Applying and obtaining temporary or permanent residency in Costa Rica is possible, but not necessarily necessary. To qualify for residency, you either must marry a Costa Rican citizen or permanent resident, give birth to a child in-country, invest a minimum of $200,000, or be able to prove that you receive a pension every month. While there are several other ways, these are the main ones. If you don’t fit this bill, residency status might not be in the cards for you at this time. But that doesn’t mean that you can’t live here! Where there is a will, there is a way!
What does perpetual tourist status mean?
The immigration status of perpetual tourist applies to those who live in Costa Rica on a 90-day tourist visa. In fact, many expats maintain this status as opposed to seeking official residency, which comes with many additional costs. If you don’t mind having to leave the country every 90-days to renew your tourist visa, this might be a good option for you. The flexibility to exit the country every three months with ease really depends on your work and financial situation, though.
How do you renew your tourist visa?
Many perpetual tourists choose to cross into Nicaragua and Panama for their renewal trip, as these countries border Costa Rica to the north and south and are lovely countries to spend a few days in. If you are crunched for time or money, you can even do a border crossing and cross back into Costa Rica with a new 90-day stamp in one day. It is important to make sure that you have proof that you will be leaving the country again in the next 90-days in order to receive your new visa stamp with no hassle. This can be in the form of a plane or bus ticket.
There are even tour companies that offer visa-run specials to help facilitate renewing your visa. As long as you are responsible and leave before your 90-days expires, you will have no issues carrying on and living this way legally in Costa Rica. And for those that don’t meet one of the criteria for residency, don’t fret, you might be able to qualify at a different phase in your life.
If you decide to buy land and build a house though, you will likely invest more than $200,000 doing so, which makes you and your family perfect candidates to start the long residency process. And, the good news is, Grande Real Estate can help you from start to finish with that plan!