Today anyone can become a legal resident of Costa Rica with the help of several major immigration programs:

for retirees;
for the rentier;
for investors;
for the spouses.

When thinking about changing your place of residence and choosing a country where you can immigrate, you should definitely pay attention to Costa Rica. And do not just look through travel catalogs, but consider it as one of the main options. For many years, the small country, which is washed by the Pacific and Atlantic oceans, has been called “the Switzerland of Central America”.This is due to its political stability, well-groomed environment, and high living standards. It seems like a peaceful oasis since Costa Ricans are one of the happiest people in the world.

People come to this hospitable country to spend their holidays and stay forever because they fall in love with the virgin nature and identity of this state. And the conditions created by the government for work and business make it possible to find here a second home for specialists in any field of activity. The desire to stay in Costa Rica is also gaining popularity because there are no complicated bureaucratic obstacles for foreigners, and the collection of documents is transparent and understandable. Let’s take a closer look at four ways to become a legal resident of Costa Rica so that you can see for yourself!

Costa Rican Residency for Retirees

The program is suitable for young and active retirees who are not afraid of changes in their lives and have retained a desire for new things. But the most important requirement is financial security. A foreigner who wants to stay in Costa Rica to live here for permanent residence cannot work. Therefore, the accumulated funds should be enough for the entire period of stay in the country; in addition, there must be confirmation of such content until the end of the life of a foreigner. Pension payments are considered the primary income, such as state and non-state pension funds, own savings, and the like.

Features of the program for retirees:

  • The minimum amount required is $1,000 USD per month or $12,000 USD per month per year. This requirement applies to both one person and a married couple. That is, confirmation of income is not required from each spouse but only from one of them.
  • When a temporary residence permit under a pension program is received, a foreigner must stay in the country for 4 months annually, but there is no need to do this continuously. It can be either a trip to Costa Rica once a season for one month or living here in the most favorable months of the year.
  • A special document for obtaining a residence permit will be a certificate confirming the receipt of a lifelong pension, which will be transferred to the candidate on a monthly basis in an amount not less than the established ones.
Costa Rican Residency for Investors

You can stay forever and live in Costa Rica by buying a home. However, its cost must exceed $200,000 USD. Such support of the local economy is appreciated by the authorities and is quite helpful for the issuance of a residence permit.
In addition to real estate, you can also invest in business projects. In this case, the minimum amount is the same. If the obligations of the contract provide for long-term commitments, then it will be necessary to provide documents that confirm the availability of the entire required amount in the investor’s accounts.
As in the case of the pension program, the immigration program for this category of citizens provides compulsory residence in the country for at least 6 months within one year. This term can be sequential or fractional- it does not matter. It will be possible to obtain Costa Rican residency after 3 years of permanent residence in the country.

Special documents for obtaining a residence permit for investors will be:

  • A related project for an amount exceeding $200,000 USD. It should describe in detail what the benefits for the state are, as well as a phased plan for its implementation.
  • A certificate from a Costa Rican accountant, where the investor’s current solvency will be indicated, as well as the financial plans of the investment project.
  • Proof of possession of the required amount to complete the started project.
Costa Rican Residency for Rentiers

This type of residence permit is for those who may or may not live in Costa Rica. The first and foremost requirement from the Costa Rican Migration Service is adequate material support. By asking for proof of solvency, the state protects itself from having to, after a few months, spend its time and money on helping such a foreigner with deportation to their homeland.

Features of the program for rentiers:

  • A residence permit is issued to one person or a married couple, including those with children. At the same time, only one family member can provide documents confirming income, but the amount in each case will be different.
  • For one resident, $1000 USD per month is enough for a period of five years. Alternatively, it is allowed to have an account of more than $60,000 USD.
  • Each month, a Costa Rican bank account must receive at least $1000 USD, which the foreigner will exchange for local money at the official exchange rate.
  • If this is not one person but a married couple, then the amount increases to $2,000 USD. If there are minor children, $500 USD per month is pledged for each child.

If these requirements are met, they can obtain a residence permit. It obliges foreigners to live in Costa Rica for at least 4 months a year. After three years of being in the country as a temporary resident, you can apply and try to obtain Costa Rican citizenship. Certified papers that confirm a constant income of the required level for five years or a bank statement containing the required amount will become special documents for obtaining a residence permit for a rentier.

Costa Rican Residency for Spouses

By marrying a Costa Rican citizen, a foreign spouse can obtain a residence permit; this is one of the easiest and most affordable ways to become a legal citizen of the country.

Features of this residence permit:

  • After the wedding, it is necessary to send the marriage data to the Costa Rican State Register. Only on the basis of this data, will a foreigner be granted temporary resident status and a residence permit. Such immigrants are officially allowed to work.
  • Compared to all other immigration programs, marriage has less stringent rules. For example, a stay in Costa Rica does not need 4 or 6 months a year, but only one day. And after three years of living with a spouse, get a permanent residence.
  • A special document for obtaining a residence permit for a spouse will be obtained from the state register confirming the official marriage.

We have presented to your attention effective ways of obtaining official documents that will help you live and stay in Costa Rica. If you decide to use one of the methods, then do not forget about your further accommodation. YoKo Village provides luxury homes with stunning views in one of Costa Rica’s most breathtaking yet obscure towns, Santa Teresa. Comfortable conditions and an unforgettable atmosphere suitable for both work and residence will help you live in Costa Rica with pleasure!



What is the best area in Costa Rica to stay?

One of the best areas in Costa Rica to stay in is Santa Teresa. The bright sun and shimmering sands provide the perfect backdrop for surfing in crystal-clear waters. Fishing, snorkeling, and kiting are popular outdoor activities with vacationers.

What are the benefits of living in Costa Rica?

Costa Rica is amazing for its culture, beautiful views, and low cost of living. Costa Rica remains at the top of the list of the best countries for the comfortable life of retirees.
Is Costa Rica expensive to live in?
It really depends on the location. One thing is clear, you will not find better value for your money than at Yoko Village.

Can I just move to Costa Rica?

Staying in Costa Rica long-term requires you to become a permanent resident or citizen.