The TYPES OF RESIDENCY
RETIREE - PENSIONADO
This program applies to any person who is already retired from his or her usual occupation and who is already receiving pension benefits.
Must show proof of monthly income from a qualified pension plan of at least $1,000 USD per month.
A pension plan can include
Local, state, provincial, and Federal Government pensions from most countries, Canadian Old Age Pension System, U.S. Social Security Administration and Railroad Retirement benefits, private company pension plans, defined benefit plans, 401K plans, school district pension, IRA and Keogh distributions, etc. To be a qualified pension plan, the pension must be payable to the resident applicant for life. Many lifetime annuities can also qualify as a pension.
Married Couple Pension Income
A married couple needs to show proof of only one monthly pension of at least $1,000 USD for both husband and wife to qualify to apply for residency. The pension recipient can be either spouse. Same sex marriages are included.
OTHER INCOME - RENTISTA
This program applies to individuals who are not yet retired, do not need to work while living in Costa Rica, and are receiving a guaranteed, unearned income of $2,500 USD per month from investments, savings or other sources, and who can prove that the non-earned income is guaranteed to be received for at least a period of two years.
Applicants must prove their ability to receive $2,500 USD per month of unearned income for two years.
Income from salary or wages, or any form of employment does not qualify as unearned income and it cannot be used to apply for Rentista status.
The most common method used to prove the unearned income is by means of a notarized letter from a bank or financial institution indicating the applicant has at least $60,000 USD in a long term account such as a CD, and that the applicant agrees to withdraw and transfer to Costa Rica $2,500 per month for the next twenty-four months.
Other sources of unearned income include income from savings, rental property income, or dividends. It is not mandatory that the bank account be held in Costa Rica. However, it is easier to obtain the required bank letter when the account is held in a Costa Rican bank.
Married Couple Income:
The exact same $2,500 USD per month income requirement applies to a single, or to married applicants, or to applicants with dependent children. Same sex marriages are included.
MARRIAGE AND FAMILY - VINCULO
This program applies to individuals who are married to or related to a Costa Rican citizen. The foreign applicant must prove that he or she has a relationship in the first degree, either by marriage or by birth, with a Costa Rican citizen, and the Costa Rican citizen must be willing to sponsor the applicant’s residency.
This program includes applications for a spouse, son, daughter, father, mother, and unmarried siblings, brothers or sisters, up to the age of twenty-five, but the program does not include extended family members such as grandparents, uncles, aunts and cousins.
Related by Marriage
Prior to the application being filed the marriage must be officially recorded with the Civil Register in Costa Rica and the Civil Register must be able to issue a certified copy of the marriage certificate.
Applicants need to prove that the marriage is legitimate and not a sham if the couple has been married for less than two years. Both spouses are required to attend an in-person interview at Immigration department after the application is filed.
Related by being the parent of a child born in Costa Rica
Residency based on having a child born in Costa Rica are approved as permanent residents. The application can include the parents and the siblings, brothers and sisters, of the Costa Rican citizen.
The parents of the Costa Rican born child may be required to attend an interview at Immigration to state the parents are committed to the support and care of the child.
INVESTOR AND BUSINESS - INVERSIONISTA
This program applies to individuals who make a direct investment in Costa Rica of at least $150,000 USD. The investment can be made in any type of business, commercial real estate, or a home.
The applicant must prove that the amount already invested and not the current value has a registered or verifiable value of at least $150,000 USD.
Type of investments
The investment can be made in any type of business, including manufacturing, transportation, hospitality, hotel, B&B, bar, restaurant, tourism industry, tours, amusement parks, adventure type parks, commercial real estate and private real estate.
This includes a home purchase as an accepted investment for the purpose of applying for investment residency. This investment can include not only the purchase of a home in Costa Rica for personal use, but also the purchase of land held for future development, or for preservation, including ecological, environmental, or watershed preservation purposes.
OTHER TYPES OF RESIDENCY
Permanent Resident Applications
We can help you apply to become a Permanent Resident of Costa Rica. In order to qualify, you must first be a temporary resident in one of the above programs for at least three years.
Costa Rica Citizenship Applications
When you decide that Costa Rica is your new home, you can apply to become a Costa Rican citizen after seven years of residency.
There are also categories for temporary residency in Costa Rica as a member of the clergy, employee or representative of a foreign company working in Costa Rica, including executive level personnel, technical staff, and professional staff.
Obtaining a work permit is about the same as applying for residency. It requires that the applicant have a job offer, and the company offering the job must provide documentation and information regarding the company itself, the job offer, and a certification of the reasons that a foreign candidate is uniquely qualified for the position instead of a Costa Rican citizen.