Living in Costa Rica: Your Guide to Obtaining Residency, Citizenship, and Tax Incentives in 2023

Living in Costa Rica is a dream for many people. With its beautiful beaches, lush rainforests, and laid-back lifestyle, it’s easy to see why. However, if you’re considering moving to Costa Rica, there are some essential things you need to know about obtaining residency. In this article, we’ll discuss the various types of residency available, the benefits of each, and what you need to do to apply. We’ll also introduce you to Glenn, who has lived in Costa Rica for over 22 years and can help guide you through the process. So whether you’re a retiree, a digital nomad, or just looking for a change of scenery, read on to learn how to make Costa Rica your new home.




Types of Residency in Costa Rica

There are several types of residency in Costa Rica, including the Pensionado, Rentista, and Investor categories. Pensionado requires using your social security check to guarantee monthly income, while Rentista requires a guarantee of $2,500 each month. The Investor category requires investing $150,000 into Costa Rica, typically in real estate. Additionally, there is a “small business” category, among others. It’s essential to consult CRIE to ensure you have the correct information and guidance when obtaining residency.


Digital Nomad Category

Costa Rica has recently introduced a new residency category for digital nomads. This category is for people who work remotely and can do so from anywhere in the world. The Digital Nomad category permits persons to stay in Costa Rica for up to a year and offers various perks, including the option to work for firms outside of Costa Rica, as well as the pros and downsides of doing so.


Tax Incentives

Costa Rica offers several tax incentives to residents, including exemptions on income tax, import duties, and taxes on assets located outside of Costa Rica. These incentives make it an attractive option for retirees and investors alike.



If you’re looking to become a citizen of Costa Rica, you must first be a legal resident for at least three years. Additionally, you must pass a Spanish language test and a test on Costa Rican history and culture.


Why Choose Costa Rica?

Glenn has lived in Costa Rica for 22 years and believes it’s a great place. He highlights several advantages, including the natural beauty of the country, the friendly locals, and the low cost of living. However, he also mentions some disadvantages, such as the bureaucracy in obtaining residency and the difficulty of getting certain items not produced locally.



Costa Rica offers several options for residency, including the new Digital Nomad category. Tax incentives and the ability to become a citizen after three years of legal residency make it an attractive option. With the help of an immigration lawyer and Travel Costa Rica NOW, you can obtain residency and start living your dream in paradise.

-Written by Glenn Tellier (Founder of CRIE and Grupo Gap).

[email protected]


Frequently Asked Questions

What is residency in Costa Rica?

Residency in Costa Rica is a legal status that allows foreign nationals to live and work without needing a tourist visa.

Why do I need residency in Costa Rica?

If you plan on living in Costa Rica for an extended period (more than 90 days), you will need to obtain residency to avoid having to leave the country every 90 days and renew your tourist visa.

What are the main types of residency available in Costa Rica?

The main types of residency available in Costa Rica are pensionado, rentista, and investor. There is also a new Digital Nomad category that was introduced in 2021.

How do I apply for residency in Costa Rica?

To apply for residency in Costa Rica, you must work with an immigration lawyer or other qualified expert to prepare and submit your application. The specific requirements will depend on the type of residency you are applying for.

What are the benefits of obtaining residency in Costa Rica?

Some benefits of obtaining residency in Costa Rica include the ability to work legally, access to the country’s social security and healthcare systems, and the ability to own property.

How long does it take to obtain residency in Costa Rica?

The time it takes to obtain residency in Costa Rica varies depending on the type of residency you are applying for and other factors. Generally, it can take a few months to a year or more.

How much does it cost to obtain residency in Costa Rica?

The cost of obtaining residency in Costa Rica depends on the type of residency you are applying for, as well as other factors such as legal fees and the cost of living. Generally, it can cost several thousand dollars or more.

Can I travel outside Costa Rica while my residency application is being processed?

You can travel outside Costa Rica while your residency application is being processed. However, please ensure you have the appropriate documentation to re-enter the country when you return.


Fill out the form below to determine your residency category. Or click here!

  • First Step
  • Final Step

Select all options that apply to you

Pensionado (Pension/Disability) Category

Rentista (Fixed Income) Category

Inversionista (Investor) Category

Family ties with a Costa Rican Resident/Citizen Category

My residency company let me down

I am not sure.

Personal Information


Looking for a Loan? – Click HERE.
Looking for Real Estate? – Click HERE.
Looking for Profitable Investments? – Click HERE.


Add Your Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.