Each year hundreds of families make the decision to relocate in Costa Rica. The country’s ideal climate, natural beauty and ‘Pura Vida’ lifestyle makes it an ideal place to raise a family, retire or escape the fast paced lifestyle that most are accustomed to living.

While there are a variety of visa options on offer to foreigners, those looking to make a permanent move will most likely want to look at becoming a permanent or temporary resident. As with most countries, the residency options can be a bit confusing, and those looking to make the big jump will most likely want to talk with an immigration service to figure out which bracket they might fall under.

With from the options created to favor retirees, to those created to aid those married with a Costa Rican citizen, the steps to obtain your residency will differ depending on your specific situation. Each scenario will require a different set of documents, and the process can be a bit overwhelming to those not familiar with the immigration procedures.

The Costa Rican immigration process will require the applicant to have many official documents from their native country, and all have their own expiration dates. Certain documents might only be accepted by immigration officials within a 90 day period of their creation, so it is imperative that you have all items together and organized to prevent you from having to go all the way back to square one.

For this reason, many looking to obtain their Costa Rican residencies make the decision to accept the aid of immigration services. The businesses are designed to help walk you through the process step by step, and their vast understandings of the requirements will allow you to streamline the entire process.

From the translation of documents, to setting up interviews, our immigration services look to make the transition to the next chapter in your life as simple as possible.


They are permissions to enter Costa Rica, issued by the Director General de Migración y Extranjería (By the Director of the Migration Office -DGME); by the consular officer when authorized by the first; by the Committee of Restricted Visas or when allowed by the General Guidelines for granting Visas determine so according to the nationality of the foreign person.

Permanent Residencies

Permanent residency is granted to a foreign citizen to stay in Costa Rica indefinitely under its legal stay in the country for three years as a temporary resident or by link with a Costa Rican person.

Work Permits

It is the legal authorization granted by the Migration Office (DGME), which allows a foreigner to work in Costa Rica; having into account the recommendations produced by the Ministry of Labor and Social Security of Costa Rica.


The special category of Estancia is an authorization to stay in the country that is granted to a foreign citizen according to his specialty in the scientific, professional, economic, political, religious, cultural or sports area. Also including foreign people whom without receiving salaries or fees in the country, will enter as business agents, travel agents, sales representatives, among other activities.

Recognized Companies Inscription

It is for all those companies established or that are soon to establish themselves in the country with national capital and / or foreign, who will require a volume of migration flows in its operating plan assets or executive level employees.

Top Executives

Temporary residence exclusive for Managers, Executives, Specific Professionals or specialized technicians of the accredited companies at the Migration Office, that have a high national and international business knowledge, with knowledge of specialized technological equipment and / or markets, with university education and / or career path (expertise) and executive experience within the company.


The residence as a rentist is temporary residence granted to a foreign person that holds a monthly, stable and permanent income of an amount equal to or greater than U.S. $ 2500.


The residence as an investor is a temporary residence granted to a foreign person who wants to invest capital in activities of economic and social interest to Costa Rica. The investment should not be less than U.S. $ 200.00,00 for it to be granted.


The residence as a retired person is a temporary residence granted to a foreigner who holds a monthly annuity equal to or greater than U.S. $ 1000.


Are the procedures for persons who desire to acquire the Costa Rican citizenship by naturalization under any of the following methods:

  • Naturalization by residence.
  • Naturalization by marriage to a Costa Rican.
  • Naturalization of a minor by the naturalization of either parent.
  • Naturalization by residence not less than twenty years in Costa Rica.
  • Naturalization for persons of over 25 years of age, born in Costa Rica and child of foreign parents.
  • Naturalization for persons of over 25 years old, born abroad and son Costa Rican father or mother by birth.


Peregrine Partner


We are proud partners of Peregrine Immigration Management. This means that we have been qualified to regularly review and update the data in their Immiguru system – a web based global immigration knowledge database containing clear and comprehensive details on work permit processes to more than 90 different countries.

  • 13
    Feb '17

    Homologación de Licencias de Conducir

    Las personas extranjeras con permanencia legal en Costa Rica, o bien los costarricense que cuenten con licencia de conducir extranjera, que deseen habilitarse para conducir vehículos pueden optar por la homologación de la licencia de conducir extranjera con la que cuenta. Es importante señalar que las personas que cuentan con una licencia extranjera pueden conducir los vehículos permitidos por la categoría obtenida dentro de los 3 meses posteriores a la ultima entrada al país. Si bien el interesado también puede optar por obtener una licencia de conducir costarricense, este trámite le brinda el beneficio de que prescinde de los dos exámenes necesarios, el teórico y practico.

  • 20
    Dic '16


    Noviembre. 2016

    Tax & Labor es una organización conformada por alianzas de firmas de abogados del área laboral y tributario a nivel centroamericano, este año contamos con el privilegio de ser el país sede de la reunión anual; en conjunto con el Bufete del Lic. Oscar Bejarano, ARALAW Abogados recibió a cada una de las firmas que conforman Tax & Labor.

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Edificio ARA-LAW 

125 m norte de Torre La Sabana

Sabana Norte, San José

Costa Rica

+506 2291-8844 | fax +506 2291-8839