Residency in Costa Rica

Please Note: Rules for residency are often changing as Migracion makes adjustments to deal with the continuing realities of foreigners in the country. Also, the US Embassy does not have jurisdiction or influence over the Costa Rican residency process for American Citizens nor other citizens of other countries.

 

The information below will help you decide which residency works best for you and your family.

 

There are Three Main Categories of Residency in Costa Rica:

  • Residency as an Investor (Inversionista)

  • Residency as Investment & Income-based (Rentista)

  • Residency as a Pension Based (Pensionado)

 

There are four different types of Residencies that you can apply:

 

Residency as an Investor (Inversionista)

The foreigner and family (spouse, parents, single siblings, and children) can apply for this type of residency if a foreigner has investments in Costa Rica for USD$200.000. The investment should be in specific areas as tourism, reforestation, shares in a Costa Rican corporation, properties, and any other activity supported by the Costa Rican government. The foreigner will be given a temporary residency and can work in Costa Rica only if he has its own Costa Rican corporation/business. After three years of temporary residency, a foreigner can apply for permanent residency with no restrictions.

 

Investment and Income-Based Residency (Rentista)

Papagayo Real EstateTo apply for residency under the Rentista portion, the applicant must demonstrate at least USD 2,500 - as a monthly income during the following two years or has bank investments in CR for USD$60.000 and will not work while living in Costa Rica.

 

To prove the income, the foreigner must get a letter from a Costa Rican bank, financial institution, foreign bank, CPA or Law Firm certifying he will be receiving a monthly income of USD$2,500 for the next two years. If a letter is issued outside Costa Rica must be authenticated either by correspondent Costa Rica Consulate or through the “Apostille” Process. The foreigner will be given a temporary residency and can work in Costa Rica only if he has its own Costa Rican corporation/business. After three years of temporary residency, a foreigner can apply for permanent residency with no restrictions.

 

Pension Based Residency (Pensionado)

The Pensionado (Retiree) applicant must demonstrate a permanently fixed income from a pension or similar retirement income of USD$1,000 in their country of origin. The foreigner must obtain a letter to prove lifetime pension and letter must be authenticated either by correspondent Costa Rica Consulate or through the “Apostille” Process. The foreigner will be given a temporary residency and can work in Costa Rica only if he has its own Costa Rican corporation/business. After three years of temporary residency, a foreigner can apply for permanent residency with no restrictions.

 

General Requirements

  1. Application Letter: This letter should include the following information complete name of the person applying for the residency nationality, marital status and occupation passport number, date and place where it was issued and date it expires name of any direct family member (children or wife) dependent on the income of the applicant who will also apply for residency date in which the applicant enter Costa Rica a formal request of his/her desire of being a Costa Rican resident specify the type of temporary residency address in Costa Rica or the address in the country of origin/ Must indicate a place or fax number to receive notifications

  2. Birth Certificate: Must be authenticated either by the Costa Rican Consulate located in the country where the document is issued or through “ Apostille” Process This document expires after six months of being released.

  3. Marriage Certificate: Must be authenticated either by the Costa Rican Consulate located in the country where the report is issued or through “ Apostille” Process This document expires after six months of being released.

  4. Police record: Must be authenticated either by the Costa Rican Consulate located in the country where the report is issued or through “ Apostille” Process This document expires after six months of being released.

  5. Finger Prints: You will need to have your fingerprints taken at the Ministry of Security in San Jose, Costa Rica and applicants must bring passport and three photographs

  6. Certified copy of the entire passport (even blank pages).

  7. Special Power of Attorney granted by the applicants to the attorney that will handle the residency application.

  8. Eight passport size photographs

  9. The applicant is required to pay $250 at the following bank account that belongs to Immigration: Banco de Costa Rica, account number 242480-0

  10. Consular registration at the embassy of its origin country located in Costa Rica.

 

NOTE: All documents written in a foreign language must be translated into Spanish

 

COSTS

 

  • Legal fees on each residence application are $1,700 per adult and $500 per minors (70% of legal fees are required to start the process.) * SUBJECT TO CHANGE*

  • Authentication Cost: With the Apostille process, there is no fee to be paid, and with the authentication process at Costa Rica consulate, the authentication fee is $42 per document, and this amount must be paid at the Costa Rica Consulate or Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Costa Rica. (Documents that will require authentication are: birth certificate, police record, marriage certificate and any other document issued outside Costa Rica).

  • Filing Cost: Immigration authorities charge $250 per application.

  • Translation fees: USD$20 per document (max. 2 pages).

 

 

Copyright © Lisa Farrell ~ Costa Rica Licensed Realtor

Email: lisa@papagayorealestate.com 

Cell: 506-8398-8129 | Office: 2672-4100 | USA & Canada: 561-372-8370