For perspective, let’s briefly draw a picture of Costa Rica’s only Residency processing center. No satellite offices in the boonies that actually do the processing.

The Residency Center is understaffed and overcrowded.

This is code for, “ensure your paperwork is perfect the first time,” or you’ll get to repeatedly endure the hospitality of a frustrated staff member who starts to learn that you’re the person who doesn’t try to help them. This makes residency in Costa Rica a very frustrating idea.

They’re likely to return the favor.

There is no express line — you’ll be in the same long line as everyone seeking to become residents, or struggling to do so.

You don’t really want to be in that line.

Residency work is done in person; emails, phone calls, and letters cannot further your cause. Connect with Laura and get it all done correctly the first time.

Get A Free 20 Minute Consultation With Costa Rica Residency Expert Laura Gutierrez!

Please fill out the form below or click this link to email us.

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Decision time:

It’s possible by now you have scoured the INTERNET or visited a private law firm looking for answers. Perhaps you have been referred by other ex-pats or scared off by their horror stories of fouled up applications. Set it all aside.

Through close affiliations, Laura has met many of Costa Rica’s best legal minds. The majority of these barristers are hard working, competent, ethical and brilliant, yet none will ever take residency work.

Why? The effort requires a work-to-income ratio much lower in comparison to other work they do, such as litigation, divorce, real estate, and contracts.

The attorneys in Costa Rica that do take residency cases tend to charge higher fees than other specialists. Some produce good results, but most do not. While other specialists promote their services, all too often Laura has had to “clean up” their poorly managed cases. This is why we automatically recommend Laura every time for meeting your Costa Rica residency requirements.


It’s difficult to delegate tasks in Costa Rica and expect reliable execution in a timely fashion. So Laura tends to all details personally, including the sending and receiving of documents. She knows your expectations are high when dealing with Costa Rica Residency. This is one of your most important life decisions. She also stays up to date on all current laws, which can change on a dime with little notice of fanfare.

Laura has learned laws relevant to becoming a Resident in Costa Rica from embassy experience and focused study. In one of her first cases, two ex-pat friends were close to deportation and desperate. Their cases had been thoroughly fouled up by no less than five different attorneys, (costing them $10,000 and seven years). Even though Laura is not an attorney, in less than eight months, Laura got them their residency cards.


Laura diligently prepares for all initial application submissions. She guides her clients through documentation efficiently so it’s done right the first time and you’re likely to spend a maximum of only a half a day in San Jose between Immigration and the Fingerprinting Center. Laura will even help you schedule your flights from afar for perfect timing to your pre-appointment duties in Costa Rica (banking etc.) and then the main event at the Residency center.

Ultimately, the ability to have all documentation prepared properly, have your banking in order, to be able to work through the process in person, and to navigate in proficient English and Spanish are absolutely critical.


Laura shows the Residency staff respect with her pleasant, articulate and professional communications. Above all, she brings them neat, complete, and correct documentation. The appreciative Residency staff responds in kind with smiles and a noticeable willingness to accommodate Laura and her clients, especially when flexibility is called for, as is so often the case.

After formally perfecting her English in Canada to university level proficiency, Laura undertook police services training and graduated at the top of her class. She especially enjoyed investigation techniques and was encouraged to join the RCMP (Canada’s FBI). Personal circumstances brought her back to Costa Rica where she worked in her related field at the American Embassy for two years.

She was exposed to a very wide range of duties that required professional discipline and a lot of “in-the-trenches” adaptability. All of that serves her and her clients very well in preparing, submitting and expediting Costa Rica Residency Card applications.


Many years ago, Laura and her infant daughter endured a six-year ordeal in Canada with becoming a Resident. She’s been through it all: repetitious document chases, highly intrusive interviews, condescending attorneys, impatient staff and interminable uncertainty. In the end, it was a relentless non-attorney specialist who finally advanced Laura’s case across the finish line to full citizenship. He’s still one of the best in Canada.


Laura lives in San Jose in close proximity to the Residency office. Clients from distant communities hold a significant advantage by working with a representative that is close to the Residency office. Nothing compares to the effectiveness of face-to-face interaction with staff. Clients only need to take one trip into San Jose for the initial submission of the application with Laura.

For you, the splendor of Costa Rica lies just beyond the Residency line as does the status of permanently happy rather than permanently frustrated.

Get A Free 20 Minute Consultation With Costa Rica Residency Expert Laura Gutierrez!

Please fill out the form below or click this link to email us.

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Costa Rica Residency – A Few Of Laura’s Satisfied Customers!

“Laura is a brilliant angel.”

“After 5 lawyers, $10,000 and 7 years of hell, my partner and I were still nowhere near a residency card but very near deportation and in panic. That is when we turned to Laura in desperation. She took over our cases, sorted through the huge mess and 6 months later, it all ended in tears… of joy! Laura is a brilliant angel.” Jeff Dawson.


“She was so awesome. She made the whole process quick and painless.”

“I would like to thank you for posting information about Laura Gutierrez on I found her there, I contracted with her and I recently went through the residency process with her. She was so awesome. She made the whole process quick and painless. In less than three hours I had my “number”. Now I do not have to leave the country every 90 days. Thank you for sharing Laura with me.” Monica Arredondo


“I consider Laura a friend and protector.”

“Our case was already very complicated before we met with Laura. We were to the point of no longer trusting anyone to get this application completed properly. But in record time, Laura finally got our residency cards ending a seven-year nightmare! When it came time for renewal, as can sometimes happen, things got complicated again due to demands by Immigration. Once again, Laura straightened things out with her expert negotiating skills and professional manner. I consider Laura a friend and protector. I would never allow anyone else near our dealings with the Residency office as we still have two more renewals to go.” Helen Rivers-Moore in Perez Zeledon.


“What a classy professional!”

“With mobility issues, I was very stressed out about getting into this process. Laura’s patient and precise instruction made it downright easy for me to get all the necessary documentation. No do-overs. She prepared thoroughly prior to my application submission and we got everything done including fingerprinting in record time! She personally looked after me the whole time making sure I was as comfortable as possible during my one trip to San Jose. I also noticed how cooperative the staff at Immigration was with Laura while I watched from close proximity. What a classy professional!” James Stewart in Arenal.


“Our registration went smooth as silk.”

“Being nervous about preparing my process from New York, I vetted Laura very carefully. I was even warned by friends familiar with the process that she was being too optimistic about things. Laura’s response? “Just watch me.” She was amazing. Our registration went smooth as silk. She even got our marriage certificate properly registered after the lawyer who got us married here in CR dropped the ball. My cautious friends are astounded. We just love her!” Timothy & Maria Lafferty in New York/Puerto Cortez.

Get A Free 20 Minute Consultation With Costa Rica Residency Expert Laura Gutierrez!

Please fill out the form below or click this link to email us.

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“What a pro!”

“Bill and I were in the home stretch in this process when we discovered that out lawyer had forgotten an important notice from Costa Rican Officials. We were in danger of having to start all over. Laura agreed to take over our case with very tight time constraints. One week later, we took this picture with Laura outside Immigration with residency cards in hand. She handled the whole panicky situation with calm and charm. What a pro!” Kathy and William in San Isidro.


“She’s the best!”

“Typical of many ex-pats, I was rather cynical about what might happen once I hire someone to handle my Costa Rican Residency Card application. Then Laura came highly recommended to me from an Arenal neighbor and client of Laura’s. I reasoned that if this very hard to please individual was impressed with Laura, how could I go wrong? Well I can tell you that it’s been a long while since I have received such outstanding service from any other professional, either here or in the U.S. Laura always let me know where things stood and I could tell she was pushing things along with a very consistent effort. In spite of an overloaded and chaotic Residency system, Laura was successful in getting m Residency Card (cedula) in 7 months. I highly recommend her to my fellow ex-pats. She’s the best!” Micaela Grantham in Arenal.


“We so enjoyed her warm company.”

“We needed to coordinate our Costa Rica Residency Card application long distance from our home in Washington State. Worries about who we were going to hire under these circumstance were laid to rest when a highly credible source recommended Laura. Laura began by assisting us with getting a bank account prior to us having residency, which apparently is very difficult to do. She showed an unusual care and concern for our case — like it was her own family. She also kept us right up to date during the whole process and helped us co-ordinate our flight itineraries to best advantage. She even provided us with a lot of other very important and useful information about how to go about our business here in Costa Rica. We so enjoyed her warm company.” Donald & Julie Schneider and family, Washington State/Dominical, Costa Rica.


“We were so fortunate to hear of Laura Gutiérrez through ‘We Love Costa Rica’.

We anticipated real nightmares as we were trying to co-ordinate everything from the Middle East, where I was working, and had been told by several people that we would be lucky to get our residence cards in under a year.

Laura’s attention to detail was impressive, and when problems arose they were dealt with quickly and efficiently.

When the time came to file our application Laura checked all our paperwork through the night before to ensure that everything was in order and then charmed her way through the officialdom the next morning resulting in our lodging all the paperwork and having our fingerprints taken on the opposite side of town in under 4 hours.

Four months and a week later Laura emailed us to say that our application had been approved and our residence cards were ready for collection. It doesn’t get better than this!” John & Jan Rundall from Bahrain.

Costa Rica Residency Requirements 2017

If you’re asking yourself “How do I become a permanent resident in Costa Rica?” This is the place for you, Laura Gutierrez has helped hundreds of ex pats become residents in Costa Rica.

Get A Free 20 Minute Consultation With Costa Rica Residency Expert Laura Gutierrez!

Please fill out the form below or click this link to email us.

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There are 41 comments:

  • Jackie Van deventer at 1:44 pm

    I sent you an email a little bit ago , I did not fill in the phone number because we donot have a phone,
    Thank you Jackie van deventer

    • mikeplambeck at 5:19 pm

      Hi Jackie, are you trying to contact Laura about immigration services? You can fill out the contact form on the bottom of this page and it will go straight to Laura.

  • Jaquetta Wyble at 9:05 pm

    We plan on moving to Costa Rica end by end of 2017 when should we start the process or residency?

    • mikeplambeck at 7:33 pm

      Hi Jackie, I’m reaching out to you via email and going to include Laura in the email as well. She will then contact you and be able to help you out!

  • cathy at 10:06 pm

    Hi Laura –
    I saw your ad and was very impressed. I live in California and thought I would ask you who you would recommend
    highly to list and sell a very large property/land/farm in Costa Rica? Please do not forward my info to any agents.
    My seller is interested in finding out from a local resident who they would recommend and I picked you. We are finding
    real estate agents do not followup, call us back, etc., who would you recommend?

    Thanks, Laura I probably will be coming to Costa Rica someday soon. I’m looking forward to hearing from you.

  • MS at 2:05 am

    Is there any phone number to contact Laura B Gutierrez?

    • mikeplambeck at 7:30 pm

      There is a contact form on this page, towards the bottom, if you fill it out that form will go directly to Laura and she can help you with whatever you need! Also I’ve emailed Laura and included you in the email as well! thanks

    • mikeplambeck at 7:34 pm

      There is a contact form on this page, toward the bottom. If you fill it out it goes directly to Laura! I tried emailing you but it didn’t go through.

  • Jackie Van deventer at 11:26 pm

    Hi Laura,
    I have emailed you before but maybe it didn’t get to you,
    I have some questions about getting residency ,
    I only have email as way of communication ,
    My husband and I live in Costa ballena , down by Dominican and Uvita ,
    We live here full,time but check out of Costa Rica every 90 days ,
    I look forward to hearing From you,
    Thanks so much

    • mikeplambeck at 1:53 pm

      I will email her and ask her to contact you as soon as possible.


  • Maxine de Villefranche at 10:49 pm

    Hello Laura: I’ve used your services before to help me close out my application for temporary residency. I want to apply for permanent residency as my 3 years of temporary residency is coming up. Can you help with obtaining my permanent residency and how much do you charge for this service? Thank you. Maxine de Villefranche

    • WalkiriaMG at 11:31 am

      Hello Maxine, thank you for your comment, We just send your messages to Laura, She will be in contact with you as soon as she can.
      Thanks and have a good day.

  • alan kind at 4:28 pm

    I would speak to laura gutierrez can I get a good phone # mine is 95407083893 my name is alan kind I’m in fla

    • mikeplambeck at 11:39 pm

      Hi, if you fill out the brief contact form on this page Alan, Laura will contact you right away!

  • merilda at 6:58 am

    Good day we are greek south Africans that want to move to costa rica by the end of 2017

    Thank you

    • WalkiriaMG at 1:17 pm

      Hello Merilda, thank you for your message, We just sent your message again to Laura , But you could also use the consultation options located below to contact with Costa Rica Residency Expert Laura Gutierrez! and get A free 20 Minute Consultation with Laura.


  • Thomas Eure at 8:55 pm

    Hi Laura, I have contacted you before but our time frame is not set yet. I do want to have your info on file, phone # email, etc. So when we are ready I will be able to contact you.
    I assume this website is what you will refer me to so if that is the case all is good.
    Thank you
    Tom Eure

  • Joy Royes Page at 4:34 am

    My father is a Costa Rican citizen. I was born in the United States and he never registered me with the embassy. He and my Mother (an American) are still married. They live there for several months out of the year. He is on my birth certificate. I am 50 years old and need to be able to take care of some business for him as he is aging, so I want to get my permanent residency. I cannot even get an appointment at the Costa Rican Consulate here in Washington DC. I saw a lawyer in Limon while I was there but he had no idea and the law firm in San Jose I consulted with wanted to charge astronomical prices, but did not seem particularly enthusiastic about helping us. My Dad just assumed that since he was our father that he would never have had to register us. It is only recently that we discovered that we were not citizens or would have to file become permanent residents. I am hoping that you can help.

  • Chuck Griffiths at 5:50 pm

    Can I get the pensionado residency without being in Costa Rica? Also, I would like to buy a car to see the country along with Panama before I rent or buy a home.

  • Kent Zilliox at 12:48 am

    Myself, my wife and my 24.5 year old son are looking to apply for residence. I think I heard that my wife would be included as a spouse, but children over 25 would need to apply. Lucas will be 25 this September.

    We have purchased property with a partner (50/50), the cost total was $80,000. We are building a 5 bed 4 bath hostel for business in Platanillo, it is costing us $120,000+ to build, the value after completion will be of course more, maybe twice. We are partners in the building as well.

    My son most likely will stay and manage the business, not sure if he would need work visa or not, since it is our family business.

    What is your service and cost to help us gain residency?


  • Mark Switzer at 12:45 am

    Laura, my wife and I currently have residency under the rentista provision. It is now time for us to renew our cedulas, however, according to the requirements listed on the imigracion website it is necessary to show that we have exchanged 2500.00 per month into colons.

    The immigration attorney that we used to process our applications informed us that it was not necessary to actually bring the money into the country as long as we provided a letter from our investment company in the USA that we have deposits of at least $60,000 and are receiving 2500.00 per month. Unfortunately, she is now deceased.

    Can you please tell me if it is possible to renew our residency without depositing 60,000 into a Costa Rican bank? We make all of our purchases here by credit card except for rent and utilities.

    Our cedulas expire on July 8, 2017 so any information you can provide is very much appreciated.

  • Naaz at 5:18 pm

    I am interested to find out about residency, I have been there 6 times and I have just fell in love with country and its people.
    So I am thinking very seriously to relocate to Costa Rica and leave this hassle life behind. I do want to know what are my best options for retiring . My income will be my social security and part time work there.
    Thanking you in advance for your prompt consideration to this matter!

  • Michael Walsh and Geoffrey Mate at 10:09 pm

    Hello Laura,

    We are interested to find out about residency, I have been there 2 times and I have just fell in love with country at Osa Mountain Village.

    So I am thinking very seriously to relocate to Costa Rica and leave this USA life behind. I do want to know what are my best options for retiring . My income will be my annuity, savings and part time work there.

    Thanking you in advance for your prompt consideration to this matter!

    Partner Geoffrey Mate (elderly) is English with UK Passport.

    I have a current and valid Swiss Passport– and a USA renewed Passport is coming in the mail.

  • D. W. at 3:25 am

    Hello Ms. Gutierrez:

    I am a Canadian and I’m in the process of purchasing a property in CR for over US$200,000, which I understand will qualify me for residency under the investor category.

    1. Would you be able to take me on as a client? If so, I have all the usual questions, such as how much will it cost, and about how long do you expect the process to take?

    2. What documents should I bring with me, and what needs to be done first here? I heard something about needing a local (Canadian) police report, and getting it authenticated?

    I’d be happy to discuss this directly by email or telephone, but I don’t feel comfortable posting any more details on your forum.


  • Stalin Rodríguez at 4:35 pm

    Buen día, mi nombre es Stalin Rodríguez, tengo 49 años, casado, abogado, mi esposa es odontopediátra y tenemos una hija de 10 años, vivimos en Venezuela y necesitamos salir de este país… Si existe la posibilidad de emigrar agradecería cualquier información,

    Muchas gracias.

  • Brian Swanson at 2:13 pm

    Hi Laura I have e-mailed u 3 times now with no response are u still in business? We are currently in costa rica this week will be back in dec. We want to retire here next year.want to get the process going for residency.Please let us know if u are in this line of practice or not so we can move forward with some one else thx Brian

  • John Smith at 6:03 pm

    What would the cost be and how long would it take to get residency. I understand that once you apply, your drivers licence is no longer valid. Would it be practical for my wife and I to do this one at a time, so we always have a valid driver?

  • Tony Chen at 11:19 am

    Dear Laura Gutierrez:

    We have three people from China who have decided to apply for residency.Please email me soon in order that we can follow your direction step by step. Thank you!

  • Cory Wong at 3:20 am

    Hi Laura can you give me an idea of your cost to help me become a resident? I live in LA Calif. Thank you, Cory

  • Scottie at 1:27 am

    Married to a Tico. A year in Feb. He and I p!an on ?iving here forever. How do I get citizenship?

    • Scottie cordell at 1:31 am

      O have been married to a Tick for 14 months. When will I be eligible to apply for citizenship?
      How much will it cost?

  • Don at 2:43 pm


    My wife and I are moving to Costa Rica early next year. We tried going through someone else and I showed them I will be pulling $2611.00 a month when I claim social security> I sent them information showing what my social security is and social security gave me information on my social security, but they said it was not sufficient information. Can you help us.

  • John at 10:18 pm

    I would like your help with acquiring a pensionado Visa and residency. Can you help me?

  • Michelle Hodges at 4:56 pm

    Similarly to John above, my husband and I (as well as my 18 year old son) would like your assistance in acquiring a pensionado residency. How much are your services?

  • Dora Galvan at 8:15 pm

    Hi Laura,
    My husband and I want to move to Costa Rica, sometime early next year (2019) we are planning a trip in the middle of January and would like to sent up an appt with you get information from you as to what steps we need to start our residency in Costa Rica. We would be interested in working with you to accomplish that. Please contact us to set up an appointment

  • Kent Zilliox at 5:10 pm

    Hello, I have purchased 4 acres and built a 5 bedroom 4 bath house in Platanillo. We are currently bouncing back and forth from the states to CR, but plan to move in the next few years permanently. In the mean time it seems it would make sense to start the residency process, since we are there so often…right? Kent

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