Get Residence In Costa Rica

If you are planning to move and buy real estate in Costa Rica, you should apply for residency.

Many expats who live and buy real estate in Costa Rica never attempt to get residency and become “permanent tourists.” Without residency these permanent tourists must leave the country every 90 days so they keep their legal status which can be expensive and difficult.

Costa Rican immigration agents may deny reentry to anyone entering and leaving the country repeatedly and in the worst case you can be banned from returning to the country for a period of ten years.

Types Of Residency In Costa Rica

There are four types of residency available to people looking to re-locate to Costa Rica.

Pensionado or Pensioner

People who are retired and looking to relocate to Costa Rica usually choose this options. You need to prove at least $600 a month in income to qualify for this residence category and to spend at least four months (non-contiguous) of the year in the country.

Rentista or Small Investor

This category is for people who are not of retirement age but have investments that bring in a regular income. You need to prove a monthly income of at least $1000 a month.

Inversionista or Large Investor

If you invest at least $50000 in a sector of the economy the Costa Rican Government deems a priority you can be eligible for this temporary resident status. Officials have declared as priority businesses related to tourism, forestry, and low-income housing.

To keep this temporary type of residency you must stay at least six months (non-contiguous) of the year in Costa Rica

Permanent Residency

Each of the above types of residency are temporary.  After two years, anyone with the above types of residency are eligible to apply for permanent residency.  If you are granted permanent residency you have all rights of a Costa Rican citizen except for voting.

For more information on the types of residency and their requirements, check out and

How To Get Help With Getting Residency In Costa Rica


The smartest and safest way for you to get residency is to use an experienced residency lawyer.

There are several companies that can assist you with obtaining Costa Rican residency.

Residency and Real Estate In Costa Rica

Regardless of which residency option you choose you will most likely need to find real estate or living options.

Casa Canada Group provides help with residency and also with investments

Costa Rica Real Estate Agent Eric Jimenz can help you find the right property for your residency.