Guatemala: Police Clearance Required for Temporary Residence Renewals and Permanent Residence Applications

Effective immediately, foreign nationals seeking to renew their Temporary Residence permits or apply for Permanent Residence permits in Guatemala must present valid police clearances from their country of origin, all countries of legal residence within the last five years, and from Guatemala. Foreign nationals may experience processing delays and increased costs due to this additional requirement.

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Apr 17, 2018

The situation

The General Directorate of Immigration in Guatemala now requires that foreign nationals renewing Temporary Residence permits or applying for Permanent Residence include police clearances from the following locations:

  • Country of origin (legalized and apostilled);
  • Each country of legal residence for the past five years (legalized and apostilled); and
  • Guatemala.

Previously, only a police clearance from Guatemala was required.


If a foreign national has provided any of the above police clearances as part of the initial visa process within the last 12 months, the foreign national does not need to obtain a new one.


This new requirement can cause significant delays and increased costs, due to the following factors:

  • Many countries require a foreign national’s personal appearance for fingerprinting as part of the police clearance process. If the country from which a foreign national is required to obtain a police clearance does not have a consular post in Guatemala,  the foreign national may need to travel to this country to obtain the police clearance;
  • Processing times to obtain police clearances in many countries can be lengthy; and
  • For Venezuelan nationals, the website on which police clearances are requested is currently inoperable and police clearances are not being issued. Therefore, Venezuelan nationals may not be able to renew their Temporary Residence permits or obtain Permanent Residence in Guatemala until the police clearance system issue is resolved.

Fragomen can assist foreign nationals with obtaining and legalizing police clearance certificates.

This alert is for informational purposes only. If you have any questions, please contact the global immigration professional with whom you work at Fragomen or send an email to

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Fragomen, Del Rey, Bernsen & Loewy, LLP, Fragomen Global LLP and affiliates, (collectively known as “Fragomen Worldwide”) is the world’s largest firm dedicated to corporate immigration, and is recognized as the leading global immigration services provider.

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