Will Felony Prevent Residency, Investing?

July 28, 2006

I am a Tico Times subscriber who was convicted of a federal felony in the United States in 2004. I will be released in 2007 and would like to move to Costa Rica full time or as a visitor/nonresident.

Will a felony in the United States prevent me from coming to your country, residing and/or investing in a business or real estate there?

I’m semi-retired and would have $100,000-500,000 to invest.

Glen Koenemann

Milan, Michigan, USA

Unfortunately, your felony conviction will keep you from obtaining residency in Costa Rica, according to Heidy Bonilla, a spokeswoman with the General Immigration Administration. She said applicants must submit a copy of their criminal record, and any crimes result in an automatic denial of residency.

However, if it weren’t for that, the amount of money you wish to invest in the country would make you eligible for residency as an inversionista, if you invest at least $100,000 in a business or $50,000 in a tourism or reforestation project.

As a nonresident in the country on a tourism visa, your felony will not prevent you from buying property or investing here, according to the National Registry and legal experts consulted by The Tico Times.

 

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