As well as being one of the most beautiful locations in the world to visit for a holiday or to explore, Costa Rica is also becoming a highly desirable place on the planet to live, especially among ageing hippies and new-age tech entrepreneurs. What makes this small, eco-friendly Central American country so appealing, and can an individual become a Costa Rican citizen by virtue of a financial investment?
About Costa Rica
The Republic of Costa Rica (Rich Coast) is a country located in Central America. It has a landmass of 51,100 km, and a population of 4.5 million. The capital city of Costa Rica is San José (population 333,000). It is bordered by Nicaragua to the north and Panama to the southeast, and it has a western coastline to the Pacific Ocean, and an eastern coastline to the Caribbean Sea.
Colonized by the Spanish in the 16th century, Costa Rica has been an independent sovereign nation since 1847, and consistently been among the most stable, prosperous, and progressive countries in Latin America. A brief civil war was followed by the abolishment of the army in 1949.
Since then, Costa Rica has been a peaceful, progressive nation, with thriving free trade markets to North America and Europe, accounting for a GDP (Gross Domestic Product) of $71 billion, not bad for a small country from a part of the world more akin to poverty and high crime rates. Costa Rica also scores very high on the Human Development Index (HDI), and its healthcare and education system is on a par with that of many European countries. It has an extremely low crime, and is rated as the safest location in all of Latin America.
The Friendliest Country in the World
Costa Rica is often called “the Friendliest Country in the World” by holiday writers and tourists alike, and while this reputation is earned primarily from the warm welcome given to visitors by the locals, it could also have something to do with that low crime rate and the aforementioned fact that Costa Rica is one of the very few countries in the world that chooses not to have an army.
It will also no-doubt be attributed to the country’s caring nature toward its environment and ecosystem. Costa Rica is among the most biodiverse nations in the world, and while its small size accounts for less than a third of one percent of the earth’s surface area, it is home to 500,000 species including animals and insects. Hundreds of these species are endemic to Costa Rica including frogs, snakes, lizards, finches and hummingbirds.
While Costa Rica’s economy is diverse, and includes the manufacture of microprocessors, food processing, medical equipment, textiles and clothing, construction materials, fertilizer, plastic products, not to mention coffee, it is its tourist industry that is arguably its greatest financial contributor. Not only does it cater for the traditional family summer holiday, Costa Rica is one of the most highly sought after locations for ecotourists and extreme sports thrill-seekers.
Does Costa Rica Have A Citizenship By Investment Program?
Citizenship by Investment (CBI) is the increasingly popular practice of granting an individual the citizenship and passport of a nation in return for the individual making a financial investment into said nation by virtue of a real estate purchase or charitable donation. There are currently eight countries in the world with CBI programs: in the EU there is Austria, Cyprus and Malta, whilst in the Caribbean there are Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, Grenada, Saint Lucia and St. Kitts and Nevis.
Whilst citizenship by investment is the preferred choice for a high net worth individual as it grants them a second citizenship and a more powerful passport in a matter of months, it can be extremely expensive, certainly in Europe, with pricing starting at more than €1 million. The other option is a “Residency by Investment” or “Investor Visa” program, which is far more economical and of which almost every nation operates a version of. Currently, Costa Rica does not have a CBI program, but does offer a form of residency by investment.
2ndPassports.com has two excellent investor visa options for Central American countries in their exclusive programs for Guatemala and Nicaragua. 2ndPassports.com can also offer an investor qualified assistance throughout the application and acquisition process for Costa Rica’s Residency By Investment program.
Costa Rica Residency By Investment Program
In keeping with their nature, Costa Rica´s residency by investment program is a far more laid-back, relaxed process than many programs on the market. Costa Rica has the lowest crime rate in Central America and is one of the safest places to live or visit in the world, and that is a proud reputation that they are determined to hold onto. While Costa Rica might not have a serving army, they have a well-staffed, modern police force and intelligence service. Anybody who is looking to gain Costa Rican residency will need to have no criminal record, and any information an applicant may be withholding will surely come back to bite them when the Costa Rican authorities do their rigorous background check.
Applicants for the Costa Rica Residency by Investment program are free to invest in any type of business or real estate purchase, so long as they invest a minimum of US$200,000 dollars into the project. An investment can even be broken down into a house and two cars or a house, a bar and a car for example. As long as all purchases are made within Costa Rica they are valid and go towards the required investment.
Foreign investors who become Costa Rican residents by virtue of the Residency by Investment program can maintain their residency permits by spending as little as one day per year in Costa Rica. Initially, investors will be classed as Temporary Residents, and after three years they can apply for Permanent Residency. After one year as a permanent resident, an investor is free to apply for Costa Rican citizenship.
Benefits of Costa Rican Citizenship
Should an individual complete the residency program, they can successfully apply for Costa Rican citizenship, and they will be the proud owners of one of the most sought-after passports in Latin America, if not the world. The Costa Rican passport grants its holder visa free access to 134 countries worldwide including all of South and Central America, Western Europe in its entirety (the UK and Ireland included) plus areas of Africa and Asia and virtually all of the Far East including Japan and South Korea.
Few things in business can be more frustrating than being hamstrung by your nation of birth. If your country of origin is holding you back, your current passport is doing you no favors, and you feel that with greater freedom of movement the world would “be your oyster”, 2ndPassports are here to help you achieve your dream of gaining the citizenship and passport of a more internationally respected country.
For more information on the Costa Rica Residency by Investment program, contact 2ndPassports.com today. Feel free to contact us via email, WhatsApp or Telegram. If you prefer you can chat to one of our expert representatives directly – you can call us using our encrypted phone and Skype lines. All of our contact details are listed at the top of the 2ndPassports.com homepage.
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