If you’re dreaming of moving to Costa Rica and immersing yourself in its vibrant culture and breathtaking landscapes, then you know the first step is figuring out how to legally move there.? Like any visa process, it can feel daunting to know which visa you need, how much it will cost, and if you qualify.  Before thoroughly enjoying the Pura Vida lifestyle, you must understand the visa requirements for living in this beautiful country. Navigating the visa process can seem daunting, but it can be a straightforward journey with the correct information and support. In this guide, the RelocateNow team is going to cover the various types of visas available in Costa Rica, how to apply, and what documents you need to make moving to Costa Rica a smooth and successful transition.

Types of Visas for Costa Rica

When moving to Costa Rica, you must consider several visa options, each with its own eligibility requirements. Understanding these options will help you determine which visa best suits your situation.

1. Pensionado Visa

If you’re a retiree with a guaranteed pension or retirement fund income, the Pensionado Visa is perfect for you. Designed for retirees with a guaranteed pension or retirement fund income who have a guaranteed income from a pension or retirement fund. To qualify for this visa, you must show proof of a monthly income of at least $1,000 from a qualified pension or retirement fund. Furthermore, you must commit to living in Costa Rica for at least four months per year. This visa allows retirees to enjoy their golden years in the beautiful and serene environment of Costa Rica, benefiting from the country’s excellent healthcare and affordable living.

You can learn more about applying for the Pensionada Visa on the Costa Rican Embassy Website here.

2. Rentista Visa

The Rentista Visa is perfect for modern-day digital nomads, who can demonstrate a steady, reliable income that is not a pension when moving to Costa Rica. To be eligible, you must show proof of a monthly income of at least $2,500 for at least two years or a $60,000 deposit in a Costa Rican bank. Like the Pensionado Visa, you must also commit to living in Costa Rica for at least four months per year. This visa is perfect for freelancers, entrepreneurs, and remote workers looking to experience the Pura Vida lifestyle. 

You can learn more about applying for the Rentista Visa on the Costa Rican Embassy Website here.

3. Investor Visa

The Investor Visa is available to individuals who invest in a Costa Rican business or real estate. To qualify, you must make a minimum investment of $150,000, provide proof of the investment, and showcase the economic impact on the country. This visa is ideal for those moving to Costa Rica and looking to start a business or invest in Costa Rica’s growing economy, contributing to the country’s development while enjoying the benefits of living in a beautiful tropical paradise.

You can learn more about applying for the Investor Visa on the Costa Rican Embassy Website here.

4. Temporary Residence Visa for Family Reunification

The Temporary Residence Visa for Family Reunification is for individuals who are moving to Costa Rica and have immediate family members who are Costa Rican citizens or residents. To be eligible, you must provide proof of your relationship to a Costa Rican citizen or resident, such as a birth certificate or marriage certificate. Additionally, you must demonstrate that you have the financial means to support yourself in Costa Rica. This visa helps families stay together and enjoy the benefits of living in Costa Rica.

You can learn more about applying for the Temporary Residence on the Costa Rican Embassy Website here.

5. Permanent Residence Visa

The Permanent Residence Visa is for individuals who have lived in Costa Rica for three or more years under another type of temporary residence visa. This visa allows you to live and work in Costa Rica indefinitely. To be eligible, you must have a stable income, pass a background check, and provide evidence of having lived in Costa Rica continuously for the required period. This visa is perfect for those who have decided to make Costa Rica their permanent home.

You can learn more about Permanent Residency on the Costa Rican Embassy website here. 

How to Apply for Visas for Costa Rica

Applying for a visa when moving to Costa Rica involves several steps, but you can navigate this process smoothly with proper guidance. First, you need to gather all required documents based on the type of visa you are applying for. This typically includes your passport, proof of income or investment, background check, and medical certificate. Once your documents are ready, you must submit your visa application to the nearest Costa Rican consulate or embassy. This step may also involve an interview or additional verification of your documents.

After submitting your application, you must pay any applicable visa processing fees. The fee amount can vary depending on the visa type and your country of origin. Once your application is submitted, you will need to wait for approval. Processing times can vary from a few weeks to several months, depending on the visa type and the volume of applications.

Upon receiving your visa approval, the final step is to register with the Dirección General de Migración y Extranjería (Costa Rican Immigration Office) upon your arrival in Costa Rica. This registration completes your residency process and allows you to reside in the country legally.

What Documents You Need

You will need several key documents when moving to Costa Rica and applying for a visa. Firstly, ensure your passport is valid for at least six months beyond your planned entry date. You must also complete the visa application form provided by the Costa Rican consulate or embassy. Proof of income, such as pension statements or bank account details, is crucial, depending on your visa type.

A police clearance certificate from your home country is required to prove you have no criminal record. A medical certificate indicating good health is also necessary. Be prepared to provide passport-sized photographs as specified by the consulate. If you are applying for a family reunification visa, you will need proof of your relationship to a Costa Rican citizen or resident, such as birth or marriage certificates.

You may also need to submit additional documents specific to your situation, depending on the visa type. For instance, investors must provide evidence of their investment and its economic impact. Ensuring you have all these documents in order will streamline your application process and increase your chances of approval.

Need Support On Your Move to or Visas for Costa Rica?

Navigating the visa process for moving to Costa Rica can be complex, but RelocateNow is here to make it easier. Our team of experts will guide you through each step, from choosing the right visa to gathering the necessary documents and submitting your application. Let us take the stress out of your move, ensuring a smooth and successful transition to your new life in Costa Rica. Book your consultation with RelocateNow today to get started on your journey to living the Pura Vida lifestyle!