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Immigrate to Costa Rica

Immigrate to Costa Rica

Foreign citizens who want to move to countries on the American continent have several choices even if when they don’t automatically decide on the United States. Costa Rica is a good example of a country that connects the Northern and Southern sides of the Americas and where there are plenty of opportunities for immigrants.

 Quick Facts  
Short-term stay visa required (YES/NO)

Yes, for certain categories of immigrants

Types of visas available

 – student,

– work,

– provisional visas,

– temporary residence permit

Work visa requirements

Special authorization from the Ministry of Labor is required

Retirement visa availability (YES/NO)

Yes, for persons with a minimum income of USD1,000/ month

Residency by investment (YES/NO)

Yes, the minimum investment is USD100,000 in forest plantation

Digital nomad visa availability (YES/NO)

Yes, minimum income requirement USD3,000/month

Possibility to purchase a property (YES/NO)


Bank account opening requirement (YES/NO)


Direct immigration with family members (YES/NO)

Yes, through the citizenship by investment program

Business immigration availability (YES/NO)


Timeframe to obtain permanent residency

– 2 years for investors and retired persons,

– 3 years for temporary residence permit holders

Timeframe to obtain citizenship

7 years

Personal income tax rate


Support in company registration (YES/NO)


Immigration services availability (YES/NO) Yes 

If you want to move to Costa Rica and need support, our immigration experts can provide you with all the necessary information on how to relocate here. We are a team of immigration lawyers in Costa Rica, and we can offer the necessary support to help to establish yourself here.

What to consider when deciding on immigration to Costa Rica

Foreigners who want to relocate to Costa Rica will follow the same steps as when emigrating to any other country, namely, they need to get information on the types of visas and residency in order to enter, respectively live in this country, find suitable accommodation, and details on the employment and/or businesses legislation depending on the reasons they move here for. For all legal matters, however, our Costa Rican immigration lawyer can offer not only all the details but also the support you need for a pleasant experience.

Migration to Costa Rica is not difficult and obtaining a visa implies completing a few steps.

Types of visas available for people who emigrate to Costa Rica

There are several types of visas that enable people to enter or relocate to Costa Rica, and among these the most requested are:

  1. the tourist visa, which is available for short-term visits, however, not all foreigners need to apply for a visa to enter Costa Rica;
  2. the provisional visa, which is issued to students, teachers, researchers and professors;
  3. the temporary residence permit which can be obtained by those seeking to live in Costa Rica for longer periods of time;
  4. the permanent residence permit which can be obtained by those interested in moving here for indefinite time.

Our Costa Rican immigration experts can help you apply for residency here. When discussing long-term immigration, residency by investment is one of the most appreciated ways to move to this country.

If you decide on immigration to Costa Rica and need information, do not hesitate to rely on our specialized services. We are also at your disposal if you want to open a business in Costa Rica.

Categories of persons who can obtain residency in Costa Rica

People who have visited the country once have no hard time in deciding that they want to immigrate to Costa Rica in the long term or permanently.  For this purpose, they need to apply for residence permits.

In order to obtain a residence document, one must enter one of the following categories:

  • student, teacher, researcher or other academic endeavor which requires an acceptance letter, respectively job offer;
  • worker which requires a job offer or employment contract with a Costa Rican company;
  • retiree which requires a minimum pension of 1,000 USD per month;
  • annuitant which implies a minimum income of 2,500 USD per month for a minimum 2 years;
  • investor which implies an investment of 200,000 USD in a project approved by the Costa Rican government;
  • company representative which implies for the person moving to Costa Rica to be a director in a foreign company with an establishment in Costa Rica.

Our Costa Rican immigration attorney can advise foreign citizens who want to relocate here on the main types of residence permits they can acquire. All applications must be filed with the Immigration Office falling under the supervision of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Pre-immigration steps before moving to Costa Rica

Foreign citizens who want to emigrate to Costa Rica are first invited to get in touch with our immigration lawyer who can explain all the details. We can advise on the documents to prepare, on how to rent or buy a property here or even relocate here based on investment.

Also, if you need guidance in applying for citizenship or bringing family members through family reunification visas. All the questions you have can be answered in a timely manner by our Costa Rican immigration lawyer.

How many foreigners live in Costa Rica?

Costa Rica is one of the most appealing countries to immigrate to in Central America and the number of foreign citizens living here is quite significant. According to the Immigration Department:

  • there are 488,935 foreigners living here legally;
  • out of these, 58,363 enter the special immigrants category;
  • there are also 50,671 temporary residence permit holders;
  • 379,901 persons have already obtained permanent residency.

If you want to move here and need support, please contact our immigration lawyers in Costa Rica.