All residencies can be applied in the Directorate of Inmigration or in a Costa Rican consulate. You must present the application in the consulate or in Costa Rica in person and, if you cant’, you can ask somebody else to do it with a Power of Attorney. The procedure takes three months minimum to be approved once you apply for the temporary residency.
There are different types of temporary residency but we will only explain the common procedures and we will detail the most common procedures. All the information about the types or residency can be found in: http://migracion.go.cr/extranjeros/residencias.html.
The types of temporary residency are the following:
- as the spouse of a Costa Rican
- as a religious person
- as a businessman, manager or technician
- as a self-employed person
- as an investor
- as a scientist, professional ,or intern
- as a specialized technician
- as a sportsman
- as a correspondent and staff of news agency
- as an annuitant
- as a pensioner or retired
Requirements and application procedures
The general requirements for any residency are:
- Residency Application authenticated by a Costa Rican Attorney.
- Filiation form (Application) duly filled out.
- Birth certificate for each of the applicants, in the case the applicant has dependants, it is required a birth certificate of each one of them.
- Clean certification of criminal Records: for the applicant and for each dependent more than 15 years old to be included in the residency application. It has a validity of six months unless it says otherwise.
- Marriage Certificate, if you want to include your spouse as a dependent
If there is a reason that justifies the impossibility of presenting the birth certificate or the criminal record, it is possible to submit an affidavit to replace it, stating the reason of the impossibility.
- Fingerprinting: For the fingerprinting it is necessary to come to Costa Rica.
- Consular Registration is mandatory unless your country does not have a consular representation in Costa Rica.
- Four front Passport-size photographs.
- Certified copy of all pages of the Passport. In addition, you must include a sworn translation of the first page of the passport must be properly translated into Spanish.
- Proof of Bank Deposit of US$50 or its equivalent in colones to the account number 242480-0 of the Banco de Costa Rica by concept of residency application.
- Translation: Any document in a language other than Spanish must be accompanied by its respective translation into Spanish conducted by an official translator.
To apply for any residency for under age children or children with disabbilities, or under age sibblings or sibblings with disabbilities, you must prove the disabbility by a medical examination and a curatorship certificate
Temporary residence as spouse of Costa Rican
Other than the previous requirements, you must hand out the following documents:
- If the marriage was celebrated abroad, you must register in the civil registration of Costa Rica
- If it is a civil partnership, you should present the official document where this union is registered
- Both spouses must go to the Consulate, the Service platform in the central headquarters or in the regional headquarters for an individual interview to verify the information
- You must show documental proof of you and your spouse knowing each other
- Certified copy of the Costa Rican spouse ID card
Temporary residency as scientist, professional or intern
If what you want is to work in Costa Rica or to do an internship, other than the general requirements, you should provide the following documents:
- Authenticated Job contract according to the articles 23 and 24 in the Job Code indicating the monthly salary
- Sworn statement submitted by the employer certifying your experience and specifying the functions and the knowledges you have for the position
- Certification of diplomas and experiences confirming your skills for the position. They must be authenticated
- Certification indicating that the company or institution is registered as a legal person. The certification must be issued less than a month before applying
- Certified copy of the company constitution and receipt proving that it pays its taxes on time
- Company certification signed by its legal representative, indicating the deadline and functions that you will do as an intern
- Scientists and professionals must be registered in their professional association (guild?)
Temporary residency as a pensioneer
If you want to move to Costa Rica to enjoy your retirement, you can apply for a temporary residency.
In order to do so, other than the general requirements for temporary residency, you must prove that you have a lifelong pension of at least 1,000$ per month or its equivalent in colones. If the certification for it is issued abroad, it must be authenticated and translated by an official translator.