Residency from Pension or Disability in Costa Rica: Your Path to Paradise


Welcome to CRIE (Costa Rica Immigration Experts), your gateway to an extraordinary retirement experience in the enchanting land of Costa Rica. Costa Rica should be on your list if you’re considering a retirement destination with natural beauty, a warm climate, and a welcoming community. This comprehensive guide will walk you through obtaining residency from a pension in Costa Rica, highlighting the essential requirements, benefits, and exceptional lifestyle that awaits you in this tropical paradise.



Why Choose Costa Rica for Retirement?

Costa Rica has emerged as a dream destination for retirees seeking an idyllic retirement lifestyle. Here are some compelling reasons why you should consider making Costa Rica your retirement haven:

Natural Beauty and Biodiversity

Costa Rica is renowned for its breathtaking natural beauty and extraordinary biodiversity. From pristine beaches and lush rainforests to stunning volcanoes and captivating wildlife, this Central American gem offers diverse ecosystems to explore and enjoy. Imagine waking up to the soothing sounds of exotic birds and immersing yourself in the vibrant colors of tropical flora and fauna. Costa Rica truly is a nature lover’s paradise.

Pura Vida Lifestyle

Costa Rica is famous for its “Pura Vida” lifestyle, which translates to “pure life” or “simple life.” It embodies the country’s laid-back, friendly, and optimistic approach to life. The locals, known as “Ticos” and “Ticas,” embrace a slower pace, prioritize family and community, and prioritize their overall well-being. With a strong emphasis on work-life balance, you’ll have ample opportunities to relax, rejuvenate, and savor every moment of your retirement in this tranquil haven.

Excellent Healthcare System

One of the essential factors to consider when planning for retirement is access to quality healthcare. Costa Rica boasts an excellent healthcare system, renowned for its high standards and affordable costs. The country takes pride in its universal healthcare system, “Caja Costarricense de Seguro Social” (CCSS), which provides comprehensive coverage to residents and citizens. Rest assured, your health and well-being will be in good hands in Costa Rica.



Retiree Residency Program: Your Pathway to Paradise

Now that you’ve set your sights on Costa Rica as your ideal retirement destination let’s explore the retiree residency program that will grant you the opportunity to call this tropical paradise your home.

Pensionado Residency Program

Costa Rica offers the Pensionado Residency Program, specifically designed for retirees who wish to relocate to the country. This program provides a straightforward and streamlined process to obtain residency, allowing you to enjoy all the benefits and privileges of it. To qualify for the Pensionado Residency Program, you need to meet the following requirements:


• Proof of $1000 USD per month income from a permanent pension source such as from a disability or retirement fund;
• Must be in Costa Rica at least 1 day per year;
• Cannot work as an employee.


• Temporary Residency – valid for 2 years, renewable;
• Can apply for permanent residency without conditions after 3 years;
• Able to claim spouse and dependents 24 years of age and under;
• You can own a company and receive dividends.


1. Proof of Pension;
2. Criminal Background Check;
3. Birth Certificate;
4. Marriage Certificate (if applicable);
5. Application Form and Cover Letter (we will complete this for you);
6. Fingerprints (we can assist you with this);
7. Consular Registration (we will do it for you );
8. Eight passport-size photographs.

* – All the documents should be apostilled in your country of origin (if your home country is not part of the Apostille Convention, the documents should be authenticated or legalized in the Embassy of Costa Rica in your country of origin).



The Benefits of Retiree Residency

Retiree residency in Costa Rica offers many benefits, making it an attractive choice for retirees seeking an exceptional quality of life. Here are some of the key advantages:

Stable and Peaceful Environment:

Costa Rica is renowned for its stable political climate and commitment to democracy. The country abolished its military in 1948 and has since focused on fostering a peaceful and safe society. As a retiree, you can enjoy the tranquility and security that Costa Rica offers.

Natural Beauty and Biodiversity:

Costa Rica has breathtaking natural landscapes, from pristine beaches to lush rainforests and towering volcanoes. The country is renowned for its extraordinary biodiversity, providing retirees ample opportunities to explore and appreciate nature’s wonders.

Exceptional Healthcare:

Costa Rica boasts a high-quality healthcare system that is accessible and affordable. As a retiree resident, you can access excellent medical services and facilities, ensuring your healthcare needs are well managed.

Affordability: Costa Rica offers a lower cost of living than many Western countries, making it an attractive destination for retirees seeking financial peace of mind. From housing and transportation to groceries and entertainment, you can enjoy a comfortable lifestyle at a more affordable price.

Retirement Incentives:

The Costa Rican government provides various retirement incentives to resident retirees. These incentives include tax exemptions on foreign income, tax reductions on property ownership, and import tax exemptions on personal belongings. These incentives can significantly enhance your financial situation during retirement.



Warm Climate:

Costa Rica’s tropical climate, with warm temperatures throughout the year, is ideal for retirees seeking to escape cold winters. The pleasant weather allows you to enjoy outdoor activities, explore the natural beauty, and embrace an active and healthy lifestyle.

Rich Culture and Lifestyle:

Costa Rica is known for its welcoming and friendly culture, often called “pura vida.” The country embraces a laid-back lifestyle that encourages relaxation, enjoyment and a deep connection with nature. As a retiree resident, you can immerse yourself in this vibrant culture and truly embrace the pura vida way of life.

Activities and Leisure:

Costa Rica offers an abundance of activities and leisure opportunities for retirees. Whether you enjoy hiking, birdwatching, surfing, golfing, or simply lounging on the beach, there is something for everyone. The country’s diverse landscape and vibrant communities ensure you will never run out of things to do and explore.

Thriving Expat Community: Costa Rica has a large and active expat community, particularly in popular retirement destinations such as the Central Valley, Guanacaste, and the Southern Zone. Retirees can connect with like-minded individuals, participate in social events, and build a supportive network of friends.

Ease of Integration:

Costa Ricans are known for their warm and welcoming nature, making it relatively easy for retirees to integrate into the local community. The country has a solid infrastructure, reliable services, and a growing number of amenities catering to the needs of retirees.

These benefits, coupled with Costa Rica’s natural beauty, friendly culture, and exceptional lifestyle, make it an enticing destination for retirees looking to enhance their quality of life during their golden years.



The Enchanting Lifestyle Awaits

As a retiree in Costa Rica, you’ll immerse yourself in a captivating lifestyle combining natural beauty, warm hospitality, and many activities to indulge in. Here are some experiences that await you:

Discover Pristine Beaches

Costa Rica boasts a stunning coastline with pristine beaches that cater to all preferences. You’ll find your perfect spot, whether you seek tranquility and solitude or vibrant beach towns bustling with life. Enjoy sun-kissed sands, crystal-clear waters, and a wide array of water activities, including surfing, snorkeling, and simply basking in the sun.

Explore Breathtaking National Parks

Costa Rica is renowned for its incredible national parks, showcasing its remarkable biodiversity. From the majestic Arenal Volcano National Park to the lush Manuel Antonio National Park, you’ll have ample opportunities to hike through tropical rainforests, spot exotic wildlife, and immerse yourself in the wonders of nature.

Engage in Adventure Sports

For thrill-seekers, Costa Rica offers a paradise of adventure sports. Zip-line through the treetops, go whitewater rafting on raging rivers or embark on a thrilling ATV tour through rugged terrains. The adrenaline-pumping activities available will keep you energized and entertained throughout your retirement years.

Immerse in Rich Culture and History

Costa Rica is a country steeped in rich culture and history. Explore charming colonial towns, visit ancient archaeological sites, and learn about the indigenous cultures that have shaped the nation. Delve into the vibrant arts scene, indulge in traditional cuisine, and celebrate local festivals that showcase the spirit and diversity of Costa Rica.




Residency for Retirees in Costa Rica offers a magical blend of natural wonders, welcoming communities, and a relaxed lifestyle that retirees dream of. Through the Pensionado Residency Program, you can make this tropical paradise your home and enjoy many benefits, from exceptional healthcare to a lower cost of living. Embrace the pura vida lifestyle, explore breathtaking landscapes, and immerse yourself in a culture that celebrates life to the fullest.

At CRIE, we understand the importance of finding the perfect retirement destination. With our expertise and comprehensive support, we are committed to helping you navigate the residency process and make your retirement dreams in Costa Rica a reality. From assisting with documentation and legal procedures to providing personalized guidance and resources, we are your trusted partner every step of the way.

Don’t miss the opportunity to create new memories, experience unparalleled adventures, and savor the beauty of Costa Rica. Contact CRIE today, and let us guide you to retirement bliss in this tropical paradise.

Remember, your journey to a great retirement starts with a single decision. Choose Costa Rica, CRIE, and let us help you embark on the most extraordinary chapter of your life. Paradise awaits!

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

[email protected]

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


Frequently Asked Questions

How much money do you need to get residency in Costa Rica?

To qualify for residency in Costa Rica, specifically the Pensionado Residency Program, you need to show proof of a minimum monthly pension income of at least $1,000 USD per month. This income needs to be guaranteed for life.

How do you qualify for a pensionado visa in Costa Rica?

To qualify for a pensionado visa in Costa Rica, you need to meet the following requirements:

  • Provide proof of a minimum monthly pension income of at least $1,000 USD per month for life.

How do I establish residency in Costa Rica?

Establishing residency in Costa Rica involves applying for one of the available residency programs, such as the Pensionado Residency Program for retirees. The specific requirements and procedures may vary depending on the program. It is advisable to seek assistance from an immigration expert to navigate the process smoothly.

When can I apply for permanent residency in Costa Rica?

Once you have obtained temporary residency in Costa Rica, you can apply for permanent residency after three years of continuous legal residence there. During this period, you must comply with the requirements and conditions set by the residency program you are under.

What are the rules for permanent residency?

The rules for permanent residency in Costa Rica include the following:

  • Having maintained legal temporary residency for at least three consecutive years.
  • Demonstrating that you have complied with the requirements of your specific residency program.
  • Meeting the financial and income criteria specified by the program.

How fast can you get permanent residency?

The process to obtain permanent residency in Costa Rica typically takes around six to twelve months after meeting the requirements of the specific residency program. However, it is essential to note that the timeline can vary depending on individual circumstances and the efficiency of the immigration process.

How hard is it to get residency in Costa Rica?

Obtaining residency in Costa Rica can be complex and requires careful attention to detail. While it is achievable, it is advisable to seek guidance from an immigration expert who can assist you with the paperwork, requirements, and procedures to increase the likelihood of a successful application.

Is there a retirement visa?

Yes, Costa Rica offers the Pensionado Residency Program, which serves as a retirement visa for individuals who meet the program’s requirements. This program allows retirees to reside in Costa Rica and enjoy the benefits and privileges of permanent residency.

How long can you live in Costa Rica without residency?

As a tourist, you can typically stay in Costa Rica for up to 90 days without residency. After this period, you would need to leave the country or apply for an extension of your stay or a residency program to continue living in Costa Rica legally.

Can you buy property in Costa Rica without being a resident?

Yes, you can buy property in Costa Rica without being a resident. The country welcomes foreign real estate ownership, allowing individuals to invest in properties such as homes, land, or commercial spaces.

Can you buy residency in Costa Rica?

No, it is not possible to buy residency in Costa Rica. Residency in the country is granted based on specific requirements and qualifications outlined by the various residency programs. While investing in property or making financial contributions may support your application, it does not guarantee automatic approval or the ability to purchase residency outright.

It is essential to consult an immigration expert to understand the requirements, eligibility criteria, and procedures for obtaining residency in Costa Rica. They can provide personalized guidance and ensure that you navigate the process successfully.


Need Residency in CR? – Click HERE.
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.