The Costa Rica Rentista Visa: A Quick Guide

Article Breakdown

Rounded Costa Rica Flag IconThe Costa Rica rentista visa is granted to freelancers, self-employed individuals, or anyone who can prove a fixed monthly income of $2,500. It can be a better option than the digital nomad visa if you want to stay in Costa Rica for a longer period.

Foreigners have to demonstrate a monthly fixed income of $2,500 for at least TWO years to petition for residence as an annuitant in Costa Rica. Another option is a deposit of US$60,000.00 in a national bank with the understanding that the money will be returned monthly when asked by the Immigration Department.

Type Price
Rentista Visa Application $250
Avg Service Fee for Temporary Residence Permit $1,600
Rentista Visa Application $375

A rentista visa allows you to operate as a freelancer or create a business in Costa Rica, but not as an employee. However, if you want to work as a salaried employee for a business or firm in Costa Rica, you will need a work visa instead.

The Costa Rican rentista visa provides you with a two-year residence permit that can be renewed if you continue to complete the requirements. After three years of living in Costa Rica with a residence permit, you may apply for permanent residency in Costa Rica.

How to apply?

In order to apply for the rentista visa from Costa Rica directly, the applicant must have his tourist visa or another valid visa; presentations made with an expired visa will be rejected.

If you’re not located in Costa Rica, locate the Costa Rican Migration office. You must schedule an appointment with the Direccion General de Migracion y Extranjeria (or the General Directorate of Migration and Foreign Affairs) in Costa Rica, where you will also be required to submit your rentista visa application.

Collect all needed Documents. Make a point of gathering all of the documents indicated above.
Submit the Application to the Migration Directorate. All rentista visa applications must be filed in person to Costa Rica’s Direccion General de Migracion y Extranjeria.
Wait for a response. The rentista visa application process might take anywhere from twelve to fifteen months. The DGME (Costa Rica Immigration Department) will take approximately nine months to thoroughly review your application and will respond once a decision has been made.

Rentista Visa Required documentation

For the Rentista Visa, you will need to present the following documentation.

  • Application: This application contains all the legal requirements; it must be signed by the applicant and authenticated by a lawyer; and a power of attorney is provided to one of the lawyers you work with in order for it to be processed. The entire process can be done remotely.
  • In addition, a fax number must be provided to receive application notifications for residence by bond, a service provided by most law offices.
  • Income verification certification: A single candidate or the complete family group must demonstrate a monthly income of US$2,500.00. The income can originate from either a domestic or a foreign bank. Said income must be proved by a letter issued by the bank certifying its obligation to give the indicated amount to the applicant in a permanent, stable, and irrevocable manner for a minimum of TWO years. If the letter originates from outside Costa Rica, it must be Apostilled or legalized and consularized in nations that do not have apostilles. Documents legalized by a consulate must be legalized again at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Costa Rica and cost USD$42 in stamps.
  • Birth certificate of a foreign person: This document must be Apostilled or legalized and consularized in countries that do not have apostilles and must be issued by the nation of origin, specifying the names of the parents, place and date of birth. Documents legalized by a consulate must be legalized again at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Costa Rica and cost USD$42 in stamps.
  • Certification of criminal record: declaring that you have not been convicted in your place of origin or the last three years, officially Apostilled or legalized and consularized in countries that do not have apostilles. Documents legalized by a consulate must be legalized again at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Costa Rica and cost USD$42 in stamps.

Additional documents:

  • Fingerprints, personally processed in Costa Rica.
  • 4 passport-sized photos
  • Certified copies of all pages of the passport, including the page where the last entry is entered (must be color copies to demonstrate that it is current. Most attorneys can take care of this certification)
  • Proof of Consular Registration, which must be completed prior to your country’s consular representation in Costa Rica; this document has a fee at each Consulate;
  • Proof of deposit of USD$50. This deposit can be made by the client to the Bank of Costa Rica’s bank account 242480-0, or by your local attorney. It is critical that the applicant’s name appears clearly on the receipt supplied by the bank.
  • If the residence application is filed in Costa Rica, a fee of USD$200 must be paid in the same bank account to modify the migratory category.
  • Translation of all documents that arrive in a language other than Spanish; if the language is English, most attorneys will provide a translation free of charge. Other languages are subject to an additional fee.

You will get a receipt stating your payment status once you have paid the requisite costs for your rentista visa application. This document is required for your visa application and must be submitted along with the other paperwork.

With a Rentista Visa, where should I pay taxes?

If you live in Costa Rica for more than six months, you are immediately registered for the Costa Rican taxing system and must pay taxes in Costa Rica. Obtaining a temporary residence card gives you a legal resident of Costa Rica, and you will be taxed 10% to 25% of your monthly income of $2,500, as required by the rentista visa.

Can My Family Join Me on a Rentista Visa?

Yes, a Costa Rica rentista visa is suitable for families. In fact, it encourages you to travel to Costa Rica with your husband and children. Additional fees may apply during the visa application process, but no additional money is required aside from the original $60,000 commitment. You will also be required to provide a marriage and birth certificate to confirm your relationship with your family member.

How Long After Getting a Rentista Visa Can I Get a Permanent Resident Permit in Costa Rica?

If you have a rentista visa and have lived in Costa Rica for at least three years, you will be eligible for permanent residency. A permanent residency visa provides extra privileges such as the ability to gain Costa Rican citizenship, among other things.

Costa Rica is regarded as the safest country in the region. Costa Rica’s government also takes additional safety precautions for tourists.

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