Costa Rica Offers a Clear Path to Citizenship
Citizenship of Costa Rica is highly sought after. It provides a more solid passport than any Citizenship by Investment (CBI) programme could ever offer. The Costa Rica passport is ranked 30 in the world and provides visa free access to 148 countries. Visa free access includes the EU’s Schengen area, the UK and Russia.
Costa Rica is a peaceful country of just under 5m citizens. It abolished its army back in 1946 and has no enemies. It’s the land of “Pura Vida”, which means good life.
If you’ve dreamed of escaping the cold for the beaches of Costa Rica you could pick up a valuable second citizenship along the way.
Citizenship of Costa Rica by Naturalization
Any legal resident of Costa Rica can apply for naturalization as a Costa Rican citizen. The time needed to get citizenship of Costa Rica is 5 years for anyone from a Spanish speaking country and 7 years for everybody else. You also must have knowledge of Costa Rican history and culture and pass a Spanish language test. Costa Rica citizenship applications are administered by the Tribunal Supremo de Elecciones in San Jose, Costa Rica.
Legal residency in Costa Rica is easy to get. If you don’t have a family connection to the country you’ll probably opt for residency as a Rentista. This means you have to show income of around $2,5000 per month. You also have to sign up for Costa Rica’s healthcare system, known as the CAJA. The cost of this is based on your declared income but it can be as low as $25 per month. This entitles you to free healthcare in Costa Rica.
Costa Rica also recently introduced a digital nomad visa.
Citizenship of Costa Rica by Descent
If you have Costa Rican parents or grandparents you’re entitled to claim Costa Rican citizenship by descent. You can go further back if you can prove that your relatives never lost their Costa Rican citizenship.
Citizenship of Costa Rica by Marriage
If you marry a Costa Rican you’ll be able to get citizenship of Costa Rica by marriage. The time requirement is much less for this category at only 2 years. If you apply for citizenship by marriage you don’t have to do the language test.
Citizenship of Costa Rica by Birth
Anyone born in Costa Rica is a Costa Rican citizen by birth. It doesn’t matter where the parents come from. If you’re born on Costa Rican soil you’re a citizen. Having a child born in Costa Rica entitles the parents to permanent residency. Unfortunately it doesn’t make getting citizenship faster as in Mexico and Brazil. You still must wait 7 years for Costa Rican citizenship.
Unlike some citizenship programmes you have to live fulltime in Costa Rica to become a citizen. When you make the application for citizenship they’ll look at your entries and exits. You must show that you haven’t been out of the country for more than 3 months at a time during the wait period for naturalization. This applies to citizenship by marriage too. You can travel outside Costa Rica as often as you want but you’ll have to come back every 3 months if you’re planning to apply for citizenship.
The good thing about Costa Rican citizenship is that the rules are clear. They’re also applied fairly. In some countries such as Panama and Paraguay, they have shorter wait times on paper but in practice it can take much longer for a foreigner to be naturalized. In Costa Rica, if you follow the rules there’s no doubt you’ll get citizenship of Costa Rica.
Can you become a citizen of Costa Rica?
Yes, if you follow the rules after 2-7 years of residency you’ll become a citizen of Costa Rica.
How do I become a resident of Costa Rica?
There are several programmes to become a resident of Costa Rica. These include the Rentista category, investment and the new nomad visa.
Does Costa Rica have birthright citizenship?
Yes, anyone who is born n Costa Rica is a citizen of Costa Rica. Parents of children born in Costa Rica get permanent residency.
Can you get Costa Rica citizenship by investment?
You can get residency in Costa Rica by investment. This can lead to citizenship in 5-7 years.
What are the benefits of Costa Rican citizenship?
Costa Rica citizenship gives you the right to live in Costa Rica permanently, as well as visa free travel to 150 countries.