I am retired and want to move to Costa Rica: how can I obtain a Pensioner temporary residency (Pensionado)?
by Quatro Legal Immigration Team | Jan. 2, 2024 | Article, Immigration
The Pensioner temporary residency or “Pensionado” is a type of Costa Rican residency available to any person who is already retired and is receiving income derived from a lifelong pension. The applicant must prove a permanent (life) fixed monthly income from either a pension or other form of retirement income of at least US$1,000.00, legal tender of the United States of America. The status extends to the spouse provided that one spouse receives a pension or other retirement income. The applicant must agree to live in Costa Rica for at least one day per year and entitles the applicant to file for permanent Costa Rica residency after three consecutive years of holding temporary residency as a pensionado. A pensioner temporary resident is not allowed to work or perform remunerated activities in Costa Rica until the residency becomes permanent.
The general requirements for any of the Costa Rica residency applications described above are:
a) Completed immigration form.
b) Application letter and special power of attorney.
c) Directorate of Immigration information consent letter.
d) 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.
e) 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.
f) Deposit of 1,000 colones at BCR Bank for immigration fees. The deposit must include the applicant’s full name.
g) Four passport-size pictures.
h) 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.
i) 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
j) Birth certificate, duly apostilled. The issue date of the apostille must be within six months.
k) 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.
In addition to the general requirements indidcated above the key requirement to qualify is an original or certified copy of the pension confirmation letter issued by the corresponding entity in an amount of at least US$1,000.00, legal tender of the United States of America. The document must be duly apostilled if coming from abroad or legalized according to the terms and conditions applicable to countries that are not signatories to the Hague Convention.
For more information please fill out the courtesy e-meeting form at the bottom. We will be glad to assist you!