Obtaining your visa or residency in Costa Rica
US citizens and Canada citizens do not require visa to enter Costa Rica. Duration of your legal stay will be stamped into the passport upon entry. The stamp is your legal status in the country. Please make sure you have at least six months left on your passport before it is expiration date and it is in good condition. Even though the immigration laws changed in 2010 , there is till a wide range of options. You don’t have to decide immediately regarding your residency status. You can renew your tourist visa by making “ borders runs”. But if you plan in Costa Rica long term it is best to seek residency.
It is very important that you gather all the necessary documents before you leave US. Some of the documents is very difficult to obtain once you are abroad.
The first three documents are required for all types of residency in Costa Rica. (Valid 6 months from issued date)
1. Police Certificate of Good Conduct from your last place of residency. Valid for 6 months. Required for applicant, spouse, and any children aged 15 to 25.
2. Birth Certificate. Required for applicant, spouse, and all dependent children (up to 18 years old or up to 25 if a university student – proof of enrollment is required).
3. Marriage Certificate (if spouse wishes residency). Proof of divorce is not needed.
4. Income Certificate for Pensionado and Rentista Residency (required for only the applicant, valid 6 months).
Pensionados -proof of a pension of at least US$1000/month stating that it is for life, and that it will be paid in Costa Rica.
All of the above documents must be apostilled to be valid in Costa Rica. The full list of the required documents can be found at the official government immigration website. We recommend you to contact attorney first. He will provide you with a full list of the documents and provide you with the right information for you particularly.
We would be happy to assist you with a retrieval of the documents and apostille.