Residente Pensionado - Pensioner

This is a residency category is for retired persons looking to reside in Costa Rica and live on their pension.

This category refers to a retired person who is guaranteed a minimum pension of $600 or more per month. This is the category that most retired persons moving to Costa Rica select. Therefore, a total of $7,200 or more year must be converted from dollars into colones in a Costa Rican bank and this proof is shown to the Costa Rican governments immigration department each year.

The government requires a person bring this amount of money into the country each year minimally. Usually with just general Social Security almost anyone can qualify for this category. The income can also come from the government, a private source, and IRA account, or a brokerage firm.  If one is married and you need to bring a spouse or children down they will be considered as dependents under this same amount. This category does not pay taxes on income earned outside Costa Rica.

With this category one may claim a spouse and dependents. One may also own a company and receive income as dividends from that company.

Other important conditions include:
1. Upon approval of the residency, the beneficiary may get involved in business activities but cannot be hired as an employee. RESIDENTS OF THIS CATEGORY CANNOT WORK!
2. The income must originate from an eligible source, such as a retirement plan company, social security or the government.
3. If the source of pension is a company or NGO, it must be a corporate entity incorporated at least twenty years prior to the date of application.
4. The pension must be for life, coming from abroad and belonging to the applicant personally.
5. After the grant of residency, the beneficiary must live in the country for at least four months per year (consecutive or staggered) in order to maintain the status.

Renewing Status and Applying for Permanent Residency

New residents will need to renew their status every two years and prove that they have been in the country the number of months required by law. Residents must show receipts as well that correspond with the required amounts that they are told to maintain in the country and according to the number of family members they have living in Costa Rica.

After three years a resident can apply for permanent residency.  With permanent residency one can enjoy all of the rights of a Costa Rican citizen except that  they cannot vote. Basically, in order  to convert the status, a resident must show that they will be contributing to the country in a positive way. Once someone has permanent residency they do not need to be in the country the for the monthly periods, but they are required to visit Costa Rica at least once a year.


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