Costa Rica Residency – General Information and Summary 2017

Costa Rica Immigration and Residency Summary If you are looking for the latest information on Costa Rica Immigration and Residency then you are in the right place. I have been handling residency applications in Costa Rica for over 20 years and here I will share with you all the information you need to successfully apply for residency in Costa Rica. All information contained in this article is checked with the applicable Immigration Law and Immigration regulations for applying for residency in Costa Rica and is up to date for 2018. TRAVELING TO COSTA RICA AS A TOURIST The requirements to enter Costa Rica depend on your country of nationality. Generally, citizens of the United States, Canada and the European Union countries do not require a visa to enter Costa Rica. Those citizens can enter Costa Rica with their valid passport and remain in the country for up to a maximum of 90 days. If you are traveling to Costa Rica it is recommended that your passport have at least 3 months validity from the date of entry for those nationalities included in the no visa requirement and 6 months for those in the rest of the categories. Can I Renew My Tourist Visa in Costa Rica ? If you were granted a 90 day visa this is the maximum time allowed by law. If you want to stay in Costa Rica longer then you have leave the country and then come back in to get another 90 days. If you were given a 30 day visa then you can renew that in Costa Rica up to the maximum of 90 days. The amount of time that a Tourist can remain in Costa Rica is based upon their country of origin as follows: NO VISA REQUIRED. MAY STAY UP TO 90 DAYS. Those countries designated as No Visa countries may enter Costa Rica without an entry Visa and may remain in Costa Rica for up to 90 days. Example: United States, Canada, European Union, Australia, Brazil. Mexico, Peru, Panama, Russian Federation, Denmark, Finland, Japan. VISA REQUIRED. MAY STAY 30 DAYS. RENEWABLE UP TO 90 DAYS. If you are a citizen of a visa required entry group you need to obtain an entry VISA from a Costa Rican Embassy or Consulate abroad before you enter Costa Rica. If the visa is granted it is for a period of 30 days and may be renewable up to a maximum of 90 days. Example: Colombia, Ecuador, India, Nicaragua, Egypt, Vietnam, China. RESTRICTED VISA: This is the most restrictive category. This means that citizens of the restricted visa category must have an entry visa BEFORE they are allowed to enter Costa Rica. The visa must be reviewed by the Director of Immigration before it can be granted. If granted the visa is for a period of 30 days. Example: Cuba, Jamaica, Iran, Iraq, Syria, Palestine, Haiti. You can view the Department of Immigration Visa entry requirement list below: Your Passport Entry Stamp: While you are in Costa Rica your passport and the immigration stamp that was placed in it when you entered the country is your proof of legal status. The Immigration Department allows you to carry a copy of your passport with the entry stamp so that you can keep your passport in a safe place. RESIDENCY APPLICATIONS IN COSTA RICA All residency applications are filed with and processed by the Costa Rican Department of Immigration (Dirección General de Migración y Extranjeria) for those that are present in Costa Rica. Residency applications may also be filed with a Costa Rican Consular office in your country of origin. Whenever possible we recommend those that are eligible to do so to file directly in Costa Rica. For a list of Embassy and Consular Offices of Costa Rica around the world you can refer to the Ministry of Foreign Relations Embassy and Consular List. How Much is the Application Fee The residency application fee is US$50. If you are located in Costa Rica and are elgible to apply within Costa Rica then you can do so by paying an additional $200 change of status fee. The only requirement that you need to satisfy to apply from Costa Rica is that you are in the country with a valid tourist visa at the time of application. WHAT ARE THE IMMIGRATION RESIDENCY CATEGORIES The Immigration Law breaks down the residency categories available under three subsections. The first one is Permanent Residency (Article 77-78) the second is Temporary Residency (Article 79-86) and the final category is defined as Specialized Categories (Article 93-97). The most common initial classification for all initial applicants will be that of Temporary Residents. As such I will start explaining that category for you. TEMPORARY RESIDENCY The majority of application for Costa Rican residency will fall into the Temporary Residency category which is regulated by Article 79 of the Immigration Law and has the following subcategories: (1) The Spouse of a Costa Rican citizen as set forth in Article 73 of the law. (2) Those of religious orders for religions that have been accredited by the Ministry of Foreign Relations and Culture (3) Executives, Managers, Technical Personnel for Corporations which are established in the country. This may also include those specialized workers that are independent workers but whose technical expertise is required and the Department of Immigration as set forth the criteria to allow that specialty to work in Costa Rica. (4) Investors (5) Scientific, Professional and Specialized persons. (6) Sports figures recognized by the National Council on Sports and Recreation (7) International Press Correspondents (8) Rentistas (9) Pensionados Within the Temporary Residency category the most common categories that we process are Pensionados, Rentistas and Inversionistas. If you are planning to retire in Costa Rica and you have a lifetime pension or you receive investment income then you may qualify for either PENSIONADO RESIDENCY or RENTISTA RESIDENCY. If you decide to purchase property or invest in Costa Rican then you may qualify for the INVERSIONISTA will go … Continue reading Costa Rica Residency – General Information and Summary 2017