A small country perhaps, but Guatemala is known for its incredibly varied landscape, its colourful, ancient Mayan ruins, rainforests, delicious local food and wonderful people. This Central-American country will sweep you off your feet and perhaps entice you to stay forever. 

It’s the country where the first chocolate bar was made during Mayan times and the biggest export product is coffee. It’s also the country where the deepest and most beautiful lake of the world can be found. There are more than 30 volcanoes in the country, of which three are active. 

Guatemalans are colourful people and family, dance and music are important aspects of life. The official language is Spanish and about half of the population is Catholic. In November, Guatemalans celebrate the day of death, ‘Dia de los Muertos’, and people fly kites in honour of loved ones who passed away. 

On top of all the national beauty Guatemala has to offer, it’s also a great place to live for other reasons. Taxes are favourable, the political climate is stable and the economy is growing driven by an upswing across many sectors. 

Guatemala Residency

There are two ways of getting a work permit in Guatemala: one for immigrants who get offered a job in the country and one for people who have a Guatemalan spouse or child or meet a number of other requirements. 

If you are getting a work permit through your future employer, a written offer is needed in order to apply for a permit. You also need a residence permit or visa and a police check. 

Both the residence and work permit are valid for a year and can be renewed afterwards. It takes about one to two months to process the work permit, the residence permit takes three. 

Here are some of the ways to live in Guatemala:

Through income/pension:

  • If you can prove a monthly income of USD1000 or more generated outside the country, you can apply for the pensionado or retirement visa in Guatemala.
  • If you can prove a monthly income of USD1000 or more generated outside the country, you can apply for the rentista or resident income visa in Guatemala.

Through your Family:

  • If your spouse is a citizen of Guatemala, you are eligible for residency.  Please note that the status of your spouse needs to be legally recognised in this country. Please note that your status of spouse needs to be legally recognised in this country.
  • If your child is a citizen or permanent resident of this country, you may apply for a parent residency visa.

GDP Per Capita
$3,351  (Rank: 112)
Disposable Income
$571  (Rank: 107)
Life Expectancy
71.90  (Rank: 100)
Education Index
48.00%  (Rank: 139)
Corruption Index
28%  (Rank: 135)
Murders Per Year
5,681  (Rank: 181)
Crime Index
59.58  (Rank: 101)
Environmental Protection
48.06%  (Rank: 98)
Gender Equality
66.60%  (Rank: 106)
Annual Tourists
1,455,000  (Rank: 91)


Constitutional democratic republic


Spanish, more than 20 indigenous languages



Population Density

159 per square km

Guatemala Citizenship

Here are some of the ways to get citizenship in Guatemala:

  • If you were born in Guatemala, you are most likely a citizen of Guatemala.
  • If one or both of your parents were citizens of Guatemala when you were born, you are probably also a citizen of Guatemala.

Quality of Life

Rank: None

Cost of Living

Rank: 70


Rank: 101

Average Temp.


Rank: 86
Note: Results of 0% usually indicate stats are not available for this country / category.

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