Residency in Costa Rica – Client Question – Answered

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I recommend residency for sure if you are going to live in Costa Rica full time.  The process can be long but worth it.  You need your criminal record for where you have lived for the last 6 months and a birth certificate issued by the state you were born.  They both need to be apostilled in the state where the documents originated from.  Normally this is done by the secretary of state in person, mail, or on the internet. (Depends on the State)
An Apostille is a certificate issued by a designated authority in a country where the Hague Convention Abolishing the Requirement for Legalization of Foreign public documents.
You can make application in Costa Rica or at a consulate in the US.  Not all Costa Rica consulates provide this service.  I would wait until you arrive in Costa Rica to make the application with a qualified attorney.  But beware of the time expiration of the documents.  The documents are only valid for 6 months.  So get them just before you arrive in Costa Rica or just before you start the process.
An Attorney will cost you about 1500-3000 depending on the type of residency and the attorney fees.
You will need to be fingerprinted in Costa Rica and passport sized pictures so that immigration can verify who you are and check your record with Interpol.  Once you make the application you will be given a document that states you are in the process of gaining residency.  This document will allow you to remain in Costa Rica until the application is approved.  Once approve you will need to go to San Jose and pay a few hundred dollars in fees and they will issue your residency card.
My recommendation is to contact an attorney to help with the process.  If you need a referral, let me know.
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About The Author
Shawn Ferguson

As owner and principle of Coldwell Banker Quepos and Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica, Shawn provides strategic direction for the company, while serving his clients and investors. His years of experience and knowledge of Costa Rica real estate help you in making the smart decisions about buying (investing in) property here. Before Costa Rica, Shawn spent 18 years in the financial planning business, where he was one of the highest ranked and sought after executives in the field. He applies the same successful principles today to help his clients identify and secure their ideal Costa Rica property. Shawn has great experience in all types of real estate transactions luxury homes, investment, commercial, and hotels and will always provide you with the expert advice needed to sort out the true value of each investment and purchase. His clients will tell you about his integrity, expert market knowledge, creativity and the ability to make international property investments seem effortless. Shawn has been acknowledged by his peers and, more importantly by his clients, as a top performer in the Costa Rica real estate market. Shawn likes to say that not everyone will become a client but everyone will gain insight and value from our relationship. Contact Shawn-- He is always ready with a positive attitude and enjoys speaking with anyone who is interested in Costa Rica.

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