One of the recurring questions I get on this blog refers to Honduras Immigration Services. Many are tourists that want to stay over their 90-day original permit. Others are residents that need to renew their residency cards. The truth is that the system was reasonably efficient if you live in a city where there are immigration offices. I live in La Ceiba, and there is a Honduras Immigration Office in town. Renewing my residency was a simple process that took no more that two to three hours. Then I would need to go back about three weeks later and pick up my new card. However, this Covid-19 pandemic has wreaked havoc even in the immigration offices. They are only open two days a week. And then, they will refer you to their online page to do the paperwork.
Visit the Honduras Immigration Office Online!
At first, I thought it was a great idea to do all my residency paperwork through the Honduras Immigration Office Online. That was until I visited their site. It is not exactly user friendly. And I consider myself relatively educated when it refers to online transactions. It took me a while, but I finally figured it out! First you need to visit the official web immigration portal at http://inm.gob.hn. You will note that it is not a secure site! But do not worry, because you will not really be putting in any personal info other that your email, name and immigration card numbers. Once you land on the page, you will need to choose the “Servicios en Linea” tab. This will take you to another page. Before you figure out what to do here, a pop up will appear with all sorts of requisites.
Make sure you get a paper and make a list of the documents you will need for your paperwork. Please note that you will need to physically make a payment at the bank for your paperwork. In the pop-up page, you will find several tutorial videos that will help you find create the receipt that you will need to take to a bank and pay. Yes, this is the only money involved in the transaction and you can not pay it online, you need to go the back to pay. But first you need to fill it out and then print it. A YouTube tutorial can be found at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wo_CRS7OlpU&feature=emb_title. I must mention that I could not find an option in English, so hopefully, you speak or understand Spanish well enough. It is really a simple process and you will have visual help.
Get your Documents Ready to Submit your Paperwork!
Once you have this document ready, print it and take it to a bank. You can pay it at any bank in Honduras. Make sure the bank gives you back two of the four copies the document has. (They gave me back all four copies) They are all copies of the same receipt. One will eventually need to be taken to the immigration office. Once you have the document, scan it. In my case, I took a photo, but when you submit your paperwork, it needs to be in a PDF file, not a jpg file, which is what your camera or phone will generate. It is easy to fine online tools to convert your file from .jpg format to .PDF format.
While you are this, make sure you to follow the same process with the other documents you will need. For example, I was to submit a copy of my current residency card, also in a PDF format. (Make sure you get a copy of each side). For a time extension if you are a tourist, you will need a copy of your passport. Once you have copies of your documents in a PDF format, you are ready for the next step!
The New Honduras Immigration Office Web Portal!
What I needed my username and password to gain access to the formats. Make sure you scroll down to the bottom of the page where you will find a green button that says “+REGISTRARSE”. Click here and you will be prompted to type your email and thus you will create your username. You will get an email to confirm that you are registered and will provide you with a password to gain access to the portal. Once you are in, you need to change your password. You are now ready to fill in your paperwork![themify_hr color=”light-gray” width=”1″ border_width=”1″]
I am not sure if you have an option to change language to English. Fortunately, I am bilingual and had no problem at all filling in the info requested. On the last page, there was a prompt to upload the PDF documents needed. Finally submit your paperwork. You will get a notice that confirms the submission. Within a minute, I got an email confirming the submission of documents. Within an hour, I got another one saying that my paperwork had been assigned to an immigration agent. It seems like it works like a charm. Let us see how long the process takes.
In the meantime, I did submit my documents on time and there will be no fine for showing up after my residency card expired. In theory, I should receive confirmation that everything is fine and a notice of when I should go to the La Ceiba Immigration office to pick up my new residency card. I understand that I will need to take all the original papers that I sent as a .PDF file and turn them in at that time.
I guess that if this whole process works well, we will be able to say that the Covid-19 pandemic made the Honduras government more efficient. For those expats living in towns where there is no immigration office, it is certainly good news that there is now a Honduras Immigration Office online where you can do all your paperwork. I hope that you found this post useful.