British citizens traveling to Costa Rica do not need to apply for a visa if they intend to stay here for a maximum of 90 days. In most cases, this time suffices for those who want to establish if immigration to Costa Rica from UK for an indefinite time is in their best interest. If they decide to settle here, the formalities for applying for residency must be started.
Below, our immigration specialists explain the conditions associated with emigrating to Costa Rica from UK. We are at your disposal with various services, including company registration in Costa Rica.
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Types of residence permits for British citizens in Costa Rica
UK citizens can visit Costa Rica without a visa and are allowed to remain up to 90 days. The procedure is slightly more difficult if you want to immigrate to Costa Rica full-time. The Immigration Department of Costa Rica is where you can apply for a resident or work visa. It is frequently advised that you get expert assistance with your application.
People who decide to immigrate to Costa Rica from the United Kingdom have two types of residence permits they can apply for:
- temporary ones;
- permanent residence.
Temporary residency can be easily obtained by students, employees, business people, investors, and retired persons. Each category of applicants needs to comply with specific requirements in terms of documents. Our immigration lawyers in Costa Rica can explain these conditions.
If a foreign national has lived in Costa Rica for a minimum period of 7 years, they are eligible to apply for citizenship under this category. However, a less known fact is that if during one’s permanent residency period he/she has left the country, the respective time will be added to the time required to gain citizenship in Costa Rica.
Moving to Costa Rica from UK based on temporary residency
In order to understand the conditions associated with immigration to Costa Rica as a British citizen, it is worth noting that a temporary residence permit is issued in accordance with one’s status. Residency cards are divided into:
- permits for retired people;
- permits for rentiers;
- permits for investors;
- permits for family members;
- permits for foreign employees.
The last category of temporary residence permits is issued for independent, dependent and professional workers. Similar cards are issued for sportsmen, scientists, technicians, journalists, and religious workers.
Should you decide on emigrating to Costa Rica from UK based on work reasons, our immigration lawyers in Costa Rica are at your service and will help you apply for residency in the shortest time.
When seeking to obtain a residence permit in Costa Rica through investment, the funds must be deposited in approved banks. The government guarantees for deposits in state-owned banks, and the majority of interest earned here is tax-free. We can help you find such a bank if you decide to move to Costa Rica.
There are various different visa categories accessible to expats who want to immigrate to Costa Rica, but new foreign nationals should be aware that not all of them include the option for a work permit. Only people with visas for permanent residence are eligible for work permits, though there may be occasional exceptions for seasonal or freelance work.
What to consider before relocating to Costa Rica from UK
The most useful tip our consultants can offer those who want to immigrate to Costa Rica from the UK or any other country is that they need to prepare the documents for the relocation prior to traveling. We mention this as it is possible to obtain a provisional visa that enables them to enter the country before their residence papers come.
All documents must be translated into Spanish and be legalized and apostilled before filing them with the Costa Rican authorities.
Another important aspect is that even if one does not need a visa to enter Costa Rica, such is the case of British citizens, they need to register with the Costa Rican embassy or consulate.
For more information on how to prepare to move to Costa Rica from the United Kingdom, you can ask our consultants who are at your disposal with updated information.
Obtaining a work permit for Costa Rica as a British citizen
While it is possible to immigrate to Costa Rica based on employment, the procedure itself can take time, as the process must be initiated by the employer. The Costa Rican company hiring a British citizen must present extensive documentation to the Ministry of Labor and Social Security. This is one of the main reasons most expats choose to move here as self-employed persons or by setting up companies.
If you decide to open a company in Costa Rica, you can rely on our company registration specialists for assistance in completing the formalities with the Trade Register. We can handle both document drafting and filing phases when starting a business here.
Obtaining permanent residency in Costa Rica
After moving to Costa Rica from UK and living here for a sufficient number of years can lead to permanent residency. The easiest way to obtain the status of a permanent resident is as a retired person or as an investor.
Permanent residency for these people is available after 3 years of living here. However, this status is conditioned by the following requisites:
- they must have a monthly income of at least 2,500 USD for a minimum period of 2 years;
- this means depositing 60,000 USD in a local bank account or by submitting a commitment letter (the last option is rarely used);
- as an investor, the minimum amount to invest is 200,000 USD.
Provided that the residency documents are extended for 7 years, British citizens become eligible for Costa Rican citizenship. Another good news is that this country also recognizes dual citizenship. The UK also allows having a second passport.
If you want to immigrate to Costa Rica from UK, you can rely on our specialists who can assist. Do not hesitate to contact us if you have questions or need support in finding the most suitable option for you. We are also at your service if you want to start a company in Costa Rica.