Residency Requierments in Costa Rica

Costa Rica awaits you,

Congratulations! on your decision to relocate to Costa Rica as a Pensionado, Rentista, Inversionista or Vínculo legal resident. 

Regardless of the reason you are going to Costa Rica– be it retirement, business, investment or family, at Residency in Costa Rica our goal is to make your transition as easy, worry-free and efficient as possible.

Since 2002, Residency in Costa Rica has been successful in processing hundreds of residency applications for rentista, pensionado, vínculo and inversionista applicants from countries as diverse as the Unites States, Canada, France, England, Thailand, Poland, Norway, Denmark, Germany, Russia, Honduras, Nicaragua, Peru, Australia, Philippines and others.

Working in close partnership with our clients, we are able to determine the best residency program for our clients and jointly prepare and develop a plan of action as to how the application for residency will be handled.


New Immigration Law effective March 1, 2010


Approved in August 2009 by the Asamblea Nacional, a new Costa Rican Immigration Law took effect as of March 1, 2010.

The new law, formally known as Law 8764, Ley General de Migración y Extranjería, made extensive and important changes to the requirements to apply for legal residency. Please see our “Residency Categories” and “News & Updates” sections for more detailed information on the new residency application requirements.


Highlights of new residency requirements

The new income requirements apply to applications filed starting on March 1, 2010.

Pensionado - Income:
The new monthly pension income requirement is US$1,000. One pension allows both husband and wife to apply for residency

Rentista - Income:
The new Rentista monthly income requirement is US$2,500. The exact same amount of US$2,500 applies to all applicants, whether or not the applicant is single, or married, or married with children.

Inversionista – Investment Amount
The investment made must have a registered or verifiable value of at least US$200,000 (Two Hundred Thousand dollars).

The investment of a lesser amount in tourism is no longer available.

Mandatory Membership in “La Caja”
The new law made it mandatory for all applicants to become members in Costa Rica’s medical system, La Caja Costarricense del Seguro Social, known simply as “La Caja.” The applicant must show proof of membership in La Caja at the time the residency identification card is issued.

Location where applications can be filed
Applications can now be filed abroad, in the applicant’s country of origin, or directly at Migración y Extranjería in San Jose, Costa Rica.

Residency applications under the Vínculo Program can only be filed in Costa Rica.

Applications for Vínculo Status by Spouses of a Costa Rican citizen
The application of the spouse of a Costa Rican citizen, filed under the Vínculo Program, will no longer be granted as a permanent resident if the marriage took place less than 2 years from the application date. Under the new law, spouses are granted temporary residencies for the first three years. At the end of the third year the spouse can apply for permanent residency.

Higher fees
The new law codifies the increase of the fees charged by Migración for the filing of the application, the review of the application, to file for change in status from temporary to permanent residency, and for many other services.

The Immigration law now in effect brought substantial changes to the application process and increased the complexity and time-consuming paperwork requirements built into the process. Working together as a team, Residency in Costa Rica helps you navigate the complex application process step by step