Citizenship through Marriage in Costa Rica: Are you eligible?
Getting married is one of the happiest days for most people, and when you marry someone from a different nationality, learning about their culture makes it all that more exciting. Under current naturalization laws, a foreigner can apply
Getting married is one of the happiest days for most people, and when you marry someone from a different nationality, learning about their culture makes it all that more exciting.
Under current naturalization laws, a foreigner can apply for citizenship (also known as Naturalization) if they have been married for 2 years to a Tica or a Tico. However, in order to receive Costa Rican citizenship by the Office of Vital Records in the Board of Elections (TSE), they must also follow additional requirements.
How to qualify for Costa Rican citizenship
The interested party must comply with ALL of the following requirements:
Been married to a Costa Rican for at least 2 years.
The marriage must be registered in the Civil Registry of Costa Rica.
The foreign spouse must have spent at least 730 days (2 years) in Costa Rica. They can leave the country during those two years, but the total time spent in the country must come to the total of 730 days.
Even if the foreigner divorces their Costa Rican partner of more than 2 years, with whom they lived for more than 730 consecutive days in Costa Rica and the marriage was registered in the country, they can still apply for citizenship.
The documents needed to apply for citizenship via marriage are:
Original and recent Birth Certificate with apostille/legalization: Currently Costa Rica has a transitory law that accepts Birth Certificates issued up to 10 years prior to the filing, as long as they are in perfect condition and are apostilled/legalized. This according to a Costa Rican circular, called “Resolución Lineamientos Gestion de Extranjeria” publish in La Gaceta N°227 on Nov 24, 2021.
Original and recent Background Check with apostille/legalization: This document cannot be older than 3 months.
Special Power of Attorney: This must be signed with a public notary.
5 passport size pictures
Certified copies of the passport: This must be done with a public notary.
The Costa Rican Marriage Certificate is not necessary. As long as the marriage is registered, the Office of Vital records will check their files directly for this, you don’t need to provide a copy of the marriage certificate.
You can either procure these documents yourself, or you can hire our sister company OLS Documents to assist you with obtaining documents as well as the apostilles/legalizations.
We hope that after reading this article, this citizenship process is much clearer. If you have determined that you can apply for Costa Rican citizenship by complying with all of the above requirements, it’s simple to get started! Here at Outlier Legal, we will be more than happy to help you during this whole process or with any inquire you may have.
Heather January 20, 2023
And I believe it is also true that persons applying through this manner do not have to take the exam?
Maripaz Soto Villalobos January 23, 2023
That’s correct, if you apply for citizenship through marriage you don’t have to take the exam.
Alex January 25, 2023
Is it true that you don’t need hold a residence permit for two years prior to applying for citizenship? You just need to show that you have stayed in the country for two continuous years legally (like doing visa runs or with expedienta waiting for residency), right?
Maripaz Soto Villalobos January 25, 2023
If you apply for citizenship for being married to a Costa Rican it’s true that you don’t need to have had residency prior to applying, you just need prove to have been married for at least 2 years and have spent that time inside Costa Rica.