Getting Your Residency in Costa Rica 101: Tips from Costa Rica Immigration Experts

Are you one of the many people considering moving to Costa Rica? If so, eventually, you will have to decide on residency. Do you want to be a perpetual tourist, or would you like to apply for residency in Costa Rica? In this article, we’ll discuss the basics of obtaining residency in Costa Rica 101 so that you can make an informed decision.

When to Apply for Residency

When considering residency in Costa Rica, one of the first questions is whether to apply immediately upon arrival or to wait and see if they like living there first. While there is no right or wrong answer to this question, it’s generally recommended that you wait at least a year or more before applying for residency. This will give you enough time to experience life in Costa Rica and determine whether it fits you.

Residency Categories

There are different categories for obtaining residency in Costa Rica. The most popular include:

  • Pensionado: This category is for those who want to use their social security check to guarantee monthly income.
  • Rentista: This category requires a guarantee of $2,500 coming in every month.
  • Investor: Investing $150,000 into Costa Rica, usually in real estate.
  • Small business: This category is for those who own a small business in Costa Rica.

Of course, there are other ways to obtain residency in Costa Rica. It is best to contact CRIE, who understands your specific needs and can provide accurate information.

Tips for Obtaining Residency in Costa Rica 101

Before considering residency in Costa Rica, moving to Costa Rica and living there for at least a year is essential. This will give you time to adjust to the culture and decide if Costa Rica is the right place for you once you are ready to apply for residency, research, and find a reputable immigration lawyer who can guide you through the process.


In conclusion, obtaining residency in Costa Rica can be a complex process, but it can be a smooth and seamless experience with the right guidance. Take your time, research, and consult with Costa Rica Immigration Experts to ensure that you’re making the best decision for your future in Costa Rica.

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

[email protected]


Frequently Asked Questions

What is residency in Costa Rica 101?

Residency in Costa Rica 101 is a legal status that allows foreigners to live in the country for an extended period of time.

Why should I consider obtaining residency in Costa Rica?

Obtaining residency in Costa Rica allows you to stay in the country for longer periods without having to leave every 90 days, and it also grants you access to certain benefits and services.

How long do I need to live in Costa Rica before I can apply for residency?

You should wait at least a year and a half to two years before applying for residency in Costa Rica.

What are the most popular categories of residency in Costa Rica?

The most popular categories of residency in Costa Rica are Pensionado, Rentista, and Investor.

How much money do I need to earn a Rentista residency in Costa Rica?

You must demonstrate a guaranteed monthly income of $2,500 to obtain Rentista residency in Costa Rica.

Do I need an immigration lawyer to apply for residency in Costa Rica?

While it’s not required to have an immigration lawyer to apply for residency in Costa Rica, it’s highly recommended that you seek legal advice to ensure you’re following the correct procedures and requirements.

How long does the residency application process in Costa Rica usually take?

The residency application process in Costa Rica can take several months to a year, depending on the category of residency you’re applying for and the documentation required.

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

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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

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