Rentista status

As mentioned before on this blog Rentista status and Pensinado status are the most popular common types of residency that people apply for when entering Costa Rica.

While there are several new proposals to change the immigration laws in the oven, nothing has been proposed for Rentista status. It as of August 12, 2006 has gotten very expensive and cost prohibitive for some people.

Before August 12 the cost of filing for Rentista status was $60,000 per family. Unknown to many people this law changed drastically and now the cost for filing has doubled for a couple. Under the current law, the cost is $60,000 per adult and $30,000 per child to file under this status. That would mean that the financial requirement for a family of 4 to be $180,000 proving that you have an income of $3,000 per month over a 5 year period of time.

Under Rentista status, you are not allowed to work. You can own your own business but must hire a Costa Rican to manage and work in the business. This is true with any business including a B&B. You can own the B&B but you can’t run it, work in it, cook, clean, anything considered work in your own B&B.

Many people think that you can come to Costa Rica, buy a house and qualify for residency status. This is not true. Foreigners can own property but it does not go towards your residency status. So a family of 4 would need to put up $180k to file for residency and they can’t work then put up another 150k + to buy a house to live in.

There is another type of residency which I have not mentioned here but will give more details on it at another time and that is Resident Investor status. It does not require the huge outlay of cash and you have all the same rights as a Costa Rican(with the exception of politics) including being able to work. More on that later.

If you need a good immigration attorney, we work with the best in Costa Rica and they can get your residency in a matter of months.

For more information about residency and how it might affect your family email us at

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