Author: Rogelio Navas Rodríguez
For a foreign national to obtain a Costa Rican citizenship, not only will they be required to have lived in Costa Rica for certain amount of years, but the applicant must also have spent those years in Costa Rica with a valid residency. For those who have a legal link or relationship with a Costa Rican citizen, the process of obtaining a residency does not pose considerable complications; however, it must be kept in mind that the Costa Rican Immigration Authorities will verify if that relationship is real. When the applicant has Costa Rican children, proving the relationship is not complicated, but when the link is a marriage with a Costa Rican national, the Costa Rican Authorities will be more thorough in their verification process. In the past there have been cases in which marriages were executed with the sole purpose of obtaining a residency, which is not only illegal from the Immigration Law standpoint, but is also behavior that can be criminally prosecuted.
To prove the existence of a real marriage, the foreign national can include as part of the application pictures, greeting cards, letters, airplane tickets or reservations from trips taken together, lease agreements if the applicant and the Costa Rican citizen already live together, as well as legal documentation showing joint ownership of assets, birth certificates of their children, affidavits from friends and relatives, and any other pertinent documents that may help discard the possibility of a fraudulent marriage. Also, the Costa Rican Immigration Authority will interview the applicant and his or her spouse in order to verify if their relationship is legitimate.
As part of the application, the applicant will also need to include the following documents:
- Birth certificate from the applicant’s country of origin.
- Criminal records certificate issued by the authorities of the applicant’s country of origin.
- Marriage certificate issued by the authorities of the country where the marriage was registered.
- Birth certificate of the applicant’s children issued by the authorities of the country where they were born.
All documents coming from abroad, must be duly authenticated and legalized, or apostilled, and must have been issued no more than three months before the application is filed.
In case you need assistance from a specialist in Costa Rican Immigration Law, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org