Rentista and Pensionado program is available to those individuals
who can prove a permanent and stable income from investments, pension
or retirement benefits. The applicant must live in the country for
a period of no less than four consecutive or alternate months, since
the date of approval of the status.
1. . The
Pensionado (Retiree) applicant must demonstrate a permanent fixed
income from a pension or similar retirement income of at least US$600
per month. The typical applicant in this category has a government,
private sector pension or social security retirement benefits.
2. . The Rentista
applicant must demonstrate a permanent fixed income of at least
US$1,000 per month. Generally, those who seek the Rentista category
do not have a pension source and instead have investment income.
To apply for this category it is necessary to provide proof of the
investment and it will generate the US$1,000 per month required
under this program. As such the applicant must provide a letter
from the bank or financial institution where the investment funds
are deposited certifying the existence of that income. It is not
required that the funds be held in Costa Rica. The letter can be
issued by international banks as well as Costa Rican banks. The
ideal letter issued by the financial institution should state the
following: (a) That the recipient will receive at least US$1,000
per month in Costa Rica (b) That the investment generates US$1,000
per month in a stable, permanent and irrevocable manner for at least
five years. (c) That the financial institution issuing the letter
will notify the Costa Rican Tourism Institute (I.C.T.) if the condition
This step is done in Costa Rica. The applicant first fills out an
application form which is addressed to the Department of Public
Security and signed by I.C.T. In it is a request for the background
check which requires fingerprinting in Costa Rica. The background
check takes approximately one month.
You must provide a certified copy of your birth certificate and
that of your dependents. The certified copy must be sent to the
Costa Rican Consulate for your jurisdiction for authentication.
The consulate charges US$40 for each document authenticated. Be
advised that I.C.T. will not accept any supporting documentation
which has not been authenticated by the Costa Rican Consulate.
Certified copy of a marriage certificate if applicable. Also must
be authenticated by the Costa Rican Consulate.
: If your source is a
government pension then obtain a letter from your government certifying
the income. If the income is from a Bank or Financial Institution
then it must issue the letter. All documents should be authenticated
by the Costa Rican Consulate.
5. : This certification is obtained from the police department
where you last resided. This certification also needs to be authenticated
by the Costa Rican Consulate. Note that these certificates are only
accepted in Costa Rica for 6 months from the date they are issued.
If this document expires while you are pulling together the rest
of the documentation then you will have to obtain another one.
6. : The
application requires photographs and we recommend that you take
at least 20 photographs (10 facing the front and 10 facing the side).
You will require photographs for the background search, the I.C.T.
application and for the Department of Immigration so you might as
well get them all at once and keep them in the file as needed.
Once you have compiled all your documentation, all documents which
are in English must be translated into Spanish. This procedure can
generally be handled by the Attorney that you have retained to process
The Applicant and Dependent must appear before a Costa Rican Notary
Public and issue a sworn statement stating that they agree to abide
by the Pensionado/Rentista law. This statement can be prepared by
your legal representative in Costa Rica. Once you have all the documentation
set forth above you are ready to submit your application to I.C.T.
Generally I.C.T. will only receive applications that are accompanied
with ALL the supporting documentation. Keep in mind that all the
original documents that you submit become the exclusive property
of I.C.T. and will NOT be returned to you. Once received by I.C.T.
the application goes to the Legal Department within I.C.T. who will
review all the documentation for compliance. If all is in order
the Legal Department will forward the application to the approval
committee for approval. If their are defects in the application
the Legal Department will notify your legal representative of the
defect and request that it be corrected before it will submit the
application for approval.
If approved the I.C.T. will issue a formal resolution
indicating the date on which the application was approved. The procedures
that follow approval are related to obtaining the actual picture
residency card and are done directly before the Department of Immigration.
It requires a prior deposit of US$100 for each applicant and dependent
to pay for your residency identification card.
Resident Investor Status. Individuals who invest
at least US$50,000 in project which has been approved by the Center
for the Promotion of Exports (PROCOMER) as a priority investment
area may apply for resident investor status. If the investment is
in a non priority investment area then the investment required is
This category really involves two different steps.
The first is to qualify the investment by PROCOMER to determine
if it falls within the priority area. Once this initial process
has been completed and the certification issued then you can begin
the application process which is done directly before the Department