Costa Rica Country Profile

For more details visit Costa Rica Passport Ranking
  • Passport Grade
  • Passport Ranking
  • Passport Score
  • Visa-free Countries
  • Visa-required Countries
  • Access to the World's GDP
  • Access to the World's Surface Area
  • Access to the World's Population
  • Access to the Unesco Sites
Citizenship and Naturalization
Birthright citizenship (Jus Soli)
  • Birthright citizenship (Jus Soli)
    Unrestricted: Any child born in the country automatically becomes a citizen.
Naturalization - Standard Conditions
  • Minimum residency period
    7 years
  • Physical presence requirement
    Must stay the entire 2,555 days (7 years) on the ground. Last 12 months must be continuous
  • Language test
    Yes, Spanish
  • Need to renounce original citizenship?
  • Can minor children naturalize?
  • Can naturalized parents pass citizenship to a child born abroad?
  • Can you lose naturalization due to prolonged absence/ naturalization elsewhere?
    No / No
Naturalization - Your Spouse is a Citizen
  • Living IN the country: Residency/marriage requirement
    2 years / 2 years
    Must be both married and reside in the country for 2 years.
  • Living ABROAD: Marriage requirement
    Not allowed
  • Language test
    Yes, Spanish
  • Need to renounce original citizenship?
Naturalization - Other Beneficial Provisions
  • Your child is a citizen
    No provisions
  • Citizens of specific countries
    5 years
    5 years for citizens by birth of Spain, any other Central American country, or an Iberoamerican country.
"–": The provision has not been analysed.
For more details visit Cost of Living
  • Taxation Type
A tax resident of a country with a TERRITORIAL tax system pays taxes on the income generated within the country only. Income generated outside of the country remains tax-free.
Schiff Sovereign's Take on Costa Rica
Costa Rica can tick a lot of Plan B boxes for many people. 

If you’ve always dreamt of starting a wellness business – think yoga, eco-hotels, organic produce or handmade products – then look no further – Costa Rica has become a true Mecca for all things healthy and natural

Most importantly, the country is a fantastic retirement destination. The weather, for one thing, is amazing. 

In Costa Rica, you can pick and choose your climate. Whether you’d enjoy hot and humid Caribbean weather, the milder beach climes of the Pacific Ocean, or the cool coffee-growing highlands of the Central Valley, you’ll be able to find a place that just feels right.

Crime is largely not an issue (which is always a big deal in Latin America), and the local people are very friendly towards foreigners.

It’s also a very short flight from the US and Canada, making a trip back home to see the grandkids a rather easy undertaking. 

And due to the number of expats there, English is widely spoken in certain areas.

If you are sold on Costa Rica, obtaining a residency there is straightforward. Some families still practice “visa runs”, traveling every 90 days or so, although we certainly wouldn’t recommend doing that.

Costa Rica is still fairly priced, although not as dirt-cheap and untapped as it was about three decades ago. 

Today, there seem to be fewer locals than Americans and Europeans present in the country snorkeling, birdwatching, and ziplining. (Ziplining was actually invented in Costa Rica.)

In many ways, Costa Rica is very similar to its neighbor, Panama… and it also boasts a territorial tax system (meaning no worldwide taxation for residents).

But it is less friendly in terms of business and investment opportunities. Getting things done can also be quite difficult in Costa Rica, plus there are noticeably more regulations there. 

But for the right kind of person, the country can make a lot of sense.
Schiff Sovereign's Rolodex
Service Providers available in Costa Rica
  • Immigration (residency, citizenship)
  • Full relocation services (real estate search, bank account opening, driver's licence, etc.)
  • Tax advice (attorneys and/or accountants)
  • Corporate services (company formation, etc.)
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Sovereign Global Explorer

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Costa Rica Overview
  • Region
    North and South America
  • Capital City
    San José
  • Largest City
    San José
  • Currency
    Costa Rican colón
  • Languages
  • Population
    5.2 million (122nd)
  • Life Expectancy
    79.6 years (57th)
  • GDP (Nominal)
    $68.5 billion (85th)
  • GDP/Capita
    $13,265 (75th)
Useful Data
For more details visit Cost of Living
  • Cost of Living
    Moderate (4/7)
  • Climate
    Very comfortable (1/5)
  • Safety
    Average (4/7)
  • Pollution
    Clean (2/5)
  • English Proficiency
    Moderate (3/5)

Sovereign Global Explorer

Benefiting from over a decade of our team’s boots-on-the-ground experience, Global Explorer is where your international journey begins.
Costa Rica inside Schiff Sovereign resources

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