MARRIAGE AND FAMILY

FOR SPOUSES AND FAMILY MEMBERS

Anyone related to a citizen either by marriage, having a child, or first degree family member

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MARRIAGE AND FAMILY - VINCULO

Many People Have Family in Costa Rica

People may live all over the world but many have family in the beautiful country of Costa Rica. Also, many young couples choose to have their baby here and then live here. People born outside of the country to a Costa Rican citizen qualifies for this category.

Temporary Residency Requirements as a Family Member or Spouse

This category applies to individuals who are married to or related to a Costa Rican citizen. The applicant must show that he or she has a first degree relationship, either by birth or by marriage with a Costa Rican citizen. The relationship includes spouse, son, daughter, father, mother, and unmarried brothers and sisters. It does not include other family members such as grandparents, uncles, aunts and cousins.

A married couple needs to show proof of only one monthly income for both husband, wife, and children up to the age of eighteen, or twenty-five if they are full time students. The legal resident can be either spouse.

Costa Rica recognizes same gender marriages and the partner can be included as a dependent.

As a temporary resident you can apply for permanent residency after three years.

Once your residency is approved you agree to live in Costa Rica for at least one day per year.

Documents that are needed to apply

Application Letter

We provide the necessary letter to the immigration department stating that you are requesting residency under the retirement category. It will contain your full name, nationality, date of birth, and the full names and nationalities of your parents

Application Form

This is a form from the Immigration Department (Formulario de Filiacion) which asks for much of the same information as the application letter. We will show you how to fill out this form.

Birth Certificate

This certificate must be issued, within the last six months, by the country where you were born stating the names of your parents, place of birth, and date of birth. This is sometimes called the long form. Your original birth certificate will not be accepted by the Immigration Department. It must have an Apostille or be legalized by the nearest Costa Rican Consul. In the case of Consul legalization we must have it legalized by the Costa Rican State Department. If it is legalized by the Costa Rican Consul then an Apostille is not required. It cannot be more than six months old from the date of issue,

Criminal Background Report

Police report or Identity History Summary Certification of your criminal record, issued within the last six months. from your local police authority where you last resided. It is required for everyone twelve years of age or older. It must have an Apostille or be legalized by the nearest Costa Rican Consul. In the case of Consul legalization we must have it legalized by the Costa Rican State Department. If it is legalized by the Costa Rican Consul then an Apostille is not required. It cannot be more than six months old from the date of issue,

Marriage Certificate or Birth Certificate

If you are applying by being married to a citizen then you need a certification of your marriage from the Civil Registry or from the country where you were married. If you were married outside of Costa Rica then the certificate must be issued, within the last six months, by the country where you were married. Your original marriage certificate will not be accepted by the Immigration Department. It must have an Apostille or be legalized by the nearest Costa Rican Consul. In the case of Consul legalization we must have it legalized by the Costa Rican State Department. If it is legalized by the Costa Rican Consul then an Apostille is not required. It must be registered in the Civil Registry before you apply for residency. If you are applying by having a child here then you need a certification of the birth from the Civil Registry. If you are applying by first degree relationship with a citizen then you need a certification of your birth from the Civil Registry proving your relationship.

Passport Copy

A certified copy of all pages of your passport, including all of the blank pages. This copy must be certified by one of our lawyers or by the nearest Costa Rican Consul. In the case of Consul legalization we must have it legalized by the Costa Rican State Department.. If it is legalized by the Costa Rican Consul then an Apostille is not required. It cannot be more than six months old from the date of legalization,

Photographs

Four passport photographs are needed for the application and for the fingerprinting process.

Embassy Registration

A registration document given by your country's embassy in Costa Rica. Immigrants from countries with no local embassy are exempt from this requirement. U.S.A. citizens can register online at the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program. Canadian citizens can register online at Registration of Canadians Abroad.

Limited Power of Attorney

We provide this limited power of attorney so that we can act on your behalf with the Immigration Department.

Translation

We will have an official translation of all documents that are not in Spanish.

Application Fee

To file the application you must pay an Immigration Department fee of $290. Your name must be included on the deposit receipt.

File number

Once we present your application to the Immigration Department they will give us a file number, numero de expediente, for your application.

Fingerprints

You must be fingerprinted after you have filed your residency application. You will have a receipt from the residency filing and with that receipt you can go to the fingerprinting office. This is done in Costa Rica by the Ministry of Public Security. The fingerprints are used for an Interpol background check. All applicants age twelve or over must be fingerprinted.

After your application is approved

Social Security Registration

After the Immigration Department approves your residency you register at your local branch of the Caja Costarricense de Seguro Social (CCSS) and pay your health insurance coverage. You will need your receipt and a letter stating that you are current with your payment.

Approval Fees

After approval you must pay a government guarantee bond of $300 USD and $128 USD for the residency processing fees. These amounts are paid directly to the account of the Immigration Department at the Banco de Costa Rica.

Appointment

Then we call the Immigration Department and request an appointment for you to process your identification card, the DIMEX card. This is done at the Immigration Department in La Uruca, at branches of the Bank of Costa Rica, Banco de Costa Rica, or at the Costa Rican post office, Correos de Costa Rica.

What to do next

Enjoy your retirement in Costa Rica. The country has attracted a very diverse group of people from many countries around the world. A high standard of living, beaches and mountains to enjoy, cultural activities, great weather, and the quality the Costa Rican people have made it a very popular retirement location..