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Navigating Costa Rica Residency: A Complete Guide to FBI Apostille and Residency Application Process

Planning on applying for Costa Rican residency? Let us help you complete the documentation part of your application. You will need to submit an apostilled FBI background check in addition to your birth certificate, proof of income, and healthcare-related documents. The apostille stamp on your US criminal record check tells Costa Rican authorities that your FBI clearance certificate is legitimate. The certificate is invalid for use in Costa Rica or almost any other country around the world without an apostille verification.

7 mins

6 Feb

Download and Complete the DS-4194 Form

The DS-4194 is your application form and cover letter for the FBI apostille request. You can download the latest version of the form from the US Department of State’s official website.


The first page of the form includes detailed instructions on completing your FBI apostille request. DS-4194 is used for apostille on all federal document types in the US, so you will have to specify the type of document on the second page of the form. 


Section 1

Write your full name, email, phone number, and address in this section. There are separate fields for your current city, state, country, and zip code. You will also need to specify your case type in Section 1. Please make sure that you add the correct address as it will be used to mail your apostilled FBI check back to you.


Section 2

This is the Shipping details section of the form. You can choose a delivery method from the following options:

  • Self-addressed
  • UPS
  • DHL
  • Others

Don’t forget to write your tracking number after you have ticked the appropriate delivery method.


Section 3

This section applies to the courier representative so you can leave it alone. The courier company will fill out their basic details such as the representative’s name, the company’s name, their phone number, and phone extension (if applicable). 


Section 4

This section has 4 columns and multiple rows for specifying the document type and the number of documents. For your FBI apostille, you can simply mention Costa Rica in the country column and add the number of documents as 1. The processing fee for the FBI apostille is $20. Please note that the fee will not be refunded even if your apostille request is rejected by the Office of Authentications.

Globeia’s FBI Apostille Service for Costa Rica

Applying for an apostille can be confusing and often time-consuming because of the steps involved. The Globeia team has successfully processed hundreds of FBI apostille requests, so we know the ins and outs of the application process. We specialize in helping US citizens and residents like you get their FBI background check certificates apostilled on time for their residency application.  

Filling out the DS-4194 form accurately is important to prepare your FBI check for Costa Rican authorities. We provide instructions and prompt answers to your questions about the form so that each section is complete and there are no mistakes. Feel free to explore our online application portal by clicking here.

Costa Rican Residency Eligibility Criteria

Here is a breakdown of Costa Rica’s eligibility criteria for residency application.



This option lets you live in Costa Rica if you get at least $1,000 USD monthly from a reliable pension. You will need to submit proof of income, health insurance, and evidence of deposit.



Individuals who invest at least $200,000 USD in either a Costa Rican business or real estate come under this category. Proof of investment, financial stability, and other business documents will be required.



Under Law 8764’s Article 80, you are eligible to apply for Costa Rican residency if you have a guaranteed $2,500 USD monthly income from investments, rentals, or other similar sources. Proof of income, investment statements, and health records will also be needed.



Individuals with a close relation to a Costa Rican citizen, such as a spouse can also become residents. You will need to submit marriage certificates, birth certificates, or other documents showing your relationship. This is the easiest method of getting a Costa Rican residency.   
You must demonstrate a clean criminal record in the form of an apostilled FBI check regardless of the category that applies to your specific situation.


Application Tips

You cannot become a full-time Costa Rican resident directly. Costa Rica’s immigration laws require that applicants first get a temporary residence before applying for permanent residency. The temporary residence period ranges from 2-3 years depending on your application type. This is to ensure that you are going to stay in the country for a long period of time.


We recommend getting all of your documents in order before starting your residency application. This will help keep the processing time to a minimum and minimize the chances of re-submission due to missing documents.


What are the main types of residency for US citizens in Costa Rica?

What is the minimum amount that I need for Costa Rican residency?

Can I hire a company to apostille my FBI clearance certificate for Costa Rican residency?

Table of Contents

  1. Navigating Costa Rica Residency: A Complete Guide to FBI Apostille and Residency Application Process
    1. Download and Complete the DS-4194 Form
      1. Globeia’s FBI Apostille Service for Costa Rica
        1. Costa Rican Residency Eligibility Criteria
          1. Application Tips
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