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There are several residency categories available if you are considering applying for residency in Costa Rica. Some of the most common migratory categories and their specific requirements are described below; however, general requirements are applicable to all of them.

Temporary and Permanent Residence

Temporary Residence – Retirees (Pensionado)

• Requires proof of US $1000 per month income from permanent pension source or retirement fund.
• Must remain in Costa Rica at least 1 day per year.
• Can claim spouse and dependents under 18 years of age.
• Cannot work as an employee.
• Can own a company and receive dividends.

Temporary Residence – Fixed Income (Rentista)

• Requires proof of deposit of US $60,000 in an approved bank, with $2,500 withdrawn every month.  This requirement needs to be met during application AND every subsequent renewal (every 2 years) until you apply for Permanent Residence.
• OR proof of US$2,500 per month unearned (cannot be employment income), verifiable, stable, permanent income such as bank interest, annuity, public company dividends for at least 2 years.
• Must remain in Costa Rica at least 1 day per year.
• Can claim spouse and dependents under 18 years of age.
• Cannot work as an employee.
• Can own a company and receive dividends.

Temporary Residence – Investors

• Investment of US$200,000 in a business or property.
• Must remain in Costa Rica at least 1 day per year.
• Can claim spouse and dependents under 18 years of age.
• Income allowed from the project.
• Can own a company and receive dividends.
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Temporary Residence – Spouses of Costa Rican Citizens

• Must provide documentary proof of the marriage’s validity, such as photos (of the wedding and other events), proof of cohabitation, and communication between spouses (such as phone records, e-mails etc).
• Can work.
• Can own a company and receive income.

Permanent Residence – Parents of Costa Rican Citizens

• Permanent residency category for parents of Costa Rican citizens.
• Can claim dependents under 18 years of age.
• Can work.
• Can own a company and receive income.

Permanent Residence – for Qualifying Temporary Residents

• May apply after three years as a temporary resident.
• Can work.
• Can own a company and receive income.

Work Permits

Work Permit – Employee

***This category is generally only available to domestic and agricultural workers.***
***Other highly specialized and limited cases may also apply.***

• Authenticated job offer or contract indicating functions, hours, and salary, signed by employer.
• Proof of employer’s economic solvency (such as income certification by Certified Public Accountant)
• Must remain in Costa Rica at least 1 day per year.
Cannot claim spouse and dependents under 18 years of age.

Work Permit – Employer

• Company documents
• Business license from corresponding municipality
• Business sanitation permit from Ministry of Health
• Income certification by Certified Public Accountant
• Proof of payment/registration of company income taxes
• Proof of Caja (CCSS) registration of company
• Must remain in Costa Rica at least 1 day per year.
Cannot claim spouse and dependents under 18 years of age.

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