How to Obtain a Business Visa in Guatemala

Obtain a business visa in Guatemala to leverage business opportunities in a country that emerges as an attractive destination for foreign business. Guatemala has experienced exponential growth in foreign investment in recent decades, as it has shown constant economic growth, good government reputation, and has reached multiple regional free trade agreements with countries such as Colombia, Costa Rica, Panama, Dominican Republic, Honduras and El Salvador.

Learn how to obtain a business visa in Guatemala to take advantage of business opportunities in Central America.

A business visa in Guatemala or residency?

Business man carrying his luggage and traveling to Guatemala after receiving a business visa in Guatemala.
Obtain a business visa in Guatemala to leverage business opportunities in the country.

A business visa in Guatemala is legal authorization for foreign nationals to enter and remain in the country when the main purpose of their visit is to represent a for-profit company located overseas or to provide a specific service on behalf of a foreign company. According to the Guatemalan Migration Institute, his visa is granted for a period of 180 days and can be extended for an additional period of 180 days.

On the other hand, a Guatemalan residence permit allows a foreign person to stay regularly in the country for an extendable period. However, if you wish to extend your stay in Guatemala as a resident for a period of more than five years, you must apply to permanent residency.

In accordance with article 78 of the Migration Code, foreigners looking to remain for more than five years in the country must apply for a permanent residence, except for those who stay in Guatemala for educational purposes.

Process to obtain a business visa in Guatemala 

The process for obtaining a business visa in Guatemala may vary depending on your country of origin and the type of business you plan to do in the country. However, the general requirements are usually the same, except for some additional procedures or documents that may be required depending on the type of visa requested. Some of the essential documents to obtain a business visa in Guatemala are:

  • Application form.
  • Recent photograph.
  • Original passport.
  • Legalized copy of passport.
  • Original letter from the company sending the applicant to Guatemala, describing the business activities that will take place and who will pay the applicant’s expenses.
  • Original letter from the company in Guatemala where the purpose of the visit is stated, if applicable.
  • Certificate of Incumbency of the Legal Representative of the company and the Guatemalan company (the latter, only when applicable).
  • Legalized copy of the Legal Representative of the company sending the applicant and the company receiving the applicant (the latter, only when applicable).
  • Legalized copy of the Registration Certificate of the company sending the applicant and the company receiving the applicant (the latter, only when applicable).

Process of obtaining a residence in Guatemala

Business woman in an office using her laptop to reasearch about the steps to obtain a business visa in Guatemala.
Business executives can also apply for a residence permit in Guatemala.

The process of obtaining a residence permit, unlike a business visa in Guatemala, is aimed at those foreigners looking to reside in Guatemala, while doing business in the country. To make the request, foreigners must have an individual or legal entity to serve as guarantor and meet the necessary requirements stipulated by law, which would be the following:

  1. Notarial act of sworn declaration of the constitution of Guatemalan guarantor declaring its economic capacity, that will cover the expenses of permanence in the country and the expenses of the possible and eventual repatriation of the applicant.
  2. Financial Statements (Balance Sheet and Income Statement) or prove that the guarantor entity is affiliated to a Guatemalan business chamber.
  3. Legalized photocopy of personal identification.
  4. Notarial certificate of appointment of the legal representative.
  5. Legalized copy of trade patent and company patent.
  6. Notarial act containing the holding of the General Ordinary Shareholders’ Meeting with Totalitarian Character of the guarantor entity.
  7. Savings deposit statements for the last three months with the signature and seal of the deputy chief, head, assistant manager, or manager of the bank.

Obtain a business visa in Guatemala with the help of an expert

Depending on your particular situation, and if the length of your visit is less than 90 days, it could be more practical to get a tourist visa upon arrival, as Guatemala has waived visa requirements for citizens of most European countries and the Americas.  Conversely, if you plan to stay longer than a year and also plan to invest in the country, it might be more beneficial to apply for a residence permit.

At Biz Latin Hub, our team of multilingual legal and immigration experts are equipped to help you with your visa application and ensure the success of your business operations in Guatemala. With our full suite of market entry and back-office services, we are your single point of contact to do business in Central and South America. Reach out to us now to receive personalized assistance and learn how to do business in Guatemala.

Learn more about our team and expert authors.

Biz Latin Hub market - entry and back office services.

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