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Residency in Costa Rica – Family ties with a Costa Rican

Residency in Costa Rica - Family ties with a Costa RicanBy having family ties with a Costa Rican, you can apply for permanent residency in Costa Rica. Moving to Costa Rica is easy, becoming a resident is not, unless you know how to apply for it.

To be able to apply for a permanent residency in Costa Rica for having family ties (vínculo), the ties need to be a father, a mother, a daughter or a son.

This is a good option for the younger couples and the single ones who move to Costa Rica thinking of starting a family. Young couples have opted to have their baby(s) in  Costa Rica. Because it gives the baby automatically the Costa Rican nationality by being born here. Therefore, the parents have a reason for getting permanent residency through family ties.

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.

Documents needed to file for a permanent residency:

  • Correctly filled out the application, in print, legible and signed
  • A letter where you indicate the reasons you are applying for the permanent residency. You have to indicate your full name, nationality, marital status, age, job description, address. Sign this letter in front of the Immigration officer. Or a Costa Rican Notary Public can authenticate the signature.
  • A deposit receipt for $50 where it shows the applicant’s name as the person who deposited. This amount should be paid in Colones in account 242480-0 of Banco de Costa Rica.
  • Also, a deposit receipt for ¢125 and ¢2,50 for each sheet that you present with the application, where it shows the applicant’s name as the person who deposited.
  • Two recent passport photos, up front, of the applicant
  • Fingerprint receipt, emitted by the Ministry of Public Security. This is only required for those over 12 years old.
  • Receipt of Consular registration. The corresponding Consulate will determine the requirements of the registration.
  • Birth certificate of the applicant emitted by the country of birth and duly legalized.
  • Criminal record of the applicant, emitted by the home country or where the applicant has resided for the last 3 years, duly legalized.
  • Photocopy of all the pages of the applicant’s passport. The applicant has to duly legalize the photocopies, then presented with the original to the Immigration officer who receives the documents. Also, a Costa Rican Notary Public can notarize the photocopies.
  • Certification emitted by the Civil Register of Costa Rica, where you show the family ties with the Costarican person. The document cannot be older than 2 months at the moment of presentation of the application.
  • Also, disabled brothers have to prove the disability through a medical exam.

Important Notes

  • The applicant is required to be in Costa Rica when applying. His/her tourist visa cannot have expired.
  • If the applicant enters Costa Rica as a tourist and applies for residency, also an additional deposit of US$200 for the concept of change of category is required.
  • A Costa Rican consul of that country has to duly legalize the documents if they come from another country. Then authenticated by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Costa Rica. With the respective consular taxes and stamps paid or the certifications emitted by the consular authority in the home country of the applicant, if there is an agreement with Immigration for these documents. APOSTILLES IN COSTA RICA are available starting on December 14th, 2011.
  • Meanwhile, all certifications have to be originals. The corresponding authority in Costa Rica will issue the certifications. The local institutions legalize the documents for authentication purposes. At the Foreign Affairs Ministry, and the correspondent Consulate.
  • All those applicants from countries who do not have diplomatic representation in Costa Rica have to present a certification emitted by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Costa Rica. There, the inexistence of a diplomatic representation is indicated.
  • A translation of the documents when not in the Spanish language, has to be provided. This has to be emitted by an official translator or by a Notary Public who knows the language well.
  • Also, once the permanent residency is approved and before you ask for an appointment to pick up the document, you need to register yourself for a medical insurance with the C.C.S.S. (Caja Costarricense de Seguro Social).

Check our other articles about obtaining Costa Rica residency:

This information was taken from the website of “La Dirección General de Migración y Extranjería de Costa Rica”.  The purpose of this article is servicing our clients who purchase Costa Rica real estate. Applicants can acquire legal residency through family ties, by having a baby in Costa Rica.

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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