The economy of Guatemala City is on the upswing, and as the financial center of the Republic of Guatemala, it is home to many international banks, including CitiBank, Banco Agromercantil, Banco Promerica, Banco Industrial, and Banco GyT Continental. Investment is gradually increasing, thanks to the 1996 signing of a peace agreement which signaled the end to 36 years of civil war which had long prevented foreign investment.
The country's GDP was 78.42 billion USD in 2012, with Guatemala City contributing massively to this figure. In terms of the sectors of the economy, services represent a large chunk of around 63.2%, while industry (23.8%) and agriculture (13.0%) also play a significant role in the city and the country's economic prowess. The main exports coming from Guatemala City are sugar, petroleum, chemicals, furniture, metal, and textiles and clothing.
The banking sector is the most likely destination for expatriates looking to secure a job with a large company. Due to the fact that many foreigners will want to line up employment before arriving in Guatemala City, the internet is the best place to conduct job searches, with GoAbroad.com just one possible place to start.
With over 60 reputable schools of English in Guatemala City, there is no shortage of jobs for those wanting to teach English as a foreign language, and qualifications such as TEFL will be very useful. The internet is the ideal tool when it comes to finding English teaching jobs, and among the best is ESL Employment.
Work permits for foreigners must be applied for by the prospective employer, with forms having to be submitted to the Minister of Labor. In addition to a work permit, a residence permit must also be applied for, and this can be done either before or after arriving in the city. The aforementioned residence and work permits last for a maximum of a year, after which time a new application must be made for the next year.
Upon applying for the work permit, the employer must submit a statement of declaration, a job offer letter, an Act from the Board of Directors, a guarantee, and tax return forms. In addition to this, the person wishing to begin working in Guatemala City must produce a valid passport, as well as the passports of any spouses and/or children also making the move. It should also be noted that residence permits can take up to three months to process while work permits will take between one and two months.