Many of you have asked us for information about our investments in Certificates of Deposit (CD). Until now, the bad news has been that you must be a legal resident of Costa Rica in order to open a bank account of any kind in Costa Rica; in fact, you needed to have your actual cédula (residency card). But we are happy to report that things are changing, at least at “our” credit union, Coopenae, when it come to opening a CD.
We just got word that it is now possible to become a Member and invest in a CD at Coopenae with your valid passport and some additional documentation. Here is the info supplied to us by Asdrúbal Zamora, Coopenae’s National Executive of Expats:
Requirements to open a “certificate of deposit” in Coopenae if you have a valid passport but not a residency card (cédula):
- Full copy of your current valid passport.
- A copy of one utility bill (water, electricity, tv or internet) from your current address in Costa Rica (it does not necessarily have to be in your name).
- Documentation of your source of funds (social security, contract of sale of a home or property, business, or the like).
- Two bank statements from last 6 months from your major banks (you can download them by internet).
- One bank reference (just that you have an account and that you are doing well with it).
- Your profile (just 1 page), including:
- a brief history of your profession and what you did in your home country
- where you lived and worked
- when you moved to Costa Rica
- identification of your bank(s) in your home country
- whether you are married or single
- what you are currently doing
- A notarized certification from your Attorney or CPA about all your income, translated into Spanish. (Note from RFL: We have gotten documents notarized at the U.S. Embassy.)
- Copy of identification (passport or residency card) of beneficiaries.
- It is required to show, somehow, that the investor has roots in Costa Rica (a property, a house, a car, a business, lives here, etc.)
- Certificates of deposit (CDs) must be done for at least 1 year and cannot be canceled or cashed out in advance.
- You must have been living in Costa Rica for at least 3 months, not necessarily consecutively.
- By Costa Rica law, the Member cannot do local internet transactions; to do internet transactions, a residency card is required.
- With your passport, you are only allowed to open certificates of deposit.
- The interest from CDs are not taxable in Costa Rica.
- If your legal residency is pending, also submit a copy of your application for C.R. residency from the immigration office, though this is not a requirement.
Asdrúbal Zamora points out that CD interest rates are higher in Coopenae than regular Banks in Costa Rica and, of course, higher than most U.S. and European options today. Also, the majority of Coopenae´s loan portfolio is placed with government employees, from which they get monthly payments directly from paychecks; this is very important to you because makes the business very safe and stable. Mr. Zamora comments that “Coopenae has an awsome credit default rate (less than 1% during last decade) and liquidity.”
Asdrúbal Zamora, National Executive of Expats
Cell Phone (+506) 8811-1602
- Invest Your Savings in Coopenae
- Questions and Answers: Investing in Certificates of Deposits and Avoiding Bank Fees