Updated on October 6, 2016
Gaining Residency in Costa Rica by Buying a House, Condo or Lot?
Sorry, you won’t be granted the Costa Rican resident status along with your property title deed. However, if you get your piece of this paradise by investing at least $200,000 in real estate, you can start calling Costa Rica home by applying for and eventually gaining residency in the country.
This is possible due to changes in the Costa Rican Migration law which, for the last five years, has allowed new homeowners to gain residency in the country. Under this law, real estate investors wishing to relocate to Costa Rica can file their residency application under the “inversionista” (investor) status. This would involve the purchase of a “registered asset” in Costa Rica such as a lot, a condominium or a home, and the real estate asset has to be worth a minimum of $200,000.
As with any other category of residency, the applicant will need to file a formal request for temporary residency. The application should include supporting official documents, such as registry or notarized certifications, true copies of purchase agreements or conveyance deeds, share ownership certifications, tax returns, municipal certification of property value and in general all documents which can provide evidence that the investment has been made by the applicant from his own resources and add up to the minimum investment amount. In the case of real estate owners, this is easy to show by attaching the purchase deed and a registry certificate showing who the newly titled owner is. You must of course meet basic conditions to apply for residency in Costa Rica (such as a clean criminal record).
Additionally, in order to open an application residency file, the migration authorities will require series of official documents, most of which must be obtained in one’s home country. Among the commonly requested documents are a birth certificate, a valid passport, a valid tourist visa, a criminal record provided by the place where the person last lived, and if applicable a marriage certificate. All these documents must be issued by the proper authority in the place of origin, and these must then be “legalized” and translated into Spanish.
The real estate investment will not only support the homeowner’s own application, but would also cover his or her immediate family members, who will be living together as a household. While residency will be granted to the “main” applicant, the rest of the family can apply for the residency as “dependents” of the investor (each on a separate file). Resolution to their application will be on hold until the application of the original investor is resolved.
The inversionista residency status is not the only way to gain residency in Costa Rica, but it definitely opens a door into the country. If you are considering buying property in Costa Rica and can invest $200,000, you will definitely be eligible for residency and start enjoying your new life in this stunning country.