COVID-19 Travel
May 28, 2021

COVID-19 Travel Guidance for U.S. Citizens

COVID-19 Alert
October 8, 2021

Update on U.S. Passport Operations

International Parental Child Abduction

English

Country Information

Nicaragua

Nicaragua
Republic of Nicaragua
Do not travel to Nicaragua due to COVID-19. Reconsider travel to Nicaragua due to limited healthcare availability and arbitrary enforcement of laws. Exercise increased caution in Nicaragua due to crime.

Do not travel to Nicaragua due to COVID-19. Reconsider travel to Nicaragua due to limited healthcare availability and arbitrary enforcement of laws. Exercise increased caution in Nicaragua due to crime.

Read the Department of State’s COVID-19 page before you plan any international travel.

Due to insufficient official data, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has not issued a Travel Health Notice for Nicaragua due to COVID-19, but local reports indicate very high levels of COVID-19. Your risk of contracting COVID-19 and developing severe symptoms may be lower if you are fully vaccinated with an FDA authorized vaccine. Before planning any international travel, please review the CDC's specific recommendations for vaccinated and unvaccinated travelers. Visit the Embassy's COVID-19 page for more information on COVID-19 in Nicaragua.

Country Summary: The government of Nicaragua arbitrarily enforces laws for political purposes. Throughout Nicaragua, government officials and law enforcement continue to target those opposed to the rule of President Ortega. The government and its affiliated groups have been reported to:

  • Systematically target opposition figures (regardless of nationality), including former allies, political activists, business representatives, clergy, human rights advocates, and members of the press.
  • Arbitrarily detain pro-democracy advocates.
  • Prevent certain individuals from departing Nicaragua by air or land for political reasons.
  • Arbitrarily seize and/or search private property including personal phones and computers for anti-government content.
  • Arbitrarily detain individuals with unfounded charges of terrorism, money laundering, and organized crime for political motives.

U.S. citizens have reported being subject to this treatment, including harassment and assault by masked individuals. U.S. citizen residents of Nicaragua also report increased scrutiny of alleged political speech and additional scrutiny by immigration officials.

Travelers should exercise increased caution and be alert to the risks of crime, including violent crimes such as sexual assault and armed robbery.

Poor infrastructure in parts of the country limits the Embassy’s ability to assist U.S. citizens in emergencies. U.S. government personnel may be subject to restrictions on their movements at any time.

Read the country information page.

If you decide to travel to Nicaragua:

  • See the U.S. Embassy's web page regarding COVID-19.
  • Visit the CDC’s webpage on Travel and COVID-19.
  • Consider arrangements to depart the country quickly.
  • Ensure your U.S. passport is valid and available for a quick departure from the country, if needed.
  • Avoid demonstrations and restrict unnecessary travel.
  • Do not attempt to drive through crowds, barricades, or roadblocks.
  • Maintain adequate supplies of food, cash, potable water, and fuel in case you need to shelter in place.
  • Use caution when walking or driving at night.
  • Keep a low profile.
  • Do not display signs of wealth such as expensive watches or jewelry.
  • Be aware of your surroundings.
  • Visit our website for Travel to High-Risk Areas.
  • Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive Alerts and make it easier to locate you in an emergency.
  • Follow the Department of State on Facebook and Twitter.
  • Review the Crime and Safety Report for Nicaragua.
  • U.S. citizens who travel abroad should always have a contingency plan for emergency situations, and review the Traveler’s Checklist.

Last Update: Reissued with updates to COVID-19 information.

... [READ MORE]

Hague Convention Participation

Party to the Hague Abduction Convention?
Yes
U.S. Treaty Partner under the Hague Abduction Convention?
No

What You Can Do

Learn how to respond to abductions FROM the US
Learn how to respond to abductions TO the US

Embassies and Consulates

U.S. Embassy Managua

Km 5 ½ Carretera Sur
Managua, Nicaragua
Telephone:
+(505) 2252-7100
Emergency After-Hours Telephone: +(505) 2252-7100
Fax: +(505) 2252-7250
Email:  

General Information

For information concerning travel to Nicaragua, including information about the location of the U.S. Embassy, the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program, entry/exit requirements, safety and security, crime, medical facilities and health information, traffic safety, road conditions and aviation safety, please see country-specific information for Nicaragua. 

The U.S. Department of State reports statistics and compliance information for individual countries in the Annual Report on International Child Abduction. The report is located here.

 

Hague Abduction Convention

Nicaragua is a signatory to the 1980 Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction (Hague Abduction Convention); however, the United States is not partnered with Nicaragua under the Convention. There are no bilateral agreements in force between Nicaragua and the United States concerning international parental child abduction.

Return

Legal systems and laws pertaining to custody, divorce, and parental abduction vary widely from country to country. The government of Nicaragua maintains information about custody, visitation, and family law on the Internet and has a specific protocol for regulation of international restitution and abduction of children and adolescents per its family law. Parents are encouraged to consult with an attorney who specializes in family law in Nicaragua and who can provide accurate legal guidance that is specific to their circumstances. 

The Department of State’s Bureau of Consular Affairs, Directorate for Overseas Citizens Services, Office of Children’s Issues provides assistance in cases of international parental child abduction. For U.S. citizen parents whose children have been wrongfully removed to or retained in countries that are not U.S. partners under the Hague Abduction Convention, the Office of Children’s Issues can provide information and resources about country-specific options for pursuing the return of or access to an abducted child. The Office of Children’s Issues may also coordinate with appropriate foreign and U.S. government authorities about the welfare of abducted U.S. citizen children. Parents are strongly encouraged to contact the Department of State for assistance.

Contact information:

U.S. Department of State 
Bureau of Consular Affairs
Office of Children's Issues
CA/OCS/CI 
SA-17, 9th Floor 
Washington, DC 20522-1709
Telephone:  1-888-407-4747
Outside the United States or Canada: 1-202-501-4444
Fax: 202-485-6221
Website:  travel.state.gov
Email: AskCI@state.gov

Parental child abduction is a crime in Nicaragua (see Article 218 of this link, in Spanish, “Sustracción de menor”)

Parents may wish to consult with an attorney in the United States and in Nicaragua to learn more about how filing criminal charges may impact a custody case in the foreign court. Please see pressing criminal charges for more information.

Visitation/Access

Legal systems and laws pertaining to custody, divorce, and parental abduction vary widely from country to country. Parents are encouraged to consult with an attorney who specializes in family law in Nicaragua and who can provide accurate legal guidance that is specific to their circumstances.

The Office of Children’s Issues may be able to assist parents seeking access to children who have been wrongfully removed from or retained outside the United States. Parents who are seeking access to children who were not wrongfully removed from or retained outside the United States should contact the U.S. Embassy in Nicaragua for information and possible assistance.

Retaining an Attorney

The U.S. Embassy in Managua, Nicaragua posts list of attorneys, including those who specialize in family law.

Neither the Office of Children’s Issues nor consular officials at the U.S. Embassy in Nicaragua are authorized to provide legal advice.

Mediation

The Ministry of Family, Adolescents, and Children (Mi Familia) encourages mediation in custody disputes and provides mediation services free of charge.  For more information please visit Mi Familia's website or call +505-2277-1953.

Exercising Custody Rights

While travelling in a foreign country, you are subject to the laws of that country. It is important for parents to understand that, although a left-behind parent in the United States may have custody or visitation rights pursuant to a U.S. custody order, that order may not be valid and enforceable in the country in which the child is located.  For this reason, we strongly encourage you to speak to a local attorney if planning to remove a child from a foreign country without the consent of the other parent.  Attempts to remove your child to the United States may:

  • Endanger your child and others;
  • Prejudice any future judicial efforts; and
  • Could result in your arrest and imprisonment.

The U.S. government cannot interfere with another country’s court or law enforcement system.

To understand the legal effect of a U.S. order in a foreign country, a parent should consult with a local attorney in the country in which the child is located.  

For information about hiring an attorney abroad, see our section on Retaining a Foreign Attorney. 

Although we cannot recommend an attorney to you, most U.S. Embassies have lists of attorneys available online. Please visit the local U.S. Embassy or Consulate website for a full listing.

For more information on consular assistance for U.S. citizens arrested abroad, please see our website.

Country officers are available to speak with you Monday - Friday, 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.  For assistance with an abduction in progress or any emergency situation that occurs after normal business hours, on weekends, or federal holidays, please call toll free at 1-888-407-4747. See all contact information.

DISCLAIMER: The information in this flyer is provided for general information only, is not intended to be legal advice, and may change without notice. Questions involving interpretation of law should be addressed to an attorney licensed in the relevant jurisdiction. 

 

Last Updated: June 26, 2018

Assistance for U.S. Citizens

U.S. Embassy Managua
Km 5 ½ Carretera Sur
Managua, Nicaragua
Telephone
+(505) 2252-7100
Emergency
+(505) 2252-7100
Fax
+(505) 2252-7250

Nicaragua Map