How to Obtain Residency in Costa Rica
Costa Rica is a popular place for expats moving abroad. For those seeking residency Costa Rica, there are several options. The general requirement is that you need to be able to prove you have sufficient resources to live in the country. The tourist visa is for 90-days and to stay longer foreigners must apply for residency. People seeking to work for a Costa Rican company will need to get a work permit. In recent years, Costa Rica has been cracking down on “perpetual tourism” – those attempt to periodically leave the country to renew their visa. Costa Rica offers several options to establish residency.
Here are the different types of residency offered:
- Pensionado- A person seeking residency in Costa Rica while receiving a pension or who has a lifetime annuity guaranteeing an income for life of no less than a $1000 a month. This form of residency is generally used by older retirees moving to Costa Rica but it also applies to the retired military who have a guaranteed income from the government.
- Renstista- A foreigner with a guaranteed income stream or makes a deposit into a Costa Rica bank of $60,000. For those who make the deposit, a two-year residency is granted with automatic payment of $2500 month. This type of residency allows foreigners the opportunity to familiarize themselves with Costa Rica and determine if it is a cultural fit.
- Investors who have a minimum of $200,000 or more invested in Costa Rica including property can get residency. Costa Rica law defines a qualifying investor as “any new capital contribution made by the foreigner in either shares of equity or local companies or registered agents.” Property is considered an asset.
- Someone seeking residency in Costa Rica, who is associated with a foreign government or international mission can get residency for a designated period of time.
- Representante- An individual who is an executive of a company doing business in Costa Rica may obtain residency.
- Marriage- Any foreigner who marries or has a baby with a Costa Rican is eligible for residency.
The easiest path to residency is to buy property in Costa Rica valued at $200,000 or more. Costa Rica does not encourage bank financed mortgages either, and the overwhelming majority of property transactions are all-cash deals. Retirees with pensions and homeowners make up the majority of Costa Rica’s expats. Permanent residents must regularly renew their residency. In order to begin the path to citizenship, you must reside in Costa Rica for seven years. According to the US State Department, 70,000 Americans call Costa Rica home and continue to flock here. With 9% of the population foreign-born, Costa Rica has the highest migrant population in Latin America. It shows no signs of slowing down in terms of popularity either.
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