Costa Rica: Amendment to Immigration Law 9996

July 13, 2021

Key Points 

Specific benefits from this amendment include: 

  • Reduction in the minimum investment requirements: 
    • The minimum investment amount is now $150,000 (USD). This may include shares, property, venture capital, tourism infrastructure or other productive shares or projects.  
  • Tax benefits: 
    • A wide array of tax benefits will be available to foreign nationals holding Temporary Residence under these categories: reduced rates on importing vehicles, household goods, property transfer taxes and more. 
  • Streamlined process
    • There will be a separate adjudication division for these Temporary Residence applications. This specialized division will process applications more quickly than other Temporary Residence applications.  

Overview 

On July 5, 2021 President Carlos Alvarado Quesada signed an amendment to Immigration Law 9996. The amendment relaxes minimum requirements for capital investment and retirees living in Costa Rica. The amendment also offers tax benefits for foreign national investors, renters and retirees holding Temporary Residence status in Costa Rica. 

The amendment expedites processing time for Temporary Residence applications under these categories and is intended to increase foreign investment as Costa Rica emerges from the COVID-19 pandemic. 

What are the Changes?  

The COVID-19 pandemic significantly impacted Costa Rica’s tourism industry and economy. Previous iterations of Law 8764 held stricter investment requirements and fewer tax and processing benefits. The amended Law is designed to encourage post-pandemic investment and economic activity in Costa Rica.   

Looking Ahead 

Costa Rica’s post-pandemic economic recovery is a top priority, and foreign engagement will support the rebound. As such, similar immigration updates may be forthcoming. Employers considering investment or assignments in Costa Rica should watch for additional information.  

_____________________________________________________________________________________________________

Source: Expertise from Adrián Quirós Arroyo  of  Vocat Soluciones Legales, and the Costa Rica Tourism Board Release.

Content in this publication is not intended as legal advice, nor should it be relied on as such. For additional information on the issues discussed, consult an Envoy-affiliated attorney or another qualified professional.

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