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Residency in Costa Rica _ Temporary residency as a Pensionado

Temporary residency as a PensionadoTemporary residency as a Pensionado is possible when you have a pension from a government or institution instead of having a retirement income through an investment source.

We have decided to update you on the different ways to apply for residency in Costa Rica. That’s because most of our clients who move to Costa Rica buy a property or rent a home, need a friendly hand to make their move to Costa Rica legally correct.

The temporary residency as a Pensionado applies to those who have a permanent fixed income from a pension or similar retirement income of at least US$1,000 per month. The typical applicant in this category has to have a government, private sector pension or social security retirement benefits. This amount includes the applicant, their spouse and the children which are under the age of 25 and live with them in Costa Rica.

The Rules and regulations for immigration and residency in Costa Rica change continuously. Although we try to keep the information on this website up to date, please make sure you check all the information on this page with any of our recommended residency attorneys.

Many applicants who seek the Pensionado category do not have a pension source and instead have investment income. Then, we recommend having a look at the Rentista category. To apply for this category it is necessary to provide proof of the investment and that it will generate the required amount per month. As such the applicant must provide a letter from their bank or financial institution. This letter certifies the funds and income.

The Pensionado beneficiaries must comply with the following:

The applicant has to prove that the pension is deposited every month in a Costa Rican bank account. Although this generally comes up when you are going to renew your residency status. You have to provide proof that the funds are sent to Costa Rica from month to month. Make sure you keep records of all the deposits until you complete your renewal of status.

The easiest way to comply with this requirement is to ask your bank to issue a letter stating that you have an account with them and indicating that during the year you have exchanged the amount required by the immigration law i.e. US$ 30,000 per year for the “Pensionado”.

The applicant has to contribute to the Social Security System of Costa Rica (C.C.S.S.).  The easiest way to comply is to request a voluntary policy known as “Seguro voluntario”.  You pay based upon the amount of income you report.  Since the law establishes the monthly requirement i.e. $1,000 for the Pensionado, this is the amount they will base the payment on. This translates into $50/month.

This information was taken from the website of “La Dirección General de Migración y Extranjería de Costa Rica”.

I wrote this blog with the purpose of helping those retirees and other expats needing residency. By offering this information, just as our weekly blogs, we hope you elect us for all your real estate purchases.

We, of course, appreciate a reciprocal “help” by referring any friends you might have who are in the market to purchase a Costa Rica condo or a beach home in Costa Rica to our website.

Check our other articles about obtaining Costa Rica residency:

Contact us now for Costa Rica real estate information. For further legal questions, contact an attorney.


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Ivo Henfling

Your West-side of San Jose real estate agent, covering Escazu and Santa Ana, Rohrmoser and Ciudad Colon.If you are looking to buy a home in Costa Rica or invest in a condo anywhere in the Central Valley or looking for any property for sale in Escazu or Santa Ana, you need to contact Costa Rica real estate agent Ivo Henfling. Ivo has been selling Costa Rica real estate on the westside of San Jose, in the locations of Rohrmoser, Sabana, Escazu, Santa Ana and Ciudad Colon for over 20 years and can show you hundreds of happy buyers of real estate in Escazu and those other areas. For Ivo, a deal is not a good one unless both buyer and seller are happy.

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