Residency for Investors in Costa Rica: A Guide for Inversionistas


Residency in Costa Rica for Investors: A Comprehensive Guide for Housebuyers, Business Starters, and Other Types of Investors

Who is the Residency for Investors in Costa Rica for?

Costa Rica is not only an ideal destination for living abroad but also a great place for investment and with that for you to receive the Residency for Investors in Costa Rica. The country has established itself as one of the most attractive Latin American countries for Foreign Direct Investment, offering a wide range of investment opportunities. Whether it’s manufacturing, transportation, hospitality (hotels, B&Bs, bars, restaurants), tourism, real estate, amongst others, Costa Rica provides ample options for investors looking to establish themselves in the country.

If you (or your spouse) are willing to invest $150,000 USD in a business or property in Costa Rica, you may qualify for the Residency for Investor (Inversionista) category. To apply, you will need to provide proof to the Costa Rican Immigration authorities that you have made a minimum investment of $150,000 USD in a property or business that is listed in the Government Registry. You can click HERE to explore qualifying properties for sale.

Requirements for Investor Residency

To obtain Residency for Investors in Costa Rica, you must meet the following requirements:

Investment: Make an investment of at least $150,000 USD in a business or property. It is essential to choose a reliable Real Estate Agent to assist you with this process. For more information, click HERE.

Residency Presence: Stay in Costa Rica for at least one day per year.

Employment Restriction: You cannot work as an employee while holding Investor Residency.

Note: The Costa Rican government is currently finalizing details of new regulations (Bill of Law N. 22156) for this residency category. These regulations may include tax exemptions for containers of household items on first import and two personal vehicles. We will keep you informed as soon as the government passes this legislation. Please keep an eye out on our blog or search the blog for more news on this matter. We constantly keep publishing information on this topic.

Why should you get residency?

Obtaining residency in Costa Rica under the Inversionista (Investor) category can provide you with numerous benefits and should be the path for everyone wanting to stay in the country for a longer period of time. To learn more about the advantages of residency in Costa Rica, click HERE. Additionally, Costa Rica is known for offering excellent healthcare services. If you’re interested in accessing top-notch hospital care in Costa Rica, click HERE

Things to keep in mind when considering the Investor Residency

Understanding the specifications of the Investor Residency is crucial. Here are the key points to consider:

To obtain residency through the purchase of a house or other building, the property must be titled in your own name.

Temporary Residency: The Investor Residency is initially valid for two years and can be renewed.

Permanent Residency: After holding Investor Residency for three years, you can apply for permanent residency without any additional conditions.

Dependents: You can include your spouse and dependents who are 24 years of age or younger in your residency application.

Business Ownership: As an Investor resident, you can own a company in Costa Rica and receive dividends.

Documents Required

When applying for Investor Residency, you will need to gather several documents. The required documents include:

  • Proof of Investment: Documentation that meets the specifications provided by Costa Rican Immigration authorities.
  • Criminal Background Check: A certificate verifying your clean criminal record.
  • Birth Certificate: A certified copy of your birth certificate.
  • Marriage Certificate (if applicable): A certified copy of your marriage certificate, required if you plan to bring your spouse.
  • Application Form and Cover Letter: These forms will be completed on your behalf by the designated authorities.
  • Fingerprints: Fingerprinting may be required, and assistance can be provided.
  • Consular Registration: Assistance will be provided in completing the consular registration process.
  • Eight passport-size photographs: Recent passport-sized photographs.

We can assist in obtaining most of these and help fill out the required forms. Please note that all documents should be apostilled in your country of origin. In case your home country is not part of the Apostille Convention, the documents should be authenticated or legalized at the Costa Rican Embassy in your home country.

Do I Have to Leave Every 180 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 while your residency application is being processed, eliminating the need to leave the country every 180 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 180 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.

Fees & Expenses


$1850 (primary applicant),   

$1150 (dependents)


*– 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 the immigration assistance provider, there are other associated expenses when applying for Investor Residency. The service fees for CRIE are as follows: $1,850 for the primary applicant and $1,150 for a dependent. However, it is crucial to understand that these prices do not include government fees or other expenses related to the residency application.

Additional expenses may include translations into Spanish, immigration appointments, local fingerprints appointments, ID card (DIMEX), guarantee deposit (refundable), and Caja registration. For a detailed breakdown of these costs, please click HERE. It is important to note that taxes are not included in the given prices, and all prices are subject to change without prior notice.

Timeframes for Document Submission

If you encounter difficulties obtaining the required documents within the 180-day period after opening your application case file, CRIE can assist you. They can request a one-time extension of time to submit the documents on your behalf. Prompt payment for the extension is crucial to avoid the risk of having your case file thrown out by Immigration (DGME). Each time extension request costs $100 USD.


Investor Residency in Costa Rica offers a promising opportunity for individuals seeking to invest in the country and establish their residence. By meeting the specified requirements, investing in a property or business, and following the application process, investors can obtain temporary residency that can later be converted to permanent residency. To begin your Investor Residency application or learn more application or to learn more, please reach out to us or feel free to conclude our quick 30 second assessment. Somebody from Costa Rica Immigration Experts will be in touch with your shortly.

To get your Residency in CR, click HERE.
Need a loan? – Click HERE.
Want to invest? – Click HERE.
Looking for Real Estate? – Click HERE.
Ready for a Relocation Tour? – Click HERE.