Applying For Costa Rica Residency? Why bother? Part II of II

With legal residency, everything about banking goes easier, including all those international transactions most ex-pats initiate daily, weekly, monthly. More freedom in business as an individual as opposed corporate confinement.

Much more banking can be done with most banks from your home computer. (Avoid line ups.)

Costa Rica driver’s license:

Can be obtained once your residency card is issued. Good for five years. No test required. Affordable fees.

Affordable, world-class medical coverage.

(Mandatory with residency.)

In the case of families immigrating to Costa Rica, only the main applicant pays the low premiums. The rest are covered under them. I am a native Tica but also a Canadian citizen. Canada is always held up as the great model of universal health care.

My family and I have received major care in both countries. So I speak with first hand knowledge when I say that the medical system in Costa Rica, flaws and all, exceeds the Canadian system and is far less vulnerable to the nefarious influence of Big Pharma. You also do not need to worry about pre-existing conditions. Never mind the designed-to-fail “Affordable Health Care” in the U.S.  It’s the most unaffordable on the planet currently.

Security checks are faster:

Whether entering the many security gates here or being pulled over by police on roadside checks, that residency card shortens the experience significantly… and it feels really nice. Like you belong.

Legal Employment.

Yes… certain conditions must be met under specific categories. A bit more work, but legal residency for certain business owners will definitely provide opportunities. This includes diminished tax exposure from both the IRS and Hacienda in Costa Rica. (No capital gains tax here.) Zero exposure from Revenue Canada.


“Hey vendor…, what’s the Tico price?”  Many have heard that Ticos get a much better deal on purchases such as hotels, flights etc. than ex-pats or tourists. What not many know is that if you flash you residency card, you get in on the exact same discounts. Over time, that can add up to the entire cost of getting residency!

Bring in other family.

(Well, only the ones you weren’t trying to get away from in the first place by moving here.)  You can apply with spouse and young children as your dependents at the outset. Or, once you are approved, you can then sponsor other family members to come here later, such as elderly loved ones needing your care and company or adult children who want in on your newfound life in paradise.

Enter through the short line:

After a long flight, it’s a terrific feeling to move through the “Citizens” line on the way to baggage claim. You’ll understand the first time you enjoy it. Sweet!

No more two-way flight tickets needed.

With residency, you only need a one-way ticket into Costa Rica.

Gun Permits:

Depending on your hobbies, lifestyle and location, guns are a necessity for some people. With residency, you can get ownership, and conceal-carry permits. Nasty subject, but crucial for some.

Path to Citizenship.

I hear a lot about how that doesn’t mean much to most people. I find this short sighted. I have never met an ex-pat who regretted getting citizenship. Just as in the U.S. and Canada, the day you are sworn in, any cynicism melts away.  Emotions are an intangible, but they run high on the day of issuance.

Remember, a lot of blood has been spilled for the right to vote in Costa Rica, including my own father’s. It still holds as much value as ever to the conscientious.


  • With citizenship, you can opt out of CAJA in favor of private health care.
  • You still get to keep your original country of origin citizenship as well.
  • Passports can come with citizenship if desired. It’s nice to have options in an uncertain future.

Written by Laura B. Gutiérrez who specializes in getting your residency approved in Costa Rica quicker and more efficiently than any attorney.

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4 thoughts on “Applying For Costa Rica Residency? Why bother? Part II of II

  • MikeApril 25, 2017 at 1:01 pm

    Can I apply the residency when I still in US. How long it will take .


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