For those who decide to immigrate to Costa Rica, the ARCR is here to help guide you through the maze of information. Direccion General de Migracion is the immigration office for Costa Rica, and everything official is in Spanish. We offer English assistance, and also work with external immigration attorneys who also speak English, so communication is easier.
It is also unfortunate, but while the immigration law is fixed, the various procedures can be changed on short notice by the Immigration department. The ARCR often acts as a lobbying force to protect the members and other residents, and we talk both the immigration department, as well as the lawmakers, to try to ensure that unfair changes do not occur, or to have them rectified.
The ARCR also tries to keep its members updated as to these changes though our newsletter El Residente, with occasional articles on immigration. Our ARCR forums are also a great venue to find the newest changes in immigration issues.
While immigration is not for everyone, it is important to make a clear and informed decision about your choices. Misinformation is everywhere on the internet and around the country, so be careful to believe half of what you read…
The ARCR Seminar, which is held monthly, discusses the immigration procedure in depth, as well as the government’s position on the topic. We also assist members one by one, as immigration options for residency vary, which affect documents you will need to obtain. While we do recommend you “test the waters” first for a number of months before you apply for residency, the difficulty is that your documents are easier to obtain while still at home, though they are valid only for a fixed time. You will need to decide whether you wish to immigrate sooner, or are willing to go back and gather the necessary items later on.
The most complicated issue you will deal with in immigration is the legalization of your documents for residency. This is where the ARCR can assist you by walking you through the procedure, one document at a time, for each country or state you will need to deal with. It can be a very confusing, and sometimes lengthy process, just to get the documents ready for presentation to the immigration department. Contact us for an appointment so that we can help guide you in relation to the regulations followed in your country, or even for particulars in your state.
For more general details on immigration, please check out our information on the types of residency available, so that you can get an idea of which type you may qualify for. This will help us to determine which documents you will need, and often the ARCR knows the easiest way to obtain and legalize them.
For those that are here only part time, less than 3 months at a time, you may decide to remain as a tourist. For people who wish to stay longer, or year around, we would advise checking out you residency options early to determine if you will be able to qualify for immigration to Costa Rica.