Other Income

Legal Resident

Individuals with a non-salary income, savings, rents, annuities, or investments.

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LEGAL RESIDENT - Rentista

Why So Many People Choose to live in Costa Rica

People from all over the world are moving to the beautiful country of Costa Rica and making it their new home. About fifth thousand North American, Canadians, and others live in Costa Rica permanently. It is the most popular destination in Central America. Costa Rica has universal health care and has one of the highest life expectancies in the world. The country favors relaxation and spending time with friends and family.There is an established and welcoming expatriate community in many areas of the country. It is easy to make friends to explore the country or to just spend time watching the wild animals or the sun set. There are many English speakers here so you do not need to be perfect in Spanish but some helps. It all adds up to an easy calm lifestyle in Costa Rica.

Temporary Residency Requirements as a Legal Resident

This category applies to individuals who are not retired, do not need to work while living in Costa Rica, and are receiving a guaranteed, unearned income of $2,500 USD per month from investments, savings, annuities, or other sources, and the non-earned income is guaranteed to be received for at least the next two years. The method usually used is a notarized letter from a bank or financial institution stating that the applicant has at least $60,000 USD in an account, such as a CD, and that the bank or financial institution agrees to transfer to Costa Rica $2,500 per month for the next two years. Other sources of unearned income include income from annuities, savings, investment income, rental property income, or dividends and interest. It is not a requirement that the bank account be in Costa Rican bank but it is usually easier to obtain the required bank letter when the account is in a Costa Rican bank.

A married couple needs to show proof of only one monthly income for both husband, wife, and children up to the age of twenty-five. The legal resident can be either spouse.

Costa Rica recognizes same gender marriages and the partner can be included as a dependent.

As a temporary resident you can apply for permanent residency after three years.

Once your residency is approved you agree to live in Costa Rica for at least one day per year.

Documents that are needed to apply

Application Letter

We provide the necessary letter to the immigration department stating that you are requesting residency under the retirement category. It will contain your full name, nationality, date of birth, and the full names and nationalities of your parents

Application Form

This is a form from the Immigration Department (Formulario de Filiacion) which asks for much of the same information as the application letter. We will show you how to fill out this form.

Birth Certificate

This certificate must be issued, within the last six months, by the country where you were born stating the names of your parents, place of birth, and date of birth. This is sometimes called the long form. Your original birth certificate will not be accepted by the Immigration Department. It must have an Apostille or be legalized by the nearest Costa Rican Consul. In the case of Consul legalization we must have it legalized by the Costa Rican State Department. If it is legalized by the Costa Rican Consul then an Apostille is not required. It cannot be more than six months old from the date of issue,

Criminal Background Report

Police report or Identity History Summary Certification of your criminal record, issued within the last six months. from your local police authority where you last resided. It is required for everyone twelve years of age or older. It must have an Apostille or be legalized by the nearest Costa Rican Consul. In the case of Consul legalization we must have it legalized by the Costa Rican State Department. If it is legalized by the Costa Rican Consul then an Apostille is not required. It cannot be more than six months old from the date of issue,

Marriage Certificate

If you are applying as a married couple then your spouse is registered as your dependent. This certificate must be issued, within the last six months, by the country where you were married. Your original marriage certificate will not be accepted by the Immigration Department. It must have an Apostille or be legalized by the nearest Costa Rican Consul. In the case of Consul legalization we must have it legalized by the Costa Rican State Department. If it is legalized by the Costa Rican Consul then an Apostille is not required. It cannot be more than six months old from the date of issue,

Income Certification

Certification that proves income from non-earned income of $2,500 and is guaranteed to be received for at least the next two years. This certification must be issued by the institution that makes the payment of the funds. Otherwise, It must have an Apostille or be legalized by the nearest Costa Rican Consul. In the case of Consul legalization we must have it legalized by the Costa Rican State Department. If it is legalized by the Costa Rican Consul then an Apostille is not required. It cannot be more than six months old from the date of issue,

Passport Copy

A certified copy of all pages of your passport, including all of the blank pages. This copy must be certified by one of our lawyers or by the nearest Costa Rican Consul. In the case of Consul legalization we must have it legalized by the Costa Rican State Department.. If it is legalized by the Costa Rican Consul then an Apostille is not required. It cannot be more than six months old from the date of legalization,

Photographs

Four passport photographs are needed for the application and for the fingerprinting process.

Embassy Registration

A registration document given by your country's embassy in Costa Rica. Immigrants from countries with no local embassy are exempt from this requirement. U.S.A. citizens can register online at the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program. Canadian citizens can register online at Registration of Canadians Abroad.

Limited Power of Attorney

We provide this limited power of attorney so that we can act on your behalf with the Immigration Department.

Translation

We will have an official translation of all documents that are not in Spanish.

Application Fee

To file the application you must pay an Immigration Department fee of $290. Your name must be included on the deposit receipt.

File number

Once we present your application to the Immigration Department they will give us a file number, numero de expediente, for your application.

Fingerprints

You must be fingerprinted after you have filed your residency application. You will have a receipt from the residency filing and with that receipt you can go to the fingerprinting office. This is done in Costa Rica by the Ministry of Public Security. The fingerprints are used for an Interpol background check. All applicants age twelve or over must be fingerprinted.

After your application is approved

Social Security Registration

After the Immigration Department approves your residency you register at your local branch of the Caja Costarricense de Seguro Social (CCSS) and pay your health insurance coverage. You will need your receipt and a letter stating that you are current with your payment.

Approval Fees

After approval you must pay a government guarantee bond of $300 USD and $128 USD for the residency processing fees. These amounts are paid directly to the account of the Immigration Department at the Banco de Costa Rica.

Appointment

Then we call the Immigration Department and request an appointment for you to process your identification card, the DIMEX card. This is done at the Immigration Department in La Uruca, at branches of the Bank of Costa Rica, Banco de Costa Rica, or at the Costa Rican post office, Correos de Costa Rica.

What to do next

Enjoy your retirement in Costa Rica. The country has attracted a very diverse group of people from many countries around the world. A high standard of living, beaches and mountains to enjoy, cultural activities, great weather, and the quality the Costa Rican people have made it a very popular retirement location..