If attaining the status of legal resident in Costa Rica is something you aspire to, these are the five ways that any foreigner can go about achieving that status.
The first path to achieving residence in Costa Rica is likely the easiest and most straightforward. If you have a relationship with a Costa Rican citizen by way of marriage or birth, then you may become a permanent resident. In this scenario, you only have to visit Costa Rica once per year to maintain your residency status, and you are allowed to work legally.
Next is the way of most retirees that come to spend the golden years here in the land of plenty. In this bid for residence, you will need to show that you receive $1,000 dollars or more per month in retirement or other related funds. You will be able to claim your spouse and any dependents under the age of 18 years. As a retiree you won’t be able to attain permanent residence in Costa Rica automatically. You are obligated to renew your temporary residence status every two years, and can apply for permanent residence after three. As a temporary resident by way of your pension, you’ will not be able to work legally, but you may own a business.
After the position of retired pensioner who applies for residence, you will find that becoming a small investor can place you in line to residency. In this situation, you need to show proof of $60,000 or $2,500 in deposits per month at a banking institution over a period of two years. This path to residence requires that you renew your residence every two years with the option for permanent residence after three, and you may claim your spouse and dependents. Working is prohibited, but owning a business is perfectly fine. Along with the pensioners plan, you cannot leave Costa Rica for more than two years, or you risk losing your residence status.
Next is the track of the big investor. This requires substantially more funds in the realm of $200,000 which you will invest in a local business or real estate project. The aforementioned temporary residence restrictions will still apply, and you can apply for permanent residence after three years. Unfortunately, you won’t be able to claim your spouse or dependents, and they will have to find their own route to residence. You are allowed to keep the money earned by your investment.
The final route to legal residency in Costa Rica is through a company. In this scenario, you are brought in by a company in a managerial capacity where you will oversee a certain number of Costa Rican workers. This requires that you provide financial statements via a certified public accountant. Like the big investor, you cannot claim a spouse and dependents, but you are allowed to collect money from your work.