Due to the constant changes in global mobility after the crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the opportunity presents itself to see Costa Rica in a business position as a destination for attracting foreign investment. The importance of state migration policies directly influences Foreign Direct Investment, since they are linked to the investment and business opportunities that will be focused on modifying global mobility behaviors, relocations, labor migrations, and their regulations, focused on the quality of the country’s health security level, social security, ease of acquisition of real estate, tax benefits, government stability, cost of living and immigration policies; aspects in which our country stands out.
Costa Rican immigration policies contemplate wide baggage where they allow this to be carried out within a context of attracting foreign investment, both in the real estate and corporate sectors and consequently remuneration by the government by promoting migratory conditions through facilities and reforms in obtaining residence permits from the main investor and its nucleus, linked to the possibility of access to the benefits offered by Costa Rica.
It is important to highlight that the investment options in Costa Rica are wide, and as indicated above, the country is working to improve immigration policies to facilitate and allow applying for residence in the country through minimum investments of $200,000 in projects such as acquisitions in the real estate sector, vehicles, boats, yachts, investment in shares, participation or creation of legal entities in the country, securities, term investment certificates, tourism or productive projects of national interest.
It also opens the opportunity for retired or pensioned persons, who receive a minimum monthly pension of $1,000 in their country of origin or minimum income of $2,500, both abroad and locally, to obtain residency. All of the above will be reflected in the country and will be largely focused, thanks to the health policies that have been taken during these months and this will be decisive for decision-making on social and labor immigration, thus increasing the promotion of Costa Rican macroeconomics.
WHY INVEST AND LIVE IN COSTA RICA?
COSTA RICA’S HEALTH SYSTEM AMONG THE 3 BEST WORLDWIDE
Costa Rica under its health system based on social security, access to basic services, working conditions, social protection, economic, health, and immigration policies, together with the measures that the Government has been taking to face the recent crisis at a reasonable rate, they place it as an attractive destination for when quarantine and other sanitary measures allow it. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), our country currently aims to be one of the possible leading countries concerning aspects of health emergencies, for its data on the humanitarian context, health priorities, response operations, policies in the area of humanitarian health action, and the low mortality rate that has been recorded so far and the management that the government has given to the crisis from different angles, have made Costa Rica position itself internationally as one of the best examples of successful strategies.
COSTA RICA IS ONE OF THE 3 BEST “GETAWAY” DESTINATIONS
The annual global index “International Living” establishes a list of the 24 best-ranked countries in terms of global retirement, and establishes Costa Rica among the top 3, being the third-best in terms of the health system, being below only Portugal and Spain. The index is based on 10 categories within which conditions such as the value of real estate, ease of acquisition and leasing legislation, investment opportunities, cost of living, immigration policy and residence, and visa options, public and private health standards, and government and banking systems.
GEOGRAPHICAL LOCATION, BIODIVERSITY AND CLIMATE
The country’s geographical location strategically positions it both internationally and locally thanks to the proximity between its coasts and the capital, making the transfer between seaports and international airports easy and fast. Likewise, the large number of international flights that the country receives makes the transit of foreigners very easy, which has meant that in recent years the offer in terms of direct flights from Europe has increased.
The Nicoya Peninsula in Guanacaste makes up one of the 5 regions of the world called the “Blue Zone” or Blue Zones, these areas being home to some of the longest-lived and healthiest people on the planet; included with Nicoya, Costa Rica are Okinawa, Japan; Loma Linda, California; Icaria, Greece; and Sardinia, Italy.
Along with this classification is added the historical fact of the abolition of the army, the stability of the government, ease of acquisition and varied real estate opportunities, tax and labor incentives through the implementation of companies in special regimes, decrease in operating costs, infrastructure, quality workmanship, ease in processing transactions, protectionist measures for minority investors by granting greater access to corporate information, and tax exemptions represent other benefits that the country has implemented to grant remuneration and encourage investment.
As part of the benefits for foreigners to invest in Costa Rica and obtain residence, several highlights need mention, such as the possibility of opening bank accounts, simple approval for the driver’s license, having no entry or exit restrictions or the need for a return ticket creating additional expenses, discounts available to Residents and better rates than tourists, the possibility of acquiring voluntary insurance and contributing to a social security pension, free social security care for minors, the possibility of acquiring Permanent Residence after 3 years of having the Temporary Residence and the possibility of acquiring Costa Rican nationality upon complying with the established period of residence.
All of the above enables Costa Rica to position itself strongly as one of the most attractive countries for Foreign Direct Investment. Investment and business opportunities should be used as the encouraging vision for the preparation of action plans that face the global financial markets and take advantage of volatility creating new opportunities for the moment when market movements allow it. The business sector must take into account that among the many measures to be implemented, there is an opportunity to generate business in terms of global mobility, making it vital to have an action plan for reopening borders and therefore reopening of business.