An immigrant can become a permanent resident if the person is sponsored by a family member. The application period to sponsor family members begins on January 3rd of each year with a cap of 10,000 applications. Other factors taken into consideration include nationality, age, language ability, education, work experience and any job offers.


A person can obtain residency as a result of a spouse petition or an employment relationship. This includes persons who will work in Costa Rica as religious persons; executives, managers and technical personnel; investors; athletes; journalists, specialized technicians, and retirees.


Persons can apply for residency after residing legally for an uninterrupted period of five years in a European Union country. It is necessary to demonstrate sufficient financial resources and fit into one of the following categories: a highly-qualified worker, a researcher, a student, a trainee, school pupil or voluntary worker.

In addition, some European Union countries also request language ability and knowledge of that country’s government and civics.