How To Move To Costa Rica

How To Move To Costa Rica – that will be the topic of today’s article.

Before introducing this article, if you are interested in our core services which are expat financial, insurance, and mortgages, you can contact me here.  

The best time to consider your financial situation is when you are moving to a new country.


There are many ways to relocate to Costa Rica as of 2021. According to the Embassy of Costa Rica, you can enter the country in different ways. For example, you can enter Costa Rica through tourist, temporary/permanent visa or temporary resident, study visa, a permit for working, and many more.

With a population of over five million people, Costa Rica still have enough places to accommodate expats from different countries. Unlike other Central American countries, Costa Rica has a very high literacy rate of 98 percent with an excellent education system. And you’ll be amazed at the cultural diversity here.

Now, what exactly inspired you to move to Costa Rica? Well, as thousands of expats will tell you, Costa Rica offers a fantastic lifestyle! Of course, it’s no doubt as the country is even one of the beautiful places to visit in the world. But, you’ll have to understand the immigration process before planning to move.

Surprisingly, many locals speak English, and you don’t have to worry about learning the country’s language. There’s a low crime rate, good healthcare facilities, and enormous tax advantages you can enjoy as an expat. No matter where you move to in Costa Rica, you’ll never regret the kind of lifestyle there.

In this article, we will walk you through the process of moving to Costa Rica. Previously, we highlighted the fun facts of living in Costa Rica, and we took time to discuss why Costa Rica remains the best place for vacation. Today, we’ve compiled everything needed to move to this country. Read further to check!

Why Moving To Costa Rica Today?

As for me, I’ve had the travel bug to travel abroad at an early stage. In fact, I wanted to find a country that has an easy pathway to residency. Lucky enough, Costa Rica does have three different ways to obtain its residency, and I was qualified for one of them. So, why do you think moving to Costa Rica is the best? Not to worry, we’ve got you covered for the best reasons. Take a look at it below.

Investment Opportunities in Costa Rica

Costa Rica is a country where you’ll find many investment opportunities. It’s home to several multinational companies that have chosen to boost its economic and political stability. Besides, the possibility of getting highly educated labor is a plus because the country is highly competitive when it comes to communication, technology, and internet facilities.

Country’s Life Expectancy

Costa Rica, in no doubt, has the highest life expectancy in Central America. Aside from that, it holds the second position in Latin America and the third in the entire American continent. Also, the country has a blue zone where some people live measurably longer lives. Perhaps, it’s a home to warm weather, a better quality of life, and beautiful beaches.

Affordable Healthcare Facilities

Healthcare facilities in Costa Rica are not only of the best quality but also relatively inexpensive. This makes expat enjoy world-class care such as dental work, surgeries, and skin treatment at a reasonable price. Moreover, it’s better to get a portable international health insurance plan that will cover your expense in the country and even when you visit your home country.

Healthy Lifestyle and Stable Government

Eating less processed foods and more and using your body to achieve more tasks are all changes that’d take place in Costa Rica. Not only that, but as the country abolished its army in 1950, the country’s economy has been stable. Also, they are experiencing steady growth with more significant foreign investment.

Generous and Kind Local Culture

Ticos have been known as one of the most hospitable, peace-oriented, and nature-loving on earth. They love their country and also welcome expats who would love to reside in the country. Aside from this fact, it’s also prevalent for families to be multicultural with local Costa Rican and foreigners.

Experiencing Outdoor Adventure

With endless hiking trails, excellent swells for surfers, and white water rafting, Costa Rica is a destination for adventure lovers.  In Costa Rica, a simple walk on nearby beaches could contribute to an adventure. While exploring the outdoor adventures, the Pura Vida lifestyle will make you enjoy the city.

Exploring Tropical Weather

If you’re worried that a mere thunderstorm could wreck your weekend, you shouldn’t. This is because; the Costa Rica weather stays warm throughout the year, except for some microclimates. The dry season occurs between December and April, while you should expect the rainy season to be in May and November.

Visa Eligibility to Costa Rica in 2021

Have you ever asked yourself, do I need a visa or what kind of visa am I eligible for? According to Costa Rica Embassy, many types of visas could make you win Costa Rican citizenship. For citizens of the U.S, Canada, and most European nations do not need a visa to visit Costa Rica. Moreover, there are varieties of visas to enter the country. Let’s quickly take a look at the type of visa and its eligibility.

Who Should Apply For Costa Rica Visa?

Costa Rica may not be easy as you think, depending on what country you’re from. Before we discuss the visa types in Costa Rica, it’s essential to know the Costa Rica visa policy. They include the following.

●      Visa-exempt nationals that are allowed to travel to Costa Rica with a valid passport. This category includes the citizens of the U.S and members of the European unions. Meanwhile, these nationals are allowed to stay in Costa Rica for a maximum of ninety days.

●      Visa-exempt nationals who are allowed to visit the country with just their passport, valid for at least three months from the exact date of arrival. This set of nationals are allowed to stay in the country for a maximum of thirty days.

●      Foreign nationals who need a Costa Rica consular visa are allowed to apply for a visa. They must apply for this visa application in their country of residence. Meanwhile, the visa policy allows the emigrants to stay for up to thirty days in the country.

●      Foreign nationals who need a Costa Rica restricted visa, which has to be approved by the Commission of Restricted visas. If this visa is approved, it allows the holders to stay in the country for up to thirty days.

2021 Costa Rica Visa Requirements

Due to the global coronavirus pandemic, the Costa Rica government has strict regulations for visa applicants. However, if you’re traveling to the country from South America and sub-Saharan Africa, you’ll need to get the Yellow Fever vaccine. Also, you must have a returning ticket to exit Costa Rica.

2021 Entry Requirements

Visa Exempt Countries – Please keep in mind that while you’re applying for this visa, you must have the following documents to make your immigration process easy.

  • Hold a valid passport for at least six months before you exit your home country
  • Ensure you have proof of onward and return flight tickets
  • Hold documents indicating your travel purpose and your next destination
  • Show proof of sufficient funds to immigration officers and your intended length of stay
  • It is recommended that you confirm with your airline whether boarding will be permitted without a visa

Tourist Application Requirements – For a tourist application visa, please keep in mind that the following documents are required.

  • An application letter directed to the Costa Rica consulate indicating your personal information
  • Proof of intended date of arrival and departure from home country
  • Contact information, signature, and place of residence
  • A complete photocopies of all pages on your passport and return flight ticket reservation
  • Two recent pictures of yourself with a white background
  • Evidence of yellow fever vaccination

Keys Facts to Know About Moving To Costa Rica

This section of our guide will help you prepare and understand the key facts before moving to Costa Rica. Expat should read it carefully because it will help you through your journey to the country. We took time to include tips on getting your visa ready and more. Below are the facts to know about Costa Rica.

Finding Accommodation in Costa Rica

I’ll tell you that finding accommodation in Costa Rica can be challenging and also accessible at the same time. This is because; foreigners have all the right to own a house just like the citizens. Nonetheless, this difficulty comes from competing with other expats to get the right tropical home.

So, whether you want to know how to rent a house in Costa Rica or you’re looking for a second home to spend your retirement, we’ve covered such information in our previous guides on living in Costa Rica.

Healthcare System and Public Insurance Terms

As aforementioned, the healthcare system in Costa Rica remains one of the best in the world. While the country has been ranked consistently among the 20th percentile of the top country healthcare system, the healthcare system here cannot be overemphasized. Meanwhile, if you’re not interested in the country’s public health, you can opt for private healthcare, in addition to helping you in the long run.

Banks and Taxes in Costa Rica

These are just some of the points we have mentioned in our previous article about living in Costa Rica in this twenty-first century. Knowing how to open an account is quite vital for non-Costa Rica residents. A local account can help you avoid colossal currency exchange rates. With your bank account, you can quickly set up withdrawals for things like Wi-Fi bills, cell phones, utilities, and many more.

Costa Rica Educational Service

Are you thinking of enrolling in a post-graduate degree program in Costa Rica? Most expats who choose this route will need to find the right international institutions located in the country. Whether you’re interested in local or international schools, Costa Rica education has been ranked highly among the world’s outstanding schools.

Working in Costa Rica 2021

Do you wish to work in Costa Rica? Given the number of expats in this country, it greatly emphasizes hiring emigrants even more than the residents. That being said, getting a job is relatively easy for skilled expats. Explore self-employment guide and Costa Rica recruitment platform to know more.

Living in Costa Rica (2021)

Living in Costa Rica can be overwhelming if you don’t follow the proper procedures. In fact, it may even be tiring if you find it difficult to speak the English language. Aside from this, you can enjoy and explore other adventures, including laidback vacation, vibrant forest scenery, a relaxing day by the beach, and others.

Moving Your Pet to Costa Rica

As of June 2021, there are no quarantines for pets arriving in this country. So, bringing your pet to Costa Rica is relatively easy. However, a rabies vaccination is required for pets that enter the country, and it must be administered in not more than thirty days of departure.

Average Salaries and Wages in Costa Rica (2021)

As an expat, your experience level is an essential factor in determining your salary. Naturally, the more years of experience you have, the higher the pay. But generally speaking, employees that have more than two years of experience earn an average of 32 percent more than fresher or junior staff without relevant years of experience.

This section will describe the minimum and average salaries of different professions in Costa Rica. This way, you’ll learn about the country’s economic prospects and job seeker’s requirements. More so, living in Costa Rica is more affordable than in the United States of America. Let’s quickly take a look at the salary.

Specialized workers like computer technicians can earn up to $30,000 a year, while unskilled labor could likely earn up to $3 per hour. The table below shows the average minimum wages for various levels of skills and qualifications.

Job DescriptionHourly Income (2021)Annual Salary (2021)
Domestic Service in the city$1.85$3,700
Semi-Skilled Workers in the city$3.50$6,500
Unskilled workers in the city$2.95$6,500
University Graduates earning$6.50$13,100
Specialized workers earning$3.75$7,900

Business Cultures and Etiquette

While Costa Rica is a part of the Central American region, there are points of differentiation to the country’s working cultures. Despite the differences, Ticos are globally known for being friendly, relaxed, and peaceful. So, they appreciate modesty and humility in their business cultures.

Furthermore, your earnings are confidential, and you shouldn’t explain them in detail to any third-party except your employer. Besides, do not exaggerate and try not to talk directly about how much you’re making; it is directly requested when you’re in a board meeting with other executives.

Be Patient – Work Culture

Being patient is one factor that you’ll need when doing business in Costa Rica.  This is because; there might be a high level of bureaucracy in some public institutions. Therefore, it’s essential to follow legal procedures and be patient to avoid delays and complications in the long run.

Business Talk (Etiquette)

If you’re dealing with someone new (either an employer or any public servant), be prepared to establish a relationship to avoid various encounters before closing the deal. Sometimes, Costa Rican can be curious and when they ask you questions, always find the right solution to defend your skills.

Importance of Networking in Costa Rica (2021)

Always know that networking is not just about trading information but could also contribute to your professional success. For many individuals, the cause has primarily been attributed to the strong networking channels. Here are some reasons why networking should be essential if you want to build a career in Costa Rica.

Networking is an Avenue to Change Ideas

You never can tell how much listening to others largely contributed to the pool of information. When networks have been created, they broaden your horizon and allow you to explore the opportunities available beyond your physical or geographical circles.

Helps to Shift From Introverts to Extroverts

Your personality trait makes a massive shift when you start working in Costa Rica. The result is that it allows you to shift from an introvert to become an extrovert. In this case, you can easily create a friendly relationship with people around you.

Psychological Impact of Networking

Another important of networking is to have a psychological impact on your approach to mental well-being.  This means that you must constantly fight to stay ahead of any cultural heritage, not to get confused. Besides, you can inquire about the psychological aspect of the working environment you choose.

Essential Skills to Work in Costa Rica

Getting suitable employment in Costa Rica isn’t as easy as being said. The country doesn’t hire many foreign nationals except the ones that are highly skilled and educated. Despite these truths, Costa Rica is among the best places for expat. Now, let’s look at the essentials skills needed to secure a job in Costa Rica.

1.    Networking Skills

There are different online job pools and other modern ways to find employment opportunities in Costa Rica. In fact, traditional networking is also a great way to connect with employers. However, being part of an association or participating in a professional event is very important to secure jobs in the country.

2.    Skills Matching Your Profile

It may not be easy for foreigners to get jobs because of government protection. Multinational companies typically hire candidates from the country’s workforce or relocate emigrants with relevant skills. More so, there are opportunities to teach English as a foreign language. Moreover, opportunities could lie in Costa Rica for the following positions.

  • Administrative assistants/receptionist
  • Technicians/sales representatives
  • IT personnel/skilled traders
  • Engineer/secretaries
  • Machine operators/laborers
  • Finance staff/production operators
  • Driver/technical skills

Strong Personal Skills

Aside from having the skills that match your profile, soft skills and specialized technical skills will help you when looking for jobs in Costa Rica. Some of the vital skills that can help you through include team collaboration, service orientation, critical thinking skills, problem-solving, emotional intelligence, and many others, to mention a few.

Best Places to Live In Costa Rica

Since Costa Rica is known to have natural wonders, spending your retirement years with family and friends will be a better option. You can hike a volcano, relax in thermal waters, and even snorkel through the world beneath the sea. Consider these factors; there are many places to live. Check it out below.

Montezuma Coast

Montezuma is a quiet spot at the Southern tip of the Nicoya Peninsula in Costa Rica. The beaches in this environment are sandy and are backed up by the dense jungle. Aside from this fact, Montezuma also boasts of having rivers and natural swimming pools. This way, it’s a great choice if you’re planning a retirement lifestyle.

Montezuma Beach, Nicoya Peninsula, Puntarenas, Costa Rica, Central America

La Fortuna in Costa Rica

La Fortuna, located in Costa Rica’s northern highlands, is among the best place to visit. On this Coast, one of the best places to visit is the Arenal Volcano. Also, you’ll enjoy hiking trails that follow ancient lava flows. Aside from this fact, living here allow you to enjoy regular drips in the rustic hand-made stone pools.

Cartago Province

Cartago is the former capital of Costa Rica, and it’s one of the oldest towns in the country. This was partially destroyed in 1823, but thanks to the eruption of Costa Rica’s tallest active volcano. Nowadays, this place has become a historic town filled with local people and emigrants.

Turrialba, Cartago Province, Costa Rica, Central America

Santa Ana (Costa Rica)

Living in San Jose can be busy and not relatively the life that you want. As an expat, Santa Ana is considerable as it’s an affluent suburb in the foothills. This town is just about 15 minutes outside of San Jose. As of today, it has a total population amounting to 11 500. This way, you will enjoy the town as a foreigner moving to the country for the first time.


There are a few ways to move to Costa Rica as an emigrant. No matter where you move, it’s crucial to have a job. Meanwhile, by exploring Costa Rica before you move, you’re contributing to making your relocation easy. And you’ll likely get the visa without deportation by the immigration service. For more information regarding Costa Rica, follow us on this platform.

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