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What are the residency requirements in Costa Rica ?

Residency status is available in different formats, depending on the applicant’s qualifications and requirements.  

The “permanent” residency status means that you can both reside and work in Costa Rica, since it is usually granted without limitations.

Temporary residency may be granted to individual under different categories.  The 3 most common temporary residency categories are :  Pensionado (retiree),  Rentista (income recipient) and Investor (inversionista) . 

“Pensionado” and “Rentista” residency may be granted to individuals who can demonstrate an offshore fixed income from recognized sources. In the case of “pensionado” status, the individual must show a fixed monthly pension income of US$ 1,000.00 or more. With respect to “rentista” status, the individual must show a fixed monthly income of US$ 2,500 or more. Working is usually not permitted with either the “pensionado” or “rentista” status.

“Investor” residency status was created to attract investment capital to Costa Rica. This status may be granted to individuals who invest US$ 200,000.00 or more. 

In each residency category, a specific set of notarized documents is required from the applicant’s country of origin, which is more easily obtained prior to traveling to Costa Rica. Upon arrival in Costa Rica, an applicant should retain the services of a lawyer specializing in residency applications to complete the process.