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The New Costa Rica Immigration Law

August 13th, 2009

migracion de costa rica

It is hard to not say I told you so…  I cannot.   Sorry!

On January 11, 2009, in response to a large number of emails and phone calls, I blogged about the proposed immigration law. One online newspaper told concerned expats, future residents and readers that the new law would be passed immediately… before the Christmas (2008) break!  They said it would be retroactive and even those folks already here legally would be affected and have to comply. Everyone panicked.

I tried to explain that nothing happens that fast in this country and that panic sells newspapers and increases readership and thus sells advertising. I also explained that it is against Costa Rica law to have a new law be retroactive. I suggested a wait and be patient approach.

Well that was January and this is August and yes, finally, the Asamblea Legislativa (the congress) has passed the new Ley de Migración (immigration law) which should for years influence the rights and responsibilities of foreigners coming to live in Costa Rica.  Note I use the word foreigner and not the words American, Gringo, US Citizen or other such word as despite our often enormous sense of self importance, this law is designed to affect anyone from any nation who seeks to reside in Costa Rica on a legal and permanent basis. It covers a lot more as well.  I held off a few days trying to get a more complete picture of this new law, but sadly, reliable details are not forthcoming so for those of you who are interested in this topic, read on!

First, I must say that everything I have read about the new law is just plain fair and is, in the years that I have lived here,  this is about the only law that got  it almost 100% right. It falls a little bit short of fully protecting Costa Rica, but I’ll discuss that later.

OK so what is in this law?  Here are the salient points!

  • Costa Rica is getting tough on the trafficking of persons. This is now a criminal offense with much stronger penalties.  Trafficking can be for purposes of slavery, prostitution, or simply smuggling people from, to or through Costa Rica to other countries.
  • Pensionados, those who receive a guaranteed income from US Social Security, a State pension fund or other “guaranteed” source, will be now required to show proof of $1,000 per month (US) income. There will be no deposit required.  This is spot on as it is just no longer possible to live here for $600.00 per month, the old requirement. All but a few recipients of social security should qualify easily.  The spouse is included in the $1,000 figure.
  • Rentistas,  those who wish to live here legally but are too young or otherwise do not qualify for a pension like social security, will now deposit  $2,500.00 per month ( a one time deposit of $150,000.00 to cover five years).   I am presuming it will work the old way.  (Not 100% sure yet).  However the $2,500 per month is correct. Besides being 2.5 times the old $1,000 per month, this figure includes immediate family members and that may actually save money for a family with kids. However, it would seem to penalize single persons wishing to move here and thus is one of my few concerns  regarding this law.
  • Marriages between Costa Rica citizens and foreigners can be brought under far closer scrutiny.  This has been a serious issue for years, with numerous marriages of convenience allowing low-lifes (and maybe some not-so-low-lifes) to purchase a Costa Rica spouse they perhaps have never met and immediately be eligible for Permanent Residency. Now a couple under investigation may have to  prove to immigration (migracion) that they are a couple, have been through a courtship-  both persons living in this country. In other words.. it’s love and not a scam!
  • A new immigration police force will be formed, composed of specially trained officers from the Fuerza Pública plus existing members.  With this is the stronger enforcement which should allow Costa Rica to deal far more efficiently with the many illegals (often referred to as perpetual tourists) living here.  This new law will finally allow for active tracking of these scofflaws as opposed to the random raids now so popular. Costa Rica has a significant problem with illegals from Nicaragua,  the USA and Canada and with luck, there should be enough enforcement power to handle this problem.
  • Owners and operators of hotels will now be required to maintain registers of all guests with residency documentation and backup, presumably similar to those in Europe.  Will they be required to hold the guest’s passport?  Unclear…  and we will not know until we all see the actual law. There was talk also of heavy penalties to employers of illegals and I have thus found nothing addressing that.
  • It also appears that a new court will be formed to deal solely with issues and appeals of immigration.
  • Foreigners will now have to join the Caja Costarricense de Seguro Social or the CAJA as it is known.  This is the socialized medical plan of Costa Rica also covering pensions. CAJA provides medical care for all members without regard to pre-existing conditions and this is the other area where I believe the diputados  made an error.  While it is one thing to control the pre-existing rules within one country (like the USA for example) and between insurance carriers in that country, it is quite another to open the CAJA system to the world and allow anyone with a very costly illness to “buy” unlimited medical care for as little at $600.00 per month.  I fear this may come back and bite those legislators on their collective butts.
  • Show me the $$$.  Where is the money coming from?  That is always a fun and interesting question in Costa Rica.  Sadly, the answer often is…  there is none.  There does, however, appear to be a provision affecting all immigration transactions (tramite) that may now carry a charge, in one report, $25.00 per tramite.  This is not a verified fact.
  • Amnesty? One source indicates the the president of Costa Rica will now have the right to grant residency.  This was interpreted to mean that the president could grant a massive amnesty to illegals now here in the country.  I am not sure I agree with that leap of logic though it may be correct. After having asked around, I cannot very anything, but there is precedent for amnesty as it was twice given in the 90’s, in essence granting legal residency to all those who could prove they had lived here illegally for a specified period of time. Could this happen again?  Quien sabe?  It would certainly make the job of the new immigration police force a lot easier as they could start with a clean slate.

So what is next? When is this law? So why is this all not just clear?  For that, you must understand how things work here.

The next step as that the law must be signed by the president of Costa Rica, Don Oscar Arias.  Once that has been done, the law will be published in La Gaceta.  The law goes into effect six months after being published there. So that’s when we will  know everything right?  Nope, and this is a point that is often simply impossible to teach those from other countries, especially those from the USA where the law is the law.

Law is NOT law here. Yes, there is a law, but that law is then  interpreted by the agency involved, in this case immigration. They will then interpret and enforce this law as they see fit and enforce it as they see fit.  If someone does not like it, they will take it  to the Supreme Court and THEY will interpret it.   Sound easy?  Nope… because in the past, various government agencies have paid not the least attention to the supreme court decisions and have just continued to operate as they had before.  This has happened several times with immigration since I have lived here.  This time though, they have a pretty good law and the director of immigration seems to be an intelligent man… so we shall see!  In any case, the supreme court eventually gets torqued and starts handing out threats of jail, monetary penalties, etc. at which point the government agency involved does pay attention.. This issue just seems to make Gringos go crazy as it is anathema to the structured and well defined laws in the USA. Hint… If you are going to live here, you must understand that you are not in Kansas anymore and that what me be clear to you, is not clear at all.

Comments welcome!

123 Responses to “The New Costa Rica Immigration Law”

  1. jeff hathorn on November 12, 2009 11:27 am

    You are the best info I have seen yet! Thank you! I bought a condo @Rio Perles in Paraiso. Should I put it in a corp? I also put $ in BAC-enought for res.status. My wife and I want to spend alot of time in CR,but not live full time. Should I apply for res.status?, (as I think we qualify financially). I would like to put the bank funds into a CD:Colonies or dollars+ And what duration do you recommend? KEEP UP THE GOOD INFO,Please!

  2. Scott Taylor on November 16, 2009 9:24 am

    Great post, thanks!

  3. Trish on November 17, 2009 3:03 pm

    I am scared that Iam not understanding correctly…IF My husband & I apply for rentista option, how long do we have to provide the $2500 per month? Is it only for the 3 yrs until we are able to apply for Permanant residency-and is 3 yrs the correct length of time? Also is the $2500 that is deposited every month able to be used for the currancy conversion requirement or does it just stay in an account that we cannot touch and if so do we lose that money? Feeling like a complete idiot by asking these questions but we are in our 40’s and cannot afford to make any mistakes!
    Thank you for being patient with me!

  4. Tim on November 25, 2009 1:32 pm

    Did you read the web site? 🙂

  5. Tim on November 27, 2009 8:49 am

    As you do not state how many kids you have, if any, I cannot give you numbers, but you will deposit SIXTY (60) times your monthly amount ($2,500.00 if after March 1, 2010) UP FRONT and in cash.

    So if you apply after March 1, 2010 that would be $2,500 X 60 = $150,000.00 that must be paid when applying for residency. That is the money that you are expected to live on, and you must withdraw $2,500 per month and convert it to colones.

    After year three, you can APPLY for permanent residency which takes maybe a year, but that does NOT mean you do not have to pay the $150k up front. Obviously they have no idea if you plan to change residency. You can get back any funds in your deposit account after you receive permanent residency.

  6. Cathy on January 2, 2010 2:34 pm

    Tim, does the entire process of application for residency need to be completed by March 1, or would we be able to achieve residency under the current rules if we have applied and begun the process before the change takes effect? Have a tiny place we call home in CR, planned to move this year, but life in the US has distracted us and we did not see this change coming in time. I am kicking myself! We CAN fulfill the current rentista requirements (a few years short of social security and pension income yet), but the new ones would be insurmountable for us. We have many Tico friends and living full time there has been lifelong dream for us.

  7. Wren on January 3, 2010 8:27 pm

    Tim, your blog is very informative. Thank you for the information.

    A few questions:

    1. In regards to the new law, has it been published online anywhere in English? The actual text of the law, I mean?

    2. How is “perpetual tourism” not legal? Where does it say it’s not legal? It seems to me that if they issue you a new visa, it’s a new visa and legal for another 90 days.

    3. Also in regards to the new law—I’ve heard that it sets a limit (2 times only) to the number of times you can reenter the country/renew a 90-day tourist visa. Is this true or just more rumour?

  8. Joe on January 20, 2010 8:36 pm

    I am assuming that if you marry a citzen and the gov can verify that it is true, you can be exempt from the income requirements??

  9. Tim on January 27, 2010 10:40 am

    Sorry. There are no residency plans that require income. One requires a source of funds (not income) and another requires a deposit. Permaenet residency requires neither but is NOT automatic by marrying a Costa Rican citizen.

  10. Tim on January 27, 2010 11:15 am

    1. Laws are never published in English. Spanish is the language of Costa Rica

    2. I have covered this in detail many times in many locations. I amnot going to do it again here. Believe as you wish.

    3. Nothing has been defined as of yet. Wait and see.

  11. Travis on February 19, 2010 2:53 pm

    Hello Tim,

    I am the head of a small family(Wife and Son) in Austin, Texas. I have read through the blog and to be honest I am somewhat confused. My family and I have a few thousand dollars saved up and were looking to make the move to CR soon. I would still need to bring in some source of income while down there to make student loan payments etc. here in the United States. My wife and I really don’t have a designated time we would like to stay, but with the economy being as it is and me unable to make the right moves towards my career we would like to do something like this now while we are young and don’t have too many obligations.

    I speak Spanish and have experience in the service industry as well as a college degree, but it almost seems impossible to be able to establish a life down there for my family and I. Although it seems like a lot of things fall through the cracks with the Govt. down there I want to do it the right way, especially for the sake of my son who is 1 and a half. I have looked into being certified to teach English in Costa Rica and noticed it would cost about $2,000 U.S., but it only pays out about $400-$800 monthly and from what I understand….. I need to make $2,500 monthly or is that just the amount I need to deposit when I get there? Do you have any advice on what my “Best Bet” would be if I wanted to move my family down there for more than a couple months?

    Thank you,


  12. Tim on February 23, 2010 10:59 am
  13. Ramon on February 26, 2010 12:20 pm

    I believe I to qualify for a pensionado but in addition to my spouse I support a dependant with disabilities who is over 18 years of age. Would I be able to bring her with me to CR as pensionado?

  14. Tim on February 26, 2010 1:52 pm

    You should contact a residency attorney here for this information.

  15. Francine Miller on March 5, 2010 3:08 pm

    I have been in a common law relationship for the past 10 years. Does Costa Rica recognize common law relationship as “married” for the purpose of pensionado residency? If so, what kind of document do they require since I don’t have a marriage certificate?

    Thank you

  16. Costaricafinca on March 8, 2010 10:31 am

    No a ‘common law relationship’ is not recognized here for residency purposes. You will be required to apply independently of each other so both of you will need at least the $1000 per month pension.

  17. DonC on March 16, 2010 2:42 pm

    I am an US Army Veteran, injured in Iraq and will be getting 100% VA Disability in June or July. This is not worded as a “Pension”, the difference being that Medical retirement from the VA continues after my death to any dependents, whereas my disability
    payments will be paid at ~$3000 USD/Mo until my death and then stop. I turn 45 in June 2011. Would I then qualify as a pensionado? I will not have $150,000 for a lump sum to apply as a rentista but will have the guaranteed monthly payments from said disability from the US Government. Not really covered in any of the websites or the great blog/website you have here.


  18. Jake Woods on April 14, 2010 7:40 am

    Does anybody know how foreigners that were married in Costa Rica and have their case pending with immigration will be treated? I’m planning a trip back to the States in July to visit for the first time in 2.5 years. I was married in Jan ’09 here to a Costa Rican and have had my papers with immigration for about a year now. Does anyone know if I will have any trouble leaving/entering Costa Rica? I have not left Costa Rica since the end of 2008.

  19. Ron Hawkins on May 4, 2010 8:14 pm

    First off I want to thank you for all you have put into the site, the blogs and everything. Impressive and just tons of info. Like so many, I am looking for and hoping to find pretty much the same ideas of a nice relaxing place to live blah blah, no reason to rehash all the stuff. However, the only thing I have not found here or anywhere else has to do with the health insurance. I am retired military and my Tricare insurance is good virtually anywhere in the world. Where should I search, who can I ask, about any possible exception/exemption from the state health care policies if I show up with lifetime guaranteed health insurance? Frankly having to pay a few to several hundred dollars per month on redundant coverage would squash even my modest plans to live on less than $2000 total military retirement pay.

    Thanks again for all you do and the fantastic advice and information.


  20. Pat Lockwood on May 11, 2010 4:42 pm

    I have heard many things concerning bringing pets into Costa Rica. Would you please give me the true requirements for pets. I have info that the exam from the vet is sent to the USDA, returned to me and sent with the dog. Do I need anything from the Costa Rica side?

  21. chris on May 22, 2010 10:50 pm

    I agree the money is extreamly too much and the law is assinine, i get only 450$ a month from dissability and i was going to do an anuity for 3 yrs of 1400$ just for a morgage, all i can ever possibly do. i went to costa in 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997, property and people got extreamy greedy since then. all there is now is tons of condos and rich americans that cant even surf thanks contractors and the rich for killing the dream for people that actually care about this place on earth that use to be so far away from it all, peace…

  22. Kelly on June 8, 2010 4:00 pm

    Pat – Regarding pets
    My Mom lives in CR and brings her Maltese back and forth with her a few times each year. She has to get papers from the vet in USA for the trip over to CR> These papers are only good for 10 days. Then to go back to the USA she has to go to a vet in CR to get new papers. She’s never even been asked to see the papers on either end. But she always has them. It’s a small price to pay to have your pet with you!

  23. chris on July 20, 2010 12:05 pm

    looks like costa has lost the charm being over americanized and seems the government is catoring to the rich just like home sad 🙁 for residency

  24. Shawn on July 21, 2010 3:24 pm

    I have read a lot of opinions and I have to be honest, I did not make it through all the posts, but I was informed by my attorney and the ARCR that any and all permanent residents not working in Costa Rica must join the CAJA. If you have permanent residency and you are working in Costa Rica then you do not need to continue to pay the CAJA. It is taken out of your pay and paid by your employer; similar to FICA in the states. Does anyone know any different? Also, this is my first year renewing my cedula. Any tips? Advice? You can email me directly at sjsmith1969@yahoo.com

  25. edna salazar on July 24, 2010 12:21 pm

    im having a baby in october this year and now im 3 months illegal and im filippina form the philippines

    im waiting for the birth and citizenship of my baby and i cant go anywhere anyway let alone go out each 30 days to reset my visa so if my baby is citizen and after that can i get residency for me and babies father ( father is legal here but not a resident )will my ( the mother ) illegal situation still be considered after the baby is a citizen in costa rica
    i plan on getting a lawyer after the baby is born to deal with this residency thing.

  26. Mario from Germany on July 28, 2010 12:51 pm

    I just wanted to say Thank you for all this information and besides that I must say that it was so easy (Pura Vida) in the late 90´s. We came and went, lived and moved around just the way we pleased. Nobody bothered us. Nobody searched for documents and all that stuff. We paid the police in “our” beach village to take care of the security in the village – he got his share every week to make a living – and we just lived the life of hippies. I am writing this because today I made a phone call to a friend in CR talking about coming back for an unspecified time. Sure enough we had old times on our mind not thinking about all the troubles and hassles that would come with this venture.

    Nevertheless, I feel blessed to have experienced this once easy going life and we had an awful good time.

    The world is running out of places like Costa Rica once was.

  27. Tim on August 18, 2010 9:02 am

    Speak with your lawyer.

  28. Tim on August 18, 2010 9:03 am

    At renewal, just take a copy of your (paid) CAJA planilla given to you each month by your employer.

  29. ruquiah on September 9, 2010 3:36 pm

    Can applying for residency (permanent) any easier for someone who is related to costa rican citizens? My grandmother was born there, she lives in the US now but her brothers and sisters never left. Ive got many aunts, uncles and cousins.

  30. peter trombetta on September 13, 2010 2:36 pm

    Speaking of applying for residence here in Costa Rica. I gave up. I’ve been here two years now and am married to a Costa Rican woman. Doesn’t matter to immigration. Here’s my birth certificate, sorry it needs to be dated no longer than six months when you received it. OK, and it needs to have a timbre stamp on it as all the documents you present need to have. Well where do I get a timbre?. You might try your embassy here but I don’t think that they do that. Immigration officer further states that she once heard that someone got one in Miami. On to police reports. Must be 6 months old also. With a timbre. The timbres must be purchased if you find the people who are selling them. I submitted my 3 copies of my police report from the states which are clean. I can’t request them online after speaking with the police dept. in my city and need to apply in person. My copies are invalid as well as my birth certificate. Your passport needs to be stamped legally and have not expired the 90 days while you are processing. Meaning going into Nicaragua or Panama for 72 hours and then crossing back into Costa Rica with your passport stamped for another 90 days. You need to have medical insurance when you apply. Join the CAJA and my cost with an social security income between 800 and 1200 dollars is 75.00 a month. Good medical care and facilities but like Canada it is a socialize medical country. My brother in law who is a Costa Rican has been waiting for more than a year and a half for a knee replacement. Oh. don’t forget your timbre on your CAJA document.Also you must find some one to transcribe all the documentations into Spanish. That’s only half of it. I won’t trouble you with the rest. I prefer to live here unmolested and buy a one way and a round trip airline ticket to come back when I leave the states. Oh, don’t bother looking for an attorney to help because they all will for a price and you will do all the work anyway. For instance, 3 different attorneys in my city state that you must stay married to a Costa Rican woman to apply for married residency for 1 year, 3 years, 5 years from the 3 attorneys. Immigration after I related to them the attorneys findings they told me hogwash, that the attorneys do not know what they are talking about. Ok I asked, what then is the requirement?. I don’t know responded the immigration officer. Ok, thanks for all your help. Adios. Puda Vida. P.S. The immigration officer is a child friend who grew up with my wife. Hmmmm!

  31. Tim on September 14, 2010 9:16 am

    An astonishing amount of your information is just plain 100% wrong.

    You would have completed the process LONG ago had you just used a good residence attorney (see http://www.arcr.net) in the first place. I know hundreds (including me) who never had any of the issues you are describing.

  32. peter trombetta on September 17, 2010 6:51 pm

    Hmm. Then you would find talking to immigration here in Cuidad Quesada quite the contrary. Maybe then you could recommend a residency attorney here or near by that i could consult with.

  33. BCRowland on September 21, 2010 8:13 pm

    We have a rentista residency and it is now time for renewal. No problems with renewal the first year, now it is time for the third year and everything has changed.

    2 questions (maybe they were addressed above, buy I could not find the answer):

    1 – We made the deposit into a CD in BNCR for the $60K when we first got our rentista residency. Now that the law has changed, are we going to now have to start depositing $2500/mo until we get our permanent residency, or are we, as we like to say in the US “grandfathered in”?

    2- The law is we have to be in CR for 4 months, this year I did not make the 4 months, my husband did and is working on getting his renewal. Is there any way that I am able to get mine renewed once I am able to get back to CR, without having to start the application for residency all over????

    Any info is appreciated. I know everyone is at a different step in the process. We thought we were doing so well and now they have changed the laws.

    Thanks for your help,

  34. Tony on September 26, 2010 3:35 pm

    I am not married but living common law with my girlfriend and our two kids. One of our kids is from a previous relationship. We would like to try renting in CR from around nov 1 st to march 30. We currently live in Canada. Kids are young, one would be in grade three while we were there. I have read the information about becoming a rentista. Do you think all this is nessesary if we are only going to try it out or do you think we would be better off to just leave the country for a day(72 hours), every ninety days which would only be once. Mainly I’m wondering if it would still be possible to enroll our son in a private school without some kind of residency in place.

  35. Tim on September 27, 2010 7:59 am

    1. You are grandfathered

    2. If you have your own rentista residency, then you have a problem (if they notice). If piggybacked on your husbands, then I think no issue, but you should check with your residency attorney.

  36. Steve on September 27, 2010 11:56 am

    Read the whole blog Tim – very helpful, thanks.
    My wife and I are planning to be “pensionados” come 2017 (then aged 60, hence 5 years before UK pension kicks in @ c.$1,000 per month JOINTLY) Before then we hope to have saved a sufficient amount(where is my crystal ball?) which will produce interest, working on say 5% p.a. to return $2K p.m. this projected lump sum would include the proceeds from the eventual sale of our house.
    Reading what other bloggers report above it seems that the cost of living in CR is beginning to increase significantly as is inflation in general (I read elsewhere 13% p.a.) …..so if $2K grows at that same rate, we actually require $4,700 p.m. to enjoy the same lifestyle as today’s rate. If I can trust my math, then I gotta double my nest egg in the coming seven years or work until 65 i.e.12 more years not 7 or even find a savings plan that can out-perform CR’s inflation rate….not easy! Lotto tickets @ $1.5 x 52 x 7 with probability of winning…….guess you see where this is going. It would seem that CR is becoming an unreachable dream. All that notwithstanding that the CR authorities might yet pump up the threshold qualification amount further. I climbed from the bottom up and have been an ex-pat most of my life to put myself in a position to choose another way to how it was written and I wanna tell you it galls me to know that my own country is too darn expensive and now CR looks that way too. Now considering following the sunshine as a perpetual tourist – options running out otherwise.
    Would you say that CR is trying to stem the flow of affluent (comparatively) Westerners by hiking up rates whilst Ticos (bless em!) seize every opportunity to nickle-an-dime the Gringos away!

  37. J F Mathews on October 24, 2010 5:20 pm

    Tim : Thanks for the Good info. Im a 100% service connected VN Vet… got the rating in 91, and was made permanant in 99.. I also get Soc. Sec. to the tune ( total ) of over 3K monthly. Im alone and 62 in dec 2010. and have been in Alaska for way too long… will I have many problems , ( HOOPS ) to overcome coming down to visit , possibly live ??My medical is covered for life… and my income is due to increase if our Government gets its collective Head Out…I would love to hear from any old Vets that would like to respond to this … E Mail me to ( tanker196971@yahoo.com ).. Thanks , Jason Mathews

  38. Conrad on December 7, 2010 2:33 pm

    Hi I’m looking to open a business in Costa-Rica I’ve already got my coperation papers…location emplyees and product,,But i don’t have my legal papaers for staying more than 90days what should i do??

  39. Conrad on December 7, 2010 3:09 pm

    where do i apply for this?
    How long does it take?
    Does it cost anything?
    Representante Residency Program – Costa Rica

    Applicant must be director of a company meeting certain requirements, such as employing a minimum number of local workers as established by the labor law, with financial statements certified by a Public Accountant.
    Must remain in country at least 6 months per year.
    Cannot claim spouse and dependants under 18 years of age.
    Can earn an income from the company.
    Can own a company and receive income.

  40. Tim on December 8, 2010 11:18 am

    Read the web site, get your legal residency, and contact ARCR (www.arcr.net) for info regarding that form of residency. It is VERY difficult.

  41. jtrilliam on December 17, 2010 9:37 am

    So, its 2010, going on 2011. I heard there may be a limit to how many days tourists can stay in Costa Rica during a year period. Is this happening???

  42. Tim on December 25, 2010 11:13 am

    It has always been 90 days for US traverlers. Still is!

  43. JAlexander on January 18, 2011 11:40 pm

    Are there any reasonably-priced assisted living facilities? Looking for minimal assistance, private room/bath.

    Great info, thanks!

  44. Kevin on February 21, 2011 4:24 pm

    It’s 2011 now. I’m married to a Tica. I just called a 900 number to get a cita with Banco Costa Rica to pay the fees to renew my residency. I was informed that I needed to get insurance with the caja. After that I came here. There are a few comments that make me think that I don’t. Anyways, since the air has probably settled on this, what do you know? Do I have to get insurance with the CAJA?

  45. Tim on March 13, 2011 8:44 am

    Yup… you need CAJA

  46. Daniel on March 17, 2011 3:13 pm

    Hey Tim,

    “Pensionados, those who receive a guaranteed income from US Social Security, a State pension fund or other “guaranteed” source, will be now required to show proof of $1,000 per month (US) income.”

    I’m a little too young for SS, but am nearing retirement. Would a $100,000 Annuity paying out in excess of $1,000 per month to an applicant for Pensionados residency be viewed as an ‘other guaranteed source?’

  47. Carla on March 21, 2011 5:43 pm

    I have a friend who is going down to CR in a few weeks. She is 7 months pregnant and believes by delivering her child in CR she will be able to apply and get permanent residency. Is this true? I’m worried about her traveling SO pregnant, and things not working out for her also!


  48. Tim on March 29, 2011 10:08 am

    Half right…. She will be eligible to APPLY for residency but will not get permanent residency. Process will take about 18 months from DOB.

    Not sure doctors are fond of travel at 7 months…. kinda dumb IMHO, but if she is in perfect health and her doctor agrees…?

    Hope she has arranged for a doc here and a place to give birth…

  49. Tim on March 29, 2011 10:13 am


    An annuity is a 100% guarantee that an acceptable company promises to pay you $1,000 per month for LIFE, not until the $100,000 runs out.

    Depending on your age, to purchase such an annuity may cost 100’s of 1000s’ of dollars. If you are say 60 and your life expectancy is 88 that alone is $336,000 and you would have to pay more than that I am sure…

  50. Kelley on May 22, 2011 12:18 am


    My question is, if I come into CR as a rentista, with my 15 year old daughter (who will be 18 by the time I can apply for permanent residency, but will still be a dependent since she will be full time in university), what happens to her status once I become a permanent resident? Can she piggyback on my status, or would the only way that I can maintain her right to stay in CR be to stay rentista and just renew after 5 years (with another $150,000 deposited)? Is there anyway to get her in as a permanent resident when I make the transition?

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