I am looking to invest in Costa Rica and thinking of becoming a resident: how can I obtain an Investor temporary residency (Inversionista)?

by Quatro Legal Immigration Team | Jan. 2, 2024 | Article, Immigration

The Investor temporary residency or “Inversionista” is a type of Costa Rican residency applicable to any person that 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 the amount invested has a current and verifiable value of at least US$150,000.00. It applies to married couples as well or applicants with dependents. The applicant must agree to live in Costa Rica for at least one day per year. The applicant is entitled to file for permanent residency after three consecutive years. An Inversionista is not allowed to work or perform 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; and d) investment in reforestation plantations.

Below is a brief explanation on each investment indicated above:

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).

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.

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.

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 filed. These are the following:
l) Completed immigration form.
m) Application letter and special power of attorney.
n) Directorate of Immigration information consent letter.
o) Deposit of US$200.00, legal tender of the United States of America, at Banco de Costa Rica (BCR) for immigration fees. The deposit must include the applicant’s full name.
p) Deposit of US$50.00, legal tender of the United States of America, at Banco de Costa Rica (BCR) for immigration fees. The deposit must include the applicant’s full name.
q) Deposit of 1,000 colones at BCR Bank for immigration fees. The deposit must include the applicant’s full name.
r) Four passport-size pictures.
s) Fingerprints to be taken at Costa Rica’s “Ministerio de Seguridad Pública”, or Ministry of Public Security. An appointment can be made throught their online platform and there are different locations. There is a form that needs to be submitted at the appointment. See Question 13 for more information.
t) Consular Registration with the Consulate of the applicant’s country. For United States citizens, use link: step.state.gov For Canadian citizens, use link: travel.gc.ca
u) Birth certificate, duly apostilled. The issue date of the apostille must be within six months.
v) 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.

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