centavos. All were minted in chrome-plated steel. In 1997, nickel-clad steel 50 centavos, 1 & 5 córdobas were introduced, followed by copper-plated steel 5 centavos & brass-plated steel 10 & 25 centavos in 2002 & brass-plated steel 10 cordobas in 2007.

All current coins have the coat of arms of the country on the obverse and the numeral of the denomination on the reverse.



In 1991, notes were introduced for 1, 5, 10 and 25 centavos, ½, 1, 5, 10, 20, 50 and 100 córdobas. The notes below 1 córdoba were replaced by coins in 1994, with 5 córdobas notes also being replaced in 1997. 500 córdobas notes were introduced in 2002.

On May 15, 2009, polymer ten and twenty córdoba notes were issued to replace their paper counterparts. A new polymer two hundred and a paper one hundred córdoba banknote was first issued on June 1, 2009. A new polymer 50 córdoba was issued on December 3, 2009. The new designed paper 500 córdoba banknote was introduced on January 12, 201. A commemorative design of the 50 córdobas was introduced on September 15, 2010. In 2012, the Banco Central de Nicaragua (Central Bank of Nicaragua) began issuing a new series of córdoba banknotes with revised security features, beginning with the 10, 20 and 200 córdoba polymer banknotes, which is similar to their first issue, but with minor notable changes is the embossed “10”, “20”, and “200” on the see-through window now being of an opaque white. The 100 córdoba banknote was also revised. The notable difference from the first issue is that the note was issued on the 100th anniversary of the córdoba currency. Also notable is the wider security thread, a revised registration device, a repositioned serial number, subtle under print design changes and the commemorative text “1912-2012 Centenario del Cordoba” in pearlescent ink at the left front of the note. The 500 córdoba banknote was also revised. The most notable change for the note is the Bank logo’s patch, now a holographic patch instead of an optically variable device patch and a wider security thread.


10 Cordobas

The Nicaragua’s 10 Cordobas Banknote depicts the Fortress of the Immaculate Conception on the front which is a fortification located on the southern bank of the Río San Juan (San Juan River), in the village of El Castillo in southern Nicaragua. The fortress is situated approximately 6 kilometres from the border with Costa Rica, at the Raudal del Diablo rapids of the San Juan River. It was completed in 1675 as part of a series of fortifications along the San Juan River, to defend against pirate attacks upon the city of Granada. On the back it depicts Hacienda San Jacinto.


20 Cordobas

The Nicaragua’s 20 Cordobas Banknote depicts Hut of natives on the eastern coast of the Caribbean on the front while on the back it depicts the Illustration of the Palo de Mayo dance. Palo de Mayo is a type of Afro-Caribbean dance with sensual movements that forms part of the culture of several communities in the RAAS region in Nicaragua, as well as Belize, the Bay Islands of Honduras and Bocas del Toro in Panama.


50 Cordobas

The Nicaragua’s 50 Cordobas Banknote depicts First building of the Central Bank on the front and Canyon of Somoto on the back.  Somoto, meaning The Valley of Geese is a town located in the hills of northern Nicaragua around 20 km south-west of Ocotal, and is in the department of Madriz. It was founded as a town in 1867, and since 1936, has been the capital of Madriz.


100 Cordobas

The Nicaragua’s 100 Cordobas Banknote depicts the Monument to Ruben Dario on the front. Rubén Darío was a Nicaraguan poet who initiated the Spanish-American literary movement known as modernismo (modernism) that flourished at the end of the 19th century. On the back it depicts Cathedral of Leon.


200 Cordobas

The Nicaragua’s 200 Cordobas Banknote depicts El Güegüense on the front which is a satirical drama and was the first literary work of post-Columbian Nicaragua. On the back it depicts the Ometepe the national bird, the Momotus momota.


500 Cordobas

The Nicaragua’s 500 Cordobas Banknote depicts Residential Museum of Augusto César Sandino on the front who was a Nicaraguan revolutionary and leader of a rebellion against the U.S. military occupation of Nicaragua between 1927 and 1933. while on the back it depicts Native statues.


Nicaragua Wedding Traditions

The minority of couples who are not Roman Catholic, outside of the upper and middle classes, formalize their marriages through ceremonies officiated by another church or the state. Many common-law unions exist, but Roman Catholics abide by the church’s emphasis on marriage. Because of poverty and a shortage of affordable housing, newly married couples may live with one set of parents.


Since the majority of Nicaraguan’s are members of the Catholic faith, the majority of those who choose to get married and conduct a wedding in the process do so in accordance with the catholic religion. Just as in other countries, the bride and groom can choose to have just a wedding ceremony or they can have a wedding ceremony with a Mass. The Mass is a popular option since Nicaraguan’s are generally fun-loving festive people who take delight in celebrating such happy occasions. Many feel that the Mass also gives the wedding couple an extra blessing so this Nicaraguan wedding custom is encouraged.


Catholic guests will often file into the church, dipping the fingertips of their right hand into the Holy water and making the sign of the cross before being seated by the usher. Non-Catholic guests are not required to do this. Once everyone is seated, the bride enters the church and takes her place next to the groom’s side. The priest greets the young couple as well as their guests and says an opening prayer. This is usually followed by a few readings and more prayers during which guests may kneel or stand depending on the custom in that area. Certain selected passages are read from both the Old and New Testaments and there is a Gospel reading. The bride and groom select the readings and songs and these may be read by either the priest or an honoured member of the wedding party.


After this, a sermon is given which focuses on the rules of marriage. The vows are exchanged and then the wedding rings are also exchanged. The best man will usually give the ring to the priest who blesses it before returning it to the groom who places it on his bride’s finger. Brides sometimes use the opportunity to honour the Virgin Mary by placing roses in front of her statue.


After the rings are exchanged, the Prayer of the Faithful is said. This is usually followed by a Mass where the Liturgy of the Eucharist is said. People may bring gifts of wine and bread to the alter before the priest offer a Nuptial Blessing. A Communion is served and all baptised Catholics present participate. Once the ceremony is completed, the priest introduces the newlywed couple and they are applauded before making their way out the church.


After the church, the couple and wedding attendees’ proceeds to the reception venue where they will be entertained by music, songs, dances and also enjoying Nicaragua’s well know foods. During the reception or after the reception, the guests will give the newlywed the gifts they brought. After receiving the gifts, the newlywed will then leave for their honeymoon.

Nicaraguan Wedding Food

Gallo Pinto

Most people in Nicaragua eat this almost daily and it is considered a national symbol and a wedding food. It is composed of a mixture of fried rice with onion and sweet pepper, red beans boiled with garlic. They are mixed and fried all together.


Rice and Beans

This is the same as Gallo Pinto and it is prepared in the same way, using rice and red beans. The only difference is that it is fried with oil made out of coconut, which gives the plate a different and special flavor. It is a popular wedding food in Nicaragua.



Vigorón originated from Granada, where it is deliciously prepared. A plate is covered with a part of a plantain tree leaf, on top of which yucca, chicharrón and a salad made out of cabbage and tomato is placed.


Indio Viejo

Meat is prepared with onions, garlic, sweet pepper and tomato. In addition, some tortillas are put into water and this has to be ground until they form dough. The meat is shredded and then fried with vegetables, the dough, and orange juice. Finally, you add broth.


Religion in Nicaragua

Nicaragua Religion is a blend of captivating expression and traditions. Nicaragua Religion has a great influence in the lives of the Nicaraguan people as they utter the name of god very often. Nicaraguan government strictly promotes the right to freedom of religion. Religious freedom as well as tolerance is promoted by the Nicaraguan government and forms part of the constitution. The Government strives to protect the right of freedom of religion in Nicaragua and will not tolerate those who discriminate against others on the basis of their ideology or beliefs.

Beginning in the early 1970s and continuing through the revolution, Nicaragua created its own version of liberation theology, a school of Christianity and bourgeois thought that equated Jesus’s teachings with Marxism. The degree to which biblical parables were equated to the Marxist struggle varied, and the most radical versions placed Sandino as Jesus or Moses, Somoza as the Pharaoh, and the Nicaraguan masses as the Israelites searching for their promised land through revolutionary struggle.

More than 90% of the people in Nicaragua can be distinguished from others for having its own Christian organization. 73% are followers of Roman Catholic Religion. Those attending Christian churches are about 15%and 2% contributes to the Moravian churches.  Statistically, approximately 15.1% of the populace are members of evangelical churches and 0.1% belong to the Episcopal Church. An additional 1.9% claim membership in other churches or religious groups; 8.5% profess no religion or are atheistic. There are also small communities of Jews, Muslims, Buddhists, Mormons, Mennonites, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Unification Church members, Baha’is, and members in the Church of Scientology. Amerindian tribal religionists and spiritualists also practice, usually combining elements of Christianity and African religions.

Catholicism arrived in the country along with the Spanish conquerors during the 16th century. Whilst the Roman Catholic Church is not the official religion of Nicaragua, it does have a close association with the country’s government. In fact, the Roman Catholic Church exerts great political influence in Nicaragua. Bishops are often called upon to attend state occasions and often offer their opinion on various issues facing the country. Many educational institutions are run by Roman Catholic bodies. The popularity of the religion in Nicaragua is clearly seen in yearly festivals held throughout Nicaragua in honour of the patron saints as well as several other religious celebrations.

A tiny percentage of Nicaraguans are descendants of one of the several Jewish families that found refuge in the country during World War II. Some of them still identify themselves as Jewish, but there is no real practising community. The only synagogue was dismantled and sold in 1980. A Torah did not return to Nicaragua until 2008.

Most Nicaraguans, especially in the countryside, have little concept of Judaism as a modern religion, relating the word judío only to the ancient race of hebreos they read about in the Old Testament.

In 2008, the construction of a mosque in Managua raised eyebrows in the diplomatic community circle, which feared increasing Iranian influence. It was instead the work of the growing Lebanese community, present in Nicaragua for a century but only now is of considerable larger number enough to consider building their own place of worship.

With Buddhist and the Chinese emigrating mainly from China, Buddhism in Nicaragua came into existence during the early 19th century. It is believed that only 1% of the total population is Buddhists residing in Nicaragua

Moravians and Episcopalians are mostly centred along the Atlantic Coast with Catholicism and evangelical denominations being concentrated in the central and Pacific areas of Nicaragua. Religion is often associated with particular ethnic groups. Great expansion has been noted amongst the evangelical churches, particularly in rural areas. These church groups even run two private universities in Nicaragua.

Nicaraguans are generally religiously inclined people, with many attending services and taking part in other observances. The great influence of religion in the lives of Nicaraguans is often evident in their speech and in their actions.

Though Nicaragua does not have a state religion; however, the Roman Catholic Church seems to have significant political influence in the country as mentioned above.


Churches in Nicaragua

Cathedral de Granada


La Merced church – Granada


Los Pueblos Church – Los Pueblos Blancos


Hosanna Church – Managua


Nueva Cathedral in Managua


Mosques in Nicaragua

New Mosque – Managua


Romantic, Scenic and Historic Places in Nicaragua


La Casona de los Estrada – Granada

Historic and charming inn located in Granada, a brightly-coloured beautiful colonial city. Sits on Lake Nicaragua, one hour’s drive from Managua.


Hotel Plaza Colon – Granada

Situated in the historical district, this romantic hotel is close to Granada Cathedral and Parque Central. Area attractions also include Mombacho Volcano National Reserve. In addition to 2 restaurants, Hotel Plaza Colon features an outdoor pool. Other amenities include complimentary wireless Internet access and a porter/bellhop. High-definition televisions come with premium cable channels. Guestrooms also feature complimentary high-speed (wired) Internet access, air conditioning, and safes.


Jicaro Island Ecolodge – Granada

Jicaro Island Ecolodge is an upscale nature resort located on its own tiny island on Lake Nicaragua. Views of Mombacho Volcano across the lake


Melia Granada Hotel

Melia Granada is a modern and light hotel in the historic heart of Granada is located next to Puerta Real, Cathedral. Shopping facilities, night life and restaurants are nearby.  Melia Granada provides an excellent restaurant specializing in rices, a bar/lounge, Business Centre and complimentary wireless Internet access in common areas. Bathrooms come with handheld showers and makeup/shaving mirrors.


Suites Gran Via 44 – Granada

This romantic hotel is located in the heart of Granada, walking distance from University of Granada Law School, San Jeronimo Monastery, and Granada Cathedral. Also nearby are Alhambra and Plaza Nueva. In addition to complimentary wireless Internet access, Suites Gran Via 44 provides tour/ticket assistance, multilingual staff, and an arcade/game room. Guestrooms open to balconies with city views and feature beds with memory foam mattresses. Other amenities include plasma televisions with satellite channels and kitchens.


InterContinental Real Metrocentro – Managua

Real Intercontinental Metrocentro Managua is located deep in the heart of the business and entertainment centre, just 6 miles from Managua International Airport and across Plaza Ruben Dario. Minutes away from the Hotel visitors can enjoy the nightlife of Managua, restaurants and Metrocentro Shopping Mall. Innovative design of the lobby ceiling combined with deep, rich colours creates an ambiance that is both elegant and indulgent. Splendid dinning at Restaurante Voltes with international cuisine and for more casual evenings enjoy your favourite drink and live music in the relaxing atmosphere of Scenario Bar and pool terrace. Exclusive hotel services includes 24 hours business centre, room service and laundry, additional full service concierge staff; Hertz Rent a Car and sightseeing tours available such as Granada, Leon, San Juan del Sur in the Concierge Desk; outdoor pool where a visitor can relax after exercising at the fitness facilities in house, massage service upon request. Real Intercontinental Metrocentro Managua, winner of the Torch-bearer 2006 and World Travel Award 2005, features one of the largest meeting spaces in Managua, with bilingual staff, advanced technology, video conference and high speed internet. The Hotel is suitable for both business and pleasure


Historic Places

Located on scenic Lake Nicaragua, Nicaragua’s most beautiful city was founded by conquistadores in 1524.


Scenic Places

Las Isletas – Granada
Las Isletas, Lake Nicaragua is a collection of hundreds of scenic islets formed by the volcanic eruptions of Mombacho Volcano. Las Isletas is part of vast Lake Nicaragua, the tenth largest lake in the world.



Long Beach – Corn Islands

Long Beach is just as pretty as Picnic Centre Beach but a bit rougher and with fewer bars/restaurants. On Little Corn the beach in front of Peace and Love is a gem. The North of the island can get very windy.


Picnic Centre Beach – Corn Islands

Picnic Center Beach on Big Corn is the most popular swimming beach, a long, golden crescent of soft sand and turquoise water. There are many Bars and Restaurants around the beach.


Playa Maderas

For surf-lovers the Maderas beach is one of the most attractive options. It is a beach with a great swell and several lodging options. You can get here in car from San Juan del Sur (30 minutes), or by taking the boat to Majagual, and walking to Maderas.



The Majagual beach is located next to the Maderas beach, in a private bay with stunning views. The tranquil beach is famous for its relaxed atmosphere and superb sunset. Swimming and fishing are possible at the beach, and the Maderas beach is close by for surfing activities. You can get to the beach using a boat from San Juan del Sur, or in car (35 minutes).



Another great option for surfers is the Marsella beach located next to San Juan del Sur. To get there, you can take the road to San Juan del Sur and take a right just before entering the town (there are signs that point to the neighboring beaches).


San Juan del Sur

San Juan del Sur is one of the most visited beaches, by both foreign tourists and Nicaraguans. The beach is located inside an almost perfectly U-shaped bay. In San Juan del Sur you can enjoy a high variety of seafood in the numerous restaurants that are situated right in front of the bay.


El Coco – San Juan del Sur

El Coco is a clean quiet beach with safe swimming and an opportunity to see turtles. This beach is considered my many as great for families.


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