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Costa Rica Visa & Residency > Costa Rica Immigration FAQ > Do I need to be living in Costa Rica to apply for residency?

Do I need to be living in Costa Rica to apply for residency?

By Betsy Burlingame

Last updated on: Feb 05, 2020

One member asked, "I've been reading the responses on this topic and finding them very helpful. Just have one question. If someone starts the application process from the U.S., and say it gets approved in a year (or whenever), does anyone know the requirements at that point of having to move to CR? Is there a time limit there?"

"Not, to actually move, but you will have to be here to finalize the process. This means signing up for CAJA, the healthcare system and apply for your cedula, for which you will have to have so set an appointment," wrote one member in Costa Rica in a discussion about residency.

The initial posted asked, "Ok, so say I start the application process today. Fast forward 1 year and I am at the point where they are ready for me to make my appointment to finalize the application. Maybe I have some family commitments that mean I won't be able to go down for 6 months. How long will they keep it open before closing the file and requiring you to start the process all over again?"

"I think it is 3 months, but you would have to check that. Note that most lawyers require all the funds up front...as many applicants change their minds, and you won't get a refund. Visit a few time before starting the process. Sorry to say, that I don't think the type of business you mention that you're presently involved in, is something that would 'go down well' here," responded one member.

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Expats living in Costa Rica interested in expat health insurance should take a minute to get a quote from our trusted expat health insurance partner, CIGNA.

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About the Author

Betsy Burlingame Betsy Burlingame is the Founder of Expat Exchange. She launched Expat Exchange in 1997 as her Master's thesis project at NYU. Some of Betsy's more popular articles include 6 Best Places to Live in Costa Rica, 12 Things to Know Before Moving to The Dominican Republic and 7 Tips for Obtaining Residence in Italy. Betsy loves to travel and spend time with her family. Connect with Betsy on LinkedIn.

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Updated On: Feb 05, 2020

First Published: Feb 05, 2020

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