Law 9996 to Attract Foreign Investment

The bylaws establish the regulations that apply to those foreigners who apply under the migratory categories of investors, rentistas, or retirees, guaranteeing simplification to residency processes. In relation to the category of Temporary Resident as Investor, it is confirmed that the minimum amount required is US$150,000 (previously it was US$200,000), and it is clarified that investments can be in real estate, registrable assets, shares, securities, and productive projects or projects of national interest. The law also considers those who invest in venture capital funds or sustainable tourism infrastructure projects. As part of the regulations, the creation of preferential platforms is established within the General Immigration Department (DGME) in the form of digital platforms for Residency applications of Investors, Rentistas, and Retirees. Additionally, Immigration shall consult the public databases that allow the verification of investment data and other requirements. It is important to remember that, as of today, Rentistas and Retirees can already submit their Residency applications online, while Investors can only submit their applications in person before the DGME (presenting themselves personally or through their authorized Legal Advisors).
The regulations establish the guidelines for the implementation of the following incentives for those who are granted the Temporary Residency under one of the categories mentioned above:
  • One-time exemption of import taxes for importing household items.
  • Exemption of all import, customs, and value-added taxes, to import up to two vehicles for land, air and/or sea transportation. It is important to clarify that the exemption does not apply to vehicles imported for commercial purposes, and the vehicles can be used only for personal or family use.
  • Exemption of income tax on the income reported to obtain each of these categories of temporary residency.
  • Exemption of 20% of the total transfer tax on real estate acquired within the term of the law by residents, as long as they are the registered owners.
  • Exemption of import taxes for instruments or materials for professional or scientific practice used by the beneficiaries.
The signed regulations will come into force from their publication on La Gaceta (the government gazette). This initiative has the objective to contribute to the economic reactivation of the country through the attraction of foreign residents and adds to the Digital Nomad Law in the Government’s effort to position Costa Rica as a foreign investment attraction point.
March 29, 2023

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