Relocating to another country is a huge decision that requires a lot of careful consideration and planning. Not only do you need to organize the logistics of moving locations but you also need to consider the laws and culture in your destination country.
Learning about how life operates in your new country before you move is crucial to your integration into its culture. Since every country is completely unique, you might need to do a lot of research to find the perfect relocation destination.
If you’re looking for a vibrant and upcoming country, Costa Rica should be at the top of your list. In the last decade or two, Costa Rica has developed in many aspects.
With tropical beaches, great weather, and lots of stunning places to explore, it’s no wonder that Costa Rica is becoming more and more popular by the year. It also has an incredible healthcare care system and even better living costs.
Before you start packing your bags and booking your flights to Costa Rice, you’ll need to do some research. As incredible as the country is, expediting to Costa Rica comes with many complexities.
To help you with your move, here is your ultimate guide for relocating to Costa Rica. Whether you’re moving there for work, adventure, or a relaxing retirement, this article will teach you everything you need to know before you move.
Visas and Insurance
As with moving to most other countries in the world, you need to organize a visa as well as Costa Rica Health Insurance for Expats before you move.
Generally, the cost of a Costa Rican visa is a few hundred dollars. Depending on the reason for your move, you’ll need a specific type of visa. For example, if you’re moving to work in Costa Rica, you’ll need to apply for a work visa.
Work visas in Costa Rica may be difficult to obtain. The country only allows those who are blood relatives of a Costa Rican citizen or married to them to work there. If you’ve lived in Costa Rica for more than five years, you can apply for permanent residency so you will no longer need a work visa to remain in the country.
If you plan to move for your retirement, you will probably have a much easier time. The country of Costa Rica is happy to provide retirement visas to those who plan to live solely off their pension.
Applying for visas can get complicated but there should be plenty of information online for you to use in your research. Make sure to search for the local laws based on where you plan to move in the country, as they might vary from place to place.
When you apply for your visa, you should also purchase your health insurance. To live in a foreign country and access their healthcare facilities, you will need active health insurance. Without it, you might be denied access to treatment.
Health insurance will also significantly subsidize your medical bills if you do require treatments or therapies.
For expats in Costa Rica, it can be tough to find accommodation. No matter what kind of housing you’re searching for, there is a lot of competition.
You are competing against the local residents and this means you need to act fast if you find somewhere that you like. It also means that you might end up paying more than you would like to win a bidding war.
There are no restrictions to the type or size of housing that you can buy as an expat in Costa Rica. You can expect to pay anywhere from 500 to 1500 USD a month to rent somewhere and properties start from around 100,000 USD to purchase.
To buy or rent a property in Costa Rica as an expat, you will need proof that you can legally live in the country, either by your visa or passport.
Costa Rica is full of locally owned grocery and retail stores. You will be able to find a selection of different cuisines and fresh produce all year round.
Depending on where you are moving to, there may be a farmer’s market nearby where you can go to buy fresh foods to use in your home cooking. Many Costa Ricans pride themselves on shopping locally and support small businesses.
If you enjoy Caribbean and South American cuisine, you will adore eating out at the many Costa Rican restaurants too.
Costa Rica has a great public transport system that connects all areas across the country. It’s affordable to use and is a great alternative to driving your own car if you’re trying to save money.
The inter-province train system connects multiple areas in the Greater Metropolitan Area and there are plans to extend connections all the way out to the Caribbean and the Pacific.
Generally, Costa Rica is seen as a safe and secure place. It’s one of the safest places in Central America, particularly in the areas outside of the capital city.
There are some incidences of petty crime, especially for tourists who are carrying around valuable items. But as long as you keep your belongings close and you are observant, you should be safe.
There is no army in Costa Rice and a lot of the federal funding is used for improving healthcare and education instead.
Getting a Job
As an expat, it may be difficult to get a job in Costa Rica but getting a work permit or a work visa might make things a little easier.
If you plan to work when you move to Costa Rica, you will need a job before you can get a work permit. Therefore, it’s a good idea to search for jobs long before you plan to move.
Many expats who moved to Costa Rica work digitally. This is a great option if you want the freedom to work from anywhere and follow your own work schedule.