While you are traveling in Nicaragua, you are subject to its laws even if you are a U.S. citizen. Foreign laws and legal systems can be vastly different from our own. There are also some things that might be legal in the country you visit, but still illegal in the United States, for example, you can be prosecuted under U.S. law if you buy pirated goods. In some places you may be taken in for questioning if you don’t have your passport with you. Engaging in sexual conduct with children or using or disseminating child pornography in a foreign country is a crime prosecutable in the United States. If you break local laws in Nicaragua, your U.S. passport won’t help you avoid arrest or prosecution. It’s very important to know what’s legal and what’s not where you are going.
Persons violating Nicaraguan laws, even unknowingly, may be expelled, arrested, or imprisoned. Penalties for possessing, using, or trafficking in illegal drugs in Nicaragua are severe, and convicted offenders can expect long jail sentences and fines. Nicaragua’s judicial system is subject to political interference and suffers from widespread corruption. Laws are not enforced uniformly. Detainees, both Nicaraguan and foreign, have been subject to imprisonment for lengthy periods without charges being filed against them. U.S. citizens should be aware that Embassy officials are limited in what they can do to assist detainees.
Based on the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations, bilateral agreements with certain countries, and customary international law, if you are arrested in Nicaragua, you have the option to request that the police, prison officials, or other authorities alert the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate of your arrest, and to have communications from you forwarded to the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate.
You are responsible for ensuring that you meet and comply with foreign entry requirements, health requirements and that you possess the appropriate travel documents. Information provided is subject to change without notice. One should confirm content prior to traveling from other reliable sources. Information published on this website may contain errors. You travel at your own risk and no warranties or guarantees are provided by us.