Living in Costa Rica guide

Find out all you need to know to relocate and live in Costa Rica with the expat guide

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General information
  • Costa Rica symbolizes the sun, cruises, tropical climates, etc., that you are very likely to enjoy if you wish to settle there.

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Visas, passports and entry requirements
  • Traveling to Costa Rica is quite easy provided you are aware of related conditions. Nationals of some countries do not require a visa.

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  • Retiring in Costa Rica has more advantages than disadvantages. Note that you are required to obtain a Pensionado visa to be allowed to live there.

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Work visas, work permits, working holiday visas and residence permits
  • You can choose from different types of visas to travel to Costa Rica, depending on the duration and purpose of your stay.

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  • There Are Five Ways A Person Can Become A Resident Of Costa Rica. The Process Can Take Anywhere From Six Months To One Year.

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Labour market, how to find a job
  • Heredia, nicknamed the "City of flowers", in rich in employment opportunities for those who know from where they can start their job search.

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  • Santa Ana, which is one of San Jose province's cantons, does provide professional opportunities for highly qualified and skilled foreigners.

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  • San Jose, Costa Rica's capital city, is a vibrant city, providing many professional opportunities for foreigners in various fields.

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  • If you are planning to move to Costa Rica, you are probably looking for a job. Many opportunities are available in the country.

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  • To perform an internship in Costa Rica as a foreigner, you must have a visa before obtaining a temporary resident permit via your host.

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How to rent a house or an apartment, leases and rental agreements
  • Heredia, located at about ten kilometers from San Jose, is very welcoming towards expatriates looking forward to settle there.

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  • Santa Ana, which is found in the province of San Jose, is a very welcoming city towards foreigners as it provides several accommodation options.

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  • San Jose, the Costa Rican capital city, is an ideal destination for expatriates, providing different types of accommodation at affordable prices.

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  • Finding accommodation will be one of your main priorities when moving to Costa Rica. You can thus choose from various options.

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  • If you are moving to Costa Rica for a long term, you will perhaps consider buying a real estate property. This is possible for foreigners.

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Student visa, University registration
  • If you wish to study in Costa Rica, you have to enroll in one of its numerous universities and obtain a student visa to be a legal resident.

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Health care

Public and private health systems
  • Costa Rica has a very developed health care system due to government investments in this field, thus making health care services easily available.

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Open and manage a bank account
  • Foreigners are allowed to open a bank account in Costa Rica. In most cases, a minimum deposit is required. Procedures are not so complicated.

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Tax system, income tax
  • Costa Rica's tax system is not difficult to understand. It consists of several taxes, including income tax, property tax and value added tax.

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Train, bus, plane, car rental
  • If you have settled in San Jose, you are likely to travel by bus or train. You can even hire a taxi which you can find anywhere in the city.

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  • Once you have moved to Costa Rica, you can choose among several means of transport to travel from one region to another.

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  • Do Costa Ricans Care? Here is my experience.

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Driver's licence

Driving requirements
  • Driving in Costa Rica can be a quite challenging experience. Nationals of some countries are allowed to drive with their foreign driver's license.

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moving, formalities and useful tips
  • Relocating to Costa Rica requires appropriate planning. It is better to hire removal experts who will take care of all related formalities on your behalf.

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Phone line, internet provider, post office
  • The land line is still very present across Costa Rica and is as popular as mobile phones. Internet is also very accessible.

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Sports, leisure and cultural activities
  • Located in a mountain valley, San Jose, the Costa Rican capital city, offers a range of leisure activities for expatriates.

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  • Whether you are moving to Costa Rica for tourism or professional purposes, you can definitely access to a range of leisure activities.

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  • You are advised, when moving to Costa Rica, to keep a list of useful contacts within reach before you actually get used to living there.

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  • To be allowed to travel with you to Costa Rica, your pet must have a passport and a health certificate, accompanied by a vaccination certificate.

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  • Life in Costa Rica is more than just the sun and the beach. It is also about a vibrant lifestyle that should be interesting to discover as an expat.

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  • Reflections on time spent visiting the States after living in Costa Rica for almost 4 years.

    Article written by LisaValencia

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