Costa Rica Permanent Residence

Has anyone here pursued Costa Rica permanent residence?

PENSIONADO status. The requirement is for $1,000 coming in per month from Social Security or a retirement fund per couple. I could easily do this by selling some stocks and converting to high-dividend stocks. Would that approach be permissible? How long is the look-back or look-forward on the investment fund to make sure those dividends continue? (some company reduce or eliminate dividends from time to time).

Update: Another website indicates that this visa class is only for those already retired and receiving pension income, so it may not work for my situation.

RENTISTA Status. This class seems to have the most applicability to those not retired (similar to an investment visa).
The Rentista status caters to those with regular income from investments—at least $2,500 per month for at least two years, guaranteed by a banking institution,
I think its the same requirement of 1 day per year.
My question is for a regular IRA or Roth IRA, how would you ever get a bank to guarantee the income?

Update: According to one website, The most common method used to prove the unearned income is by means of a notarized letter from a bank or financial institution indicating the applicant has at least $60,000 USD ($2,500 x 24 months) in a long term account such as a CD, and that the applicant agrees to withdraw and transfer to Costa Rica $2,500 per month for the next 24 months. Income from salary or wages, or any form of employment does not qualify as unearned income and it cannot be used to apply for Rentista status.
Bank Deposit Requirement Once approved, the resident agrees to deposit a minimum of $2,500 USD per month (or $30,000 USD per year) into the resident’s Costa Rican bank account. The deposits are required for two years.

I did see some contradictory information that at least for the investionista status, you must remain in Costa Rica for 183 days per year. So I am not totally sure which is correct.

Has anyone any experience?


I’ve looked into it quite a bit, but it’s just nothing I can do, because all of the options for achieving permanent residence require 4 months a year on the ground for 5 years, more for the investor one, and I’m not at that point.

Pensionado status is fairly specific, it needs to be a pension or soc sec, guaranteed income. I think a whole-life annuity will work as well if you want to go that route.

I don’t think your IRA helps you for rentista. Maybe you’re making money in the IRA, but it’s not available to you - you can’t go spend it, and the point is to have money to spend to cover your expenses. Typically the bank account is the fastest and easiest option.

One thing to keep in mind is the health “insurance” requirement. You have to sign up for the national health insurance plan, and the rate you pay is both arbitrary (no two ajudicators will come up with the same number, apparently) and based on your income. So for pensionado status it can be $100/mo, but for rentista status for a middle-aged person, you can be looking at 400/mo. Per person. But not necessarily. It depends. Like anything else in CR, you pay the right Tico to take care of it for you. But it’s non-zero, and it’s not avoidable. If you want private health care, that’s on top. But by all reports, health care in CR does actually work, most of the time, so it’s not money pitched out the window to no purpose.

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Yes, this looked appealing at first, but the devil is in the details… with rentista you have to transfer $60k over 2 years, and buy medical insurance. What is the point of this if you are only required to live there 1 day a year? Adding up $2000 per month + $400 per month doesn’t make a lot of sense for someone not retired. and not able to be in country.

I have a feeling some better residency opportunities will pop up in the next year or two. Residency programs that don’t lead to citizenship should be more generous than this to attract people willing to invest in the country.

By the way, at least two of the options only require 1 day a year, not 4 months, and after 3 years you can convert to perm residence.

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I’d be interested in references on this, because I’ve looked at this quite extensively via several different sources and no one’s talked about a 1-day requirement, ever. I did mis-remember the 3 years. If I could get CR residency on one day a year, I would be rushing down there right now to get it cost be damned because my wife and I love CR.

The point of medical insurance is that it’s a tax, essentially. Everyone has to pay it, period. CR puts a high premium on the value of health care as a societal good and that’s simply part of the compact you have with the country in exchange for residency.

With respect to “being more generous”, frankly, I don’t think CR really cares. They make no real effort to promote the programs; they’re just there. The reality is that tons of people already want to move there, and tons of people have already moved there, with gobs and piles of money - just drive around Nosara or Escazu or Tamarindo. It’s a gorgeous country with great people and a great culture and tourists go home with a longing to move there. Intel has facilities there, there’s several medical equipment concerns with facilities there, they already struggle with not pricing out the locals. The last thing they need is more real estate investment. So … I’m sure other better options will pop up… from countries that care more.

(Structurally, it’s a terrible place for investment capital - the culture’s just all wrong for it.)

I am not vouching for this site, but it clearly references the 1 day requirement.
By the way, I am thinking of this as an additional option to PT because citizenship is not an option in CR.

I’m pretty sure they’re wrong or stretching a point.

ARCR is kind of acknowledged as “the institution”. I’ve also got two other private sources of information on the topic that have similar information, and I pay them to be accurate. I see that there are various firms saying “one day” but I gotta believe there’s a catch. I could call our lawyer I suppose, though immigration’s kind of a sideline for her.