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Guatemala Work Visas & Work Permits

Learn how to get Guatemala work visas, how to hire foreign employees in Guatemala, and more useful information

If your company is con move an expansion to the Central American nation of Guatemala, part of the process may be bringing in foreign employees to help. To bring foreign employees into Guatemala, you will need Guatemalan work visas for every worker. 

The process of applying for Guatemalan work visas can be challenging, with administrative hurdles and unique immigration laws adding to the potential difficulty. To avoid delays, it is important to follow the process properly and prepare in advance.

Horizons offers a wide range of Guatemala work visa services, immigration support, and outsourcing, to help your company benefit from top global talent and successfully expand in Guatemala.

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Requirements for Guatemala work visas and permits

The requirements for Guatemala work permits vary depending on several factors, but some general requirements for most people include:
  • Valid passport and photos
  • Criminal records check
  • A letter of request for the Ministry of Labor
  • A job offer from a Guatemala-based company
  • Proof of temporary residence visa

Types of Guatemala work visas and work permits

There are several types of visas available in Guatemala, but they are generally only suitable for short-term tourism or business visits. For long-term employment, your foreign workers will usually need to obtain a work permit for Guatemala, as well as a temporary residence visa to live in the country. 

There are two kinds of work permits. One category is for people with family links in Guatemala, so is only suitable in limited cases. The most suitable for most people is linked to a job offer from a Guatemala-based employer. For this option, the employer needs to handle the majority of the application process.

How to get a Guatemala work visa

Firstly, your prospective employee will need a temporary residence visa. The application for this should be filed with a Guatemalan embassy/consulate or the Instituto Guatemalteco de Migración. Proof of the permit or of a lodged application is needed for the work permit application. For the work permit, applications should be filed with the Ministry of Labor, generally by the employer. The application can take anywhere from a few days to several weeks to be processed. When both the residence visa and work permit have been approved, your employee can enter Guatemala and begin working.

Additional considerations

As the process of applying for the two main documents (the residence visa and the work permit) can take several weeks, it is crucial that you/your employees start well in advance of the planned move. 

How can Horizons help?

Horizons supports companies through the complicated process of expanding into Guatemala, and an important part of that is obtaining Guatemala work visas and permits for foreign workforces. Our Guatemala work visa specialists offer advice and outsourcing services to ensure you are in full compliance with Guatemala’s laws, save you time, and answer any questions you may have along the way. Beyond this, we offer a wide selection of outsourcing options covering recruitment, payroll setup and management, HR, administration, and more to help your company start trading and in Guatemala immediately, even if you don’t have a registered subsidiary in the country.