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Good News for Same-Sex Couples!

Back in March 2019, it was announced that Immigration is now accepting same-sex spouses/partners to be included as dependents in all immigration categories, including Temporary and Permanent Residencies, if a duly apostilled/legalized marriage/union certificate is

Back in March 2019, it was announced that Immigration is now accepting same-sex spouses/partners to be included as dependents in all immigration categories, including Temporary and Permanent Residencies, if a duly apostilled/legalized marriage/union certificate is provided. At the time, however, it was stated that same-sex couples that included a Costa Rican national had to wait for the country´s regulation of same-sex marriage to enjoy such equality. The reason behind this is that a Costa Rican marriage certificate is required to apply for Temporary Residency based on marriage to a Costa Rican national and since gay marriage is yet to be regulated in the country, securing a Costa Rican marriage certificate is currently impossible.

However, it has been announced that Immigration has accepted requests for Temporary Residency based on marriage for same-sex couples. Whilst these couples still cannot marry in Costa Rica nor register their marriage in the country, if they marry abroad and request registration of such marriage before the Costa Rican Civil Registry, the latter seems to be willing to issue an application in process receipt which can be used to file the Residency request.

Hence, same-sex couples that include a Costa Rican national may now apply for Temporary Residency based on marriage as long as a valid apostilled/legalized marriage/union certificate issued abroad can be produced and registration of such marriage is requested in Costa Rica.

Whilst applicants could expect a somewhat bumpy road (for example with CAJA processes), Immigration Authorities seem to be ready to act accordingly to what was entreated on advisory opinion OC-24/17 of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights.

We celebrate such news and are eager to assist same-sex couples with their immigration processes!

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ibrenes@outlierlegal.com

Attorney with more than 10 years of experience in customer service, team management and team building at an international level. Has worked immigration cases in various countries, including Costa Rica, Colombia and Panama.

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2 COMMENTS
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    Laura June 20, 2019

    If purchasing a condo with your spouse that will be used as a home half the year and a rental income property the other half the year, what is the best way to own the property? Corporation, individually (as a married couple)? First priority is that if one of us died, the other would own the property without tax or legal hassles. Secondly, we would want to consider which method would be cheaper tax wise in CR. Thirdly, we are a same sex married couple (both expats), that would be seeking inversionista residency via this condo purchase.

    • rafavalverde
      rafavalverde June 26, 2019

      Laura,

      Thank you for your comment.

      While Costa Rica does not yet recognize same sex marriage (it will happen soon), the appropriate thing to do is to make a will for the surviving partner to inherit the property upon death of the other partner. Our advice generally is to obtain property in your own name and to avoid creating a corporation for the purpose to obtain the property. New regulations implemented in recent years have made it increasingly hard to own corporations only for the purpose to hold real estate. This article is just an example of this. https://news.outlierlegal.com/blog/2019/06/04/new-tax-law-what-you-need-to-know/.

      Regarding the application for residency in Costa Rica under the investor category, special attention must be paid to the transfer of the title, as most attorneys do bend the rules and do not complete the transfer of the property in a manner that is not compliant with immigration regulations for the purposes to qualify for the investor category.
      This is another article that shares some information regarding this topic. https://news.outlierlegal.com/blog/2019/05/11/what-to-avoid-when-applying-for-residency-as-an-investor/

      Please feel free to reach us with further questions or comments.

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