Emigration to Costa Rica

Emigration to Costa Rica

Area: 51,100 km²
Residents: 4,947,490 (June 30, 2017)
Population density: 97 E / km²
Form of Government: Republic
System of Government: Presidential democracy
Neighboring countries: Nicaragua, Panama
Capital: San José National
language: Spanish
76.7% Roman Catholic,
13.7% Protestants,
0.51% Jehovah’s Witnesses
Currency: Colón (CRC)
1 Colón = 100 Centimos
Exchange rates:
1 EUR = 728.49 CRC
100 CRC = 0.13 EUR
1 CHF = 676.15 CRC
100 CRC = 0, 14 CHF
(Rate from January 16, 2021)
Telephone area code: +506
Time zone: UTC − 6

In 2020, 132 Germans officially emigrated to Costa Rica and 169 returned to their homeland. Within the 10 years from 2010 to 2019, 1,671 Germans officially emigrated to Costa Rica and 1,796 moved back to Germany.

Fantastic beaches and the lush, tropical forests represent the wealth of Costa Rica. They are home to a unique variety of plants and animals. But the people also enchant visitors and immigrants with a charm that is almost forgotten in Europe.

The climate here only knows two seasons:

  • Rainy season from May to November
  • Dry season from December to April

The amounts of precipitation are very different. In San José, in the middle of the country, only half as much rain falls as on the Caribbean coast around Puerto Limón. In the lowlands, the daytime temperature is a humid 30 degrees and a pleasant 22 degrees C in the evening hours, in the central highlands between 16 and 26 degrees C. According to “National Geographic” you will find the most pleasant climate in the world there: gentle warmth, soft rain and breezes. The disadvantage of the tropical climate is El Niño: there are repeated floods and landslides. The last major earthquake in Costa Rica was in 1991.

Travel and Visa

Changed travel regulations during and after the corona pandemic

Before entering the country, the “Pase de Salud” health form must be completed online. The QR code received for this form must be presented upon entry. Proof of a health insurance that meets the current Costa Rican requirements, which also covers the case of COVID-19 disease, must also be submitted in English or Spanish. Strict hygiene protocols must be observed at the airport.

General provisions for travel and residence (until the corona pandemic)

According to allcitycodes, tourists from Germany, Switzerland and Austria can stay in Costa Rica for up to 90 days without a visa. However, proof of solvency of US $ 100 per month of stay is required.

The following documents must be presented
upon entry : exit ticket from Costa Rica to other countries or return ticket to Germany within 90 days of entry into Costa Rica. Only the following serve as proof: plane ticket, bus ticket, ticket for a sea voyage, flight plan in the case of a private flight or travel route by sea (with destination port) in the case of private seafaring.

You only have to be vaccinated against yellow fever to enter Costa Rica if you are entering the country from one of the countries mentioned on the following page: botschaft-costarica.de (under Consular Services – FAQ’s) and do not yet have a yellow fever vaccination (carry an international yellow fever vaccination certificate with you). The vaccination must have taken place at least 10 days before entering Costa Rica.

It is possible to enter Costa Rica as a tourist and then apply for a change in migration status if the sum of US $ 200 is paid to the Ministry of Migration and Immigration Law for this change. However, it should be remembered that the necessary documents must be presented, which you must bring with you from Germany with an apostille.

Immigration and permanent residence

For a longer stay, foreigners need a residence permit, the “Residencia”. For this you need the following information and papers, translated into Spanish and confirmed by a Costa Rica consulate in your country:

First name (s), family name (s), father’s name, mother’s name with her maiden name or the name of your mother before she married your father, date of birth, place of birth, nationality, marital status, passport no. with entry date, police register excerpt (not older than 6 months), birth certificate, 4 more recent photos.

The “residencia” based on family membership (marriage) also includes a work permit, all other forms do not.

Who receives a residence permit

As a pensioner, you need a monthly pension (or payment from a life insurance or similar with lifelong payment) of at least US $ 2,500 per person / family from Costa Rica or abroad by means of a bank deposit (children under 25 years are included or children with disabilities over 25 years of age). However, you must stay in the country for at least 4 months a year.

If you are a retiree, the minimum pension must be US $ 1,000 per month (including children under the age of 25 or children with disabilities over the age of 25). The minimum stay per year is 4 months.

If you are earning your money abroad, you need (whether alone or with a spouse and children) proof of a stable, secure income (e.g. interest) of at least US $ 2,500 per month for 3 months (which must be converted into colones every month) as well as US $ 90,000 proven assets in the bank. This gives you a residence permit for 2 years. If you still meet the conditions at the end of the two years, you can extend it. However, you must stay in the country for at least 4 months a year. You are allowed to work as a self-employed person, but not as an employee.

After three years of residence at the earliest, you can apply for permanent residence. If this succeeds, one automatically receives permission to work in the country.

You can immigrate as an investor with an investment in the country of at least US $ 200,000 in an approved tourism project or the purchase of a private house, a finca or the like. You can also use it to buy a rental house and live on the rental income.

Then there are company, student and refugee permits.

Emigration to Costa Rica

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