RETIREMENT

CHOOSE RETIREMENT IN COSTA RICA

Costa Rica is one of the most desirable places in the world to retire

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RETIREE - Pensionado

Why So Many People Choose Retirement in Costa Rica

Costa Rica has long been a popular location for those who are looking for a retirement destination with a well-established infrastructure, low crime rate, excellent health care, incredible wildlife, natural attractions, and abundance of tours and activities. The quality of life in Costa Rica is excellent, and, in fact, the more one learns about the country, the more appealing it becomes as a retirement destination. Consider these winning factors and you'll quickly see why so many expatriates choose retirement in Costa Rica. It ranks number one on the Happy Planet Index.

Temporary Residency Requirements as Retiree

This category applies to any person who is retired and is receiving pension benefits or anyone receiving a lifetime annuity. You must show proof of a monthly income of at least $1,000 USD.

A pension can include local, state, provincial, or federal government pensions from almost all countries, U.S.A. Social Security Administration, Canadian Old Age Pension System, Railroad Retirement benefits, private company pension plans, defined benefit plans, 401K plans, school district pension, and IRA and Keogh distributions, lifetime annuities, all qualify. The pension must be payable for the lifetime of the retiree.

A married couple needs to show proof of only one monthly pension for both husband, wife, and children up to the age of twenty-five. The pension holder 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 the permanent income from a pension or annuity and issued within the last six months. This certification must be issued by the institution that makes the payment of the pension. If it is an U.S.A. Social Security Pension or a Canada Pension, then the certification can be obtained at the U.S.A. Embassy or the Canadian Embassy in Costa Rica and it will not require an Apostille. 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..