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Country Details

Costa Rica, officially known as the Republic of Costa Rica, is a small but remarkable country located in Central America. Known for its natural beauty and commitment to environmental sustainability, Costa Rica offers a wealth of experiences for visitors. Here are five important facts about Costa Rica:

1. Biodiversity Hotspot: Despite its small size, Costa Rica is considered one of the world's most biodiverse countries. It is home to a wide range of ecosystems, including rainforests, cloud forests, coastal mangroves, and volcanic landscapes. Costa Rica's commitment to conservation has resulted in an extensive network of protected areas, such as national parks and reserves, which safeguard unique species like toucans, sloths, jaguars, and sea turtles.

2. Pioneering Environmental Policies: Costa Rica is renowned for its environmental stewardship. It has set ambitious goals to become carbon neutral by 2021 and aims to eliminate single-use plastics by 2025. The country has long-standing commitments to renewable energy, with a significant portion of its electricity generated from renewable sources like hydro, wind, and geothermal power. Costa Rica's dedication to sustainability has earned it a reputation as a global leader in environmental conservation.

3. Adventure and Outdoor Activities: Costa Rica offers a plethora of thrilling outdoor activities and adventure sports. From zip-lining through the rainforest canopy to white-water rafting on rushing rivers, the country provides opportunities for adrenaline enthusiasts. Other popular activities include hiking to volcanoes, surfing in world-class breaks, and exploring wildlife-rich national parks. Costa Rica's diverse landscapes and well-developed tourism infrastructure make it an ideal destination for adventure seekers.

4. Pura Vida Philosophy: "Pura Vida" is a commonly used phrase in Costa Rica that translates to "pure life" or "simple life." It encapsulates the country's laid-back and friendly lifestyle. Costa Ricans, known as Ticos, embody this philosophy, emphasizing the importance of appreciating life's simple pleasures, maintaining a positive outlook, and prioritizing community and family values. Visitors often find themselves immersed in the pura vida spirit, enjoying the relaxed atmosphere and warm hospitality.

5. Stable Democracy and Quality of Life: Costa Rica is recognized as one of the most politically stable and peaceful countries in Latin America. It abolished its army in 1948 and redirected funds towards education, healthcare, and social welfare programs. As a result, Costa Rica enjoys high literacy rates, access to quality healthcare, and a high standard of living compared to many other countries in the region. Its stable democracy and commitment to social progress contribute to a safe and welcoming environment for residents and visitors alike.

These important facts highlight Costa Rica's exceptional

Immigration Details

To immigrate to Costa Rica, there are several pathways available, including the Golden Visa program, establishing a company, work permits, studying, and obtaining citizenship or residency. Let's explore each option:

1. Golden Visa Program:
- Capital requirements: Costa Rica does not have a specific Golden Visa program. However, they offer a program called "Rentista," which grants temporary residency to individuals who can prove a stable income stream. The income requirement is currently set at $2,500 per month.
- Residency permit: Once you meet the Rentista program's income requirement, you can apply for a temporary residency permit, which allows you to live in Costa Rica.
- Timeline and fees: The timeline for obtaining a temporary residency permit can vary, but it generally takes several months. The fees associated with the Rentista program include visa application fees, legal fees, government fees, and other administrative expenses.

2. Establishing a Company:
- Capital requirements: To establish a company in Costa Rica, there are no specific capital requirements. The amount of capital needed will depend on the nature and scale of the business you plan to establish.
- Employing locals: As a company owner, you can employ Costa Rican citizens or authorized workers. The employment requirements and regulations can be obtained from Costa Rican authorities or legal professionals.
- Residency permit: As a company owner, you may be eligible to apply for a residency permit based on entrepreneurship or investment, subject to meeting specific criteria and requirements.
- Timeline and fees: The timeline for establishing a company and obtaining a residency permit can vary, but it generally takes several months. The fees can include company registration costs, legal fees, visa application fees, and other administrative charges.

3. Work Permit:
- Finding a job: Securing a job offer from a Costa Rican employer is crucial for obtaining a work permit. The employer will need to sponsor your work permit and provide necessary documentation, including an employment contract and proof of qualifications.
- Work permit: Once you have a job offer, your employer will apply for a work permit on your behalf. The type of work permit will depend on the job category and your qualifications.
- Residency permit: Depending on the duration of your employment and circumstances, you may be eligible to apply for a residency permit based on employment.
- Timeline and fees: The processing time for work permits and residency permits can vary, but it generally takes several months. The fees can include work permit application fees, legal fees, and other administrative charges.

4. Study-based Immigration:
- Obtain admission: Apply and get accepted into a recognized educational institution in Costa Rica.
- Student visa: Once accepted, you will need to apply for a student visa, which allows you to reside in Costa Rica for the duration of your studies.
- Residency permit: Depending on your circumstances, you may be able to transition from a student visa to a residency permit based on employment or other eligible categories.
- Timeline and fees: The processing time for student visas and residency permits can vary, but it generally takes several months. The fees typically include visa application fees, tuition fees, and other administrative charges.

5. Citizenship or Residency:
- Citizenship: Costa Rican citizenship can be obtained through naturalization. The requirements include residing in Costa Rica for a specified period, demonstrating knowledge of the Spanish language, passing citizenship tests, and meeting other eligibility criteria.
- Residency permit: If you do not qualify for citizenship, you may consider applying for a permanent residency permit, which grants legal residency status in Costa Rica without citizenship rights.
- Timeline and fees: The timeline for obtaining citizenship or a residency permit can vary significantly, often taking several years. The fees depend on the specific process, including application fees, language

test fees, legal fees, and other administrative costs.

It's important to note that immigration regulations and requirements in Costa Rica can change over time. Therefore, it's advisable to consult with Costa Rican authorities or seek professional advice to obtain the most accurate and up-to-date information based on your specific circumstances.

  • Time To Citizenship
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An individual is tax resident in Costa Rica if she or he spends more than 6 months a year within the country.

Costa Rica levies income taxes on a territorial basis. This means that both tax residents and non-residents are subject to tax only on their Costa Rican-source income.

Local income is taxed at progressive rates up to 25%. The employment income top marginal tax rate is 15%.

Dividends are subject to a final withholding tax of 5%. Interest income is taxed at 15%, except for those obtained from the local stock exchange, which are taxed at an 8% rate. Net rental income is subject to tax at regular income tax rates.

Capital gains are not subject to taxation in Costa Rica, as long as capital gains are not the regular source of income of an individual or entity.

Real property tax is levied at 0.25% on the value of the property. A luxury house tax may also apply.

Transfer of movable and immovable properties are subject to a transfer tax of 2.5% and 1.5%, respectively.

There are not taxes on net wealth and inheritances.
Sales tax in Costa Rica is levied at 13%.

Regarding corporate taxation, resident entities are subject to corporate income tax of 30% on income earned within the country. Lower rates may apply to companies with low income levels. Foreign-source income is not subject to taxation. To

This should not be construed as tax advice. We have access to a global network of qualified attorneys and accountants who can give you the proper advice for your particular circumstances. Contact us for further information.

  • Property Tax Yes
  • Transfer Tax Yes
  • Inheritance Tax No
  • Net Worth Tax No
  • CFC Law No
  • Tax Residency Days 183
  • Personal Income Tax Rate 25%
  • Capital Gains Tax Rate 0%
  • Investment Income Tax Rate 25%
  • Territorial Taxation Yes
Visa-Free Explain

Where Can Costa Rican Passport Holders Travel Without a Visa?

As of June 2023, Costa Rican passport holders can travel visa free to 119 countries and territories:

  • Albania
  • Andorra
  • Anguilla
  • Argentina
  • Aruba
  • Austria
  • Bahamas
  • Barbados
  • Belgium
  • Belize
  • Bermuda
  • Bolivia
  • Caribbean Netherlands
  • Bosnia and Herzegovina
  • Botswana
  • Brazil
  • British Virgin Islands
  • Brunei
  • Bulgaria
  • Canada
  • Cayman Islands
  • Chile
  • Colombia
  • Cook Islands
  • Croatia
  • Curaçao
  • Cyprus
  • Czechia
  • Denmark
  • Dominica
  • Dominican Republic
  • Ecuador
  • El Salvador
  • Estonia
  • Faroe Islands
  • Finland
  • France
  • French Guiana
  • French Polynesia
  • French West Indies
  • Georgia
  • Germany
  • Gibraltar
  • Greece
  • Greenland
  • Grenada
  • Guatemala
  • Guyana
  • Haiti
  • Honduras
  • Hong Kong
  • Hungary
  • Iceland
  • Indonesia
  • Ireland
  • Israel
  • Italy
  • Jamaica
  • Japan
  • Kosovo
  • Latvia
  • Liechtenstein
  • Lithuania
  • Luxembourg
  • Malaysia
  • Malta
  • Mayotte
  • Mexico
  • Micronesia
  • Moldova
  • Monaco
  • Montenegro
  • Montserrat
  • Netherlands
  • New Caledonia
  • Nicaragua
  • Niue
  • North Macedonia
  • Norway
  • Oman
  • Pakistan
  • Palestine
  • Panama
  • Paraguay
  • Peru
  • Philippines
  • Poland
  • Portugal
  • Qatar
  • Réunion
  • Romania
  • Russia
  • San Marino
  • Senegal
  • Serbia
  • Singapore
  • Slovakia
  • Slovenia
  • South Africa
  • South Korea
  • Spain
  • Sri Lanka
  • Saint Kitts and Nevis
  • Saint Lucia
  • Saint Martin
  • Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
  • Suriname
  • Sweden
  • Switzerland
  • Trinidad and Tobago
  • Tunisia
  • Turks and Caicos Islands
  • Türkiye
  • United Arab Emirates
  • United Kingdom
  • Uruguay
  • Uzbekistan
  • Vatican City
  • Venezuela

For visa-free travels, you still must have a valid passport — usually six months after your departure date— and you must purchase travel health insurance as required by your destination country.

What Countries Issue eVisa to Costa Rican Citizens?

The following 17 countries issue eVisas for Costa Rican passport holders:

  • Antigua and Barbuda
  • Azerbaijan
  • Benin
  • Djibouti
  • Ethiopia
  • Gabon
  • Guinea
  • India
  • Kenya
  • Kuwait
  • Kyrgyzstan
  • Lesotho
  • Myanmar
  • São Tomé and Príncipe
  • Tajikistan
  • Uganda
  • Ukraine

The process of getting an eVisa is more or less the same as applying for a traditional visa. However, in this case, you don’t have to visit a visa application center— you can submit your application online, including the visa payment.

After your application is approved, you will receive an email confirming your visa status along with a document you must print out and bring with you when crossing the border. Your visa will be registered online, but some officers may ask you for a physical copy of the permit; that is why it’s important to keep the copy on your person while traveling.

What Countries Issue Visa on Arrival to Costa Rican Passport Holders?

If you are a Costa Rican citizen, you can get a visa on arrival for the 33 countries listed below:

  • Armenia
  • Bangladesh
  • Burundi
  • Cambodia
  • Cabo Verde
  • Comoros
  • Egypt
  • Guinea-Bissau
  • Iran
  • Jordan
  • Laos
  • Lebanon
  • Macau
  • Madagascar
  • Malawi
  • Maldives
  • Marshall Islands
  • Mauritania
  • Mauritius
  • Mozambique
  • Nepal
  • Palau
  • Rwanda
  • Samoa
  • Seychelles
  • Somalia
  • Saint Helena
  • Tanzania
  • Timor-Leste
  • Togo
  • Tuvalu
  • Zambia
  • Zimbabwe

You receive a visa on arrival (VOA) after entering the country that issues such a visa. Usually, there is a separate section at the airport where you can submit your application for your visa on arrival.

Countries With Visa Requirements for Costa Rican Citizens

You need a valid visa to enter the following 57 countries with a Costa Rican passport:

  • Afghanistan
  • Algeria
  • American Samoa
  • Angola
  • Australia
  • Bahrain
  • Belarus
  • Bhutan
  • Burkina Faso
  • Cameroon
  • Central African Republic
  • Chad
  • China
  • Democratic Republic of the Congo
  • Republic of the Congo
  • Ivory Coast
  • Cuba
  • Equatorial Guinea
  • Eritrea
  • Falkland Islands
  • Fiji
  • Ghana
  • Guam
  • Iraq
  • Kazakhstan
  • Kiribati
  • Liberia
  • Libya
  • Mali
  • Mongolia
  • Morocco
  • Namibia
  • Nauru
  • New Zealand
  • Niger
  • Nigeria
  • North Korea
  • Northern Mariana Islands
  • Papua New Guinea
  • Puerto Rico
  • Saudi Arabia
  • Sierra Leone
  • Solomon Islands
  • South Sudan
  • Sudan
  • Syria
  • Taiwan
  • Thailand
  • Gambia
  • Tonga
  • Turkmenistan
  • United States Virgin Islands
  • United States
  • Vanuatu
  • Vietnam
  • Yemen
  • Eswatini

The application for a visa goes as follows:

  1. Make an appointment at the visa center in Costa Rica. You must contact a local visa application center in your home country and make an appointment to submit your application. It may take several months to schedule a meeting with the embassy or consulate.
  2. Get your documents ready. To submit a successful application, you have to prepare the required documents for your visa, i.e., passport, application form, health insurance, etc. Some of your documents must be verified with an apostille stamp or certified by a foreign office.
  3. Submit your application. Finally, you can submit your application and attend the visa interview—you may also be required to submit your biometrics. Once you translate your documents as required by the embassy or consulate and verify them with an apostille stamp— if possible, then you can submit your application. From then it will take several weeks until a decision is made regarding your visa application.

Please note that if you have a valid visa that allows you to enter more than one country, you don’t have to apply for a new visa.

What Documents Do Costa Rican Citizens Need to Apply for a Visa?

Costa Rican citizens that want to visit countries that require them to apply for a visa beforehand need to submit a few documents. Depending on the country you want to visit, document requirements may vary. However, most countries will certainly require the following:

  • Your valid Costa Rican passport (plus a photocopy). Some countries require the passport to be valid for more than six months after the day you plan on departing their country.
  • A filled visa application form.
  • Passport pictures that are not older than six months.
  • Travel health insurance that covers your entire period of stay.
  • Proof of paid visa fee.
  • Detailed travel itinerary that shows all the places you want to visit.
  • Letter of invitation (if applicable)
  • Proof of booked return ticket for the flight home.
  • Proof of booked accommodation.
  • Proof that you have sufficient funds to cover your visit
  • Civil status documents (marriage papers, certificates of birth, etc.)
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