On July 14th, 2021, Law Project Number 22,156 became Law Number 9996 by being signed by the President and upon its official publication in La Gaceta. The new ‘Law for the Attraction of Investors, Rentiers, and Pensioners’ makes it easier and much less expensive for foreign investors to move to, and obtain Costa Rican residency.

It’s no secret that the COVID 19 pandemic has been hard on just about every citizen of every country on the face of the planet. After all, that’s why they’re called pandemics. But tiny, beautiful, friendly, and politically stable Costa Rica has been hit especially hard because of its economy’s dependency on tourism. In 2019, Travel and Tourism made up 13.5% of its GDP.[1] That’s more than double the GDP of the country’s agriculture sector.

So, rather than sit on its hands and wait for a miracle, the Costa Rican government decided on a plan to reactivate the economy in order to maintain its status as an international hub that connects Latin America to North America. The result was the proposal of a Bill that, if signed into law, would encourage foreign investors and rentiers (“inversionistas” and “rentistas”), as well as retirees on a pension (“pensionados”), to move to Costa Rica in the hopes of reviving Costa Rica’s economy through their investment contribution.

That Bill became Law on July 14th. The idea is that by offering foreigners benefits and incentives to move here, they’ll invest their money in real estate and rental properties, and contribute on a daily basis via their presence here by spending their money at supermarkets, hardware stores, restaurant and entertainment venues, beauty salons, etc., thereby boosting employment. It’s kind of like the Field of Dreams movie quote: “If you build it, they will come.”

So, what kind of benefits and incentives can foreign nationals seeking residency here in Costa Rica expect with the new law? Here they are:

  • The biggest benefit comes in the form of reducing the previous minimum investment amount of $200,000 to the new $150,000 amount. That’s a 25% discount and a big deal if you’re looking to get your foot in the door here in Costa Rica.
  • Importing vehicles has always been an expensive proposition here in Costa Rica. The new law waives all “import, tariff, and value-added taxes” on up to two vehicles “for personal or family use.” They could be cars, planes, boats, jet skis, or any combination, up to two vehicles.
  • Investors will also get a one-time tax exemption on the importation of household items defined as “furniture, appliances, home furnishing articles, kitchen and bathroom utensils, and bedding.”
  • All foreigners applying under “inversionista”, “rentista”, or “pensionado” status will further be granted a 20% tax exemption on the transfer of property (a.k.a. real estate transfer tax).
  • An exemption from import tax on goods used in professional development or for scientific purposes is also granted.
  • And, here’s a big one – residents will not be considered Costa Rican tax residents. Meaning, they will not be taxed on income made outside of the country, only on “income obtained in the national territory, resulting from the investments made in the country.”

Upon signing the Bill into Law, Costa Rican President Carlos Alvarado stated, “What this law achieves is to create the conditions so that these people can come to the country, bring their investments, and we can generate employment. It is one more step in the direction of recovery, which we all must continue to push in the country.”

Costa Rica depends heavily on foreign investment, be it in the form of corporate manufacturing facilities and campuses for tech and medical equipment companies, commercial and residential real estate investments, or foreign tourism. Law 9996 makes it easier for the “everyperson” foreign national who has $150,000 in the bank to get their big toe in the door here and benefit from the perks of residency, including taking advantage Costa Rica’s national healthcare system (CAJA Costarricense).

Now, more than ever, it’s easier and less expensive to invest in Costa Rica and obtain residency. That means no border trips to renew your passport visas, being able to get a Costa Rica driver’s license, and being able to get on the “CAJA” (Costa Rica’s Social Security healthcare system). Not to mention opening a bank account, applying for a public utility, and a host of other mundane tasks that can really be a headache if you’re not a resident.

The Nosara Community team is really excited about this initiative. We’re SO excited that we’ve put together a “foot-in-the-door” Investor Incentive Package. Our $159,000, turnkey offer will get you a lot, a home, and Costa Rica residency and moving assistance. That’s an incredible price and takes a lot off of your plate with regard to making the transition from your home country to Costa Rica.


¡Pura vida! From all of us at Nosara Community.

[1] Source: Knoema World Data Atlas, www.knoema.com.