Friday, January 16, 2009

Planning to move to Costa Rica from the USA or Canada?

Obtaining Your Visa or Residency in Costa Rica

Citizens of the U.S. and Canada do not require a visa to enter Costa Rica. An immigration validation will be stamped into the passport upon entry, and this provides proof of legal status in the country. Your passport should be in good condition; Costa Rican authorities may deny entry if the passport is damaged.

Residency applications are processed by the Costa Rican Department of Immigration
( Direccion General de Migracion y Extranjeria), which is governed by the Ministry of Public Security and Police ( Ministerio de Gobernacion, Policia y Seguridad Publica).

All applications for residency must be filed in your country of origin, through your local consul, or directly with the Department of Immigration in San Jose.

The only current exceptions are 1) Rentista and Pensionado (retirement) Residency, and 2) Immediate Relative Residency Petitions.

The Department of Immigration states that it “favors applicants that can demonstrate that they will provide a financial benefit and contribute to create employment for Costa Rica citizens either in the form of direct investment or indirect investment.”
“Direct” investment refers to direct investors and entrepreneurs, while “indirect” investment refers to Pensionado and Rentista visas.

Enterprise Visa (Empresario)

This is a temporary residence visa, available to individuals who can demonstrate to the Department of Immigration that the business enterprise they will establish in Costa Rica will create employment for Costa Rican citizens and contribute to the local economy


After living in Costa Rica as a permanent resident for seven years, you can apply for citizenship.

If you have been married to a Costa Rican citizen for at least two years and lived in the country for a minimum of two years, you are also eligible to apply to become a citizen.

You will need to prove that you have the ongoing financial means to live in Costa Rica.

The naturalization process can take over a year. Contact a reputable attorney if you wish to apply for citizenship. Dual citizenship is allowed in Costa Rica.

1 comment:

  1. I read your blog and I see you like Costa Rica. As you can see there are many things you can do while you are in CR but most people never know where to fine the best places to go and so if you are looking for great things to do check out as I find they have they cover ALL you could ever what to know.