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Gaining Legal Residency in Costa Rica: Why It’s Worth the Effort

Article Summary:

Are you thinking about becoming a “perpetual tourist” in Costa Rica? Think again, here are a few good reasons why you should make the effort to become a legal resident.

Photo Credit: Costa Rica Times

Original Article Text From Costa Rica Times:

How to Become a Legal Resident of Costa Rica

The Costa Rica News (TCRN) – A lot has been said about the residency application process; however, the real implications of this procedure become clear only after many years of going through different stages. Immigration attorneys in particular have a clear understanding of this procedure. Thus, the following information is stated from a legal perspective.

Normally, the potential expat or “perpetual tourist” will start the process by surfing the web in search of requirements and the lowest legal fees. Today immigration laws are supported by clear rules that explain these requirements and how to fill them.

At least three categories have been outlined for eligibility:

Pensionado: The applicant can demonstrate that he or she receives a minimum monthly lifetime pension of at least US$1000.00 from a government agency. The benefit is extended to the spouse.

Rentista: The applicant does not receive a pension but demonstrates to get a steady monthly income of at least US$2500.00 from a recognized source. The benefit is extended to the spouse and minor children. Normally the applicant opens a Certificate of Deposit for 2 years at a local recognized bank for US$60,000.00 from which he or she pulls out the US$2500.00 a month.

Inversionista: The applicant has a minimum investment on a local asset like stock or real estate.

If the potential expat fits in one of the previous three categories, his / her eligibility as a Costa Rican resident is only a matter of time. Other requirements include Birth Certificates, Police Records, and Marriage Licenses. In addition, all foreign documents require a specific legalization process and official transcripts in Spanish.

Processing time may vary significantly from an applicant to another. However, it is safe to say that the process ranges from 3 to 12 months if all documents have been supplied. Also, the residency applicant can remain in the country while waiting for approval of the application and does not need to leave the country every time his tourist visa expires.

Finally, each candidate must analyze his individual situation and seek qualified advice to determine how to become a Costa Rican resident in this peaceful country.

Link to Original Article:

Costa Rica Times

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