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Benefits of Residency

We get this question a lot, from people who come down to Costa Rica to live half the year. Why should I bother to get residency? This isn’t an exhaustive list by any means but here’s a short list of benefits of residency in Costa Rica:

  • You can get a Costa Rica driver’s license. With the new Ley de Tránsito, in order to get a Costa Rica driver’s license based on your existing one from your home country, you also need to show proof of legal residence. Your foreign license is only valid in Costa Rica when in conjunction with your passport and with a valid entry stamp.
  • Less hassles getting a local bank account. Many banks in Costa Rica are either discouraging or phasing out personal bank accounts for those account holders who do not have legal residence and opened accounts as tourists. While it’s still possible to have a Costa Rican bank account, it will be flagged as “high risk” and you will have to deal with extra requirements such as requiring to update your information very often or face account closure. In addition, you will not be able to send or receive interbank (SINPE) transfers.
  • No more need to carry your passport. Having to carry your passport everywhere you go is quite the hassle. It’s difficult to carry out any banking transactions without a passport (even changing US dollars to colones) and often times a notarized copy will not do. Residency means you get a card-sized cédula you can carry in your wallet and be able to keep your passport in a safe place.
  • No worries boarding a plane headed to Costa Rica. Many airlines require you to show proof of onward travel in order to board the plane to Costa Rica (this is also true with immigration once you enter). Having your cédula puts a stop to all that hassle.
  • Resident discounts. As a Costa Rican resident you’ll enjoy discounts with tourist businesses (for example, local flights with Nature Air are highly discounted), tourist destinations and national parks, and local attractions.
  • Stop leaving Costa Rica every 90 days! While border runs can be a fun trip to the beach, they can get old fast and the circumstances of each border run seem to change every year (usually adding more and more complexity).

Enjoy the benefits of Costa Rica residency by contacting us at +506-8373-2085 with your questions, or completing our free assessment questionnaire.

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