Costa Rica Residency Requirements: An Overview
There are several options if you are considering to Obtaining Residency in Costa Rica. The requirements to enter to Costa Rica depends on your country of nationality. Generally, citizens from United States, Canada, and European countries do not require a visa to enter the country. Those citizens can enter Costa Rica with their valid passports and remain in the country for up to 90 days. If you are under 30 or 60 day category then the law will allow you to apply for an extension of up to 90 days. If you have a 90 day visa then the law does not allow you to apply for an extension unless you leave the country and re-enter to obtain another tourist visa in Costa Rica. All residency applicants are processed by the Costa Rican Department of Immigration which in turn overseen by the ministry of the Public Security and Police.
Costa Rica Residency grants foreign nationals from other countries the legal right to live in the beautiful region of Cots Rica. If you are planning to permanently relocate yourself to Costa Rica, you should become a legal resident of the country. There are two ways to obtain permanent residency. First is through a first degree relation to a Costa Rican citizen or by holding a temporary residency for a period of almost three years. Permanent residency must be renewed every 2 years but this does not expire. A permanent resident may legally work in Costa Rica. A first degree relationship includes children less than 25 years of age and parents of Costa Rican citizen, siblings or parents of disabled Costa Rican citizens, and minor siblings of Costa Rican citizens.
Temporary residency allows the foreigners the right to live in Costa Rica for a period of time, usually from one to five years. The most common types of temporary residency are the annuity holder, investor, and retirees. Temporary residents are permitted to live, collect income from businesses, and own a business. As a temporary resident, you are subject to annual requirements and you may have to exchange a required amount of dollars each month. If you are planning for Costa Rica Retirement and have a pension or investment income then you can qualify for Pensionado Residency. This kind of program is governed by the New Immigration Law which confers residency status as pensioned based residency or investment and income based residency.
Tourists from Canada, United States, and many European countries are permitted to enter Costa Rica for up to 90 days only even without a visa. After 90 days, they are required to go outside the country for 72 hours. Perpetual tourists are the tourists who live in Costa Rica and renew their entrance permit every 90 days. Perpetual tourist is considered not illegal but it is not a form of legal residency. Perpetual tourists have limited services like you do not have permission to access to their public services like the public health system. And perpetual tourists are not allowed to legally work in the country.