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I'm moving to Costa Rica on May 2

Should I wait until I get to Costa Rica to set up a bank checking account and a mail office box ?

You will have to present documents in person at the bank.
I am not sure about a P.O. box but I have been told that you will need ID for that also.  Many post offices do not have any boxes available.

Yes, Terry is right.

Gracias for the information. Do you know if any of the Costa Rican Banks have branches in the USA, perhaps in Texas or Florida ? The reason I'm asking is both of my income sources are paid via direct deposit and it takes up to 2 months to get my income transferred to the new account. Just curious. Gracias.

There are no affiliations at all.  I am from Canada and there is a Scotia bank in Canada and the same here.  Same name but no affiliation.  When we first contemplated moving here we were forced to change banks in Canada as the bank I had dealt with for forty years could not figure out how to transfer money to Costa Rica.  We shopped around and found that the Royal Bank will allow us to electronically transfer up to $2500 daily directly into our Banco Nacional account.  It can really pay to shop around before the big move.  And best of luck on that move!!!

Thank you for your help Terry. I guess what I will do is open up a checking account in CR and every 2 weeks transfer money from my Regions bank account so as to minimize the International charge for transferring funds. It's a small price to pay considering I intend to make CR my permanent home.

We are permanent here for two plus years.  Check with your banks that you have access to to allow you to transfer money.  All our cash base is in Canada other than what we electronically transfer down for incidentals.  We use our credit card for most everything.  There is no definitive answer to your question but when we moved we didn't even have questions.  You will find a way to work it out and right now your questions sound big but by the time you get here you will wonder why you ever asked them (as we did)
Cheers .... Terry

Here is some additional info, when a tourist opens a 'some what' limited  account here.

Using a credit card has some safety but you pay a lot more for most things than with Colones. Keep your direct deposits in the US and transfer monthly. $60 fee for each so limit it. Not sure why you would need PO Box. When you get settled in if you decide you need packages just find local shipping center.

Good luck opening a bank account in Costa Rica "although I heard they finally might be allowing foreigners without status to do that".  We had too much hassle with opening a bank account here so we just use our credit card and use online banking to pay it each month.  Also... the line ups a the banks here are insane, unless you deal with Scotiabank.

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