1. What is required to become a legal resident?  What is the cost?  How often does residency have to be
    renewed, what are the conditions of renewal and what is the cost?

    Residency requirements -

    $600 per month pension from an approved source - or
    Investment income of $1,200 per month from an approved source - or
    Invest between $50,000 and $200,000 in an approved sector of the
    Regular, unrestricted residency can be applied for after two years on one
    of the above plans
    The cost is approx. $700.00 per family head plus $250.00 for spouse and
    $100.00 per child.
    Renewals are usually every second year.  General conditions for renewal
    Is 4 months residence in Costa Rica, the required amount of monthly
    income was changed into Costa Rican currency or that the terms of the
    investor residency are met.  Renewal cost is approx. $150.00-200.00.
  2. What is required to visit, or while you are waiting for residency?

    North Americans can stay legally in Costa Rica for three months.  They must then leave for a period of 72 hours, and can then return to the country for another three months.  Non-residents can own vehicles, businesses,  property, or generate income from self-employment.

  3. What is the political situation? How stable is the government?

    Costa Rica is a very democratic republic, headed by a popularly elected
    There has been no military since 1948 when it was abolished by constitutional decree. Costa Rica has a long history of stability dating back to when the county was founded, and only interrupted briefly in the civil war of 1948.

  4. How is the weather?

    Weather in Costa Rica is largely a matter of choice.  It varies from hot coastal lowlands to very cool mountainous regions.  There are plains  similar to West Texas which go months without rain, to areas where it rains daily. Average temperature in the Central Valley is quite ideal, with evenings of 17-19 degrees C. and days averaging 25-28 degrees C. year round.  The dry season is usually from the end of November until after Easter, with the heaviest rains usually occurring in October.

  5. Income taxes?

    There is no income tax on money earned outside of Costa Rica by residents and personal income taxes are low compared to North America with many personal expenses deductible from locally earned income.

  6. Other taxes?
    Sales tax - 13%
    New vehicles pay duty over 100%
    Exit duty - $26.00
    License plate fees paid annually for vehicles, and depend on value.
    Property taxes are ridiculously low.

  7. How much will it cost in fees, duties and taxes to bring personal possession into the country?

    Import duty on cars and boats will be charged at the same rate as would be paid by a resident purchasing them abroad. Personal effects and artwork is not taxed. Electronic equipment and appliances will be bassessed and a duty charged.


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