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How to Get Pension Letter for US expats

Good news for expats who have to prove their income to acquire residency or a mortgage. US expats in Costa Rica can get their benefits letters by email.

The Federal Benefits Unit at the US Embassy has simplified the process for verifying Social Security and other government benefits for Costa Rican immigration purposes. They will accept email requests and make a follow-up telephone call to confirm the requestor’s identity.

The Embassy said that the document commonly is called a proof of income letter, a budget letter, a benefits letter, or a proof of award letter. The letter is an official report on money an expat might be getting from the US Social Security Administration, the Veterans Administration, the Railroad Retirement Board, or the Office of Personnel Management/Civil Service Retirement. Previously, expats in Costa Rica had to visit the Embassy in person.

Most noteworthy, the email document is being accepted by the Immigration of Costa Rica (Dirección General de Migración y Extranjeria).

The Embassy said that US expats in Costa Rica had to follow these steps:

  1. Request a benefit verification letter–free of charge–by filling out a form using this link:
  2. Within 5 working days, a representative from the Federal Benefits Unit will contact you to verify your identity and get your permission to email the letter confirming the benefit amount.
  3. Requestors should print out the letter and provide it to the Costa Rican Immigration office. This letter does not require Apostille or notarization.

Finally, find out more about the Pensionado residency category to move to Costa Rica and get residency as a recipient of Social Security or another lifetime pension!


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This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. My husband and I have been in tramite for about 5 months now, and were just told by migración that the social security benefits letter we obtained from the federal benefits unit is not sufficient. They told us it has to include language stating the benefit is for life.

    We contacted the embassy and were told that the form letter is a legal document agreed upon by both countries and the content cannot be modified. We relayed this information back to migración but they maintain that our residency will not be approved without a letter that includes such a statement.

    Are you aware of this new requirement or of a way to get the necessary language included?Thank you.

    1. Hello Mrs. Dodson!

      We can assist you. Please contact us by sending a message via Whatsapp to (+506-8373-2085, Joanna), with your name and reference the need to resolve your SS document issue, and we can schedule a time for you to come to our office.

      CR Immigration Experts

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