All About Business
Migratory Categories

Permanent residencies

In choose this category; the foreigner who is related to a Costa Rican citizen (parents, minor or elderly children with disabilities or siblings who are minors or elderly with disabilities); or to whom the Restricted Visa and Refugee Commission grants said condition. It allows people to stay in the country indefinitely and work in any paid activity.


Temporary Residencies

The temporary residency is a temporary authorization to entry and stay in the country in which the immigration authorities authorize the foreigner to carry out a specific activity. The subcategories are the following:

• Spouse of a Costa Rican citizen.

• Religious people.

• Executives, representatives, managers and technical personnel of companies.

• Specialized workers on their own or in a dependency relationship.

• Investors: The person must show that has made an investment in the country of at least US $ 200,000 in real estate, registrable assets, stocks, and productive or national interest projects.

• Scientists, professionals, interns or specialized technicians.

• Athletes.

• Correspondents and staff of press agencies.

• Renters: It must be demonstrated through a document issued by a competent authority that during a period of not less than two years the person will receive an income in a continuous, stable, permanent and uninterrupted manner of at least US $ 2,500. For this, an investment in deposit certificates in a financial institution can be made.

• Pensioners: It must be demonstrated with a letter issued by an official pension institution of the country of origin that the person receives a lifetime pension of at least US $ 1,000 per month.

Additionally, the above categories allow the spouse and their minor or elderly children with disabilities to apply as dependents of the applicant.


Special Categories

The following are the special categories:

  • Cross-border workers.
  • Temporary workers.
  • Workers of specific occupation, business visitors, transfer personnel within the same company and personnel assigned to post-sale services, as well as self-employed workers.
  • Students, researchers, teachers and volunteers.
  • Special guests of the State, its institutions and those who, for reasons of public security, the Ministry of Security deems appropriate, as well as complainants or witnesses in judicial or administrative proceedings.
  • Artists, athletes and members of public spectacles, outstanding professionals or technicians or invited persons to carry out activities of importance for the country.
  • Refugees.
  • Asylees.
  • Stateless.
  • Victims of human trafficking.
  • Workers linked to specific projects and projects of public interest. 
  • Special category by family connection with Costa Rican citizen.
  • Special category by family connection with permanent resident
  • Special category by family connection k with temporary resident
  • Special category by family connection with guardian or curator
  • Special category by family connection with researcher, teacher, professional and volunteer
  • Special category for the sons and daughters of diplomatic agents, consular officials, officials, representatives and delegates of permanent missions or delegations of international organizations accredited in Costa Rica.
  • Special category for the minor who is under the legal representation of the National Board of Children (PANI)
  • Special category as a border resident with a permanent address in the nearby areas of the border.
  • Special category for officials appointed by countries and international cooperation organizations, which are linked to the execution of international cooperation projects and programs. 


Of non-residents

Within this category we can find legal stays, which is an authorization to stay in the country that is granted because of the specialty of the person or activity that he/she is going to carry out in the country. The subcategories are the following:

  • Foreign persons of special relevance in the scientific, professional, religious, cultural, sports, economic or political fields that, depending on their specialty, are invited by the Powers of the State or public or private institutions or by universities or colleges.
  • Foreign persons, business agents, travel agents or commercial delegates who enter to attend matters related to the activities of the companies they represent.
  • Foreign persons who act as reporters, cameramen and other personnel of the social media who enter the country to perform functions of their specialty and do not earn a salary in the country.
  • Foreign persons who require specialized medical treatment in a recognized hospital center.



Immigration categories for those who want to work in Costa Rica.

Those who wish to work in Costa Rica should take into consideration the recommended and not recommended work activities by the Labor Ministry. Some of the immigration categories to work are the following:

a. Executive of a recognized or unrecognized company. Recognized companies are those that are registered in the General Directorate of Migration and Foreigners (DGME), the following companies can be registered:

  • Those that are operating or that are going to start operations under special regimes of export promotion, administered by the Ministry of Foreign Trade (hereinafter COMEX) and the Promotora de Comercio Exterior de Costa Rica (hereinafter PROCOMER).
  • Those that have the support of COMEX, by expressed references from organizations with a recognized track record, nationally or internationally.
  • Those that have the tourist declaration issued by the Costa Rican Tourism Institute (hereinafter ICT).
  • Those that are registered in one of the following institutions: Superintendencia General de Entidades Financieras (SUGEF), Superintendencia de Pensiones (SUPEN), Superintendencia General de Valores (SUGEVAL), Superintendencia de Telecomunicaciones (SUTEL) Superintendencia de Seguros (SUGESE) or Asociación de Líneas Aéreas (ALA).

b. Legal stay

c. Special guests of the State, their institutions and for security reasons

d. Workers linked to specific projects and projects of public interest


e. Self-employed workers.

f. Self-employed workers in sectors such as agriculture, construction and services.

g. Specific Occupation Worker hired by an individual.

h. Specific Occupation Worker hired for domestic services.

i. Specific Occupation Worker hired by legal entity.

j. Transfer Workers

k. Post Sale Workers

l. Temporary Workers

m. Transboundary Workers

n. Worker as Visitor of Business

o. Teachers and Researchers

p. Artists, athletes and members of public shows

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Migratory Categories