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Here’s a short list of the general residency requirements common to most forms of residency applications in Costa Rica. At Costa Rica Immigration Experts we’d love to be able to help you set up your file right the first time and enjoy residency as quickly as possible. Complete our FREE assessment now and we’ll be glad to serve you!

  1. Residency Application: We will create an application letter addressed to the Director-General of Migration, duly authenticated by a Costa Rican Attorney. For your convenience you will grant us a special power of attorney as your immigration representative to submit the documents.
  2. Full Birth Certificate. Must be Apostilled; or, if your home country is not a party to the Apostille Convention, submitted to the corresponding Costa Rican consulate in the country of origin, then authenticated at the Foreign Affairs department in San Jose.
  3. Criminal Record Check: Required of all applicants over the age of 12; this document must not be older than six months, unless the document specifies otherwise. Issued by your home country, or where you have legally resided for the past three years. Must be Apostilled; or, if your home country is not a party to the Apostille Convention, submitted to the corresponding Costa Rican consulate in the country of origin, then authenticated at the Foreign Affairs department in San Jose.
  4. Photocopy of the passport (photo / info page and, pages with entry stamp, and visa if applicable): Must be notarized. All applicants, including minors, must comply with this requirement.
  5. Eight recent passport-sized photographs: Required for applicant, spouse and any dependent children.
  6. Eligible individuals can claim their spouses and children under 18, as dependents, as well as older children with disabilities. Dependent children between the ages of 18 and 25 can be included if he or she is enrolled in a university.
  7. In the case of a family group, an individual file is required per member. Parents should sign applications on behalf of minor children.

An affidavit stating a reason of impossibility may be submitted in the event there is a sufficient reason that justifies the impossibility of the presentation of certain requirements, i.e. birth certificate, criminal record check, etc.

All foreign documents must either be Apostilled, or legalized by the Costa Rican Consulate if your home country is not a party to the Apostille Convention. Read here for more information on the Apostille Convention and if your home country is a party to it — notable exceptions include Canada and China.

All documents not in Spanish must be translated into Spanish by an Official Translator registered with the Costa Rica Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

At CRIE we help you get the documents you need to complete your application and ensure that it meets the requirements of the Costa Rica immigration department. Contact us now for a free assessment!

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