Residency Through Having a Child in Costa Rica: What You Need to Know
Any child born in this country is a Costa Rican and any parent of a Costa Rican child can opt for permanent residency
The Costa Rican Constitution of 1949, still in effect, establishes that the child of foreign parents born in this country is a Costa Rican. Specifically, article 13 of the supreme law indicates that these children will be Costa Rican by the will of either their parents when they are minors or their own until they turn 25 years old.
At the same time, the Regulation for Foreigners that is currently in force determines that foreigners may opt for permanent residency in Costa Rica if they have first-degree kinship by consanguinity with a national citizen. This includes parents, children or minor siblings, as stated on the website of the Immigration Department (DGME in Spanish).
As an immigration legal firm helping foreigners get their residencies or businesses running in Costa Rica, we have noticed that many people are coming to Costa Rica with the direct intention of having children here. They usually had plans to have children before coming to the country and also see it as a way to by-pass residency paperwork.
In this article, we will bring the most important general information regarding residency through having a child in Costa Rica, and we will explain why it will be better for people thinking about this to start compiling some documents that they will need to start the process.
Residency for parents of Costa Ricans
According to the Regulation for Foreigners in Costa Rica, a foreign person who is in an irregular situation in the country and is the parent of a child with a registered or regularized resident birth can submit their request for regularization without the need to fulfill the requirement of regular stay in the territory as happens with other residencies.
Parents of Costa Rican minors need to demonstrate to the Immigration Department (officially known in Spanish as the General Directorate of Immigration and Immigration, or DGME) that they exercise parental authority effectively, in accordance with the provisions of the Family Code — i.e., being named parent in the birth certificate.
The DGME will be responsible to receive the request and the evidence of parentage, and further documentation, and analyze the case for the eventual approval of the regularization procedure. Note that if both parents are foreign, each one must apply for residency as the principal applicant — there’s no shared residency in this case.
Another important detail to keep in mind is that having a Costa Rican child helps you apply for a temporary residency without the need to stay an amount of years in the country, but besides that you obviously will need to comply with most of the other requisites for permanent residency in the country.
Your own authenticated birth certificate and background check are the most important requisites for any residency in Costa Rica. Between the time it takes to compile all the needed documents and for the process to get going in the Immigration Department, Outlier estimates that it takes between 12 and 15 months to complete the process.
Better start now
Based on what we just mentioned, our immigration experts recommend starting their process as soon as possible to any foreign person considering having a child in Costa Rica and applying for residency as a parent. If the two parents are not residents, with more reason they should be advancing work from now on.
The easier way is to get all the required documents and requisites together before the baby is born. Once the baby is born, with the birth certificate in hand, an appointment with the Immigration Department must be scheduled. As we have said, if both parents are foreigners, then two different appointments must be made, and so on.
Our team at Outlier Legal Services and Outlier Legal Documents can guide interested foreigners through every step to achieve this, from authenticating foreign documents in Costa Rica to applying for residency, also including registration with the CAJA (the Costa Rican Social Security Fund) and DIMEX (Costa Rican ID for residents) procurement, among other requirements.
If you have any questions about this residency, contact us so that we can help and guide you through this process.