IVO HENFLING | AUGUST 22, 2014
In 2011, a new article of the immigration law was approved and came in effect on August 1st, 2014. This article fines tourists $100 per month after their tourist visa expires. Those who cannot pay or are unwilling to do so, will not be allowed back into the country for three times the length they overstayed on their tourist visa.
Thousands of foreigners from the US, Canada, Europe and elsewhere live in Costa Rica as a perpetual tourist. I imagine the government doesn’t know either how many people live like that in Costa Rica. Many are snowbirds and rent short term and others just live here long term and leave the country every three months to renew their tourist visa.
Quite a few perpetual tourists even own property in Costa Rica or have a business here but have never bothered getting their legal residency or did not apply for some reason. Many do not know they can apply for legal residency if their property is appraised in the municipality for at least $200,000 and do not have to worry about leaving the country every 90 days.