Canadian Moving to Costa Rica
If you are looking to invest as an expat or high-net-worth individual, which is what I specialize in, you can email me (firstname.lastname@example.org) or WhatsApp (+44-7393-450-837).
Table of Contents
Here are visa, residency, living costs and other data that you might find vital if you’re a Canadian moving to Costa Rica.
Visa and Requirements
Do you need a visa as a Canadian Moving to Costa Rica?
To enter Costa Rica as a Canadian citizen does not require a visa from the Costa Rican government. However, you are required to have a passport that is valid and a ticket that allows you to leave Costa Rica within 90 days, whether you are to go back to your country or move to another nation.
If you are traveling from Canada, your passport must be valid for at least one day prior to your entry into Costa Rica. When visiting on a tourist visa, Canadian citizens are only allowed to stay for a maximum of 90 days. If your stay is going to be more than that period, you will need to apply for and secure a residence permit.
When those 90 days are up, you have to depart the country before you can come back for yet another 90 days. But carrying out such a strategy could be very taxing.
If you plan to reside in Costa Rica for an extended period of time, the following is a list of several categories of visas that you may be eligible for, based on your personal circumstances:
For academics, researchers, students, and volunteers (special category)
If you desire to remain in Costa Rica in one of the following capacities: student, volunteer, academic, or researcher, you’d need to submit an application for a provisional visa to the Costa Rican consulate that is located closest to you.
You need to submit the following paperwork:
- A letter of application for a provisional visa that falls under this special group, with the following information disclosed: complete name, citizenship, passport number, present address, occupation, target address within Costa Rica, birth date and birthplace, fax number for notifications purpose, and date and signature.
- A birth certificate with the appropriate apostille. The issue date of this certification ought to be no more than three months.
- An official Federal Criminal Background Certificate that has been officially apostilled. This certification needs to specify that the content was compiled in accordance with the information provided by the National Crime Information Center, the interstate identity index, or triple III. The issue date of this certification ought to be no more than four months.
- An original as well as a photocopy of passport or other acceptable travel document, which must have a minimum validity of six months.
- A letter of acceptance from the educational institution, which can be either public or private, or a Costa Rica-approved institution, stating that the individual has been accepted as an academic, researcher, student, or volunteer.
- Documentation demonstrating that it is feasible, from a financial standpoint, for the individual to stay in the nation for the allotted amount of time
- Three colored photos that are passport size.
- Payment of relevant fees.
The Consulate requires the submission of the required items:
The same documentation that was mentioned earlier, such as an application letter for a residence permit that includes pertinent personal information, a birth certificate that was issued no more than three months ago, a Federal Criminal Background Certificate, a photocopy of the passport or travel document that is valid for at least six months, three color photographs that are passport-sized, and payment of fees, as well as the following additional documentation:
- A document proving that, for a period of at least two years, a steady and permanent rental income worth 2,500 US dollars minimum will be obtained per month (or its equivalent in Costa Rican colónes), based on the exchange value set at that time by the country’s Central Bank. The paperwork that demonstrates this circumstance needs to be apostilled if the revenue is obtained from outside of Costa Rica. The date of this certification’s issue ought to be no more than three months.
The same documentation that was mentioned earlier, such as an application letter for a residence permit that includes pertinent personal information, a Federal Criminal Background Certificate, a photocopy of the passport or travel document that has a validity of at least six months, three color photos that are passport-sized, payment of fees, as well as the following additional documentation:
- A Spanish translation of your birth certificate that has been notarized. The date of this certification’s issue ought to be no more than three months.
- A document demonstrating that a permanent pension worth 1,000 dollars minimum will be collected each month (or its equivalent in colónes), based on the exchange rate decided during the time by Costa Rica’s central bank. It is necessary to get the certificate apostilled in order to send it out of the country. The date of this certification’s issue ought to be no more than three months.
Residency for Canadian Moving to Costa Rica
Does Costa Rica issue temporary residence permit?
According to Flag Theory, Costa Rica offers a temporary residency visa under the classification of pensionado to expats who are willing to move to the country and who have a pension for life.
Of course, one must show evidence of permanent income worth 1,000 dollars per month. o minimum age requirement is needed to apply, and applicants can include a spouse as well as children who are under the age of 25 or someone older than that but with disabilities.
The permission is only valid for a period of two years and can be renewed if it can be demonstrated that the requirements have been met. To be eligible for renewal, you are required to provide proof that your income comes from within Costa Rica and that you have maintained a residence in the country for a minimum of four months within a year, whether or not this residency was continuous.
Pensionado Visa holders are permitted to start their own businesses or work independently, but they are not allowed to take jobs that pay them a salary.
It is necessary for you to submit an application for these different categories of residency to the Immigration Office of Costa Rica.
- A letter of request outlining the reasons for your interest in temporary residency in Costa Rica, including the full name of the solicitor, as well as your country, age, occupation, present residence, and place or means for notices. The letter ought to be signed either in the presence of an immigration officer or a Public Notary.
- Two copies of latest front-facing passport size pictures.
- A payment of 50 dollars is due, which needs to be canceled in colónes in the account number 242480-0 at the Bank of Costa Rica. Your name as the Canadian citizen should be written down as the depositor.
- A payment of between $1.25 and $2.50 is required for each page that is included with the residence application. Again, your name as the Canadian citizen should be written down as the depositor.
- A completely filled up form with signature.
- An official document evidencing the enrollment of fingerprints from the Ministry of Public Safety. This prerequisite is only necessary for those who are at least 13 years old.
- Documentation proving that you have been registered with the appropriate consulate in Costa Rica.
- 8.Your Canadian birth certificate issued in Canada and duly legalized and authenticated. The certificate must not be older than a half year.
- A certificate of your prior criminal record that’s duly legalized and annotated from your home country, i.e., Canada, or the place where you have been living legally within the last 36 months. For this reason, you need to demonstrate the legitimacy of your stay in that nation by providing a certified copy of the migratory documentation that you got during the time period specified in the instruction.
- Photocopy of all of the pages in your passport. The official who is given the photocopies or a public notary should either vouch for their authenticity or conduct a comparison of the copy to the original.
- A pension that is paid for life by the appropriate governing body. This certification needs to verify that you’re entitled to a pension worth over 1,000 dollars per month. If the certification was granted in another country, it is required to be apostilled, legalized, and validated in accordance with applicable laws.
- You’re allowed to move to Costa Rica with your dependents, meaning your spouse, children who are below 25 or those who are over such age and have a disability. You’ll need corroborating evidence, such as a marriage certificate or a medical certificate. Legalization or apostilling is required for any and all foreign-issued papers.
The same documentation that was mentioned earlier, such as a request letter for soliciting a temporary residency in Costa Rica with relevant personal data, two latest passport size photos, payment of 50 dollars in addition to 1.25 dollars and 2.50 dollars for each page that is presented with the residency request.
Also the same, you have to submit a completely filled up form with your signature, proof of fingerprint and consular registration, your birth certificate, duly legalized and annotated certificate of your criminal record in the past, a photocopy of all the pages of your passport, plus:
- Paperwork that shows you’ll be receiving a minimum of 2,500 dollars (or its equivalent in colónes) worth of permanent rental income per month for at least two years. The figure will employ the exchange rate set by Costa Rica’s central bank during that time. Such document needs to be apostilled if the revenue is obtained from outside of the country.
How can you obtain permanent residence in Costa Rica as a Canadian?
A foreign national is eligible to submit an application for permanent residence in Costa Rica after having legally resided in the country for a period of three years or more while bearing a temporary residence visa.
Permanent residency in Costa Rica allows a person to work for a Costa Rican employer, and the minimal condition of annual stay is to visit the nation at least once a year for a period of three days. Individuals, not their dependents, are allowed to have permanent residency in the country.
Every five years, a person is required to renew their permanent residency.
Even if they do not meet the qualification for permanent residency, foreigners who have a relationship with a Costa Rican citizen at the first-degree level, such as a spouse or kid, are eligible to submit an application for a permanent residence visa.
You may apply for citizenship through naturalization after having lived in the country lawfully for the previous seven years with either a temporary or permanent residency visa. Citizenship acquired through naturalization confers the ability to apply for a Costa Rican passport. Dual citizenship is legal under most circumstances, and naturalized persons are generally not compelled to renounce any former citizenship they may have held.
In order to become a citizen of Costa Rica, you are going to need to demonstrate that you are fluent in both spoken and written Spanish, that you have a strong understanding of Costa Rican culture and history, and that you have at least two witnesses who can vouch for your behavior and the way you make a living.
Canadian Moving to Costa Rica: Healthcare
How is the quality of the Costa Rican healthcare system?
The Costa Rican Social Security Fund, or Caja Costarricense de Seguro Social, is the country’s program that provides healthcare to everyone in Costa Rica.
Governmental hospitals typically charge very little or nothing at all for the medical care that they provide. Wait times at public healthcare institutions can be rather lengthy, though, and while the grade of care provided is sufficient, some modern treatments and tech are not always readily available.
The quality of Costa Rica’s health and healthcare systems ranked twenty-sixth worldwide, according to research done by online market and consumer data source Statista. Costa Rica had the same ranking as Canada which outranked the US at 49.
The best private hospitals could be found in San José and other big cities all around the country. The standard of care at these facilities is typically on par with that offered in the US and Canada, and it comes at a relatively affordable price, as per International Citizens Insurance.
The standard of care at these facilities is typically on par with that offered in the US and Canada, and it comes at a relatively affordable price, as per International Citizens Insurance.
It is possible to purchase private medical insurance that will cover the costs incurred at private medical facilities such as hospitals and clinics. In Costa Rica, around 30% of the population is covered by a private, opt-in health insurance plan, Internations said.
When you submit your application for a temporary resident visa in Costa Rica, you will be given information on how to enroll in the national healthcare system. Following your arrival in Costa Rica as a prospective resident, you are required by law to register with the appropriate authorities.
Canadian Moving to Costa Rica: Language
Do you have to know Spanish to live in Costa Rica?
The Spanish language is recognized as the nation’s primary tongue in Costa Rica. However, it should not be difficult for expats to discover people who speak English, particularly in cities that are frequently visited by tourists. Even though many locals speak English to some degree, it is still a good idea to acquire some level of Spanish proficiency before living there.
Is it possible to bring my pet as a Canadian Moving to Costa Rica?
Yes, it is not difficult at all. You have the option of taking your pet on board with you in the cabin or flying it as cargo. When moving your pets overseas, you will normally be asked to provide proof that your pets have been immunized against relevant diseases and have a health certificate from a licensed veterinarian. There is no need for quarantine at this time.
Canadian Moving to Costa Rica: Cost of Living
Global cost of living data provider Numbeo said the monthly cost of living in Costa Rica for one person can approach 401,514 Costa Rican colónes (686.5 dollars). This figure is exclusive of rent. Meanwhile, the monthly cost for a family of four, without the cost of rent, might be close to 1.5 million colónes.
It is projected that a supper for two at a restaurant with a middle-range price point in Costa Rica will cost 25,000 colónes, whilst a meal for two at a restaurant with a low-end price point will cost 4,500 colónes.
The average monthly rent for a one-bedroom apartment in the city center of Costa Rica is 314,345.5 colónes, whereas the average rent outside of that area is about 220,035 colónes.
The cost of purchasing an apartment in the central business district of Costa Rica can reach over 1.1 million colónes per square meter, while the cost of purchasing an apartment outside of the central business district can reach around 744,237 colónes per square meter.
Canadian Moving to Costa Rica: Where do the majority from Canada settle?
Expats from other countries, including Canada, can be found in most cities and towns across Costa Rica. Atenas, Escazu, Flamingo, Grecia, Playa Hermosa, Puerto Viejo, and Tamarindo and are among the many places that are popular among expats.
Below are some places to consider as a Canadian moving to Costa Rica:
If you’re interested living in the vicinity of San Jose, Escazu might be the place for you. This suburb provides a wide variety of hip bars and restaurants, in addition to big-city facilities and safe neighborhoods. It is also well-known for the pleasant springlike climate that it enjoys throughout the entire year.
It is projected that a lunch for two at a restaurant with a mid-range price point in Escazu will cost 20,000 colónes, while a meal at a restaurant with an affordable price point will cost 3,500 colónes.
The price per square meter of an apartment in the city center of Escazu can reach 687,319 colónes, while apartments located outside of the city center can be purchased for 599,792 colónes.
The small town of Atenas is widely regarded as one of the top destinations for genuine examples of the country’s cuisine, coffee, and cultural practices. In addition to this, it is about in the middle of the way between San Jose and the beaches of the Pacific Coast. Atenas is a well-liked location among seniors who are searching for an easy commute to both the airport and the conveniences of a large city.
Tamarindo is often considered to be one of the most beautiful beach towns in the world. It’s a fantastic vacation option for anyone who adore the beach, surf, and wildlife. Young people who relocate here will also find plenty of pubs, restaurants, and a thriving nightlife scene.
It is anticipated that a supper for two at a restaurant with a middle-range price point in Tamarindo will cost approximately 29,598 colónes, while a meal at a more affordable restaurant will cost approximately 5,500 colónes.
The cost of purchasing an apartment in the city center of Tamarindo can reach up to 1.4 million colónes per square meter, whereas the cost of purchasing an apartment outside of the city center is approximately 1.2 million colónes.
Heredia is a highland town that draws expats because of its proximity to San Jose, its gorgeous architecture, its verdant surroundings, and its many opportunities for outdoor recreation.
If rent is not included, the whole cost of living for one person in Heredia each month can reach approximately 354,813 colónes on average. On the other hand, the average monthly expenditure for a household of four that does not include rent can be close to 1.4 million colónes.
Estimates place the cost of a lunch at a less costly restaurant in Heredia at 4,000 colónes, while a supper for two at a restaurant with a more moderate price point can run as much as 23,000 colónes.
The cost of purchasing an apartment in the city center of Heredia can reach about 864,757 colónes per square meter, while the cost of purchasing an apartment outside of the city center can reach approximately 680,000 colónes per square meter.
This beach town in Costa Rica is a popular destination for both permanent residents and vacationers. Visitors can enjoy activities such as surfing, snorkeling, scuba diving, sunbathing, horseback riding, and relaxation on Dominical’s beaches throughout the entire year. The Manuel Antonio National Park is also located in close proximity to the town.
Pained by financial indecision? Want to invest with Adam?
Adam is an internationally recognised author on financial matters, with over 735.2 million answer views on Quora.com, a widely sold book on Amazon, and a contributor on Forbes.