What You Need to Know About the New Law in Costa Rica to Attract Foreign Investors, Rentiers and Retirees

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    Recently the Costa Rica Government announced in a press conference the Project to attract more Expats to the Country. TCRN would like to update you about the status of this proposal. The National Assembly put a bill for consideration under file number 22.156 with the title: “Law to Attract Investors, Rentiers and Retirees”.

    Purpose of the Law

    The main objective is for creating incentives with the intention of attracting more foreigners coming to Costa Rica under the three aformentioned categories: investors, rentiers and retirees. The Introduction of the bill lays out the background to justify it. Some arguments include the necessityof the country to compete with other nations when it comes to being destination for expats, under the current economic environment requiring foreign investment to the country.

    Attractive Incentives

    It proposes incentives for foreign nationals with the intention to make Costa Rica more attractive as a destination for expats:

    a) Tax exemptions:

    – 100% tax exemption for the importation of household goods.

    – 100% tax exemption for the importation of vehicles.

    – 20% tax exemption for the transfer of property.

    These exemptions will be applicable to all foreigners and dependents applying under one of those three categories.

    b) Reduction of minimum capital required for investors:

    Currently, the law requires a minimum capital investment of $200,000 USD to qualify for this category. The bill proposes to reduce the amount to $150,000 USD.

    What else should be added?

    From an immigration perspective, the government can create other incentives and

    Adjustments to make it more attractive for foreign nationals to relocate to Costa Rica.

    Some of them are:

    – Simplify the residency process for people applying as self employed or with a small business: Currently, the requirements and the process to obtain this category make it virtually impossible to obtain this category.

    – Grant “estancias”: (a lesser immigration category) for people who do not want residency or do not meet the investment amount but have property in Costa Rica. There are thousands of people who have a second home in Costa Rica and spend a few months a year in Costa Rica (more than 90 days, and less than six months) just to avoid winter.

    Digital nomads: Make more flexible regulations for digital nomads. They can also get an estancia for one year. If they want to stay longer, they can get residency.

    – Make driver’s licenses more accessible to foreign nationals.

    – Create a tax exemption to all start ups: (regardless it is an expat or a tico) for income taxes during a period of three years from the moment of incorporation.

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