Timeline for Individuals / Families
Considering Making the Move to Costa Rica 
Sometime in the Future​

Step 1 Our clients gather their paperwork required from their home country.  We assist the client in the gathering of paperwork. Note that all documents we submit to Immigration must have been issued within the past 6 months. 
Step 2:  Our clients bring documents to us for review and for us to get Translated and kept on file until all paperwork requirements are met.
Step 3: All paperwork submitted to Immigration. Immigration issues proof that applicant is no longer considered a tourist, but rather they are in the process of obtaining their legal status. No need to leave the country every 6 months as far as Immigration is concerned. Note: Remaining here in Costa Rica is an option, but there are no restrictions regarding traveling outside of Costa Rica.
Step 4:  Approximately 3-4 months later, we can expect the actual approval of application. Upon approval, client has maximum of 3 months to complete the application process.
Step 5:  The final steps in the application process are:

1. Joining the national health care system.
2. Pay refundable security deposit.
3. Pay the fee for the creation of your Dimex card.

Step 6:  Renewal time at end of 24 months.
(operative word, "renewal", and not, "reapplying").
Step 7:  Obligation to be in Costa Rica at least 1 time during first 
12 months. Most people make their visit near renewal time.
Step 8:  Renewal valid for 24 months.
Step 9Very Important / Upon having your cedula (Step 5) for a total of 36 months, you can request for and expect to receive a change from "temporary" to "permanent" status. With this change, you are legally able to work here in Costa Rica. You can compete in the local work force against a natural-born Costa Rican or a fellow expat who has already received permanent status.
Step 10:  Based on the above scenario, a person considering early retirement from their home country, but wanting/needing to supplement their finances, would have the legal right to work here,
own a business, run that business, draw a salary, etc.
Pros to Applying Early:

-Ability to work sooner upon arrival.

-Cedula with permanent status in your possession, which assists with  legal and commercial transactions,

-Have immediate medical coverage, called the "CAJA", from the time    Step #5 is completed. You are covered for pre-existing and future medical conditions.

-From the time of Step 3, any changes regarding requirements by Immigration would not be applicable to you unless 
changes are in your favor.
Cons to Applying Early:

-You are responsible for payments into the CAJA. Payments vary based on reported income. CAJA remains a very good back-up medical  
program to your existing home-country medical policy/program.