In the last couple of decades, living in Costa Rica has become somewhat of a trend among adventurous expats and retirees. People from all over the world are coming into Costa Rica looking to make this beautiful tropical country their new home.

Legal Advice to Star Living in Costa Rica

The reasons for this trend are many. Some move into the country because of its history ofboth economic and political stability. There is, of course, the fact that this country has the highest standards of living in the Central American region.

Some others come into the country because of its excellent healthcare system, which is evenmore highly ranked than that of the United States’. Particularly retirees, whofind it difficult to live in the US on their pension and find a cheapersolution in Costa Rica and its very affordable Healthcare.

Other expats come looking to make their daily life into an adventure, looking to explore this tropical country’s vast rainforests and volcanoes. Or simply to enjoyCosta Rica’s beautiful Pacific and Caribbean beaches.

Another of the reasons expats decide to start living in Costa Rica is their laid-back, relaxed, pura vida lifestyle. Pura vida is somethingCosta Ricans, usually as the answer to the question “how are you?”.

Living In Costa Rica

However, forCosta Ricans, it symbolizes the simplicity of living with humility and joy. This pura vida lifestyle is one of the main attractive features about living in Costa Rica and its people. Living in Costa Rica may be all about pura vida and enjoyment, nonetheless, there are certain legal aspects that you might want to consider before actually moving into the country.

What do I actually need to know before living in Costa Rica?

Coming into the country in itself is very easy, particularly if you are a US citizen. All you need to do is arrive in Costa Rica with your passport and a departure ticket proving your intention to leave the country. With these, you will automatically qualify for a tourist visa.

A tourist visa is all you need to start buying property in Costa Rica. Costa Ricans and foreigners have the same rights when it comes to owning property in the country. This, of course, can make things easy if you want to move into the country.

Since a tourist visa is all you need to start buying property in Costa Rica,this means you can own and run a business without residency. However, youcannot work legally in Costa Rica as a tourist.

Actually getting a residency can be a long and sometimes tedious process, requirements are everchanging. Because of this, some people decide to live in the country on a tourist visa.

Tourist visas only last for a 3 month period, so people achieve this by leaving the country for a short time before their visa expires. Then, they just come back into the country, renewing their tourist visa in the process. Some choose to simply cross the border into Panama or Nicaragua for a few nights before coming back in.

Some people have actually gone years living in Costa Rica like this. However, this is not quite legal and could lead to you being banned from the country if caught. That is why we recommend you apply for residency, which, though tricky, will be more rewarding in the long run.

What are the most common types of residency that Costa Rica offer?

There is the retiree residency / pensionado. This program applies to any person who has already retired from their usual occupation and who is receiving pension benefits. To qualify for this program the applicant must show proof of monthly income from a pension plan of at least $1,000 USD per month.

Living In Costa Rica

A married couple needs to show proof of only one monthly pension of at least $1,000 USD for both husband and wife. The pension recipient can be either spouse.

There is also the legal residency / restista. This program applies to individuals who are not yet retired and do not need to work while living in Costa Rica. Applicants must prove that they are receiving an unearned come of $2,500 USD per month from investment, savings, or other sources. They must also prove that the non-earned income will be received for at least 2years.

The same $2,500 USD per month income applies for a single, or to married applicants, or to applicants with dependent children. Income from salary or wages, or any form of employment does not qualify as unearned income. Therefore, it cannot be used to apply for rentista status.

There is the business/ investor residency / inversionista as well. This program applies to individuals who make a direct investment in Costa Rica of at least $200,000USD. The investment can be made in any type of business or Costa Rica real estate.

The investment can be made in any type of business. This includes manufacturing, transportation, hospitality, tourism industry, commercial and non-commercial Costa Rica real estate.

This allows home purchases as an acceptable investment for the purpose of applying for residency. This, of course, as long as the amount invested is at least $200,000 USD.

If you wantto apply for permanent residency you must first spend 3 years as a temporaryresident living in Costa Rica.

What is the best place for living in Costa Rica?

If you are looking to move into Costa Rica, we recommend the Guanacaste Province, commonly known as the “Gold Coast”. The northwestern province of Guanacaste isone of the favorite places to live for expats and retirees.

Here, you will find the amazing, beachfront, Nautica Costa Rica property for sale. This beautiful property is administered by John Scheman, a renowned developer in the Guanacaste Province.

This beautiful Costa Rica property for sale offers its Owner’s Area for those who are thinking about living in Costa Rica. This area counts with 5 beautifully luxurious condos, a large semi-olympic pool, and awe-inspiring ocean views.

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