Discover the Costa Rica Investor Visa: Is It the Best Option?
The Republic of Costa Rica, located in the heart of Central America, is not just a picturesque haven of beaches and volcanoes; it's also an inviting destination for investors seeking a path to residency and, ultimately, citizenship. Costa Rica's Investor Visa program offers a promising opportunity for individuals looking to make a modest investment in the country's vibrant economy and lush landscapes.
The sovereign state is a unitary presidential constitutional republic. It has a long-standing and stable democracy.
With a highly educated workforce and a commitment to progress, the nation has secured its place as the 50th richest country globally, according to the International Monetary Fund. Despite its successes, Costa Rica faces challenges in infrastructure, fiscal deficit, poverty reduction, crime rates, unemployment, and ecological issues, reflecting the complexity of its developmental landscape.
Known for its stunning beaches, volcanic wonders, and rich biodiversity, Costa Rica presents a compelling backdrop for those considering a new chapter in life through investment.
Costa Rica Investor Visa Program:
In exchange for a reasonable investment of US$100,000 in real estate, forestry projects, or a local business, applicants gain eligibility for a residence permit in Costa Rica. This permit can be the path into permanent residency after three years, with the requirement of at least 180 days of physical presence annually.
After seven years of continuous residency, investors have the opportunity to apply for Costa Rican citizenship. This process involves demonstrating proficiency in the Spanish language, a deep understanding of the country's history and culture, and a commitment to community values.
How to apply?
There are three investment routes for residency by investment in Costa Rica:
Business Investment (US$150,000): Invest in a new or existing business, supported by an approved business plan if initiating a new venture.
Real Estate and/or Movable Assets Investment (US$150,000): Invest in real estate or movable assets like condominiums, land, houses, farmland, vehicles, and boats.
Forestry Projects Investment (US$100,000): Invest in forestry projects involving lumbering, preservation, or forest regeneration, subject to environmental agency and local municipality permits.
Low minimum investment: US$100,000
Path to citizenship: Achievable after seven years
Path to permanent residency: Attainable after three years
Permits dual citizenship
Safety and security
Citizenship allows visa-free travel to 149 destinations, including Schengen countries
Processing time: 9 months
Taxes in Costa Rica
If you plan to operate a business in Costa Rica, tax rates range from 5% to 30%, with a 13% VAT. However, if you don't engage in economic activities in Costa Rica, you don't have to pay taxes on your foreign income. Great news! Costa Rica is a tax-friendly country.
To maintain your residency, a high physical presence is required: 180 days per year. This is ideal if you're looking for permanent relocation. On the other hand, options for digital nomads and retirees, with a requirement of four months of physical presence, offer more flexibility for a second residence.
In conclusion, rather than pursuing the investor visa, we're leaning towards the retirement or digital nomad visa. With this approach, instead of making a specific investment, we could deposit $60,000 in a Costa Rican bank without the need for additional investment.
When comparing the investor visa to the retiree visa, we suggest favoring the latter due to its simpler process, no investment requirement, and similar benefits. Although the investment is moderate compared to some countries like Belize, the retiree visa is a more accessible and beneficial choice for those considering a longer stay in Costa Rica.
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