Immigration and Residency for Costa Rica

Costa Rica Immigration Experts

Call Johanna to Get Started Today at 8373-2085.

Congratulations on your decision to relocate to Costa Rica.

Start your Residency with us TODAY and you won’t have to leave Costa Rica every 90 days anymore…

Costa Rica Immigration Experts specializes in the preparation and filing of applications for prospective Costa Rican residents. We prepare and process your application and supporting documentation while you are still in your country of origin or after your arrival in Costa Rica.

Regardless of the reason you are moving to Costa Rica – be it retirement, business, investment or family, our goal is to make your transition as easy, worry-free and efficient as possible. It is essential to hire a Costa Rica residency professional to assure a simple and worry-free process to obtain residency. The cost is normally between $1500 and $2500, plus government fee’s and stamps depending on your circumstances. We recommend Johanna, Vice-president of Gap Real Estate who is a seasoned professional and well-versed in preparation, organization and submission of documents required to obtain permanent or temporary residency in Costa Rica.

We keep the application process simple. In most cases, all the applicant needs to do is to provide us with the key documents and be available to be fingerprinted in San José. We do everything else!

Several options are available if you are considering applying for residency in Costa Rica. Migratory categories and their specific requirements are described below; however, general requirements are applicable to all of them.


• 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 dependents under 18 years of age.
• Cannot work as an employee.
• Can own a company and receive dividends.


• Requires proof of $2500 USD per month income for at least two years, guaranteed by a banking institution, OR a US$60,000 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 dependents under 18 years of age.
• Cannot work as an employee.
• Can own a company and receive dividends.


• Investment of $200,000 USD in a business or property.
• Must remain in country at least 6 months per year.
• Can claim spouse and dependents under 18 years of age.
• Income allowed from the project.
• Can own a company and receive dividends.


• 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.
• Can claim spouse and dependents 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.
• Can claim spouse and dependents under 18 years of age.
• Can work.
• Can own a company and receive income.

General Requirements:


1. Residency Application An application addressed to the Director General of Migration by the applicant concerned, and duly authenticated by a Costa Rican Attorney. If the applicant is not able to apply in person, he/she should grant a special power of attorney to a representative in your country, who will submit the documents at the Consulate. This power of attorney should be in Spanish, notarized and follow the authentication procedures. The representative shall herein after be referred to as “apoderado”.


This document must be signed or authenticated at the Consulate and it should indicate the personal particulars of the apoderado including the address to receive notifications within the judicial perimeter of San Jose.


2. Proof of Consular Registration of intention to apply for residency in Costa Rica. Please note: The consular registration is waived if the country of origin does not have a consulate or embassy in Costa Rica.


3. Full Birth Certificate: “Apostilled, or submitted to the corresponding Costa Rican consulate in the country of origin, then authenticated at the Foreign Affairs department in San Jose”


4. Criminal Records: Required of all applicants over the age of 15; this document must not be older than six months, with the exception the document explicitly indicates a different expiration date. issued by the State/Province where the applicant has lived for the past two years.


Fingerprinting: Necessary for residency in Costa Rica, must be personally done by the applicant at “Centro Comercial del Sur” located in San Jose.
5. Marriage Certificate: If the applicant is married and wishes to include his or her spouse as a dependent.

6. Photocopy of the passport (all pages): Must be certified and notarized by the Costa Rican Consulate of your home country. All applicants, including minors, must comply with this requirement. In addition, the first page of the passport must be properly translated into Spanish by an official translator or lawyer with knowledge of the origin language.


7. Eight recent passport sized photographs: Required for applicant, spouse and any dependent children.


8. Eligible individuals can claim their spouses and children under 18, as dependents, as well as older children with disabilities. Dependent children between the ages of 18 and 25 can be included if he or she is enrolled in a University.


9. In the case of a family group, an individual file is required per member. Parents should sign applications on behalf of minor children.


10. In order to practice a profession, the applicant should provide his or her diplomas relevant to their profession. Concerning other professional activities, relevant documentation such as courses and studies undertaken should be submitted


An affidavit stating a reason of impossibility may be submitted in the event there is a sufficient reason that justifies the impossibility of the presentation of certain requirements, i.e. birth certificate, criminal records, etc.


All documents must be authenticated by the Costa Rican Consulate in your home town and translated to Spanish. (A Costa Rican Consulate will charge around $40 dollars in official stamps for authentication of each document).    

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