Permanent Residency in Costa Rica: A Path to Long-Term Stay


Long-Term Stay in Costa Rica: Navigating the Path to Permanent Residency

Who is the permanent residency for?

If you have been a Temporary Resident in Costa Rica for the past three years, you may be eligible to apply for Permanent Residency. Permanent residency offers numerous benefits compared to temporary residency, providing you with most of the rights of a citizen (excluding voting) and allowing you to work legally in Costa Rica.

It is also possible to obtain permanent residency directly without first obtaining temporary status. In such cases, you must have a first-degree blood family member in Costa Rica (parent, child, or sibling) to qualify for “Residencia Permanente Por Vinculo.”

Why choose the Permanent Residency– What are the Benefits?

With permanent residency, you no longer need to leave the country every three months to renew your visa, and you are eligible to work as an employee. Additionally, tasks like opening a bank account and obtaining a Costa Rican driver’s license become much easier.

Three Years as a Temporary Resident: You may apply for permanent residency after being a temporary resident in Costa Rica for three years.

Employment Opportunities: With permanent residency, you have the freedom to work as an employee or as an independent worker.

Business Ownership: Permanent residents can own a company in Costa Rica and receive dividends.

Requirements for Permanent Residency in Costa Rica, like Documents etc.

To obtain permanent residency in Costa Rica, you need to meet the following specifications and when applying for permanent residency, you will need to provide the following document:

  • Police Record: If you have spent one year or more outside of Costa Rica, you must provide a police record. This document should be apostilled in your country of origin. If your home country is not part of the Apostille Convention, the document should be authenticated or legalized at the Embassy of Costa Rica in your country of origin.

Do I Have to Leave Every 90 Days Once I Start My Residency?

No, once you have initiated the residency process in Costa Rica, you will receive a certificate called the “Hoja trámite” from immigration, commonly referred to as “the golden ticket.” This certificate allows you to stay in Costa Rica legally while your residency application is being processed, eliminating the need to leave the country every 90 days.

However, it’s important to note that if you plan to drive in Costa Rica, you will still need to leave the country every 90 days to get your passport stamped to drive legally in Costa Rica. This requirement is in place because your license is only valid as long as your visa is valid. Therefore, even though you can remain in Costa Rica during the residency process, you will still need to periodically exit the country to ensure the continued validity of your driver’s license. The institution that handles driving related issues is not related to the government department of immigration.

Often times people already have a temporary residency prior to applying for a permanent one. In this case most likely the driver’s license already had been homologized and there is no need to take further action in that regard, nor is it necessary to leave the country every 90 days.

Fees & Expenses


$1350 (primary applicant),   

$850 (spouse),   

$650 (child)


*– Prices are for CRIE service. The Government fees and other expenses associated with your residency are not included.

In addition to the service fees charged by CRIE, there are government fees and additional expenses associated with the permanent residency process. The service fees for CRIE are as follows: $1350 for the primary applicant, $850 for the spouse, and $650 for each child. However, please note that these prices do not include government fees and other expenses related to your residency.

Apart from our service fees, it is important to consider the government fees and additional expenses, including translations into Spanish, immigration appointments, local fingerprints appointments, ID card issuance (DIMEX), a refundable guarantee deposit, and Caja registration. For detailed information on these fees and expenses, please refer to our website.

Timeframe and possible Extension for Document Submission

Once your application case file is opened, you have 90 days to submit all the required documents to the Immigration Department (DGME). If you encounter difficulties obtaining the necessary documents within this timeframe, CRIE can request a one-time extension at an additional cost of $100 USD per extension.

Please be aware that prompt payment for any time extension requests is crucial. Failure to pay promptly may result in your case file being discarded by the Immigration Department (DGME).

For further details on the fees, expenses, and processes involved in obtaining permanent residency in Costa Rica, we recommend referring to our comprehensive e-book. The e-book covers all the necessary information and can be accessed on our website.

Please note that taxes are not included in the price, and all prices are subject to change without prior notice.


In conclusion, obtaining permanent residency in Costa Rica provides a long-term solution for individuals who have been temporary residents for the past three years. With the advantages of permanent residency, such as increased rights, the ability to work legally, and simplified bureaucratic procedures, you can enjoy a more stable and fulfilling life in Costa Rica. By fulfilling the requirements and submitting the necessary documents, you can embark on the journey to securing permanent residency in this beautiful country.

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