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Banking Hurdles for Rentistas

As if it were not difficult enough for those in the Rentista category, Banco Nacional has created additional and significantly more expensive requirements for those individuals wishing to use their services. The norm has been to

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As if it were not difficult enough for those in the Rentista category, Banco Nacional has created additional and significantly more expensive requirements for those individuals wishing to use their services.

The norm has been to deposit $60,000 (equivalent to 24 monthly payouts of $2500) into an annuity account with a bank in the United States or in Costa Rica and have the bank write a letter that states the funds are available, in your name, and will be paid out every month as required upon receipt of your DIMEX. The letter itself is already a daunting task not all banks will comply with the requirement, and some will comply, but will balk at the required language.

One of our clients recently attempted to open such an account at Banco Nacional (BN) and found that the bank had changed its policies and will only open what is called an “Administration and Investment Trust”, and not a standard Rentista account. To open this account, the following steps and fees are required:

 

Step 1) Open a personal savings account. To do so, you must supply 6 months of previous (home country) bank statements for the account from which the $60,000 will be transferred, a letter from your previous banking institution, photo ID, address in Costa Rica, phone number, and email address. This level of paperwork is not unusual – banks in countries other than your home country have stringent Know Your Customer (KYC) regulations. In this case, BN must comply with Law 8204, meaning they must have clear understanding of the fund’s origin.

 

Step 2) Transfer the $60,000 into the personal savings account at BN.

 

Step 3) Banco Nacional will now work to open the Administration and Investment Trust account. This request must be made to BN’s main San Jose branch in advance. You will have to go directly to the office in San Jose, however, it can be signed in your local office. The first step is to deposit $61,977.50 (more on this amount below) to their US account. They will draft the Administration and Investment Trust contract, and it can be signed in any one of their branches. Once the contract is signed and the trust is activated, BN will move the $60,000 into the trust. The bank will then create 24 individual Certificates of Deposit of $2500 until you receive your DIMEX, at which point they will start the monthly payouts. They will also issue the letter required to comply with Migración (Immigration). 

 

Now for the fees.

This is the process we just learned of:

To open the trust account, Banco Nacional charges a one time fee of $250.00 + 13% IVA = $282.50.

 There is an annual fee to the account of $1500.00 + 13% IVA, totaling $1695.00.

The total mentioned in Step 3 ($61,977.50) equals the $60,000 plus these two fees.

 

Let’s do some math. If you were to use Banco Nacional for a 1-year period while you await residency, plus the three years of temporary residency before obtaining permanent residency status, you will have paid Banco Nacional $7062.50.

 

Frankly, Outlier Legal is not suggesting the use of one specific bank over the other, but we do know that there are institutions that are easier to work with. As part of our mission to go beyond for our clients, we are working to establish relationships with other banks to make this difficult process a bit easier, and much less expensive. If you’ve had a great experience with a Costa Rican bank in establishing your Rentista account, please let us know. We’d love to help our expat community by making one more thing a bit easier in their, we are always looking to make your journey to Costa Rica easier and with less stress.

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nbari@outlierlegal.com

Nataliya Bari serves as the Real Estate and Business Development Director. Her educational background is in Communications and Real Estate. Prior to joining Outlier Legal, Nataliya spent over a decade running a successful Real Estate Brokerage practice in New York City and planned global events for the International Federation of Accountants. Nataliya is fluent in Russian, is a Certified Master Negotiator and approaches leadership with a sense of humor and humility.

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4 COMMENTS
  • Lydia Deven September 10, 2021

    This is very detailed and thorough, thank you! Could you please advise the best bank for rentistas and the appropriate process & fees? We’re currently working with Katherine for our residency and excited that we will be moving there in October.

    • Stacey Jennings September 13, 2021

      Thank you Lydia. Please reach out to Katherine and she will be able to guide you in the right direction.

    • Julia September 15, 2021

      BN is BS!! We used Scotiabank. We opened a savings account with about $50. Our $60k was transferred from the US into a CD within 48 hours. They provided us with the necessary letter and paperwork for immigration. I had to provide bank statements for the last 6 months plus a letter saying where my money came from (sale of our house). I also had to show the corporation paperwork for the house we bought here. That was it! Scotiabank is also giving us over 3% interest on our CD. NO ANNUAL FEE. This was February of 2020. I hope they haven’t changed their policy.

  • RF September 12, 2021

    I have been trying to get the Rentista letter from my banks here in Canada for a while now without any success. They won’t provide anything even remotely close to the requested wording.
    Also I am not willing to move my money to CR for as many as 3 years to complete the process.
    It was already hard to swallow the high cost of Caja for the Rentista category.
    So I have given up on this. Sorry, I will just join the perpetual tourist route, or simply go to another country.

    I guess the banks want cash in the “wealthy” gringos as well, no surprise there. Pura vida.

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