If you are the parent of a child or children born in Costa Rica, or who are Costa Rica citizens, you could qualify for permanent residency as a parent of a Costa Rican.
Each parent must apply for residency as the principal applicant.
Any dependent minor children who are not Costa Rican citizens are allowed to obtain residency as dependents.
The primary requirement for this category is being named as a parent on the birth certificate (on record at the Civil Registry) of a Costa Rican born child.
If the child was born abroad out of one Costa Rican parent, the birth abroad must be recorded with the Civil Registry. In this case we will assist with the registration of the birth abroad for an additional fee.
Below you’ll find a detailed overview of the application process, as well as the fees and expenses.
The application process for permanent residency as a parent of a Costa Rican takes between 12 and 15 months, depending on the processing time of the Costa Rica Immigration department (DGME), which takes approximately 9 months to analyze the application.
Our team will guide you through the process from start to finish, including CAJA (Costa Rican Social Security) registration and DIMEX (Costa Rican ID for residents) procurement. Plus, depending on the level of service you choose, we can also assist with document procurement and residency renewal at a discounted rate.
The first two to three months of the application process are spent collecting the documents required for the residency application. It is important to collect all the required documents during this time frame, as documents from abroad must be issued within six months of filing. Our team will work closely with you to ensure all documents are valid, translated, and ready for review by the DGME.
The following documents are required for filing an application for residency in Costa Rica.
Take advantage of the discounted document procurement rates we offer our immigration clients. Let our experienced team obtain the vital record(s) and background check(s) you need from abroad, or you can choose to obtain the following documents on your own. Keep in mind, documents from abroad must be issued within six months of filing the application for residency, and be translated into Spanish.
Preparation of the following documents required for filing the application for permanent residency as a parent of a Costa Rican is included in the quoted cost of our service.
Once our team has compiled all the documents required, we perform a final review, then file the application with the DGME. The application must be filed before the expiration of the tourist stamp on your passport (usually valid for 90 days) or the expiration of the documents.
We must file a copy of your passports, including your entry stamps since you must have legal status when applying for residency. Consequently, a visit to Costa Rica and the necessary border runs (exits and re-entries to receive a fresh entry stamp), if applicable, are mandatory to even file.
By law, the DGME should process the application within 90 days. However, based on recent processing times, the DGME is currently taking between 9 and 12 months for processing applications. During this time we regularly check the status of the application to ensure the case is moving forward as expected.
During the analysis period, you can remain in Costa Rica. Border runs will only be required if you plan on driving, as you must have a valid entry stamp to drive.
The DGME issues an approval notice via email, once the approval notice is received we will reach out to you to schedule the next steps!
Once your application has been approved the DGME, you will need to make a refundable security deposit to the DGME dependent on the estimated cost to cover return travel to your home country should it be required. Since the guarantee deposit varies by nationality, we do not include this cost in our quoted fees and expenses. You can find a full list of deposit amounts by home country on our blog here.
Once the application has been approved, we will proceed with your mandatory registration with the CCSS for the Social Security system (also known as CAJA). In addition, we will obtain the ID for foreigners (DIMEX aka cédula). We will schedule a time to go with you to complete each of these processes in the GAM (San José Metro Area) or Liberia. Additional fees will apply for DIMEX and CCSS appointments at offices outside the GAM (San Jose Metro Area) or Liberia.
Your DIMEX will arrive in the mail one or two weeks after it has been requested. Then you’ll officially be a resident of Costa Rica, with an ID card to prove it!
Our fees for application for permanent residency as a parent of a Costa Rican are flexible and comprehensive. We include all the standard fees and expenses in our pricing, with the intention of making the process as easy as possible for you.
There are three items not included in our pricing, which vary on a case by case basis, making it impossible to include in an all-inclusive service for our clients.