Getting your residency in Costa Rica is all about long lines, lots of stamps, and tons of red tape. Your best bet in getting your Costa Rica residency with as little headache as possible is to hire a lawyer to help you. They can streamline the process and take care of all the red tape for you.
If you feel like getting all your ducks in a row before you find a lawyer, here is a checklist of the required forms for Costa Rica Residency.
Birth Certificate – This will need to be an officially stamped or sealed version from the hospital.
Marriage License – Only needed if you are married.
Proof of Income – This is probably one of the most important parts of your application. The more money you can prove you will have while in Costa Rica the better. The proof of income and amounts depend on what type of residency you will be applying for.
Copies of Degrees – If you plan on working in your profession while in Costa Rica, you will want to have copies of any diplomas, certificates, degrees, and other certification forms.
Good Conduct Certificate – A police certificate stating you had good conduct in the last place you live for at least two years is required. You should get this certificate toward the end, as it is only good for six months.
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Background Check – This part of the process is done in Costa Rica. All you need to do here is surrender you fingerprints to be run on the Interpool system. The background check process usually takes a month to complete.
Dependents Birth Certificates – Spouse who don’t make an income and children are both considered dependents. You will need to have official copies of their birth certificates from the hospital. If any of your children are over 18 years of age, you will also need a plice certificate of good conduct for them.
Photos – The Costa Rica residency process loves to have your photo on file. You will need photos of yourself almost every step of the way. Do yourself a favor and stock up on them. I would recommend having no less than 10 front facing photos and 5 side view photos. Your local post office or where ever you got your passport photos should be able to do this for you.
Medical Exam Certificate – Although rare, you may be asked for a certificate of good health from your doctor. It is worth mentioning that Costa Rica has the right to refuse entry to people with AIDS, but it is very uncommon.
Document Translation – Once you have all your documents ready to go, you will need to have them translated into Spanish. This can only be done by the Costa Rican Consulate.