Every residency application is governed by the Costa Rican Department of Immigration (Direccion General de Migracion y Extranjeria). Immigration procedures change frequently, to avoid any confusion and delays, please check with your attorney for the proper procedures for your residency application status.
In the past several years, Costa Rica has become inundated with applications for residency. As a result, expect lengthy delays in processing new applications. Having a really experienced and knowledgeable Immigration attorney will speed things up considerably. We can recommend a reliable attorney.
Update on Changes :HOME PURCHASE MAY QUALIFY FOR COSTA RICA RESIDENCY
As a result of changes in the Immigration Law enacted by the Legislature, the Costa Rica Dirección de Migración y Extranjería issued an administrative ruling on Augusto 28, 2009 that significantly changes the requirements for the category of Investor Status (Inversionista). Whereas previously Investor Status required operating a business, employing Costa Ricans, and paying taxes, that is now changed such that a real estate investment of $200,000 USD or more qualifies for Temporary Residence, renewable on an annual basis. Thus, the purchase of a home or other property MAY now qualify one for Residency. Since there is a requirement that this must be reported to Tributación, the Tax Agency, the best way to obtain this Residency would be to purchase the property through a corporation, a Sociedad Anónima, which would then file an annual tax report as stating Inactive economic activity. The cost of establishing an S.A. average about $500 and the annual tax on inactive S.A.'s is nominal. After 3 years in this status one can apply for permanent residence. Inversionista status is also available for investments in stock, productive activity, and projects considered of national interest, in some cases in amounts inferior to $200,000. We use the qualifying term MAY because the new immigration law goes into effect on March 1, 2010. At that time the Immigration Office will issue detailed criteria and guidelines for evaluating residency applications. It is always possible that the rule quoted below will be modified at that time.
The Reference for this is as follows:
Se reforma el artículo 27, inciso 4, de la Circular SDG-461-2007 del 12 marzo de 2007, referente a la Residencia Temporal para Inversionistas, de la siguiente manera:
4. Proyecto de inversión iqual o superior a US $ 200.000 (doscientos mil dólares), moneda de los Estados Unidos de América, según el tipo de cambio oficial de venta que determine el Banco Central de Costa Rica, ya sea en bienes inmuebles, acciones, valores y proyectos productivos, o proyectos de interés nacional. Para la renovación de la condición migratoria de residente inversionista, será indispensable acreditar que dicha inversión está debidamente registrada ante Tributación Directa.
SOURCE: Modificación artículo 27, Inciso 4 y Artículo 36 de la Circular SDG-461-2007. Circular-UPI-239-2009-LAS. Dirección General de Migración y Extranjería.
The new law took effect March first 2010. The guidelines for this law were issued May 20th, 2012.
NOTE: Enrollment in Costa Rica's National Medical System "The Caja" is mandatory for all categories.
NOTE: Costa Rican laws can and do change at any time, and it is strongly recommended you consult with an Attorney who is very well versed in Immigration and Real estate laws. They can also advise you of other categories for residency you may qualify for.
The following required documents must be completed before application:
Special note: Be aware that all of the original documents that you submit become the exclusive property of the Department of Immigration and will NOT be returned to you.