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Residency in Costa Rica

The Costa Rican Government has identified deforestation as a major problem in Costa Rica. Pristine forests were destroyed to make way for cattle pastures and other industries. The result of this destruction was that top soil, the very essence of life in Costa Rica, ran to the rivers and floated out to the oceans only to be lost forever. In order to reverse this trend of destruction Forestry Law 7575 Article #70 was introduced. The Government here has very little money for preventative measures so special incentives were given to individuals who invested in reforestation on a large scale.

These incentives include:

*the right to live in Costa Rica.

*the right to work in Costa Rica (if desired) Resident Investor status is the only status that allows a person to work legally in Costa Rica. Holders of all the other status’s and even a tourist can own property here but they cannot work. A perfect example is when a person(s) purchases a house here. They put the house in a corporate name, call it a bed & breakfast and think that now they can work in their own Corporation running the B&B. Just not so. Make 1 reservation, serve 1 breakfast or make 1 bed. You have broken the law.

*freedom from the requirement to prove annual income All that is required it your 1 time investment. Pensionados must prove a pension (for life) of a minimum of US$600.00. Rentistas must prove an interest income from investments of US$1,000 per month per adult and US$500.00 per month per child. This gets expensive.The Permanent Resident Investor does not have to do this.

*freedom from the requirement to convert a set amount of funds annually from dollars to colonés. Both Pensionados and Rentistas must annually show that they have converted the proven funds from dollars to colones. For example the Pensionado will present to the Government proof that he or she has converted 12 x $600.00 or $7,200 into colones. The Permanent Resident Investor does not have to do this.

*freedom from the time restrictions of other status. Both Pensionados and Rentistas must be physically in the country for a minimum of 3 months a year. The also cannot be out of the country more than 6 consecutive months. Failing to meet these requirements will cause the loss of their status. Permanent Resident Investor status requires the individual to be here 1 day a year for the first 5 years, 1 day every 2 years until year 10 and then are required to be here 1 day every 5 years. These days are required to renew their status’s.

*ability to make application for status from within Costa Rica. At this time only Permanent Resident Investors can make their application to Immigration while here in Costa Rica.

The fact is that the individual and family receives all the rights of a natural born Costa Rican with the 1 exception. Cannot get politically involved.

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