Can I open a bank account in Costa Rica without living there ?
Generally the answer is no. Although each bank in Costa Rica will have its own internal policy they require personal contact.
What is the account opening process ?
Most banks require the customer to physically appear at the bank in order to sign the application in the presence of the banking officer. Banks will require that the applicant provide the following documentation:
i. A source of funds statement to show where your funds are coming from
ii. Provide 3 months of bank statements of your current bank or financial account
iii. Your passport copy. Please note that some banks may require that you have legal residency before they will open an account.
iv. Summary of expected income and deposits. The banks want to know how much money will be flowing through your account. Some banks will require the applicant to provide an income statement from a CPA (Certified Public Accountant).
v. A utility bill (electric or water) to establish your place of residence. If you are renting you may be asked for a copy of the lease agreement.
vi. Reference letters. Some banks will require a reference letter from your existing bank and another commercial reference letter.
vii. Complete the Know Your Customer form.
If you are opening an account in the name of a Costa Rican corporation then the additional requirements will be:
i. Certificate of corporate standing to show the legal representative.
ii. Certificate of beneficial shareholder ownership to show the beneficial owners of the corporation.
How many banks are there in Costa Rica ?
Keep in mind that getting a bank account opened in Costa Rica does not generally happen on the same day you apply. They can typically take a couple of days before your account will be open. During that time they review all the information provided and if all is in order they will let you know if they will open the account or not.