Retiring In Costa Rica Planning An Extended Stay In Costa Rica

Visiting a foreign country can be complicated enough, and when trying to move or retire to one the undertaking can seem particularly daunting. When planning an extended stay in Costa Rica, you’ll want to appraise the various retirement options available to you.

Entry and Exit Requirements of Costa Rica

In order to enter Costa Rica, U.S. citizens must present a passport that will remain valid for at least 30 days after your arrival. Ensure that your passport is in good condition, as Costa Rican authorities may deny entrance to the country if your passport is damaged in any way.
You must also hold a round-trip ticket. Many airlines will not allow passengers with one-way tickets to board flights to Costa Rica unless they have Costa Rican citizenship, residency or a proper visa.
If you’re looking to retire in Costa Rica, you’ll need to look into getting a residency visa to live year-round in the country. You can initiate this by contacting a Costa Rican embassy near you. Embassies are located in the following U.S. cities: Austin, Los Angeles, San Diego, San Francisco, Miami, Tampa, Atlanta, Chicago, New Orleans, Albuquerque, New York City, Durham, Philadelphia, Houston and San Antonio.

Planning an Extended Stay in Costa Rica

Two retirement visa programs are available for Americans in Costa Rica. The pension-based residency (Pensionado) program requires you to demonstrate that you have a permanent fixed income from a pension of at least $1000 U.S. dollars (USD) per month. Acceptable fixed income programs for the Pensionado program include Social Security, military pensions and private sector business pensions.

Retiring In Costa Rica: Rentista

The second type of visa program available for Americans in Costa Rica is the investment income based residency (Rentista). In order to be eligible for this program, you must demonstrate that you have a permanent fixed income of over $2,500 USD per month (guaranteed by a bank) and reside in Costa Rica at least four months out of the year. With both visas, you must convert that monthly amount into local currency.
No matter which retirement visa program you enroll in, while living in Costa Rica you’ll be required to prove on an annual basis that the required funds were deposited to you in Costa Rica and converted to local currency. With these regulations in mind, you may consider looking into some smart investments for American retirees in Costa Rica when making your retirement budget.