Young family to relocate to Costa Rica

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    I am a young married Canadian with 2 young children. My wife and I have visited CR twice, and our extended family have done the same. We love the country and all want to re-locate. We are planning to come down for one year to experience the full weather over longer periods and the culture. Given the fact that a tourist can only stay 3 monthes at a time how difficult is it to exit and re-enter every 3 monthes? We are looking into the possibility of purchasing an existing small business. We are also interested in a more self sufficient lifestyle and are looking at Finca style properties. Regarding residency would those options help? What about having a child born in the country? Is bringing our furniture worthwhile in the long run (if under 5 years old)? Thanks Chris


    My son, his wife and their two young children have just moved here from Ottawa, Canada to take up residency. They took the decision to sell their business, but keep their home in Ottawa which they have rented out. This gives them a guaranteed income while they decide what type of business to take up here.

    To get their residency they have used the ARCR(Residents Association) to apply for residency and thus avoid having to leave the country every 3 months for several days. Certainly having a child born in Costa Rica makes it relatively automatic according to the ARCR. In their case they are using the $60,000.00 deposit for rentista status, which I believe is only open as an option until August of 2006 due to the proposed change in immigration requirements.

    If you decide to go ahead and make the move here , do not hesitate to keep in touch with me through this site.

    Brian Kerr


    A friend of mine has been living down there for almost two years running a small hotel in San Juanillo, Guanacaste. His web page is

    Every three months he crosses the border into Nicaragua for the requisite three days and then returns with no problem.



    This has worked for quite some time but the immigration authorities are talking about preventing this in the future. Once there is any “concrete” news, we’ll certainly comment on that …

    If you are planning on living here, I would strongly encourage you to seek professional advice and apply for the approriate legal status rather than try and live under a ‘tourist’ visa which WILL be changed at some stage.


    PS. And if I’m not mistaken, that guy is BREAKING THE LAW by running a hotel and being here on a tourist visa.


    Can any one tell me what the procedure is, if you own property in Costa Rica, and want to relocate there to devellop that property and establish residency?


    You need to speak with an immigration attorney, I am not qaulified to give you the specifics on this and although I know dozens of Costa Rican attorneys, they do not have the time to help us with the forum.

    As far as I know, the fact that you own property here is a minor consideration in getting your residency unless that property is a hotel or other type of business which legally employs lots of Costa Ricams.



    Thanks Brian,

    We’re from Montreal so we were almost neighbours. Do you mean they are showing that they will invest $60K in a business? Does this organization have a website? What does the abreviation stand for?



    Do you have the name and emails of some qualified attorneys that specialize in residency?


    Hi Subhadra,

    No, the $60,000 is put on deposit in a recognised bank, and the bank issues a letter to the immigration authorities, stating that the deposit is locked in for a minimum of 5 years and they are allowed to withdraw $1000.00 per month. This then qualifies them for rentista status and thus residencia.

    To qualify for residencia as an investor you must invest in Costa Rica a minimum of $200,000 to purchase an existing business/ or develop your own business from scratch.

    I did the latter some 12 years ago when I left Canada to live here, and thus qualified for permanent residencia.

    True there are many people who do not follow the legal ways to gain residencia………….I know quite a few……..but they always live in the fear that they will be discovered or those that leave CR for 72 hours every 3 months, to re-qualify as a tourist, may have a shock when one day they are refused re-entry as a perpetual tourist. It also limits their ability to make money in this country.

    My son is using the legal department of the ARCR…Association of Residents of Costa Rica………and I have been impressed with how well they operate, and at reasonable cost. Much less than I paid an attorney 12 years ago to process my paperwork.

    It may pay you, being so close to Ottawa, to pay a visit to the CR Embassy in Ottawa. They have all the documentation that you will need, and the ways, to establish residency.

    I you want I can get the details of the contact person(s) at the ARCR for you, from my son.

    Good luck.



    Hi I have just a little input with the legal residence issue. I have been married to a Costa Rican for the last 5 years. We have property there that my wife has from her family. All of her family still lives in Costa Rica.
    From their perspective they really don’t like having illegal people living in their country because it does take jobs away from the Ticos. This culture is very well educated and a very small country. So please if you like costa rica come and vist, even buy a home if you want. How ever don’t take a job away from a highly educated tico just because you think this country is your paradise. I am sure that you would not want to have people come to your home town and compete with jobs if they were illegal!


    Thanks again Brian, my wife found the site for ARCR and they have loads of information and good forums as well.


    my husband and i are planning our move to CR for retirement….i don’t want a tourist visa but want perm. residency….so can u tell me the website for ARCR? please…..


    It is a question to everybody. Do you know any Russians from USA or from Russia who owns properties or moved permanently to Costa Rica?
    I am Unites States citizen for 18 years but I am formally from Russia. It will be interesting to know this information. I am looking to purchase property and build house for vacation/retirement purposes.

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