What are the visa & residency requirements in Costa Rica?
We asked people about the visa & residency requirements in Costa Rica, they wrote...
"Visitors from certain countries including the US, Canada, Australia, and most countries in Europe, do not need a visa to enter Costa Rica and can stay for up to 90 days. To stay longer than 90 days, visitors must apply for a Temporary Resident Visa, which can be valid for up to two years and can be renewed. To apply for a Temporary Resident Visa, applicants must provide a valid passport, proof of financial solvency, a medical certificate, and a copy of their criminal record. To obtain residency in Costa Rica, applicants must provide an application form and supporting documents such as property titles, financial information, and a copy of their visa as well as a medical certificate and a valid passport. As part of the residency application process, applicants are also expected to take a brief Spanish language test. Once all documents have been reviewed and approved, applicants receive an identification card and a cedula, the document that grants them residency in the country," wrote a member who made the move to Costa Rica.
"Tourist visas for the US and I believe most of Europe etc. are 90 days no real questions asked. They can also be renewed by a 3-day stay out of the country. As a result, many expats are "perpetual tourists" who just take short trips to Nicaragua or Panama every three months. This probably isn't good, and "perpetual tourists" can and sometimes are prevented from re-entering, but it works for tens of thousands of foreigners over many years. There are three ways to obtain legal residency (in addition to through marriage). One way is to come in as a pensioner. This only requires showing a minimum of $1000 a month income for life, as well as of course dealing with a lot of paperwork and paying fees. Those who can't or prefer not to show the $1000 a month income for life can obtain residency as either rentistas or investors. Rentista residency now requires showing $2500 a month income for a shorter period of time as well as the same fees and paperwork. . I'm not sure how to obtain residency as an investor, and I believe it depends upon the kind of investment, but some people seem to get it by just buying a house valued at either $200,000 or $250,000. Of course, people need a clean criminal record too, but otherwise it's either $1000 a month guaranteed for life or a fair amount of money in a lump sum for either rentista or investor residency," explained one expat living in San Jose, Costa Rica.
- What do I need to know before moving to Costa Rica?
- How do I find a place to live in Costa Rica?
- What is a typical expat home or apartment like in Costa Rica?
- What is the average cost of housing in Costa Rica?
- Should I buy or rent a home in Costa Rica?
- What should I pack when moving to Costa Rica?
- What cultural faux pas should I try to avoid making in Costa Rica?
- Why do people move to Costa Rica?
- What are healthcare services like in Costa Rica?
- What are medical services in Costa Rica like?
- What are typical rents in Costa Rica?
- What appliances are typically included in a rental?
What are the visa & residency requirements in Costa Rica?If you live in Costa Rica, newcomers to Costa Rica would love to hear your answer to this question:
About the Author
Joshua Wood, LPC joined Expat Exchange in 2000 and serves as one of its Co-Presidents. He is also one of the Founders of Digital Nomad Exchange. Prior to Expat Exchange, Joshua worked for NBC Cable (MSNBC and CNBC Primetime). Joshua has a BA from Syracuse and a Master's in Clinical and Counseling Psychology from Fairleigh Dickinson University. Mr. Wood is also a licensed counselor and psychotherapist.