Getting an Investor Visa in Costa Rica

Getting an investor visa in Costa Rica will allow you to live and work in the Central American nation permanently, and is a popular choice among foreigners keen to take advantage of the country’s developed economy.

If you are looking at starting a business in Costa Rica or investing in the country’s import/export or real estate sectors, getting an investor visa is something you will need to consider.

Learn how your investment in Costa Rica can provide you with the opportunity to gain residency in one of the most attractive destinations in Latin America for foreign investment. 

An investor visa in Costa Rica: why invest?

American passport with an Investor Visa for Costa Rica.
Get a Costa Rica investment visa

Costa Rica has a strategic geographic location, with ease of access to markets in North and South America.

It is also a safe country, with some of the lowest crime and violence statistics in Latin America and the Caribbean.

Moreover, the country has a booming tourism sector which accounts for nearly 6 percent of the country’s total Gross Domestic Product (GDP), meaning it is set up to cater to foreigners and has one of the highest levels of English proficiency in the region. Other major sectors of the economy include medical supply, agriculture, and IT services.

Costa Rica’s economy has shown consistent growth over recent years, with GDP increasing by close to 3 percent annually during the past decade, prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. The country also maintains a favorable tax regime for foreigners, based on the principle of territoriality, meaning you will not be taxed on earnings generated outside Costa Rica.

The country maintains strong trading links with the United States and is also part of the Dominican Republic-Central America Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA-DR) along with the United States, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua.

Requirements for an investor visa in Costa Rica

Anyone interested in getting an investor visa for Costa Rica must meet the following requirements:

  • Make a minimum investment of $200,000 (USD), previously approved by the Costa Rican government
  • Make a minimum investment of $100,000 (USD) if the project is related to reforestation in the country

Typical paperwork and documentation required for obtaining an investor visa include:

  • A 2×2 inch headshot of yourself
  • The receipt of payment of applicable fees
  • Your passport
  • A record of your fingerprints
  • A copy of your birth certificate
  • A marriage certificate if applicable

After obtaining your visa

A man using his computer to research about Investor Visa for Costa Rica.
Visa approval can take two months

Before getting an investor visa for Costa Rica, your investment must be approved by the Costa Rican government and your request can take up to two months to process. The visa will be filed as a temporary residence permit. If you are approved for an investor visa and live in Costa Rica, after three years you will be eligible to apply for permanent residency.

To maintain your status, you must be present in the country for a minimum of 72 hours every year. Dual citizenship is permitted for citizens from certain countries, including the United States and Canada, making an investors’ visa a popular option for individuals from these countries.

Interested in obtaining your Costa Rican investor visa?

At Biz Latin Hub, we provide a full range of back-office support services to help in your expansion into Costa Rica. As well as visa processing, our multilingual team of legal and accounting specialists can assist you with company incorporation, recruitment, due diligence, and tax advice in Costa Rica.

Contact us for more information about commercial opportunities in Costa Rica.

Learn more about our team and expert authors.

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