Welcome to our guide on obtaining permanent residency in Costa Rica and living the Pura Vida lifestyle. Costa Rica is a beautiful country located in Central America, renowned for its lush rainforests, sparkling beaches, and friendly locals. As permanent residents of Costa Rica, you can enjoy the benefits of living in a peaceful, stable, and eco-friendly country that values quality of life, nature, and sustainability. If you are considering making Costa Rica your permanent home, we’re here to guide you through the process.

Key Takeaways:

  • Costa Rica offers a permanent residency program that allows you to live, work, and study in the country indefinitely.
  • The Permanent Residency Program has specific requirements that you need to fulfill, such as proof of income, healthcare coverage, and criminal background checks.

Understanding the Costa Rica Permanent Residency Program

At CRIE, we understand that obtaining permanent residency in Costa Rica requires a thorough understanding of the country’s immigration laws and regulations. The Costa Rica, Permanent Residency Program, offers a path to becoming a permanent resident of the country, but it entails fulfilling certain requirements and following a designated process.

To qualify for permanent residency, you need to meet the following requirements:

Residency Category Requirement
Pensionado Have a guaranteed monthly income of at least $1,000 for life from a government or private pension.
Rentista Have a guaranteed monthly income of at least $2,500 for at least two years from a source outside of Costa Rica.
Inversionista Invest at least $150,000 in a Costa Rican business or property, or invest at least $100,000 in a government-approved reforestation project.
Casado con Costarricense Be married to a Costa Rican national and reside in the country for at least three years.


You will also need to provide a criminal background check, proof of healthcare coverage, and other documents as required by the Costa Rica immigration authorities.

The Costa Rica, Permanent Residency Program, has a processing time of roughly six to eight months, during which you will undergo medical and fingerprinting checks. Once approved, you will receive a “Cedula,” a Costa Rican national identification card.

At CRIE, we can guide you through the process of obtaining permanent residency in Costa Rica and help you understand the intricacies of the Costa Rica Permanent Residency Program. Our team of experts can assist you in fulfilling the residency requirements, preparing the necessary documents, and submitting your application for approval.

Our mission is to ensure that the process of obtaining permanent residency in Costa Rica is as smooth and hassle-free as possible, so you can focus on starting your new life in the beautiful country of Costa Rica.

Costa Rican Citizenship

Benefits of Costa Rica Permanent Residency

Obtaining permanent residency in Costa Rica offers numerous benefits that can enhance your quality of life. Below are some of the advantages of obtaining Costa Rican permanent residency:

Freedom to live, work, and study Permanent residency offers the freedom to live, work, and study in Costa Rica without limitations. This means that you can enjoy all that Costa Rica has to offer without worrying about the restrictions that come with a temporary visa.
Access to social security and healthcare services As a permanent resident, you are entitled to access social security and healthcare services, which provide comprehensive coverage for medical treatments, accidents, and emergencies.
Ability to open a bank account With permanent residency, you can open a bank account in Costa Rica, which makes it easier to manage your finances and conduct transactions.
No income tax on foreign income Permanent residents in Costa Rica are not required to pay income tax on foreign income. This tax exemption can provide significant savings compared to other countries.
Real estate investment opportunities Costa Rica offers a vibrant real estate market, and as a permanent resident, you can take advantage of investment opportunities and enjoy the benefits of owning property in a tropical paradise.


These are just a few of the benefits of permanent residency in Costa Rica. As a permanent resident, you can enjoy the Pura Vida lifestyle to the fullest and take advantage of all that Costa Rica has to offer.

Pura Vida lifestyle in Costa Rica

How to Get Permanent Residency in Costa Rica

Obtaining permanent residency in Costa Rica is a straightforward process that requires following certain steps and providing specific documents. Below we outline the general application process for permanent residency in Costa Rica.

Step 1: Determine Your Residency Category

Before beginning the application process, determine which residency category you fall into. There are various categories of residency in Costa Rica, including pensioner, investor, rentista, and more. Each category has specific criteria and requirements to be fulfilled, so assess which one is most appropriate for you.

Step 2: Collect Required Documents

Once you have determined your residency category, gather the corresponding documents required for the application process. These can include, but are not limited to:

  • Birth certificate (translated into Spanish)
  • Valid passport
  • Police clearance certificate (translated into Spanish)
  • Marriage certificate (if needed)
  • Proof of income or financial means
  • Health insurance coverage
  • Marriage certificate (if applicable, translated into Spanish)

Step 3: Submit Your Application

Once you have gathered all the required documents, you can submit your application for permanent residency. You can do this at the Costa Rican embassy or consulate in your home country or in person at the immigration office in San Jose, Costa Rica.

Step 4: Wait for Approval

After submitting your application, you will need to wait for approval. The processing time can vary but generally takes around six months. During this time, you may be required to complete further medical exams or provide additional documentation.

It’s important to note that the residency process can be complex, and any mistakes or missing documents can delay or even cancel your application. We recommend seeking the guidance of an experienced immigration attorney to ensure a smooth and successful application process.

Costa Rica permanent residency

Costa Rican Citizenship: The Path Beyond Permanent Residency

After obtaining permanent residency in Costa Rica, you may choose to pursue citizenship, granting you all the rights and privileges of a Costa Rican citizen. To apply for citizenship, you must have been a permanent resident for at least three years and pass a Spanish language test.

Additionally, you must provide proof of clean criminal records, have a source of income, and demonstrate a commitment to the values and culture of Costa Rica. If you are unable to meet these requirements, you may consider citizenship by investment, which requires a minimum investment of $150,000 in an approved Costa Rican business or real estate venture.

By obtaining Costa Rican citizenship, you will gain access to all the benefits of permanent residency, plus the ability to vote, hold public office, and obtain a Costa Rican passport. You will also have the option to change your name and relinquish your original citizenship, depending on your individual circumstances.

However, it’s important to note that some countries may not recognize dual citizenship, so be sure to research the laws and regulations of your home country before pursuing Costa Rican citizenship.

Overall, obtaining permanent residency in Costa Rica is a significant step towards a new beginning and a life that embraces the Pura Vida lifestyle. By understanding the residency requirements, the application process, and the path to citizenship, you can make informed decisions about your future in this beautiful and welcoming country.

Embracing the Pura Vida Lifestyle in Costa Rica

The Pura Vida lifestyle is one of the biggest draws for individuals seeking to obtain permanent residency in Costa Rica. It encompasses the laid-back and positive mindset, the connection to nature, the emphasis on well-being, and the strong sense of community that defines Costa Rica.

Living in Costa Rica means immersing yourself in an environment that promotes balance and well-being. You can spend your days exploring the lush rainforests, surfing the legendary waves, practicing yoga on the beach, or simply relaxing in your hammock. The options are endless.

The locals, known as Ticos, embody the Pura Vida lifestyle, and it’s contagious. They welcome newcomers with open arms and a genuine interest in getting to know them. The sense of community is palpable, and you’ll quickly discover that making friends in Costa Rica is easy.

Additionally, the Pura Vida lifestyle places a strong emphasis on sustainability and environmental conservation. Costa Rica is a global leader in eco-tourism, and residents take pride in preserving the natural beauty of the country.

By embracing the Pura Vida lifestyle, you’ll be joining a community of like-minded individuals who prioritize living a balanced and fulfilling life. Whether you’re looking to retire or start a new chapter in your life, Costa Rica offers the perfect backdrop for your next adventure.


At CRIE, we understand the allure of the Pura Vida lifestyle and the benefits of obtaining permanent residency in Costa Rica. We hope this guide has provided valuable insight into the residency requirements, process, and benefits, as well as the path to citizenship. We encourage you to reach out to us to discuss your specific case needs and embark on your journey toward Costa Rican permanent residency.

– Article by Glenn Tellier (Founder of CRIE and Grupo Gap).

[email protected]


Gap Equity Loans banner



Frequently Asked Questions


What are the benefits of obtaining permanent residency in Costa Rica?

Permanent residency in Costa Rica provides the freedom to live, work, and study in the country without limitations. It also grants access to social security and healthcare services, the ability to open a bank account, and more.

What are the requirements for Costa Rica permanent residency?

The residency requirements include proof of income, healthcare coverage, and a clean criminal background check. These are just a few of the necessary documents and criteria that must be fulfilled.

What is the process to obtain permanent residency in Costa Rica?

The process involves submitting an application, providing the required documents, and waiting for the approval from the immigration authorities. Our step-by-step guide offers valuable tips to navigate the process smoothly.

Can I obtain Costa Rican citizenship after obtaining permanent residency?

Yes, you can pursue Costa Rican citizenship after obtaining permanent residency. We will explore the requirements, benefits, and options such as citizenship by investment in our section dedicated to Costa Rican citizenship.

What is the Pura Vida lifestyle in Costa Rica?

The Pura Vida lifestyle is characterized by a laid-back and positive mindset, a strong connection to nature, an emphasis on well-being, and a vibrant sense of community. It is a way of life that can greatly enrich your experience as a permanent resident in Costa Rica.



Want to invest? – Click HERE.
Looking for Real Estate? – Click HERE.
Looking for a Relocate Tour – Click HERE.
Need Residency status in Costa Rica? – Click HERE.

Add Your Comment

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