(Applicable only to parents and children (under the age of 18 years old or with a disability)


You are required to apply for these types of residency at the Immigration Office of Costa Rica




1. Affiliation Form should be properly completed written in print, legible, and signed.


2. Letter where the reasons for soliciting a temporary residency are specified. The Complete name of the solicitor, nationality, age, occupation, current address and place or means for notifications should be indicated.

The letter should be signed; it can be done in front of the Immigration official or a lawyer can present the signature.


3.Payment of $50; where the name of the foreigner is indicated as the depositor. This money should cancel to Colones in the Bank of Costa Rica account 242480-0.


4. Payment of $1.25 and $2.50 for each page that is presented with the solicitation for residency, where the name of the foreign person is indicated as the depositor.


5.Two passport sized photographs, front view and recent picture of the foreign person.


6. Proof of fingerprint registration, issued by the Ministry of Public Safety. This requirement is for people that are over 12 years of age.


7. Proof of consulate registration issued by the corresponding foreign consulate.


8. Birth certificate of the foreign person; issued in the country of origin, properly legalized and authentically annotated. This 


9. A properly legalized and authentically annotated certificate of the foreign person’s past criminal record from their country of origin or the place where they have been living legally for the past three years. For that purpose you should additionally show the legality of your stay in that country through a certified copy of the migratory document obtained during the indicated term. Note: If the applicant resides in the U.S. a Federal Criminal Background Certificate duly apostilled must be presented. This certification must state that the content is according to information by the NCIC National Crime Information Center, interstate identification index or triple III. This certification can not be older than 6 months.


11. Birth Certificate from the Costa Rican relative issued by the Costa Rican Civil Registry.


10. Photocopy of all of the pages of the foreign person’s current passport. The photocopy should be certified and compared to the original by the official that receives them or through a public notary.


Important Notes


1. All residency applications should take place once the foreigner becomes legal in the country; in other words that his visa has not expired.


2. If the person enters Costa Rica as a tourist and wishes to apply for a residency, they should  deposit $200 in the Bank of Costa Rica account 242480-0 for the change of status. This must be deposited in Colones.


3. All foreign documents must be properly annotated or legalized by the Costa Rican Consulate in your country and certified by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Costa Rica; with the consulate fees paid off or the issued certifications by the consulate officials of the foreigner’s country of origin accredited in Costa Rica, as long as there is an existing corresponding agreement with the General Management for the issue of these documents.


4. The documents that haven’t been issued in Spanish should be translated to Spanish, which should be issued by an official translator or have been translated by an expert in the language.


5. Foreigners whose country of origin does not have diplomatic representation in Costa Rica should not present the consulate registration.


6. Those whose country of origin doesn’t have diplomatic representation in Costa Rica and no representation of their country in general in Costa Rica, should present a certificate of birth, police record, or marriage, depending on the case, issued in their country of origin, just as a sworn declaration should be properly protocolled over the information that is contained in the documents.


7. In the case of foreigners that cannot present the requirements due to displacement from the country that they were citizens of, they should present the passport the identifies them as a citizen of that country, and produce a sworn declaration; also a certificate from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs where it is specified that the political problem took place.


8. If it concerns the disappearance of the civil records in your country of origin, due to an accident, major force, due to a third party; you should present the respective certificate on behalf of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of your country of origin about this issue, properly legalized and present sworn declaration concerning the ends to demonstrate.


9. In the case of the countries that do not issue certification of the past criminal record, the soliciting person should provide proof given by the officials of their country of origin and the proper protocolled sworn declaration.


10.  In the case of the countries that issue a birth certificate of the foreigner without having to indicate their parent’s names, should jointly provide a protocolled sworn declaration, indicating their parent’s names.


11. The documents issued in the exterior will have the validity that is indicated in the document. In case the validity is not indicated, the document that is presented to the immigration management should not be more than 6 months old.


12. The documents submitted to the file by the interested person should be originals or copies should be properly notarized or confronted by a public official. In this last case, the official that receives the documents will compare the copies with the originals and with exact results will stamp his name and last names, signature, and the seal of the office with the date that the originals were compared with the copies.


13. Every photocopy of an original document that is given to an official should be given a fiscal stamp of 20 colones and an archive stamp of 5 colones.


14. The proof that $200 has been paid for the change of category is a requirement for eligibility, in other words, if it is not presented then you will not receive your application.


15. The application should be presented in the regional offices or in the Plataforma de Servicios de las Oficinas Centrales de Migracíon, during the hours of 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. from Monday to Friday.


16. Applications are not accepted at the Plataforma de Servicios de las Oficinas Centrales de Migracíon on the last Friday of every month.


17. Once the work permit has been approved, and before applying for an appointment to be documented, you must go before the Costa Rican Social Security Fund to secure your employment.


18. The application form of affiliation can be obtained through the department of information or through the website


19. Remember that all of the services that are offered by the Dirección General de Migración y Extranjería are free, you only need to pay the taxes established by law.


20. Only arrive in person with the proper identification in order to review the requirements, appointments and quotas.


How do you apply?


Step 1: Check the list of requirements


Step 2: Have all of the documents up to date. This detail is important so there will not be an inconvenience when the time comes to present them.


Step 3: Once you have checked the requirements and are completed and up to date like the visa, you can go to the Platform of Services of the central offices of the Department of Immigration or the regional offices to present your application from Monday to Friday from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m.


Step 4: In the Platform of Services, you should indicate to the official that is at the desk that this is your first application for residency.


Step 5: The official will hand you a receipt depending on the application, to show that you have been assisted.


Step 6: Wait to be attended at the premises.


Step 7: When it is your turn, turn in all of the documents to the person who assists you in the Platform or regional office. They will review them and enter them into the system.


Step 8: The person who assists you will hand you a paper that shows your personal information, your file number, and the documents that you have presented. Review it to make sure that all of the information is correct.


Step 9: When the file is complete, the department takes 90 days to communicate a decision.


Step 10: If you are missing any of the requirements, you will be given 10 working days to present the documents that you are due.


Step 11: If you need more than 10 days to complete the documents, you should make a written request before the 10 days have passed in order to extend the deadline.


Step 12: After the three months have passed, if you included a fax number in your application, you will receive an answer to your application through fax. If not, you should appear at the Platform of Services and ask the receptionist about your application status.