Becoming a Legal Resident in Costa Rica

If you are thinking about living the good life in Costa Rica or even if you just want to travel there regularly, you are going to want to become a legal resident. This is vital if you want to be able to do any kind of business in the country, even just renting a cell phone. There are two fairly simple ways to do that and they are the pensionado and rentista programs.

For the pensionado residency, you need to have proof that you receive at least $600.00 or more per month from a guaranteed pension, Social Security or retirement account. Then you simply convert at least $600.00 a month from dollars to colones. You should also live in Costa Rica 4 out of 12 months each year.

For rentista, you should have financial investments that will bring in at least $1,000 each month for 60 months and again convert that money from dollars to colones. You should also live in Costa Rica at least 4 months of the year.

Either of these plans gives you important rights in Costa Rica. Another option that is very popular with those who want to be able to buy real estate is to form a corporation. A corporation has many rights and enables you to do even more than just your residency would.

Another option if you have a large sum to invest, $50,000 or more in projects that benefit the country of Costa Rica, is to get investor status. Special projects would include tourism, exports or reforestation. This shows the country that you are truly interested in being a part of it and that you have a vested interest in the welfare of Costa Rica. Within 2 years you can earn permanent resident status. Being a resident gives you more access than just being a tourist and helps you feel like you “belong” here. And who wouldn’t want that?