Types of Residence Permits

There are different modalities of residence permits. Among them, there are:

1. Special category for students, volunteers, academics and researchers

2. Residence permit for rentiers

3. Residence permit for retirees

4. Other Categories

 

1. Special category for students, volunteers, academics and researchers:

If a person wishes to stay in Costa Rica as a student, volunteer, academic or researcher, a provisional visa must be requested at the nearest Costa Rica consulate. The following documents must be presented:

- Application letter for a provisional visa under the special category of student, academic, researcher or volunteer, where the following data is included: i) full name and last name, ii) nationality, iii) passport number, iv) current address, v) occupation, vi) intended address whilst in Costa Rica, vii) date and place of birth, viii) fax number to receive notifications and ix) date and signature.

-Birth certificate duly apostilled. The issuance date of this certification must be recent (no longer than 3 months).

-Criminal records certificate, duly apostilled. The issuance date of this certification must be recent (no longer than 3 months).

-Original and complete photocopy of the passport or travel document, with a validity of at least 6 months.

-Acceptance letter of the teaching institution, public or private, or the institution (recognized in Costa Rica) stating the admission of the person as a student, volunteer, academic or researcher in the before mentioned institution.

-Proof of economic viability to remain in the country for the intended time.

-Three color passport-sized photographs.

-Pay the respective fees.

Once the requirements are completed, a provisional visa will be issued. The Consulate will return to the applicant the documentation which must be submitted to the Costa Rica Immigration Office. Once in Costa Rica, the applicant must finalize the application process.

 

 2. Residence permit for rentiers:

The following documents must be submitted to the Consulate:

-Application letter for a residence permit, stating the reasons for applying, along with the following information i) full name and last name, ii) nationality and age, iii) passport number, iv) current address, v) occupation, vi) date and place of birth, vii) address or contact means to receive notifications and viii) date and signature.

-Birth certificate duly apostilled. The issuance date of this certification must be recent (no longer than 3 months).

-Criminal records certificate duly apostilled. The issuance date of this certification must be recent (no longer than 3 months).

-Original and complete photocopy of the passport or travel document, with a validity of at least 6 months.

-Document proving that, during a period of no less than two years, a stable and permanent monthly rental income of at least two thousand five hundred U.S. dollars (US$2500) will be received or its equivalent in colones, using the exchange rate determined at that time by the Central Bank of Costa Rica. If the income is received from abroad, the document that proves this situation must be apostilled. The issuance date of this certification must be recent (no longer than 3 months).

-Three color passport-sized photographs.

-Pay the respective fees.

Once the requirements are completed, a provisional visa will be issued. The Consulate will return to the applicant the documentation which must be submitted to the Costa Rica Immigration Office. Once in Costa Rica, the applicant must finalize the application process.

 

3. Residence permit for retirees:

The following documents must be submitted to the Consulate:

-Application letter for a residence permit, stating the reasons for applying, along with the following information i) full name and last name, ii) nationality and age, iii) passport number, iv) current address, v) occupation, vi) date and place of birth, vii) address or contact means to receive notifications and viii) date and signature.

-Birth certificate, translated to Spanish and apostilled. The issuance date of this certification must be recent (no longer than 3 months).

-Criminal records certificate, translated to Spanish and apostilled. The issuance date of this certification must be recent (no longer than 3 months).

-Original and complete photocopy of the passport or travel document, with a validity of at least 6 months.

-Document proving that a permanent pension of at least one thousand US dollars (US$1000) per month will be received, or its equivalent in colones, using the exchange rate determined at that time by the Central Bank of Costa Rica. If the certificate is emitted abroad, it must be apostilled. The issuance date of this certification must be recent (no longer than 3 months).

-Three color passport-sized photographs.

-Pay the respective fees.

Once the requirements are completed, a provisional visa will be issued. The Consulate will return to the applicant the documentation which must be submitted to the Costa Rica Immigration Office. Once in Costa Rica, the applicant must finalize the application process.

 

4. Other Categories:

Please visit the following link http://www.migracion.go.cr/Paginas/Visas.aspx and scroll down to see the English versions.

 

Important:

-All document issued within the United States must have the apostille legalization which is provided by the Secretary of State according where the document is issued. For more information from the different Secretaries of State, please visit https://transition.fec.gov/pubrec/cfsdd/cfsdd.shtml

-The Spanish translation of foreign documents can be done through the services of official translators in the United States (in which case, the document must be translated before being apostilled) or with official translators recognized by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Costa Rica (https://www.rree.go.cr/?sec=servicios&cat=informacion&cont=1054 )

-Any certificate presented must be valid and can’t be more than 6 months old after their issuance date.

-Once in Costa Rica, the documentation for the residence permit must be submitted to the Immigration Office during the allowed time of stay. If the applicant enters Costa Rica as a tourist, then a fee of US$200 (US dollars) must be paid for the change of status.