Temporary Residency as Rentista

by Quatro Legal Immigration Team | April. 15, 2024 | Article, Immigration

The Rentista application offers another option to come to Costa Rica and gain a more permanent stay in the country. This type of residency requires the principal applicant to demonstrate a permanent and stable income of $2,500 per month for the next twenty-four months (two years), totaling $60,000 in legal tender of the United States of America. It’s important to note that the Immigration Department now interprets the word “rent” differently. Merely certifying your bank statements through a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) or showing savings in your bank account is no longer sufficient; you need to have a rental property or an activity that generates that income. Renting out a property through platforms like Airbnb also qualifies. Savings are not considered as rent.

We can demonstrate your income through a CPA letter. You’ll need to provide your bank statements from the last twelve months so that the CPA can verify that you meet the requirements. The funds do not need to be held in Costa Rica; bank statements from abroad are acceptable. Additionally, monthly deposits into a Costa Rican bank account are no longer required once your residency is approved.

For this type of process, you will need the following documents:

1. CPA Letter declaring a rent of $2,500 for the next twenty-four months.
2. Birth Certificate duly Apostilled/Legalized.
3. Official translation of the Birth Certificate to Spanish with the Apostille/Legalization.
4. Criminal Report duly Apostilled/Legalized.
5. Official translation of the Criminal Report to Spanish with the Apostille/Legalization.
6. Marriage Certificate duly Apostilled/Legalized if applicable.
7. Official translation of the Marriage Certificate to Spanish with the Apostille/Legalization if applicable.
8. Consular Registration.
9. Official translation of the Consular Registration to Spanish.

Please be aware that if your Criminal Report contains records, the Immigration Department may request further documents to understand the nature of the record. This could reduce your approval chances by up to 50%, depending on the nature of the record.

The Immigration Department has announced some delays in response times due to being short-staffed and an increase in the number of applications. The process will take between 18-24 months to be approved. You and your family can stay in Costa Rica during this process.

Once the residency is approved, you must enroll in Caja, our Public Health System, and request your DIMEX card. A crucial detail regarding this type of residency is that it is in the highest-paying category in Caja. Since Caja determines the base of your monthly fee according to the main requirement of each category, the base for Rentistas will be $2,500. Therefore, if you are considering becoming a Rentista, keep this in mind before making a decision.

Note that Temporary Residency is granted for an initial period of two years and is renewable every two years thereafter. For the renewal process, you will need to provide a new CPA letter declaring your income. Avoid leaving the country for a consecutive year; if you do, you will need to obtain a new Criminal Report with the Apostille/Legalization for the renewal process, along with the necessary translations. We recommend spending at least a week or two in Costa Rica per year if you do not plan on being here permanently to avoid any issues.

Residency will also pave the path to Citizenship in the future, offering you the opportunity to become a tico or a tica and making your stay more permanent here, allowing you to enjoy the Pura Vida lifestyle!

Ready to embark on your journey to residency in Costa Rica? Contact us now to get started on your Rentista application and take the first step towards making Costa Rica your home.

María José Mathus
Immigration Specialist

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