Chose to move to Costa Rica? What a great choice!

We want to help you avoid any confusion and show you the easiest way to make your dream come true.

First of all, it’s important for you to know that rules for residency are often changing, according to the immigration office for Costa Rica: Dirección General de Migración.

However, there are always two types of residency: permanent and temporary.

The first one applies only for those who have a first-degree relative status with a Costa Rican (spouse, mother, father, or siblings) or those who have been living in Costa Rica for at least three years with a temporary residency. In order to maintain the permanent residency, you need to visit the country at least once a year.

If this is not your case, the immigration options for residency vary and so do the documents that you will need to obtain it.

Tourists can remain as long as three months at a time but if you’re planning to stay longer, check some residency options to determine if you may qualify for immigration.

There are at several types of residency options and this is what you require to apply for each of them:

Pensioned

  • Proof of US $1000 per month income from permanent pension source or retirement fund.
  • Remain in country at least 4 months per year.
  • Can claim spouse and dependents under 18 years of age.
  • Cannot work as an employee.
  • Can own a company and receive dividends.

Landlord

  • Proof of US $2500 per month income for at least two years, guaranteed by a banking institution, OR a US $60 000 deposit in an approved Costa Rican bank. One amount covers the family.
  • Remain in country at least 4 months per year.
  • Can claim spouse and dependents under 18 years of age.
  • Cannot work as an employee.
  • Can own a company and receive dividends.

Investor

  • Investment of US $200 000 in a business or property.
  • Remain in country at least 6 months per year.
  • Can claim spouse and dependents under 18 years of age.
  • Income allowed from the project.
  • Can own a company and receive dividends.

Representative Residency Program

  • Applicant must be director of a company, meeting certain requirements such as employing a minimum number of local workers as established by the labor law, with financial statements certified by a Public Accountant.
  • Remain in country at least 6 months per year.
  • Can claim spouse and dependents under 18 years of age.
  • Can earn an income from the company.
  • Can own a company and receive income.

*The requirements on this list have been gathered from the websites of ARCR, Dirección General de Migración y Extranjería and Embassy of Costa Rica in Washington.