Each year hundreds of families make the decision to relocate in Costa Rica. The country’s ideal climate, natural beauty and ‘Pura Vida’ lifestyle makes it an ideal place to raise a family, retire or escape the fast paced lifestyle that most are accustomed to live.

While there are a variety of visa options to offer to foreigners, those looking to make a permanent move will most likely want to look at becoming a permanent or temporary resident. As with most countries, the residency options can be a bit confusing, and those looking to make the big jump will most likely want to talk with an immigration specialist to figure out which option they can apply for.

With the options created to favor retire persons, to those created to aid those married with a Costa Rican citizen, the steps to obtain the residency will differ depending on the specific situation. Each scenario will require a different set of documents, and the process can be a bit overwhelming to those not familiar with the immigration procedures.

The Costa Rican immigration process will require the applicant to have many official documents from their native country. Certain documents might only be accepted by immigration officials within a 90 day period of their creation, so it is important to verify that the documents will complete the requirement established by Migration Bureau, in order to avoid delays on the process.

For this reason, many aspirants looking to obtain their Costa Rican residencies make the decision to accept the support of our immigration experts. The firm is designed to help walk you through the process step by step, and our vast understandings of the requirements will allow you to streamline the entire process.

Our immigration services look to make the transition to the next chapter in your life as simple as possible.


They are previous permissions to enter Costa Rica, granted by the Director General de Migración y Extranjería (By the Director of the Migration Office –DGME).

Permanent residence

Permanent residency is granted to a foreign citizen to stay in Costa Rica indefinitely under its legal stay in the country for three years as a temporary resident or by link with a Costa Rican person.

Work Permits

It is the legal authorization granted by the Migration Office (DGME), which allows a foreigner to work in Costa Rica; having into account the recommendations issued by the Ministry of Labor and Social Security of Costa Rica.


The special category of Estancia is an authorization to stay in the country that is granted to a foreign citizen according to his specialty in the scientific, professional, economic, political, religious, and cultural or sports area. Also, including foreign who do not receive any kind of remuneration or professional fees in the country will enter as business agents, travel agents, sales representatives, among other activities.

Accredited companies’ inscription

It is for all those companies established or in process to base its operations in the country with national or foreign capital, and which will require a volume of migration flows in its operating plan assets or executive level employees

Top executive

Temporary residence exclusive for managers, executives, specific professionals or specialized technicians accredited companies at the Migration Bureau. Professionals who have a particular knowledge with a special education or career expertise.


The residence as a rentist is temporary residence granted to a foreign person that holds a monthly, stable and permanent income of an amount equal to or greater than U.S. $ 2500.


The residence as an investor is a temporary residence granted to a foreign person who can demonstrate an investment capital not less than USD$ 200,000.00 (two hundred thousand dollars), whether in real estate, property registrable, shares, securities and productive projects


The “Pensioner”, must demonstrate that he/she receives the minimum amount of USD$ 1000 per month, this pension must be for lifetime, the foreign must prove that receive monthly, permanent and stable pension from abroad.


Procedures for persons who desire to acquire the Costa Rican citizenship by naturalization under any of the following options:

• Naturalization by residence.
• Naturalization by marriage to a Costa Rican citizen.
• Naturalization of a minor by the naturalization of either parent.
• Naturalization by residence not less than twenty years in Costa Rica.
• Naturalization for persons of over 25 years of age, born in Costa Rica and child of foreign parents.
• Naturalization for persons of over 25 years old, born abroad and son Costa Rican father or mother by birth.



Peregrine Partner


We are proud partners of Peregrine Immigration Management. This means that we have been qualified to regularly review and update the data in their Immiguru system – a web based global immigration knowledge database containing clear and comprehensive details on work permit processes to more than 90 different countries.

  • 11
    Jan '18

    Tax and Labor Panamá, 2017

    ARALAW Attorneys was present at the annual Tax and Labor meeting. Attorney Alejandro Rodríguez and Attorney Mónica Roman represented our firm in this important event held in Panamá.

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  • 11
    Jan '18

    BLITA, Perú 2017

    ARALAW Attorneys received a recognition for being part of Blita International organization during the past five years providing personalized attention to local and international companies. Attorney Monica Roman was part of the annual meeting held in Lima Peru.

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ARA-LAW Building

125 m North from Edificio Torre La Sabana

Sabana Norte, San José

Costa Rica

+506 2291-8844 / fax +506 2291-8839