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Bill to attract retirees to Costa Rica advances

June 14, 2021

A law project that would lower the minimum required investment to obtain Costa Rica residency has passed a first debate in the Legislative Assembly.

It must pass a second debate, scheduled for Thursday, before it can be published in La Gaceta and made law.

Project 22.156 would reduce the minimum capital investment for Costa Rica residency from $200,000 to $150,000.

In addition, the bill contemplates incentives such as the tax-free importation of vehicles for personal or family use and a one-time tax exemption for importing household goods.

People who qualify can import “up to two land, air or sea transportation vehicles, for personal or family use, free of all import, customs and value added taxes,” the text reads.

Money earned abroad (e.g. a U.S. pension) would not be taxed by Costa Rica.

“This is a project that, through financial benefits, seeks to bring this type of people to live for some time in Costa Rica,” said lawmaker María Inés Solís.

“This initiative provides a legal framework of incentives for foreigners with the status of resident investors, rentistas and pensioners and seeks to keep Costa Rica in their first choices as a destination of excellence.”

Critics of the project argue the law lacks the safeguards to prevent criminal organizations from benefiting.

Outlier Legal translated a draft of the bill to English. You can read that here; note that some details have changed since their publication.

We’ll have much more if and when this bill is passed in a second debate. 

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