Prior to the coming into effect of the new Immigration Law, in the month of August, 2006, Immigration Law Regulation #7033, provided for a minimum annual requirement of four months physical residency in Costa Rica, in order to maintain a party’s Residency status.

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The four month physical residency requirement, was constituted by a cumulative time of four months, during the annual residency period, for any given Resident, and did not have to be consecutive.

Following the implementation of the new Immigration Law, in August, 2006, the physical residency requirement has been changed to require that a Resident not be absent from Costa Rica, for a period greater than six months, in any annual Residency period, in order to maintain their Residency status.

The question is, does this new physical residency time period apply to Residents, who were granted Residency under the old Immigration Law? The best and most secure answer would appear to be “yes”, it does. The actual act for which the time period applies to, is to the renewal of the Residency, which is applied for annually, and not to the initial obtaining of the Residency category.

To rent or buy this 54 minute video with Costa Rica Attorney Roger Petersen please visit our Video On Demand page here.

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Although an argument would exist under article 34 of the Costa Rica Constitution, against such a stipulation being made retroactive, as applying to parties who were granted a Residency category status under the old Immigration Law, this would be a risky position to take, should a judicial finding favor the new Immigration Law as applying to the renewal of the Residency status, and not preserve the rights of the Residency category, that existed as at the date of the party’s application for such status.

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Written by Lic. Rick Philps. Richard (Rick) Philps is a Canadian citizen, naturalized as a citizen of Costa Rica. He was born, raised, and educated in Victoria, British Columbia, receiving a Bachelor of Arts Degree in 1977, and a Bachelor of Laws Degree (English Common Law) in 1980, from the University of Victoria. He thereafter practiced law in Victoria, as a member of the Law Society of British Columbia, for fourteen years, prior to moving to Costa Rica in 1998.

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Mr. Philps returned to university in Costa Rica, earning his Bachelor of Laws and Licensing Degrees (Civil Law), from the Metropolitana Castro Carazo University, and a Post-Graduate Degree in Notary and Registry Law, from the Escuela Libre de Derecho University, in San Jose, is a member of the Costa Rica College of Lawyers, and has practiced law in Costa Rica for five years. Mr. Philps practices law in the areas of real estate and development, corporate, commercial, contract, and banking.

Costa Rica Attorney Video Interviews. To help educate and protect you with your real estate investments in Costa Rica, you can enjoy the following interviews with Attorney Roger Petersen and Attorney Rick Philps online at:

If you would like to contact attorney Rick Philps and his associate attorney Roger Petersen, the author of the Legal Guide To Costa Rica, please help us to help you by giving us your your email address and answer the three little questions in the form below:

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