We provide a great deal of up to the moment information on our web page in order to assist people with the process of applying for a legal status. We encourage individuals to contact us with any and all additional questions that they may have and you will receive a detailed reply to your enquiries. Emails are recommended method of communicating as the information can be kept for future reference but we also have found that half an hour or so on the phone can provide you with a level of assurance that GSE knows the process and also gives us the immediate and accurate feeling as to what you the prospect requires. Contact us at any stage of your process.
A few overviews regarding the Immigration process.
The Costa Rican Government wants you to make Costa Rica your new home Country and have made several changes in the past few years to facilitate your move.
We outline some of those changes as follows. No particular order of importance but…..
1. Perhaps the most important change now in effect is the financial qualification requirement to apply for Resident Investor status. Used to be that a person had to invest a minimum of US$200,000 in a Costa Rican Government recognized investment. Not terribly onerous but when one then added the purchase of a home etc. the financial burden was significant. Now the value of a home that one purchases can be applied towards the required investment amount. If the purchase price is in excess of US$200,000 then no further investment is required. If under US$200,000 then additional investments in the country can be added to reach the required level of investment.
2. Recipients of any of the three most popular types of legal status, Investor, Rentista and Pensionado used to have to show proof that they had remained in Costa Rica for a minimum of four months during any 12 month period. Now the recipient only needs to have a physical presence in Costa Rica one day every 24 months. This change had a gigantic impact on individuals who planned to live here after retirement. Now they can make their application for the status they choose, obtain that status and then move here whenever they choose. After having ones legal status for 24 months that person, or Great Sunrise Enterprises, can simply apply to Immigration for a change from Temporary status to Permanent status. When Permanent status is granted that individual no longer has to prove financial wherewithal to Immigration because they could then work to support themselves. Technically they could take a job away from a Costa Rican citizen but the Government knows that in most cases that individual, if they wish to work, will in fact create jobs not take them away from Costa Ricans. (another reason the Government wants people to make C.R. their new home)
3. Another recent change is that the Costa Rican Government recognizes documentation from fellow Hague convention signatories. This makes it much faster and easier for applicants to get the required documentation for Immigration. (list of documentations found on our web site) U.S.A. for example is a signatory, Canada is not.
Popularity of living in Costa Rica comes with a price. Because of the greatly increased work load on the staff at Immigration and the limited facilities available Immigration now supports the concept of working in co-ordination with the Post Office system here in Costa Rica. Appointments can now be made so that when resolution has been granted we can create an appointment with the closest post office where the Immigration document (cedula) will be provided. A very positive move on the part of Immigration
Unfortunately an applicant currently can expect to wait for approximately 12 months to receive their legal status. Shorter time frame do occur from time to time but a time frame of 12 months plus are not unusual and, as we advise our clients, can be expected. There really is no exception to this time period despite various claims from various providers
The application process starts at Immigration when they have received all the required documentation. On occasion they are applicants who wish to start the process and then return home and send the balance of the required paperwork to us. Not a problem for anyone but officially the clock starts at Immigration when they provide the receipt indicating all documents being received. Immigration will open a file for our clients when we present to immigration the following:
a. Copy of limited Power of Attorney allowing us to represent client
b. Notarized copies of each page of passport
c. Receipt for payment of application
d. Pictures of individuals making application
e. Fingerprints from local police. (process takes place when we have receipt from Immigration indicating why fingerprints are required.
The balance of the paperwork when sent to us and upon being translated are submitted to Immigration.
We offer this variation to the typical application process to assist those clients who do not wish to wait until their return to Costa Rica to start the Immigration process. A sort of “jump the gun” process which incidentally works very well.
GREAT SUNRISE ENTERPRISES, S.A.
Kevin A. McNamee