Costa Rica offers a residency by investment program. Every residency by investment program is different and what you obtain from your investment is not always the same. Here’s what you need to know about Costa Rica’s residency by investment program.
There are several options if you are considering applying for residency in Costa Rica. Pensionados, rentistas and inversionistas can claim their spouses and children under 18 as dependents. A child between 18 and 25 can be a dependent if he/she is enrolled in a university.
1. Investor Visa (Inversionista)
Costa Rica grants a temporary residency visa under the category of “inversionista”, to foreign nationals willing to immigrate to the country, and who have made an investment.
Under this category, the principal applicant is allowed to obtain residency for a spouse and children as dependents.
The required investment amount:
2. Retiree (Pensionado)
3. Legal Resident (Rentista)
This program applies to individuals who :
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 ($2,500 x 24 months) 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 24 months.
Note: 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.
Permanent residency is much more preferred over temporary residency in Costa Rica. Permanent residents only have to visit Costa Rica once a year for 72 hours to keep their permanent residency active and in good status.
The “permanent” residency must be renewed every five years. Each permanent residency application is for one person, so your wife and your dependents must file separate application forms.
After you’ve been a permanent resident for seven years you qualify for citizenship in Costa Rica. Citizenship in Costa Rica gives the applicant a second passport.
Step 1: Check the list of requirements
Step 2: Have all of the documents up to date. This detail is important so there will not be an inconvenience when the time comes to present them.
Step 3: Once you have checked the requirements and are completed and up to date like the visa, you can go to the Platform of Services of the central offices of the Department of Immigration or the regional offices to present your application.
Step 4: In the Platform or Services, you should indicate to the office that is at the desk that this is your first application for residency.
Step 5: The official will hand you a receipt depending on the application, to show that you have been assisted.
Step 6: Wait to be attended.
Step 7: When it is your turn, turn in all of the documents to the person who assists you in the Platform or regional office. They will review them and enter them into the system.
Step 8: The person who assists you will hand you a paper that shows your personal information, your file number, and the documents that you have presented. Review it to make sure that all of the information is correct.
Step 9: When the file is complete, the department takes 90 days to communicate the application result.
Step 10: If you are missing any of the requirements, you will be given 10 working days to present the documents that you are due.
Step 11: If you need more than 10 days to complete the documents, you should make a written request before the 10 days have passed in order to extend the deadline.
Step 12: After the three months have passed, if you included a fax number in your application, you will receive an answer to your application through fax. If not, you should appear at the Platform of Services and ask the receptionist about your application status.
Once you have been approved you will receive a resident id card which is commonly referred to as a “cedula”. Renewals are required yearly and cost $35-$125 per year depending on status.
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Dual citizenship is recognized in Costa Rica. You are not required to renounce your previous nationality to become a citizen of Costa Rica.
Yes. An applicant’s spouse, children under 25 years or older with disabilities may be included in the application..
It takes 3 or more years before you may apply for a permanent residency permit.
After seven years of residency in Costa Rica, you can apply for naturalization and obtain a passport.
A temporary resident is valid for 2 years.
Yes, once approved, the resident must live in Costa Rica for at least one (1) day per year.
Yes, you have to visit Costa Rica once a year for 72 hours to keep your permanent residency active and in good status.
Yes, provided that you have lived in the country at least 6 months per year, continuously or discontinuously.
Permanent residency is valid for 5- years and needs to be renewed.
Yes. It’s important to note that you get temporary residency first.
Yes. You must pass a test about Costa Rican history and values and have 2 witnesses that can testify to your conduct and livelihood.
No nationality is officially restricted.
An interview is not required in applying for residency in Costa Rica.
Costa Rica levies income taxes on a territorial basis. This means that both tax residents and non-residents are subject to tax only on their Costa Rican-source income.
Real property tax is levied at 0.25% on the value of the property. A luxury house tax may also apply.
Transfer of movable and immovable properties are subject to a transfer tax of 2.5% and 1.5%, respectively.
There is no inheritance tax in Costa Rica.
There is no net worth tax in Cosa Rica.