The Costa Rican Congress passed a bill yesterday creating the Law for the Attraction of Investors, Rentiers and Pensioners, with special incentives for the next five years. The new law will enter into effect upon publication in official newspaper, La Gaceta. It is important to indicate this law requires the drafting and approval of an administrative regulation by the Executive Branch to develop the content of the law.

The new law reduces the amount of required investment to apply for residency status from US$200,000 to US$150,000 in real estate, registrable assets, shares, securities and productive projects or projects of national interest. In those cases where the investment is regulated by special laws, it will be analyzed individually.

Additional incentives are:

  1. Duty free for a single time, for the importation of household items. If the beneficiary person transfers these assets within the period of the benefits granted (10 years), he must pay the taxes from which he was exempted. 
  2. Beneficiaries may import up to two motor vehicles (land, sea or air transport vehicles) for personal or family use, free of all import, tariff, sales and economic stabilization taxes. If the vehicle is sold or transferred will pay taxes according to special law regarding vehicles brought in the country with tax exemption.
  3. The amounts declared as income to qualify for the benefits of this law will be exempt from Income Tax. However, all income resulting from investments made in Costa Rica will be taxable.
  4. Exoneration from 20% of the total transfer tax, in those real estate acquired within the term of this law, provided that the beneficiary is the registered owner of the asset. If the beneficiary person transfers these assets within the period of this law, he must pay the taxes from which he was exempted.
  5. Exoneration from import taxes for instruments or materials for professional or scientific practice, carried out by the person with the migratory category of investor, retired resident or rentier resident. The person must demonstrate, before the Tax Authority, that what is imported corresponds to his economic activity and has criteria of proportionality and reasonableness.

Note:  The purpose of the present publication is to provide general information on the updates for Immigration regulations in Costa Rica and it is not intended to be legal advice as such. In case more specific information is required regarding these topics, please Cordero & Cordero Abogados at or visit our web page at

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