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THE INVESTOR PROGRAM

The Investor Category requires an applicant to demonstrate to the Department of Immigration that they will be coming to Costa Rica to invest in the country. The current Immigration Law maintains the investor category which had existed in previous immigration laws. The category is found in Article 79 (4) of the law.

In the past the law specifically excluded personal investments such as purchase of home, lots or buildings to qualify for this category. Subsequently on August 28, 2009 the Director of Immigration issued Circular UPI-239-2009-LAS which modified the types of investment that could be made to qualify for this category.

That circular states as follows:

“The investment amount must be $200,000 United States dollars or more according to the official exchange rate which is established by the Central Bank of Costa Rica. The investment can be made in tangible property, shares, negotiable instruments, productive projects or projects which are deemed of national interest”

In January of 2011 the government published the proposed regulation to the Immigration law and it adopts the flexibility in this category to be able to qualify with the purchase of “tangible property, shares, negotiable instruments, productive projects or projects which are deemed of national interest” The door appears to be opening for new investor based applications. As more applications go through the process we will have a better criteria for how they are ruling on these applications. Also bear in mind that the granting of Inversionista category is a discretionary matter with the Department of Immigration. It requires financial statements audited by a Certified Public Accountant to document the financial investment plan proposed.