All you need to know about Iberian America

The Expat Love for Territorial Tax Systems in Latin America

As far as I can remember, things that gringos considered the most when it came to countries in Latin America to spend time in were “hot and easy women to fuck” and “low cost of living.”

When you think of countries that receive popularity for those reasons, the ones that come to mind include “Colombia,” “Brazil,” “Costa Rica,” “Mexico,” etc.

Not so much Nicaragua or Paraguay.

But, if you have a Twitter account, you might have noticed this interesting love for Paraguay over the last year or so.

Of course, given the Covid restrictions, plenty of gringos have been thinking of escaping to Latin America to countries like Mexico.

And, because of those changes to travel and also because of more people traveling these days and other expats getting older and having changing interests, you have more focuses contemplating benefits that certain countries offer.

Which is part of the reason for why Paraguay has gotten more attention these days as, while it likely does have cute gals, it also offers a “territorial tax system.”

And while Paraguay might seem like an odd choice given its relative lack of nice beaches, scorching weather, relatively far distance from the US and women who don’t get as much love as Colombian or Brazilian women, it still is getting some love from what I’ve noticed online.

Now, as we all know, internet love is different from reality.

In the same way that a vast majority of men who visit “international dating blogs” to learn about “why Colombian women are so much better” don’t often actually visit Colombia but just jerk off to Colombian women on Pornhub.

Still, from what I’ve heard, apparently Paraguay is actually getting plenty of residency applicants these days.

And, while I’m sure the country has plenty to offer, its “territorial tax system” really does seem to be one of the benefits more frequently talked about.

In short, meaning that Paraguay won’t tax your worldwide income while other Latin countries, such as Brazil, Colombia or Mexico, will tax your worldwide income.

Now, as we all know, those countries both get a lot more gringo love than Paraguay.

Those countries DO offer plenty of the above: closer proximity to the US, great beaches, great weather and hot women.

Though one could question if Mexican women really are that much better than Paraguayan given the obesity rate Mexico has.

Regardless, this love for Paraguay might seem odd but it really isn’t given the online interest these days for an “international life” with second residencies and second passports.

But the question can be asked either way – does it make sense?

Well, everyone has a different situation but let me provide my own perspective on this topic going through the different factors that come to mind.

Before we do though, just keep in mind that this is a VERY long article.

It’ll first cover which countries offer a territorial tax system in Latin America and what are the typical requirements to get residency & citizenship in those countries.

After that, we’ll cover my own personal thoughts that I’ve had in relation to this topic and what I know based on those I’ve talked with and the information I can find online.

For those who don’t have the time to read the entire article, here’s a Table of Contents. Click on any part of it to help you scroll to specific sections of the article.

Now let’s get to it!

The Latin Countries with a Territorial Tax System

To be fair, it isn’t JUST Paraguay that has a territorial tax system in Latin America.

You have other Latin American countries also.

Based on what I was able to find out by doing some very brief research online, these are the following countries with a territorial tax system: Paraguay, Bolivia, Costa Rica, Panama, Nicaragua, El Salvador, Guatemala and Uruguay.

For more information on taxes per Latin American country based on my brief look into it, check out this article I wrote here.

Now let’s move onto looking at specific information related to taxes and residencies in those specific countries.

The Requirements to Get & Keep Residencies

So, for those curious on getting a residency in a country with a territorial tax system, what are the requirements to get and keep it for each country?

Before we begin, just know that I’m not an expert on this at all.

I’m a guy who has spent years living in Latin America but I obviously have not gotten residency in every single country mentioned here.

So I’m learning with you as I’m curious about the subject also as I think long term about my future in Latin America.

Also, before we begin, I just want to emphasize that the process to get residency or citizenship anywhere can possibly be delayed as you deal with government bureaucracy that, especially in Latin America, can often be quite slow (especially without a lawyer, I’d imagine).

We have this source here that explains that issue briefly with the case of Paraguay:

“For one, you have to understand that in many countries what is written in the letter of the law may not always follow in due process. What is said to be possible is not necessarily how things pan out — especially with regard to citizenship.

The fact that the law states that in Paraguay you can apply for citizenship after three years doesn’t guarantee you anything. It means you can apply and that they must consider your application but beyond that, nothing is certain.

So, when thinking about the timeline to get any of this, just keep that in mind. In discussing with a few folks on this topic, that seems to be a reoccurring issue.

Anyway, let’s break it down country by country with the sources I could find online about the topic.

Taking Residency to Citizenship: Paraguay

Paraguay has always been regarded as one of the easiest countries to get residency in Latin America and that is one of the reasons why people talk about it when they bring up this subject.

When it comes to the requirements to get permanent residency, this website here lays it out in basic terms:

“In Paraguay, the first step to obtaining the passport is gaining permanent residency, and this can be done with a US$5,000 bank deposit. You may find yourself wondering why US$5,000? This is because the deposit has to be equal to the minimum Paraguayan wages for 35 months of work, which when converted into US Dollars ends up around the five thousand mark. You cannot just find any bank; however, you must deposit the sum into the Paraguayan Central Bank or any other commercial bank, and once done, the Immigration Directorate issues permanent residency approval around 90 days later.”

Of course, there’s a lot of paperwork to handle and you’ll be better off hiring a lawyer to help you out.

When it comes to that 5,000 USD that you deposited by the way, plenty of sources online like this one here have mentioned that you are free to do with it as you wish, including withdraw out of the bank, after the application process is complete and you have your residency.

“The deposit can be made in any Paraguayan bank and will usually be non-interest bearing. As soon as you’re granted residence, you can withdraw the deposit in full.”

Enjoy this video here anyway of this guy discussing his experience getting residency in Paraguay.

Now, in my personal opinion, I believe it’s important to not just pursue residency but actually try to get citizenship in these countries that you are dealing with.

According to different sources online like this one here, apparently a permanent resident doesn’t have to live in Paraguay to keep his residency and only has to visit one time every 3 years.

However, to get citizenship, the requirements are a little different as you can see here.

“As mentioned, the process for acquiring residency is relatively easy, inexpensive, and quick. The process for acquiring citizenship is far more involved.

You will need to spend at least 183 days of each of those three years in the country. Plus, you’ll need to pass a Spanish language exam, as well as know about the country’s geography, politics, and history.

You’ll also need to show that you have genuine ties to the country, such as real estate, a local company, or at least continuous fiscal residence.”

At any rate, the last article cited goes into so much more detail about the process for Paraguay that it really is worth a look at if you are interested in Paraguay.

The main things that stick out to me from reading the article are the following:

  • The process to get citizenship can take years longer than just 3 years due to a slow government response time to applications.
  • There are obviously many other countries that offer a second passport and Paraguay’s second passport really doesn’t offer much freer travel opportunities for a typical Westener.
  • After getting residency, there’ll be a lot more red tape to go through and events you’ll have to attend regarding taxes apparently.
  • The process to get residency can apparently be very tiresome and time consuming with plenty of applications rejected with no reason given.

Next, we have Bolivia.

Taking Residency to Citizenship: Bolivia

Compared to Paraguay, Bolivia doesn’t seem as friendly for people seeking residency as you can’t just drop 5,000 in a bank that you can withdraw later to get residency.

Instead, according to this source here, you must get a Specific Purpose Visa (visa de objeto determinado) from a Bolivian consulate before arriving to Bolivia.

This visa is valid for 30 days and, upon entering the country, you must fill out the proper documentation and show you meet residency requirements within that timeline.

When providing documentation to immigration officials, also know that obviously they’ll want to see proof of economic solvency. Based on what I read here, it’ll include at least 6 months of bank statements.

On top of that, according to this source here, there are some income requirements if you are working:

“The specific purpose visa will require a background check, proof of income (around $300/month minimum) if you are not working, among other documentation, and a fee of approximately $357. To then get the permanent resident or definitive visa, you'll have to reside in Bolivia for two years with the correct permissions.”

As a side point, I wasn’t able to clarify how much money you need to prove if you ARE working and if that number is higher today given how low 300 bucks per month is.

For proving your income, would bank statements alone be enough or would they require a specific job contract?

For some of us who live abroad, we don’t have job contracts and work independently. Therefore, I have some remaining questions on my end about it all.

Either way, I did find this source here that suggests a job contract might be needed.

“Solvencia económica acreditada mediante declaración Jurada, respaldada documentalmente según corresponda, a través de cualquiera de los siguientes documentos:

-  Extractos bancarios de los últimos 6 meses que consignen el  nombre de el o la solicitante de la visa consular.

- Contrato laboral o civil.

- Ingresos por concepto de alquiler y/o venta.

– Otros”

So, it looks like a job contract might be needed, but then you have the “Otros” or “Others” item. Could someone working independently fall under that? I have no idea.

This other source here gives a few more clues:

“If you have moved to Bolivia to work and you have a contract with a local or international company in Bolivia, you will attach a copy. If you plan to open your own business, you will be required to present the documents showing you've initiated the process to open your own company, such as incorporation papers and/or an opening balance sheet, or the registration of your company at the tax office.”

Now, when applying for this Specific Purpose visa, you have different options to choose from.

As you can see here, some of the options include: 180 days for work purposes, family ties, healthcare reasons, for multiple entries and for the purpose of working.

When you are in Bolivia though going through the process, you’ll obviously have a lot of other paperwork to fill out. You can check the last few sources on all of the paperwork you might come across.

Either way, when it comes to getting citizenship after residency, it seems you’ll have to apply to extend your residency to live in the country for a total of 3 years first as you can see in the sources cited before.

And, once you’ve lived in the country for 3 years, you can apply for citizenship as you can see here.

“Bolivian nationality may be acquired by foreigners in one of the following contexts- continued uninterrupted residence in Bolivian territory for more than 3 years; having a child or children born in Bolivian territory; marriage to a Bolivian citizen; having performed military service and having had a minimum residence of two uninterrupted years in Bolivian territory; being over the age of 18 and being descended from a Bolivian father or mother; or contributing in a relevant way to the Bolivian state.”

And so for the first option of having uninterrupted residence, what do they mean by that time wise?

Again, it was a tiny bit difficult getting exact numbers but, based on from what I’m understanding here as non-native Spanish speaker, it seems like you can’t leave the country for more than 90 days at a time during those 3 years:

“Podrán adquirir la nacionalidad boliviana por naturalización, las personas extranjeras en situación legal, con más de tres (3) años de residencia ininterrumpida en el país dentro de los noventa (90) días antes del vencimiento de su última permanencia, bajo supervisión del Estado, que manifiesten expresamente su voluntad para obtener la nacionalidad boliviana”

Other sources online have said the same thing in both Spanish and English but some looked more legitimate than others.

Anyway, that’s Bolivia for you!

Taking Residency to Citizenship: Costa Rica

Compared to Bolivia, finding information for residency and citizenship for Costa Rica was a bit easier.

Starting off, we have this source here that goes down 5 different paths that one can take to get residency in Costa Rica.

First, you have the Pensionado path where you got to prove a 1,000 USD a month income from a permanent pension source or retirement fund.

Second, you have the Rentista path where you got to prove “of US $2,500 per month income for at least two years, guaranteed by a banking institution, OR a US $60,000 deposit in an approved Costa Rican bank.”

Third, you have the Investor path where you got to show an investment of 200,000 USD in a business or property.

Fourth, you have the Representante Residency path where you “must be director of a company meeting certain requirements, such as employing a minimum number of local workers as established by the labor law, with financial statements certified by a Public Accountant.”

Fifth, you have the “Permanent Residency” path where you must have “First-degree relative status with a Costa Rican Citizen (through marriage to citizen or having a Costa Rican child) OR may apply after three years in another status.”

Out of these 5 paths, it is relatively easy to maintain the residency as you only have to visit Costa Rica once per year.

For young people without a retirement income like me who are self-employed, it seems like the Rentista option would be the best according to this source here:

“The Rentista Visa suits self-employed people, people who earn rental income, remote workers, and others who have a stable monthly income for at least two years. People who are able to deposit $60,000 into a Costa Rican bank also qualify.”

Having said that, one lingering question I have is how do you prove you are a remote worker or self-employed? I can show bank statements but do they require any specific contracts or documents? I wasn’t able to find an answer to that question online and it’d be more appropriate for someone like me.

Anyway, what about citizenship?

Well, compared to other countries we have looked at so far, Costa Rica is relatively unfriendly in my opinion. Here’s some information I found in this source here:

“In Costa Rica, you will need to wait seven years to apply for citizenship after becoming a resident. However, during those seven years, you must remain in Costa Rica for at least 183 days out of each year.

While Costa Rica is fairly true to its word as far as the seven-year requirement goes, it’s fairly strict about the 183-day residency requirement. Therefore, while citizenship is a possibility in Costa Rica, you will need to be willing to actually live there to get it.”

You also have this source here that breaks down a few more requirements:

“To qualify the applicant must prove that they will not become a financial charge for the country and that they have income to support themselves and family. They must also prove that they know how to speak, read Spanish and have basic knowledge of Costa Rican history and values.   Generally a citizenship test is required.”

As a side point, that same source does clarify that “citizens of other Central American countries, Spaniards or Latin Americans by birth” only need to wait 5 years instead of 7 years for everyone else to get citizenship while having residency.

Taking Residency to Citizenship: Panama

Compared to most countries in Latin America, Panama has been a country that has received a lot of interest from folks looking for residency in Latin America.

While there seems to be numerous options to get residency, most foreigners from the West seem to opt for the “Panama Friendly Nations Visa” and that’s what we’ll focus on since it’s what I would probably do if I tried getting residency in Panama.

For those who want all the information that you could ever need on this visa, here’s an entire website dedicated to it.

in order to qualify, you have to prove economic ties to Panama. Those economic ties must consist of one of the following:

  • Own a Panamanian property with a value of 200,000 USD.
  • Be an employee of a Panamanian company and you must have the employment contract before applying for the Friendly Nations Visa.
  • Deposit 200,000 USD or more into a 3 year fixed deposit account at a Panamanian bank.

On top of that, as you can read here, you must deposit 5,000 USD into a Panamanian bank.

And, according to the last source, the Friendly Nations Visa has become less friendly starting in May 2021 as changes were passed.

One of those changes was limiting the options that qualified for proving economic ties to just the options listed above and also making it where the visa no longer gives you automatic permanent residency but instead you now get a two-year provisional residence permit.

On top of that, as not everyone has 200,000 USD to throw onto residency, we should remember too that going the employment route will likely expose you to taxes in Panama as you can see here.

“Because of Panama’s system of territorial taxation, any income earned while working for a Panamanian company will be considered Panama-source income and, therefore, taxable at the regular rates.”

So, for those seeking a country with a territorial tax system because they don’t want to be taxed, it looks like you’ll need to have 200,000 USD to qualify for the Friendly Nations visa option.

And, if you go for the other options, that same source warns that simply getting residency in Panama isn’t going to free you from taxation (especially if you’re American).

“I often see people who mistakenly believe that just by having a Panama > they will be free from taxation. As we discussed in the tax section above, this is not always the case. Your Panama corporation is just one piece of a much larger tax equation and has to balance out with everything else you have going on.

For instance, if you are a US citizen, the IRS does not allow Panamanian Sociedad Anónima corporations to be used as a pass-through entity for tax purposes. You need to consult with legal and tax professionals to ensure your Panama company will work in your favor.”

Obviously, this is probably something you need to be mindful of when pursuing residency in other Latin American countries with or without a territorial tax system.

At any rate, because of these noticeable changes, I’ve seen some people say online that the “Friendly Nations visa is closed” and call it an investment program now. Regardless of what to call it, it still seems to be out there based on what I’m reading in sources like this one here.

Regardless, what other residency options do we have for Panama?

Well, we have this source here to give us some ideas.

First, we have a “Reforestation investor visa” where you can invest 80,000 USD buying 5 hectares of a certified reforestation project.

Second, you have a Pensionado Visa where you prove 1,000 USD per month in a permanent lifetime pension.

Third, you have the Self Economic Solvency Visa where you invest 300,000 USD in a Panamanian deposit account, real estate or a combination of both options.

Fourth, you can invest 160,000 USD into a Panamanian business for a Business Investor Visa.

Fifth, you can invest 60,000 USD into a Panama Agricultural Investor Program.

Now, after reviewing these options, it would appear at first glance that Panama isn’t a overly friendly option to the “digital nomad” types looking to live there long term.

But, according to this source here, you do have a new “Digital Nomad” visa for Panama.

However, according to that same source, the “Digital Nomad” visa isn’t really functional for the digital nomad who wishes to relocate permanently as it only allows you to be in the country for 9 months and can be extended for only another 9 months.

It seems to have similarities anyway to the “Digital Nomad” visa in Costa Rica where, as you can read here, the Costa Rica option works for a total of 2 years.

Based on my reading of both visas, it appears that they don’t last longer than 18 months (Panama) or 2 years (Costa Rica) and so obviously wouldn’t be long term options then.

So, going back to those pursuing residency in Panama, this source here says you don’t really need to spend much time at all in Panama to keep your residency.

“Most foreign residents in Panama know the golden rule of "having to travel to Panama every two years to maintain your resident status.”

But, if you want to get citizenship, then the rules are stricter according to this source here.

“Technically, you can get citizenship in Panama after being a resident for five years if you spend the majority of your time there. However, I’ve known people who have been there for fifteen years who have still not gotten Panamanian citizenship.”

At any rate, let’s move onto another Central American country: Nicaragua!

Taking Residency to Citizenship: Nicaragua

Compared to Panama, Nicaragua actually seems like an easier option to get residency and doesn’t require an investment of large sums of money apparently.

So you can find more information on getting residency in greater detail in this source here but let me summarize it.

First, if you are a retiree with a public or foreign pension of at least 600 USD per month. If you are not retired, then you must show a foreign income of at least 750 USD per month.

Also, going back to investment options, you can technically invest 30,000 USD in a business and must create 15 new jobs with that money. You can also invest that money instead in some land.

Having said that, the article does clarify one interesting detail for us folks making remote income as you can read here.

“For the most part, these criteria are straightforward and are enforced uniformly, but people occasionally run into trouble when applying for the financier residence permit since what qualifies as foreign income can be up to interpretation.  For example, while an investment account or annuity that pays $750 per month will surely qualify, running a remote business might not count in the eyes of all Nicaraguan officials.”

Once you have the residency though, you supposedly have to stay in the country for 6 months out of the year but, according to that same source, “right now, the government is not enforcing the requirement to spend half your year there.”

Though, being honest, I probably wouldn’t play with fire if that is the official requirement. You never know when the Nicaraguan government will wake up and begin applying its regulations on that one.

And, when you want to get citizenship, you apparently have to hold onto residency for at least 5 years but, similar to other countries like Paraguay, “the naturalization process can be tediously bureaucratic. You’ll need to work with a high-quality immigration lawyer and you’ll need to be prepared to wait for months or years to actually get your passport.”

Either way, it seems that the process for Nicaragua is overall more informal with less consistencies in the rules applied but the standards for getting in are much lower than say Panama or even Costa Rica.

What about another Central American country like El Salvador?

Taking Residency to Citizenship: El Salvador

Similar to Bolivia, this country was a little more difficult getting information on.

Still, how does one get residency in El Salvador based on the limited information I could find?

First, you have the bitcoin option that made the news only some odd months ago as you can read about here.

“The government even went a step further in promoting the cryptocurrency's use by giving US$30 in free bitcoins to citizens who sign up for its national digital wallet, known as “Chivo,” or “cool” in English. Foreigners who invest three bitcoins in the country – currently about $140,000 – will be granted residency.”

Second, you can obviously get residency by marrying a local.

Third, you can get a work permit that provides residency also. The US Embassy in El Salvador provides the following information here for those seeking residency by work permit:

“The general requirements to obtain a work permit (for a local company) are as follows:

Application completed by the company hiring the applicant stating wages, duration of the employee services.

Apostille birth certificate (translated into Spanish, following Salvadoran regulations).

Apostille police records (translated into Spanish, following Salvadoran regulations).

The records should reflect residence of the applicant for the past two years in the country where he/she lived.

Medical report from a Salvadoran physician stating that the applicant does not suffer from a contagious disease.

Two copies of the applicant’s passport or evidence of the applicant’s citizenship.

Two copies of the company’s constitution (deed) with whatever modifications the company experienced.

Complete application for the Salvadoran Labor Department.

Fee, which will depend on the type of residence the applicant, is approved for.”

Finally, can you do what you can do in Guatemala when it comes to income?

Either get residency by a guaranteed income source or any income source really over a certain amount?

This detail was actually quite difficult to find out online and I couldn’t find any official sources verifying it.

However, I did find this source from an expat couple supposedly doing that as you can read here.

“We are currently tourists, and must leave the country every three months to renew that status. We are working on our residency, which will technically be a retirement residency, because other forms of residency are difficult to get. A retirement visa just requires a provable income of $1,000 usd/mo, and we can still for a Salvadoran company.”

Take that for what you will but that was the only information I could find quickly on a “retirement” visa in El Salvador.

At any rate, when you want to move beyond residency to citizenship, I found this document online titled “Report on Citizenship Law: El Salvador” by Isabel Rosales.

“Major changes were subsequently introduced by the Constitution of 1950. Article 11 provided citizenship by birth to Central Americans, which is different from when they could only acquire citizenship through naturalisation. That is, Central American citizens previously only had the choice to acquire citizenship by naturalisation. Article 12 gives privileged access to Hispano-Americans, who only need to live in the country for one year to be able to acquire citizenship by naturalisation, while five years’ residence is required for all other foreigners. The Constitution also states that spouses of Salvadorians may acquire citizenship by naturalisation after having resided for two years in the country and having renounced their original citizenship. However, pursuant to Article 14, Central American citizens may hold dual citizenship. A major change of this Constitution is that it grants citizenship to those at a legal age taking both genders into account, and not only men as in previous Constitutions.”

Let’s move onto El Salvador’s neighbor now: Guatemala.

Taking Residency to Citizenship: Guatemala

The process for getting residency in Guatemala seems to have similar informalities with the interpretation of the rules like what we saw with Nicaragua.

The best article I could find on the internet was this article written here on a solid website called My Latin Life.

It takes a good deal of its information from a solid source: the US Embassy in Guatemala.

Glad we chose the US Embassy and not the Canadian one as a source (the author is Canadian).


Jokes aside anyhow, what’s the basic summary of the article?

Well, your options are going to basically break down between marriage, local work opportunity hired by an entity in Guatemala or investment/guaranteed income.

Given not everyone has lots of money to invest, doesn’t necessarily know a local Guatemalan to marry or a business in country to hire you, let’s focus on the “guaranteed income” as that’s one of the most common ways for gringos to get their residency in broader Latin America.

For Guatemala, the same article cited says that you need to show $1,000 USD per month in guaranteed income.

In most cases, guaranteed income would mean something like a retirement or pension income.

However, similar to Nicaragua, the interpretation of “guaranteed income” is left to the individual migration agent that is overseeing your application from my understanding.

Some will want to see that pension and others just want to see a 1,000 USD coming in per month and it can come from other sources.

Now, assuming your form of income is accepted by whoever is reviewing your application, you also need to have a Guatemalan sponsor.

From my novice understanding, the “Guatemalan sponsor” seems to be just some dude that the Guatemalan government sees as reliable somehow. I have no idea why they want a sponsor but it’s their rules.

According to the same article cited, you can apparently hire a lawyer to not only handle your application but also be your sponsor. The costs for such a lawyer are apparently around 1,000 USD.

Anyway, for those who want more specific information, check out again that My Latin Life article here as it’s quite good and deserves a read.

Compared to other countries we’ve looked at so far anyhow, Guatemala certainly doesn’t seem too difficult.

Almost makes me want to move there!

But then I remembered that it’s Guatemala we are talking about. NOT GuateBUENA.

Haha jaja haha jaja haha….

You ain’t laughing?

Let’s get serious again!

So, once you have your residency, what are time requirements for getting citizenship?

Well, similar to Uruguay, it does appear a tiny bit stricter according to this document here titled “Report on Citizenship Law: Guatemala” by Juan Carlos Sarazua.

“Foreigners can opt to become naturalised if they have been domiciled in the country for a period of at least five years prior to applying, without breaks that add up to more than one year or six consecutive months. Foreigners who have ten years of residence, even in different periods, can also apply for naturalisation. The objective of this condition is to ensure that nationality is given to people with roots and work in the country, that have created lasting ties within Guatemalan society and that have respected the country’s legal order.”

Now, having covered all of the Central American countries with a territorial tax system, let’s wrap this up with one final South American country: Uruguay.

Taking Residency to Citizenship: Uruguay

For Uruguay, there are apparently 7 categories of temporary residency that you can pick from. Apparently a lot of expats go for Category 1. The category is related to specialists coming to work in the country. These specialists could be scientists, researchers, teachers, technicians, etc. as you can read here. The temporary residency lasts up to 4 years.

Still, according to this source here, apparently “anyone with a decent monthly income can qualify” for residency. It’s not clear to me though, based on that source or other sources I’ve read, if people who work remotely can qualify also.

Especially those who are self-employed or without a specific job contract while working remotely.

That’s my biggest question for Uruguay that I wasn’t able to answer while doing research on it.

Still, how much does that income have to be for it to be decent enough for Uruguay?

While numbers seem vague when doing research, this source here claims that it has to be at least 1,500 USD per month.

“For the income certification, you must prove an income in keeping with your living standard. For a single person, the minimum is around $1,500 per month. The source and amount of your income must be verified by an escribano, a Uruguayan legal professional authorized to prepare your income verification certificate.”

And, in sharp contrast to other Latin American countries discussed today, Uruguay seems stricter on its requirements for how long you need to be in the country for your residency.

According to this source here, apparently 9-10 months in country is expected in your first year for many.

“In fact, I’ve had clients tell me that Uruguayan officials expected them to stay for 9-10 months during their first year.”

And, in order to get citizenship, you can expect similar strict restrictions. Similar to other countries, you have to hold onto your residency for years obviously as you can see here.

“The path to citizenship can take as little as three years (if you are applying as a married couple) or as long as five years (if you are single).”

But, going back to a previous source, you REALLY have to spend a significant portion of each year to have a realistic shot at getting granted citizenship as you can see here.

“Again, just as you need to be actually living there to maintain your residency, you must really be living there to even be considered for citizenship. I’ve even heard stories of judges asking for library cards and doctor’s receipts from potential citizens to prove that they’re actually committed to living in Uruguay.

Even if you meet all of the criteria and have been actually living full-time in Uruguay for years, you still might not be naturalized. Officials tend to deny and accept applications based on their own discretion, and occasionally, this can mean that certain types of people end up more frequently denied than others.”

In short, Uruguay doesn’t really seem like a friendly country for those looking to get citizenship unless their plan is to live there.

Based on those last two cited paragraphs alone, if I was forced to somehow figure out a way to get citizenship in Uruguay, it would be, without question, just go there and try to knock up a local chick.

Anyway, now that we’ve covered all of the requirements for getting residency and citizenship in these “territorial tax countries” of Latin America, let’s move onto some other points of consideration related to this topic.

Do You Even Want to Live There?

This is one thing I don’t relate to when people talk about these “territorial tax countries.”

Would you even want to live there?

Personally, I have absolutely no desire to live in Paraguay or Uruguay.

Neither do I care about Guatemala, El Salvador or Bolivia.

Nicaragua? Maybe. You could convince me of Nicaragua but it’d be disappointing compared to other Latin countries.

The same could be said about Costa Rica. I’m not overly excited about that country but it’s possible you could convince me to move there.

And, while Panama is considerably nicer, I know I’m not going to have 200,000 to drop on an investment anytime soon nor do I plan on getting hired by a local company in Panama.

And, while Nicaragua, Panama and Costa Rica are at least considerable, I just don’t really give a shit about any of those countries.

So, if you want to exploit the tax advantage with a  plan on getting citizenship someday, you do have to ask yourself: Do you want to live in these countries for 5 to 7 years where you got to spend half the year there?

If not, is it really worth giving up so much time to a place you don’t give a shit about?

Of course, if you choose not to pursue citizenship and just pick a country where you don’t have to be there most of the year to keep residency, you could travel around still.

The only thing I’d caution against is spending over 183 days in any other country while doing that or you’d technically be exposed to tax obligations in that other country based on my novice understanding of all of this.

And, thinking it over, that’s not the worst idea in the world to me.

Have your tax base in some country with residency while pursuing a fun life elsewhere.

But, for me personally, I’d be more motivated by the second passport than the tax benefits and, from my notice understanding, wouldn’t you have to get citizenship for that passport?

The Second Passport Benefit

While this article is largely about taxes, we shouldn’t ignore getting that second passport either.

These two topics go together when discussing pursuing residency and/or citizenship in another country.

Because I personally would want to get that second passport if I was to ever do something like this, I’d obviously pick a country that I could see myself living in for 6 months out of the year as I imagine that I would have to get citizenship for it.

And, as I think about the information I just wrote up earlier in this article, I suppose my best options would be Nicaragua or Paraguay.

You already know which countries out of that “territorial tax country” list that I actually like enough to live in and I know I can’t afford a huge ass investment into Panama.

Technically, I guess I could do Costa Rica someday but, between Costa Rica and Nicaragua, I think I would like Nicaragua more.

Most Costa Ricans I have met were very pretentious and unlikeable.

Still, it really is “food for thought” for me.

Why not someday throw 5,000 at Paraguay and dedicate time there to get citizenship?

And, during those 3 to 5 years, I spend the other 6 months in a country I do like more.

Once I get the citizenship with a second passport, spend full time in a Latin country I actually like and get a third passport where I’d live full time.

Be extra insurance anyway in case the world goes to complete shit during some World War or whatever.

Which is honestly the main motivation on my thinking as to this idea of collecting an easier passport just because.

Outside of these countries, I always thought of maybe checking to see if I could get citizenship in Turkey someday. My dad was born there on an American airbase but his birth certificate technically says that he was born in Turkey. So who knows if I could pull that off. Definitely worth checking into.

But, going back to Latin American residencies, there is the question that some might ask: “Is it even necessary?”

“Taxes? What’s That?”

As you know, Mexico was not on that list of countries with a “territorial tax system” listed way above.

Having said that, I’m going to let you in on a little secret.

I don’t know one expat in Mexico that has paid their taxes to the Mexican government.

Many of them who have lived here for years without ever paying!

So, in order to do some research, I asked various expats on Facebook groups if they pay taxes to the Mexican government.

The response?

Well, some people believe that we are legally obligated and others don’t.

Here’s some key responses!

As you can see, there are arguments on different sides (among the dozens of other comments I got). 

For one, you have tax treaties and the importance of those in reducing any tax obligation we have to either Mexico or the home country.

Plenty who argue that we don’t have a tax obligation unless our income is made in Mexico.

Which, as we know, is technically not accurate as Mexico has a worldwide tax system as you can see here.

“Resident individuals are subject to Mexican income tax on their worldwide income, regardless of their nationality.”

Still, while Facebook obviously isn't the same as an actual tax accountant, I figured the experiences of other expats was worth bringing up here.

But what's my opinion anyhow on all of this so far?

For one, most probably don’t know what they owe taxes to Mexico and so they believe that they have no legal obligation.

Second, as you can see here, most Mexicans don’t pay taxes either and Mexico is quite shit at making people pay taxes. It’s no surprise that so many expats get away with it.

“Up to 60% of Mexico's workers don't pay taxes and the government doesn't dare go after them”

Third, if you don’t pay taxes over a few years, will Mexico eventually go after you for those years from before? While I’m not a legal expert on it, I imagine that they likely have the legal right to do so. However, given the vast amount of people who don’t pay taxes, I highly doubt you’ll be chased down (especially if you fly under the radar).

Fourth, I’m obviously not telling anyone to NOT pay their taxes. Don’t come after me, Mexican government. Just reporting the facts here (though, if people don’t pay their taxes, I honestly don’t give a shit).

Fifth, it obviously does call into question about if it’s worth it to even get residency in those “territorial tax” countries if most people are getting away with not paying taxes in countries like Mexico.

Obviously, Mexico isn’t all of Latin America but expats I’ve known in other countries don’t pay taxes either.

But I’m sure some are stricter than others. I’ve heard Colombia is supposedly a little more on top of getting taxes.

Either way, why should someone sacrifice living in a country as cool as Mexico if they likely won’t pay taxes in Mexico anyhow and where most of the “territorial tax” options aren’t AS great for long-term living outside of maybe a few.

That’s just how I see it.

Having said that though, things can change and your exposure to taxes might change depending on circumstances.

Exposure to Taxes in Latin America

When discussing why so many expats don’t pay taxes in Mexico (and possibly other Latin countries), obviously some of the reasons are due to the incompetence of the local government and the expat ignorance about tax liabilities.

But it goes deeper than that.

Let’s say you are an expat who lives on a tourist visa and you do visa runs every so often without ever being an actual resident.

And you pull that off for years or even decades like plenty have.

And all of your income is generated from outside the country you are an expat in and all of that income (or most of it) arrives to a foreign bank account outside of the country you are currently living in.

With no paperwork in a country like Mexico that shows what income you make or where it is, how is Mexico going to even know that you make money and how much to tax?

It costs money for a country like Mexico or Costa Rica to go after people for taxes and I imagine even more for a foreigner without a local job or a local bank account showing what money he has.

Said foreigner might not even own property or even a car for the government to steal in case of no taxes paid.

And said foreigner can just piss off and go live in another country also (though maybe faces consequences somehow later on but that’s unlikely if the government doesn’t even know he owes taxes).

Now you take this type of gringo and clone a million copies and more of him all across Latin America.

That’s a lot of gringos to chase for money from a government that doesn’t even know if it’d be worth chasing money from as they have limited information on us.

Ultimately, part of the issue is your exposure.

Your lack of local job and lack of local bank account.

Even if he has a local bank account, not all of his money is necessarily going to it.

So, for the gringo who does visa runs and has no real exposure with any assets in country, I can get why he would prefer Mexico over Nicaragua as he realistically isn’t facing any risk.

Hell – even gringos with legitimate jobs that the government knows about are not always being chased down like you can see in the screenshots above.

One thing I will say though is that I would be more worried about taxes if I was one of those gringos with assets in the country.

As I think about my long term future, I do think about topics like property ownership, starting a family, etc.

Obviously, if you do those things like buying a house or having kids, I’d imagine that “puts you more on the radar” for POSSIBLY being chased down for taxes if you live in a country without a territorial tax system.

Or if you are a gringo with significantly more monthly income than your typical expat who isn’t flooded with cash. While I’m not sure if simply having more cash outside of the new country will put you more on the radar as I’m not sure how the new country (Brazil, Mexico, etc) would know about it if it’s located back in the US, I have heard a few richer expats express that idea.

Either way, if you do have more considerable income or assets down here, I could see how a country like Paraguay, Uruguay or Costa Rica makes more sense.

And there’s another point to consider also.

Changing Times

While I’m sure there were gringos who got to live in Mexico for decades without ever paying taxes or getting residency, you can objectively say that times are changing.

As I wrote here and in other articles, Mexico is now tightening down on those living in Mexico on visa runs or living here illegally.

And, while some might that this is just a phase for Mexico as they haven’t passed any legislation changing the laws on the books, I’m not entirely inclined to believe that.

Mostly because Mexico supposedly has better technology these days to track those doing visa runs and any agent can see that history and deny you from entering the country or give you only a few days to be here.

What about other countries?

Well, I’ve never done visa runs in any other country but I’ve heard of other countries occasionally trying to crack down on visa run folks.

For example, you got Argentina in which folks in this forum here agree that Argentine officials about 8 years ago began cracking down on folks doing visa runs to Uruguay.

“I have heard that Argentina is cracking down on those who make multiple visa runs to remain in the country....but as long as this is your first trip to uruguay, there should be no problem.”

“Visa runs still work, but as posted above, Argentine Immigration and Tax authorities are starting to look at this more often. If you have any sort of local long term presence or are somehow engaged in business or commerce in Argentina, this may be an issue that applies to you, but if you are just a Tourist and need to extend your Visa, I think that a Visa run to Colonia is still OK to execute.”

As that was 8 years ago, I don’t know if Argentina is still cracking down on frequent offenders of visa runs or not but, as far as I know, they are technically still possible.

Then you have Peru as you can see here.

“Peru has become stricter as far as these restrictions are concerned. Visa runs which are so popular among digital nomads are no longer possible. Once you have used up your 183 days, you have to wait for 6 months before you can come back.”

Then you have plenty of other popular countries where visa rules are relatively stricter like Colombia or Brazil.

Of course, there are other countries where visa rules aren’t so strict like Costa Rica as of this writing in 2022.

Still, we don’t know when the day will come when Costa Rica cracks down on its own visa runners but it wouldn’t surprise me if we see it soon within a decade or less given the other popular Latin countries going down that path.

And the same could be said about any other country that allows visa runs.

In a world where you can’t just go exit and come back over the course of a few days, the expat who won’t get residency would have to divide his time up between several countries each year.

Something like 6 months in Colombia and then 6 months in Brazil. Maybe throw in the DR or Mexico whenever necessary and just hop back and forth on 6 month trips to each country.

It would have to be long trips of 3 to 6 months for obvious reasons given how much more difficult to be productive at work, going to the gym and whatever else when you’re always on the road.

So, if visa runs become harder to do in most countries down here in the long run, that’s an alternative but said expat might face other challenges that we have just seen in the last two years.

With the Covid restrictions, we clearly saw almost every country become stricter in regards to who they let in.

And it’s entirely possible that other major events could provoke similar travel restrictions. In the long run, one should ask if restrictions on flying – such as higher taxes on the airline industry – happen due to concerns by politicians regarding climate change.

We already see that in the European Union in which a proposal was brought forth for a Carbon tax on the airline industry as you can see here.

Beyond that, who knows if we’ll see another virus break the news and cause countries to close borders again.

With all that said, it can be easy to see why said expat might favor jumping on getting residency now.

And I emphasize the word “now” because, as I wrote earlier in this article and in this other article here, residency requirements are only going up and up for most countries in Latin America.

Countries like Mexico have the financial requirements in their residency programs tied to the minimum wage in which those financial requirements go up noticeably whenever minimum wage does.

Over the years that I’ve lived here, numerous expats have found themselves no longer eligible for residency because they didn’t jump on the opportunity soon enough and the requirements rose past what they bring in per month on their working income or social security.

And, as we saw earlier in this article, Mexico isn’t the only country where their financial requirements are tied to something like the minimum wage.

Additionally, we already saw how Panama has made is stricter to get residency through their Friendly Nations Visa.

Soon enough, young expats making 500 bucks a month hustling in hostels and retired expats from Wisconsin who only bring home 1,250 USD a month in social security will have nowhere to go but Paraguay and Nicaragua!

Maybe Guatemala too…

And, even in those countries, I guarantee you that we will see higher requirements in the future.

Remember Paraguay?

If you go way back to the Paraguay section above, their financial requirements are also tied to the wages of the country as you can see here.

“In Paraguay, the first step to obtaining the passport is gaining permanent residency, and this can be done with a US$5,000 bank deposit. You may find yourself wondering why US$5,000? This is because the deposit has to be equal to the minimum Paraguayan wages for 35 months of work, which when converted into US Dollars ends up around the five thousand mark.”

Similar to Mexico, that’ll naturally go up whenever the wages do (from my understanding).

It would not surprise me at all if some expats have chosen Paraguay as a place to live because they couldn’t qualify in most other places but feel some strong desire to stay in Latin America.

Now, beyond residencies and visa runs, let me ask you this: Do you think these governments will get stricter on anything else?

Maybe like collecting taxes?

As we have already seen with previous countries look at today, one of the reasons some countries, like Argentina perhaps or maybe Mexico, decide to cut down on visa runs is because they want to get more people to become residents for tax purposes.

It’s a topic I already wrote about in regards to Mexico in other articles where, during the crackdown that we have seen on visa runners over the last few odd months, you’ve had actual INM agents go public encouraging people to just get residency already.

Now, as we have already seen, plenty of residents live in Mexico now and don’t pay taxes even though they would’ve had to demonstrate financial solvency (giving the Mexican government an idea of what they could maybe tax them for each year).

Still, I have strong doubts that will happen forever.

With better technology to crack down on visa runners, don’t you think countries like Mexico will find better technology or other ways to find out what taxes you are liable for in the long run?

Especially if part of their motivation to crack down in Mexico and other countries is to get people to become residents already where they have a better shot at collecting tax revenue.

Obviously, they have their eyes on taxes like any government of the world is.

So, in the long run, I can see how this would be an effective argument for pursuing residency in a country with a territorial tax system.

Though, as we all know, countries change their tax codes every so often and who knows if or when any Latin country replaces their territorial tax system for a worldwide income tax system.

Might not sound like a big issue if you are single without kids but that is one thing for you to ponder.

“I chose to live in a country called Nicaragua that I give no shits about because of taxes but then the leftist government under Daniel Ortega realized he could tax me and now I live paying taxes with my family here.”

And, if we did see another world event like something similar to Covid, a worsening climate situation or whatever else, I could totally see one of the few remaining countries abolish the territorial tax system to get more revenue.

“Covid pandemic has pushed poor countries to record debt levels – World Bank”

Of course, one could say “well just move then” but that’s easier said then done when you got kids.

Still, if we’re being honest, no government really needs motivation to look for more tax revenue. It happens all the time. Especially whenever the world leans more to the left.

So, while it’s more speculative as to if any countries will abolish the territorial tax system, I think it’s completely realistic.

And, in that scenario, I only ask for you to consider that possibility for the country you choose to relocate to for tax reasons and if there is anything else you like about the country that would make you move there.

Especially if you consider a future where you might raise kids in that country as plenty of expats are young enough to desire having a family someday.

Above all else though, regardless of changes to the territorial tax system, I think many of the previous points before that should make you heavily consider a future where you have more changes against visa runs, increasing residency requirements and potential for societal changes that discourage travel. In such a scenario, you could find yourself in a world where living down here as a perpetual tourist is significantly more difficult than before.

Final Verdict: My Thoughts on Residency & Taxes for Myself

If Afghanistan were to tell me that they won’t tax foreigners and give each foreigner 10,000 a year to live there, I wouldn’t move to Afghanistan.

While comparing Afghanistan to countries in Latin America is obviously extreme, the point is that I’m not moving somewhere JUST because of the taxes.

For one, if I’m being honest, I don’t even make enough money to give a shit.

If I was making six figures or something, maybe I would care a little more.

But, even then, I’m not entirely convinced I would.

The fact is that I want to live somewhere that I actually like living in and I’m not going to live in a place that is considerably more annoying to live in (like Guatemala) just because Guatemala won’t pursue me for taxes.

I want to live in a place that I’d actually enjoy living in and, as I said before, half the countries on the “territorial tax list” wouldn’t be enjoyable to live in for me personally.

If I was to live in Uruguay or Paraguay, I’d probably go back to Iowa if I’m being honest. Or Texas.

First, both Uruguay and Paraguay seem so boring to me that I honestly wouldn’t find as much fun in either area.

Second, how much am I saving in taxes per year versus the several flights home to see family?

And, while I liked Bolivia, I don’t think I’d like living there either.

Both Bolivia and Paraguay share an issue with Guatemala, El Salvador and Nicaragua and that is all countries are relatively much poorer.

As I consider my long term future down here, I do strongly prefer a country that is relatively wealthier and would be a nicer place to raise kids.

I’m positive that you could raise good children in Nicaragua but I’m going to prefer a place a little bit nicer than Nicaragua.

Hell, even with Mexico as richer as it is, I have my reservations due to its violence and that is one of the reasons why I have contemplated Chile as a place to raise a family someday.

So, if I’m having doubts about Mexico but still see it as an OK enough place to raise kids, why would I be looking at Nicaragua or Bolivia?

Within Latin America, the countries that are just wealthy enough for me to consider raising a family in are: Mexico, Costa Rica, Panama, Brazil, Colombia, Peru, Argentina, Chile and Uruguay.

But, like I said, Uruguay is too boring for me. I genuinely would just move back to Iowa.

And I feel Colombia would be annoying as fuck because, while I enjoy fucking their women, I don’t enjoy their culture as much.

For Peru? Not the worst idea! Peruvians that I have met (along with Bolivians) seemed like pretty cool people. But I feel white folks in Peru aren’t as common as elsewhere and, while I don’t mind being a minority, I don’t want to raise kids in an area where maybe they’d feel like aliens from another planet. I have no idea if they’d feel that way if they were too white but it’s a guess of mine.

So that leaves the other options: Mexico, Costa Rica, Panama, Brazil, Argentina and Chile.

And two of those options are “territorial tax systems.”

On top of that, as I wrote in my first article ever here, I have had my eyes on Panama for various reasons.

Still, after writing this article today, I have my doubts that I could “afford Panama” if I need 200,000 USD to get residency the normal way.

Let me check my pockets…

9 Pesos.

Yup, don’t got 200,000!

And, of course, I can already hear the richer expats reading this saying “well just go make 200,000, bro.”

Shut the fuck up.

Anyway, it’s a question, isn’t it?

Where do I go going forward?

Tough to say!

I’m looking at options and have been contemplating them for quite a while now.

First, there’s always that one idea I threw out before of getting easy residency in a country like Paraguay then spending a majority of the year dividing up my time in other countries where I spend just enough time in each one but not enough time to be a legal tax resident.

Like 5 months in Colombia, 5 months in Brazil, a month in Peru and 1 month home.

However, as I said under the “changing times” section way above, I have some doubts about the future of travel.

Though, if I had residency in Paraguay, I could probably pull that off for quite a while.

However, being honest, I don’t think I would be satisfied doing that for decades.

Primarily because, after each year, I’m realizing how much nicer it is to “have a home.”

Where I’d like to have pets, a truck, a family, etc.

If I was traveling around like that (with residency somewhere like in Paraguay), I imagine it’d be a lot tougher to have much of the above if I’m changing apartments like that every 4 or 5 months.

Second, I could pursue legal residency in Mexico through the “regularization” program. They basically have this program for people who got stuck in Mexico due to Covid travel restrictions. You have to have traveled to the country since 2015 and I’ve been here since 2017.

And they don’t require anything really beyond paying some fees and proving you been here for a while.

My only issue doing this is if I could do it in Mexico City. I know other folks travel around to cities like in Queretaro or Pachuca to handle this but, from what I read, they got agents looking to deport people on the busses.

So why the fuck would I get on a bus to another city to handle the issue if I could get deported en route to the migration office of another city?

Sounds retarded.

Granted, I have a friend named Blayde who pulled it off a few months ago. So I’m sure I could. I think his lawyer handled the traveling and all so, realistically speaking, I’d probably need to get a lawyer.

And, as I’ve thought about this issue even more over the last month, I’m even less motivated to go back to Iowa until I resolve it.

I know that, once I set foot out of Mexico, I probably won’t be eligible anymore or at least that’s my understanding of it.

Therefore, given this rare opportunity to become legal with residency, maybe I should handle it this way?

Even if I someday contemplate a future in Chile, I’ll at least be legal somewhere where I always have a legal right to be.

And there’s no guarantee I’d pursue a future in Chile anyhow. I honestly don’t know if I will. I say I do but, being honest, I really like Mexico a lot (despite all the shit talking I do). So who knows.

But that’s one way to do it.

Granted, they apparently are backed up in the migration offices until April so I wouldn’t be able to get an appointment until then anyhow.

And, if by some real bad luck, they cancel the regularization program by then, what do I do?

Third, why not knock someone up?

It sounds like a joke but it really isn’t.

I’m very open to the idea of knocking a chick up to get residency.

This isn’t me trying to be funny or ironic or whatever.

Legit I’m down to the idea.

In part because it would resolve the legal issue and also because, as some regular readers would know, I’ve been having STRONG DESIRES to have a kid already.

Especially ever since the last pregnancy scare I wrote about months ago with a chick named Jovi, I’ve just been so damn ready to have a kid.

When she threw the news at me, I was concerned but I was also EXCITED AS FUCK to be a dad.

Sounds awesome as fuck.

And those desires to have a kid have not gone away at all. They’ve been very noticeable some days!

Especially after I’ve had lots of rum and listened to Vaporwave Capitalism.

Anyway, I will say this: Regardless of where it happens (be it Mexico, Chile, Paraguay or wherever), if I don’t find another legal way to get residency, I am knocking someone up.


It will happen.

And that’ll be it.

Whatever country it happens in – be it Mexico, Chile, Paraguay or wherever – it’ll both resolve my internal desires to have a kid and make me a legal immigrant.

And, as I said before, I truly don’t give a shit if the family is raised in a country where they got a territorial tax system or not.

While I don’t want to pay taxes, I value many other things regarding where I want to live.

But, before we get to taxes and family, one other thing comes to mind too.

Finally, what about travel?

I used to talk on this blog about “plans to travel again” and I want to do that also.

Though, with travel restrictions still in place in different countries, we’ll see how that goes.

But this all obviously ties in with legality.

As I said, I have VERY STRONG reservations about leaving Mexico until I answer this question to myself about becoming legal.

If I leave without the regularization program, then I give up the privilege of being able to resolve my legal status in a Latin country now without doing it through knocking someone up.

Then I’ll have to satisfy the financial requirements of some other country down the road and my eyes would probably be on Chile.

But what if Chile increases their requirements by then beyond reach?

Well, then I’m in a tough spot.

I could settle for a country like Paraguay or Nicaragua but I don’t want to.

It’s a risk either way.

Above all else though, I think the safest way going forward for me when it comes to residency is to just snatch the one in Mexico with regularization before I travel.

Then do trips for a few years while maintaining residency.

And, if I decide to pursue Chile and if I’m still able to (assuming requirements haven’t gone up), then MAYBE go for Chile to settle down.

But I’ll at least have Mexico as a backup option with my legal status already established.

To me, that makes the most sense.

Going back to the topic of the article, it obviously doesn’t reduce my tax exposure but, as I said, I got many other things I care much more deeply about.

Either way, that’s all I got to say.

Got anything to add? Drop a comment below.

And follow my Twitter here.

Thanks for reading.

Best regards,


PS: Interested in pursuing residency in other Latin American countries not discussed on this article? I wrote mini guides with some basic information on getting residency in every Latin American country that you can find here.


Dazza - January 28, 2022 Reply

Peru is a good citizenship option if that’s what you want – there’s a bit of fucking around apparently but they do naturalise people on a regular basis and it makes the news often enough.

But they seem a lot better options for finding a permanent place than anywhere in Asia – a year ago, the Malaysians with their visa wanted you to earn 2000 dollars a month but now they put the minimum up to 10000 dollars a month – just like that! And they’re not even ‘grandfathering’ current visa holders, if they haven’t got that money they’re going to get their visas revoked even if they have bought property etc.

Peru would be fine if you are white if you live in Lima and of course, live in the ‘pituco’ areas.

    Matt - January 28, 2022 Reply

    Thanks for the links.

    Yeah, Peru isn’t a bad option. I have very limited experience there but I’m sure I could adjust to life in Peru easily enough. There would probably be some minor annoyances though. For one, taking a bus anywhere out of city would probably get tiring as I’d hate looking out the window and seeing a thousand foot drop or something that’d kill me. Second, I’d need to tell my future Peruvian wife to never cook me anything with fish (I don’t eat fish). While I’m not an expert on Peruvian food, my impression has always been that it seems a bit fish heavy.

    But Peru does seem like a cool country, Plenty of cool hiking opportunities. Not as far south as Santiago or Buenos Aires. Having that ocean view with Lima also would be a huge plus. And I wouldn’t mind those grey skies that gringos say Lima gets every for some odd amount of months every year. I don’t mind a grey sky.

    You got me curious anyway. Just looked up residency requirements in Peru. They don’t allow visa runs apparently so that’d make it a little more difficult. If I tried the “knock up a local chick” route, I’d be on limited time or else do it while illegal. Otherwise, I’d need a real visa.

    Having checked their visa requirements here, it looks like they might be more generous than Mexico. Mexico requires 2700 a month and supposedly Peru only wants 1000 a month. Assuming that 1000 can come from remote work and not just social security, Peru could work in theory for me. It says though that it’s a “retirement” but, if I remember right, countries like Nicaragua also have a similar visa set up but some migration agents are nice in accepting other sources of income supposedly from what I’ve read. So who knows.

    Still, leaving behind Mexico would be tough for me. There’s a good chance that, if I do begin traveling again, I’d quite possibly come back to Mexico and explore options to be legal by then. In fact, I’d put it at 60% that I do instead of picking a country like Chile or Peru. When you are at a place for a long time, it grows on you.

    But, as I always said, the violence in the country does make me have second doubts about raising kids here. But in Peru — Shining Path? Dudoso (joking, doubt they’d be an issue).

    Thanks for the links. I checked them out.

    That’s crazy about the visa jump from 2000 to 10000. Wouldn’t surprise me if there’s some crazy gringo contemplating a marriage to a local after that sudden change.

    Hope your days in China are going well.

Dazza - January 28, 2022 Reply

You don’t like fish? Hahaha! Fucking hell, Matt! How has your life come to this?

Well, there’s lot of meat dishes that’s for sure! ‘Polla ala Brasa’ is excellent chicken but a nice causa pollo would go down a treat – there’s lots of meat you can have but you’re missing out if you avoid the fish but hey-ho, there’s food I won’t eat either.

The grey skies are in the winter but I have had nice sunny days in winter, apparently Trujillo isn’t so bad with cloudy days – maybe check that out or Arequipa that apparently has 360 days a year. I haven’t been in Arequipa for a full 360 days but they do have bright, sunny days.

The visa situation is 183 days if you ask for it at the airport and I think you can extend it for another 90 days in-country but check that out because it probably has changed but I think you can ask for 183 days at the airport. Which is pretty good (similar to Mexico?).

I didn’t find Peru to be dangerous but then you are going to have the same annoyances as Mexico – gringo tax etc… if you have survived Mexico for as long as you have then Peru will be no problem.

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