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How to get Citizenship in Costa Rica

by rpetersen

How to get Citizenship in Costa Rica

So you want to get Citizenship in Costa Rica ? How do you go about it ?   In this article I will review the options available to get citizenship in Costa Rica.

Citizenship by Birth

Article 13 of the Costa Rican constitution  provides that Costa Rican citizenship is acquired by birth if you meet any of the following conditions:

1. The child is born in Costa Rica

2. The child of either a Costa Rican mother or father that was born abroad but was registered in the Civil Registry by either parent before they are 18 years old or they register themselves up to the age of 25.

The child of foreign parents that was born in Costa Rica and is voluntarily registered by them up to the age of 18 or register themselves up to the age of 25

Citizenship by Naturalization

The alternative path to qualify for citizenship is by the process known as Naturalization. (Naturalizacíon)

Naturalization by Marriage to a Costa Rica.

Those that have been married in Costa Rica and the marriage has been recorded in the Civil Registry qualify for Costa Rican citizenship after 2 years of marriage and living in Costa Rica

Naturalization by Residency.

Costa Rica allows foreign residency holders to opt for Costa Rican citizenship if they have legally resided in Costa Rica as follows: (a) 5 years for those citizens of other Central American countries, Spaniards or Latin Americans by birth. (b) 7 years for other nationalities.

To qualify the applicant must prove that they will not become a financial charge for the country and that they have income to support themselves and family. They must also prove that they know how to speak, read Spanish and have basic knowledge of Costa Rican history and values.   Generally a citizenship test is required.

To apply for citizenship the application is done before the office of Naturalization of the Civil Registry. (Registro Civil).   As part of the application you will need to attach the following:

(i) Birth Certificate from your country of origin Apostilled unless that information is in your immigration file.

(ii) A copy of your current identification document

(iii) Proof of your residence in Costa Rica. The office will also request from immigration your migratory movements into Costa Rica.

(iv) To demonstrate good conduct you will need to provide the sworn declaration of two witnesses to vouch for your good character as well as police background check.Naturalization by Domicile.   Those that can prove that they have live in Costa Rica for more than 20 years have the option of apply for Naturalization as well.

Naturalization by Domicile.

Those that can prove that they have live in Costa Rica for more than 20 years have the option of apply for Naturalization as well.

Naturalization For Those That Did Not Register Prior to Age of 25

If you are now over 25 years old and were born in Costa Rican to foreign parents or born outside of Costa Rica to a Costa Rican parent and were no registered in the Civil Registry you still have the option of Naturalization.

To qualify for this option you must prove that you have lived in Costa Rica for at least 5 years for those citizens of other Central American countries, Spaniards or Latin Americans by birth or 7 years for other nationalities.

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