At Costa Rica Immigration Experts, we get a…
If you are a foreigner moving to Costa Rica and seeking residency, you will eventually need the services of a Costa Rica bank. So if you’re thinking of opening a bank account in Costa Rica, we can help.
Government banks offer you the advantage of being a safer place for your money since the Costa Rican government backs these banks. They have a significant presence and many branches throughout Costa Rica. You can find Banco de Costa Rica (BCR) and Banco Nacional in nearly every town in Costa Rica.
To open a bank account, you must be legal in the country, meaning that the visa entry stamp in your passport must be currently valid. They would also like to see that you started your residency process and have some ties to the country, such as a home, investment, or business in Costa Rica. You will need to provide the bank with documentation to show your funds and income verification.
Know Your Customer (KYC) Regulations
Like all USA, Canadian and European banks, Costa Rica banks are also subject to Know Your Customer (KYC) regulations. These regulations prevent money laundering, including the $10,000 USD transaction reporting limit. The good news is, banking secrecy laws are in effect, so no government or private agency can get access to your specific account information without a court order. This is just one reason Costa Rica is a frequent choice for foreigners who want to keep their assets protected from frivolous civil lawsuits in their home country.
It’s best to check with the bank beforehand and ask for the requirements to set up an account. Most banks now require that you have Costa Rican residency to open an account.
General Requirements for Bank Account
- Residency documentation;
- Utility bill from the place where you are residing in Costa Rica;
- Letter of recommendation from a financial institution in your country;
- Letter from your employer with the official stamp of the company (if employed);
- Reference letters from current account holders at the bank you are applying.
New regulations make it very difficult for foreigners awaiting their residence cards to use banking services. Even though the banks are obligated to assist, you’ll find them to be generally uncooperative. Thankfully at Costa Rica Immigration Experts, we work with banks and agents who can help you navigate the process of opening a bank account while your residency is pending.
Got questions? – Contact us today!