Home Costa Rica Forum Costa Rica Guide Costa Rica Resources Real Estate Healthcare in Costa Rica
Costa Rica
Resources
City Guides
Cigna International Health Insurance
Join Sign In
Cigna International Health Insurance

What you need to know to become a resident of Costa Rica

By Lic Giovanna Barrantes

Summary: Straight-forward advice about obtaining residency in Costa Rica from Lic Giovanna Barrantes. Covers Pensionado, Rentista, starting a business and working as a Representante.

Living in Costa Rica - What you need to know to become a resident of Costa Rica

Becoming a resident of Costa Rica is a simple, straight-forward process, one that involves different requirements depending on whether you are a retiree living on pension or drawing funds from investment income, setting up a business, or seeking permanent residency.

Pensionado

In the case of a retired person who is living on a government or private sector pension, or on social security retirement benefits – known in Spanish as Pensionado – you will require proof of a monthly income of US $1000 or more. The source of your income must be permanent and you must have proof of its permanence.

Rentista

For those living on investment income (in Spanish, a Rentista), you will require proof of US $2500 per month income for at least five years, and that must be guaranteed by a banking institution, or you can choose instead to deposit a minimum of US $150,000 in an approved Costa Rican bank.

Both a Pensionado and a Rentista have to remain in the country at least four months per year, can claim a spouse and dependants under 18 years of age, cannot work as an employee, but can own a company and receive dividends.

Starting a Business in Costa Rica

If you want to start a business in Costa Rica, the minimum investment is US $200,000. You will be required to remain in the country at least six months per year, and you cannot claim a spouse or dependants under 18. You are entitled to income from the project, and can own a company and receive dividends.

Working in Costa Rica - "Representante"

If you are a representative of a company (a Representante), the applicant must be a company director, and employ a minimum number of local workers as established by the labor law, with financial statements certified by a public accountant. The representative must remain in Costa Rica at least six months per year, cannot claim a spouse or dependants under 18, but can earn an income from the company, and can own a company and receive income.

Permanent Residence in Costa Rica

Permanent Residency in Costa Rica can be obtained through "first degree relative status" with a Costa Rican citizen (through marriage to a citizen or having a Costa Rican child). Otherwise, an application for permanent residence can be made after three years in another status.

All residency applications will take six to 12 months for approval, but once all documents are submitted a person can remain in Costa Rica.

All types of residency require the following three documents: a Birth Certificate for the applicant, spouse, and all dependent children; a Police Certificate of Good Conduct from your last place of residency; and a Marriage Certificate if your spouse is applying for residency.

For more information on residency in Costa Rica, contact Lic Giovanna Barrantes at 011 506 2 256 3807 or at info@lawyerofcostarica.com, or go to Barrantes & Associates.

Join our Costa Rica Expat Forum

Visit our Costa Rica Forum and talk with other expats who can offer you insight and tips about living in Costa Rica.

Read Next

10 Tips for Living in Costa Rica

Should you wear jeans and a t-shirt in San Jose? Did you know that one place may have twice the rain and be windy compared to another place 10km away? Read our 10 Tips for Living in Costa Rica for insights from expats who have been there and done that.

7 Best Places to Live in Costa Rica

Costa Rica is a relatively safe, eco-friendly, expat-friendly destination with gorgeous beaches and friendly locals. Many expats say that housing and food prices in Costa Rica are high. We've gathered information submitted by expats about Tamarindo, Dominical, Ojochal, Atenas, Escazu, Grecia and others popular towns.

5 Tips For Living in San Jose, Costa Rica

The majority of expats in San Jose, actually choose to live not in the city, but outside of it. There are great options in the surrounding area, including places that are closer to the coast than San Jose.

Moving to Costa Rica: 8 Things to Know Before Moving to Costa Rica

Moving to Costa Rica has become more popular among expats. Making this choice requires a lot of research to ensure the expat experience you hope for will be realized. Expats that live there stress that it should start with a trip there before any major decisions are made.

About the Author

Barrantes & Associates is a leading Costa Rican law firm established in 1999. Lic Giovanna Barrantes and her associates are fluent in both English and Spanish.

Contact Barrantes & Associates at:

Office 011 506 2 256 3807

Direct 011 506 8 398 1203

Skype CostaRicaLaw1

Office Located at:

Edificio Casa Canada Paseo Colon Subway
Anexo Uno 100 metros sur/50 metros oeste

AGS Worldwide Movers

Write a Comment about this Article

Sign In to post a comment.

First Published: Feb 24, 2011

International Moving Companies

Moving to Costa Rica? Get a moving quote today from our partner, Crown Relocations.
Get a Quote

Culture-Shock-in-Playa-Jaco-An Expat Talks about Culture Shock & Living in Playa Jaco , Costa Rica

An expat living in Playa Jaco, Costa Rica enjoys the family-focused Costa Rican culture and the slower pace of life. She has great tips to help newcomers adapt to life in Costa Rica.

An expat living in Playa Jaco, Costa Rica enjoys the family-focused Costa Rican culture and the slower pace of life. She has great tips to help newcomers adapt to life in Costa Rica....

Living-in-MontezumaAn Expat Discusses Living in Montezuma, Costa Rica

An expat in Montezuma, Costa Rica talks about learning to live more simply, let go of material things and enjoy the fresh air, sunshine and life. But, you'll also have to adjust to living without Starbucks, driving on very bumpy roads, lots of insects and rainy season.

An expat in Montezuma, Costa Rica talks about learning to live more simply, let go of material things and enjoy the fresh air, sunshine and life. But, you'll also have to adjust to living without Sta...

10 Tips for Living in Costa Rica

Should you wear jeans and a t-shirt in San Jose? Did you know that one place may have twice the rain and be windy compared to another place 10km away? Read our 10 Tips for Living in Costa Rica for insights from expats who have been there and done that.

Should you wear jeans and a t-shirt in San Jose? Did you know that one place may have twice the rain and be windy compared to another place 10km away? Read our 10 Tips for Living in Costa Rica for i...

7 Best Places to Live in Costa Rica

Costa Rica is a relatively safe, eco-friendly, expat-friendly destination with gorgeous beaches and friendly locals. Many expats say that housing and food prices in Costa Rica are high. We've gathered information submitted by expats about Tamarindo, Dominical, Ojochal, Atenas, Escazu, Grecia and others popular towns.

Costa Rica is a relatively safe, eco-friendly, expat-friendly destination with gorgeous beaches and friendly locals. Many expats say that housing and food prices in Costa Rica are high. We've gathere...

5 Tips For Living in San Jose, Costa Rica

The majority of expats in San Jose, actually choose to live not in the city, but outside of it. There are great options in the surrounding area, including places that are closer to the coast than San Jose.

The majority of expats in San Jose, actually choose to live not in the city, but outside of it. There are great options in the surrounding area, including places that are closer to the coast than San...

Top 5 Reasons Expats Move to Central America

From lower cost of living to affordable healthcare and beachfront living, expats discuss the top reasons they moved to Central America.
From lower cost of living to affordable healthcare and beachfront living, expats discuss the top reasons they moved to Central America....

10 Expats Talk About What It's Like Living in Costa Rica

Expats living in Costa Rica talk about Pura Vida, deciding where to live in Costa Rica, meeting people and more.
Expats living in Costa Rica talk about Pura Vida, deciding where to live in Costa Rica, meeting people and more....

Costa Rica Guide
Other Links
Our Story Our Team Contact Us Submit an Article Advertising Travel Warnings

Copyright 1997-2019 Burlingame Interactive, Inc.

Privacy Policy Legal