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April 1, 2024
6 min

How to Get Costa Rica Golden Visa for Investors

Kenley Henderson

Getting residency in this beautiful Central American country can be complex but rewarding. We will delve into the intricacies of the Golden Visa Program, offering an overview that simplifies each step.

You’ll learn about various investment options, beginning from $100,000, such as real estate properties, forestry projects and local businesses, which could pave your way towards gaining residency. We will also discuss alternative paths to obtain permanent residence, including demonstrating monthly income or marrying a resident.

From understanding the required documents for consular registration to navigating legal processes with Costa Rican immigration authorities, we’ve got it covered. Finally, we’ll provide insights into what life might look like once you successfully establish yourself within Costa Rica’s borders.

How to Get Costa Rica Golden Visa for Investors

How to Get Costa Rica Golden Visa for Investors

Costa Rica Golden Visa Overview

Costa Rica’s Golden Visa program is an opportunity for wealthy individuals seeking residency in this tropical paradise. It provides an avenue beyond the typical tourist visa duration, allowing you to enjoy all that Costa Rica offers more permanently.

To qualify under Costa Rica Investor Visa Program, you must invest at least $100,000 into insurable assets within Costa Rica, such as real estate properties or local businesses. You’ll also need consular registration with your home country’s embassy or consulate in Costa Rica and proof of monthly income exceeding $2,000 per month.

After three years, when you must spend 180 days per year in Costa Rica while retaining said investments, you become eligible for permanent residence via naturalisation.

Following seven years' continuous stay inside borders provided you maintain good standing throughout the entire period concerned according to rules laid down by respective Costa Rican government agencies involved.

Investor Visa Program advantages:

  • low minimum investment amount;

  • family inclusion;

  • path to citizenship;

  • permits multiple citizenship;

  • safety and security;

  • lower cost of living;

  • lower taxes;

  • warm climate;

  • short processing time.

3 Investment Options for Obtaining Residency

The Costa Rican government offers several investment options for residency seekers in this beautiful Central American country.

1. Investing in Real Estate. Invest at least US$150,000 in Costa Rican property and gain temporary residency. Your money could bring a reward if the real estate industry continues to expand.

2. Preserving Biodiversity through Forestry Projects. Investing in forestry projects helps preserve Costa Rica’s stunning biodiversity and qualifies you for temporary residency with a minimum investment of $100,000 USD. Remember, these investments may involve long-term dedication.

3. Funding Local Businesses for National Prosperity. Investing in local businesses with capital exceeding $150,000 can boost communities' economy and social well-being, promoting overall national prosperity. Work with certified professionals to ensure transparency and stay updated on regulations through official sources like the Costa Rican government’s website.

Whichever investment option you choose, obtaining residency in Costa Rica requires providing the required documents and consular registration. But with a little effort, you could be on your way to permanent residence and enjoying this beautiful country.

5 Benefits of Living in Costa Rica

Living in Costa Rica can be a thrilling journey with gorgeous scenery and abundant culture. As soon as you touch down in one of the four international airports, the scenic allure of this Central American nation will envelop you.

1. Travelling within and outside Costa Rica. With a Costa Rican passport, you’ll have visa-on-arrival access to numerous countries, making travelling much more straightforward. Locally, an extensive network of smaller regional airports facilitates travel within the country.

2. Affordable healthcare costs. As a resident, you’ll benefit from affordable healthcare costs, ranging between just $100—200 per month. The quality of care the Costa Rican health system provides matches global standards.

3. Stable democracy. Costa Rica is known for its long-standing stable democracy and peaceful political environment, providing its residents with security.

4. Quality of life. The country consistently ranks high in the Happy Planet Index, reflecting the focus on well-being, environmental sustainability, and overall happiness of its inhabitants.

5. Climate. The country enjoys a tropical climate with warm temperatures year-round, providing an excellent escape from colder climates for many people.

Costa Rica Golden Visa benefits

Living in Costa Rica allows easy access to ecotourism adventures, such as wildlife tours and volcano visits

Process Towards Costa Rica Citizenship

Obtaining permanent residency in Costa Rica is a journey worth taking. Here’s what you need to know:

Temporary Residency Requirements for Investors. First, apply for a temporary residence permit by showing proof of investment in Costa Rica. It includes certified copies of property deeds or business licences, bank statements from a recognized Costa Rican bank, and criminal background checks from your home country. All documents must be translated into Spanish by an official translator if not already in Spanish.

Pathway to Permanent Residency. After three years of maintaining your investment and spending at least one day per year in Costa Rica, you can apply for permanent residency. It shows your commitment and integration into the local community.

Naturalization Process After Seven Years. After seven years of living in Costa Rica, investors can apply for citizenship and receive a Costa Rican passport. Dual nationality provides greater international freedom without needing specific tourist visas beforehand.

Documentation for Costa Rica Investor Visa Program

Obtaining residency in Costa Rica requires meticulous preparation and navigating through various legal processes. The Costa Rican government and authorities require specific documents, which must be carefully prepared.

Required documents:

  1. A valid passport is necessary, with a minimum of six months before expiration when applying for a visa.

  2. Authentication of birth certificate. The first step towards obtaining your temporary residence permit is getting your birth certificate authenticated by the Costa Rican consulate. This document must be an original or certified copy issued by the competent authority from your home country. Remember, this document should be at most six months before consular registration.

  3. Fingerprints. You’ll need to get fingerprinted at the Ministry of Public Security in San Jose after arriving in Costa Rica with all required documents ready for submission.

  4. Tax payment receipts. All applicants must pay corresponding taxes and provide receipts for their application process.

  5. Criminal background checks. You will also need a criminal background check legalised by Apostille processes. These checks are typically conducted by law enforcement agencies in your home country and provide proof of good conduct during your stay there.

If you have resided in other countries for more than three consecutive months during the past two years, you will also need criminal records from those places.

How to Apply for Costa Rica Golden Visa

From the time the application is submitted until the residence permit is issued, the process is expected to take 90 days. Applicants can add a spouse and children under the age of 25.

Here is a step-by-step process for applying for the Costa Rica Golden Visa.


2 weeks

Gather the required documents

The exact documents required may vary, but standard documents include:

  • a valid passport with at least six months of validity remaining;

  • proof of income;

  • police clearance certificate;

  • medical certificate;

  • other supporting documents.


1 day

Visit the Costa Rican consulate or embassy

Contact the nearest Costa Rican consulate or embassy for the most up-to-date information on the application process, requirements, and necessary forms.


2 days

Complete the application form

Fill out the application form provided by the consulate or embassy. Make sure to provide accurate and complete information.


1 week

Prove financial stability and health insurance

You may need proof of a stable income that meets the minimum requirements of the Costa Rican authorities. Costa Rica typically requires applicants to have private health insurance coverage while residing there. Ensure you have a suitable health insurance plan that meets their criteria.


2 weeks

Apply and pay the fee

Once you have gathered all the required documents and completed the application form, submit your application to your country’s Costa Rican consulate or embassy. There will be a non-refundable application fee that you need to pay when submitting your application.


10 days

Travel to Costa Rica

You will receive your visa if your application is approved. Travel to Costa Rica within the validity period of the visa.


1 month

Apply for residency in Costa Rica

Once in Costa Rica, you must apply for your residency card at the Immigration Office.

Other Paths Towards Achieving Costa Rican Residency

Costa Rica, a Central American country known for its rich biodiversity and warm climate, offers several avenues to obtain residency. While the investor visa is an attractive option for many wealthy individuals, other paths don’t require significant financial outlay.

The Costa Rican government offers a 'Pensionado' program for those who can prove they receive a monthly income of at least $1,000 from a permanent pension source or retirement fund. It’s an excellent option if you’re looking to retire in this beautiful country. You’ll need to provide proof of your income through certified copies of bank statements or deposit slips from your Costa Rican bank.

If you don’t have a permanent pension but still earn regular income elsewhere of at least $2500 per month, you may qualify under the 'Rentista' program. You’ll need to demonstrate this monthly income with the documents authenticated by the issuing institution and the nearest Costa Rican consulate.

Marrying a local resident. Once married to a citizen of this Central American country, you can apply directly for a temporary residence permit without having any specific monetary requirements. However, Costa Rican authorities closely scrutinise these applications, ensuring all documentation is accurate.

Consular Registration. Another route to consider is "Consular Registration," where those living legally within Costa Rica’s borders for over three consecutive years might become eligible, provided they meet specific criteria set forth by the government. It’s worth considering, especially given how welcoming people generally tend to be across the board throughout the entire nation.


Get Costa Rica’s Golden Visa with ease by investing in real estate or funding local businesses.

One major benefit of the Golden Visa program is visa-on-arrival access for many nationalities worldwide, including the USA. Another is the ability to obtain citizenship and a Costarican passport, which ranks highly globally due to its extensive travel freedom enabling holders to visit numerous countries without needing to apply for separate visas each time around.

Frequently Asked Questions

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