Costa Rica’s Residency By Investment

by Quatro Legal Immigration Team | June. 19, 2024 | Article, Immigration

The Investor temporary residency or “Inversionista” is a type of Costa Rican residency applicable to any person who has made a direct investment of at least US$150,000.00, legal tender of the United States of America, into a Costa Rican industry, business, real estate, project, etc. The applicant must prove that the amount invested has a current and verifiable value of at least US$150,000.00. This residency option applies to married couples as well as applicants with dependents. The applicant must agree to live in Costa Rica for at least one day per year. After three consecutive years, the applicant is entitled to apply for permanent residency. An Inversionista is not allowed to work or engage in remunerated activities in Costa Rica until his or her residency becomes permanent.

Costa Rica’s Immigration Act contains four types of investments that qualify an individual or family to apply for Costa Rica temporary residency as an investor:

a) investment in lucrative projects or projects of national interest
b) investment in real estate and personal property registered in Costa Rica
c) investment in shares or securities
d) investment in reforestation plantations

Below is a brief explanation of each investment category:

1. Investment in Lucrative Projects/Projects of National Interest: The applicant must submit to the General Directorate of Immigration a description of all investments, lucrative projects, or projects of national interest developed or to be developed in Costa Rica, including a certified copy of the project’s feasibility study prepared by a certified public accountant (CPA).

2. Investment in Real Estate and Personal Property Registered in Costa Rica: The applicant must submit to the General Directorate of Immigration a description and proof of all investments in real estate and personal property registered in Costa Rica. In the case of real estate, the assets cannot be mortgaged or carry loans of any kind. These will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis.

3. Investment in Shares or Securities: The applicant must submit to the General Directorate of Immigration proof of an investment in shares or securities duly certified by a public notary.

4. Investment in Reforestation Plantations: The applicant must submit to the General Directorate of Immigration a certification issued by a certified public accountant indicating an initial investment of at least US$100,000.00, legal tender of the United States of America, in reforestation projects and demonstrate the total value of the investment according to the Forest Management Plan (Article 70 of Forest Law No. 7575).

Along with the investment proof, the general requirements for any Costa Rica residency application must be fulfilled. These are as follows:

– Completed immigration form.
– Application letter and special power of attorney.
– Directorate of Immigration information consent letter.
– Deposit of US$200.00 at Banco de Costa Rica (BCR) for immigration fees.
– Deposit of US$50.00 at Banco de Costa Rica (BCR) for immigration fees.
– Deposit of 1,000 colones at BCR Bank for immigration fees.
– Four passport-size pictures.
– Fingerprints taken at Costa Rica’s Ministry of Public Security. An appointment can be made through their online platform, and there are different locations. A form must be submitted at the appointment.
– Consular Registration with the Consulate of the applicant’s country. For United States citizens, use the link: step.state.gov. For Canadian citizens, use the link: travel.gc.ca.
– Birth certificate, duly apostilled. The issue date of the apostille must be within six months.
– Criminal record, duly apostilled, from the country of residence. The issue date of the apostille must be within six months. For American citizens, criminal records must be issued by the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) in Washington D.C.; for Canadian citizens, they must be issued by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP); and for citizens of the United Kingdom, they must be issued by ACRO Criminal Records Office.

The benefits created are as follows:

– One-time exoneration of import fees on household goods, including new and used items, in a reasonable amount and proportion to cover personal and family needs. The law expressly references furniture, appliances, decor, kitchen and bathroom accessories, and linens.
– Exoneration of import fees on up to two air, land, and/or sea vehicles. In the event of the destruction, loss, or theft of a vehicle, the beneficiary will be entitled to import another vehicle.
– All sums of money declared to obtain the benefits will be exonerated from paying income tax.
– Exoneration of twenty percent of transfer fees on all real estate acquired during the law’s effective period if the person is the recorded owner of the asset.
– Exoneration of import fees on all materials and instruments directly related to the beneficiary’s profession or economic activity. Moreover, beneficiaries will not automatically be considered taxpayers.

The law states that if the beneficiary surrenders his/her immigration status or the status is canceled by the General Directorate of Immigration on legal grounds, all exonerated taxes will become due.

Finally, the law has reduced the minimum investment amount for the Investors category to US$150,000.00, legal tender of the United States of America, in any form of real estate, registered assets, stock, securities, economic projects, or projects of national interest.

The benefits obtained by a beneficiary will be valid for ten years. If you want to know more about these benefits and how to take advantage of them, don’t hesitate to reach out to us.

Should you have any questions or need further assistance regarding the Residence by Investment process or any other immigration matters, our team is here to help. Reach out to us today for expert guidance tailored to your needs

María José Mathus
Immigration Specialist
mjmb@quatro.legal

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