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Costa Rica Residency

Costa Rican Residency Requirements

costa-rica-flagPLEASE NOTE: The information about Costa Rica residency on this page is for educational purposes only. Re/Max does not perform legal services nor advise in legal matters. The process and requirements for Costa Rica residency can be reviewed or changed by the government at any time, and you should consult a Costa Rican attorney for the most accurate and current information about Costa Rica Residency Status.

Most foreigners engage an attorney who specializes in immigration to help them through the process, which can involve a significant amount of paperwork.  What follows is general information about the different categories of Residency in Costa Rica.

Pensionado

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

Rentista

  • Requires proof of US$2500 per month income for at least five years, guaranteed by a banking institution, OR a US$150,000 deposit in an approved Costa Rican bank.  One amount covers the family.
  • Must remain in country at least 4 months per year.
  • Can claim spouse and dependants 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.
  • Must remain in country at least 6 months per year.
  • Cannot claim spouse and dependants under 18 years of age.
  • Income allowed from the project.
  • Can own a company and receive dividends.

Representante 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.
  • Must remain in country at least 6 months per year.
  • Cannot claim spouse and dependants under 18 years of age.
  • Can earn an income from the company.
  • Can own a company and receive income.

Permanent Residency

  • First degree relative status with a Costa Rican Citizen (through marriage to citizen or having a Costa Rican child) OR may apply after three years in another status.
  • Must visit Costa Rica at least once per year.
  • Cannot claim spouse and dependants under 18 years of age.
  • Can work.
  • Can own a company and receive income.

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