Work in Costa Rica

So you want to work in Costa Rica?

Once you’ve decided that you want to live in Costa Rica permanently, and if you’re not ready to retire just yet, then the logical question is can I work in Costa Rica?

Answer: It Depends.

Residency Visas: There are two types of residency visas in Costa Rica, permanent and temporary.

In order to work legally in Costa Rica, you must have a work permit and a temporary or permanent resident visa.

If you are considering applying for residency, you should know that there are several residency categories. Some of the most common categories and their requirements are as follows:

Temporary Residency and Work Permits

 

TEMPORARY RESIDENCE- PENSIONADO
  • -Requires proof of US$1,000 per month income from retirement fund or permanent pension.
  • -Cannot work as an employee.
  • -Can claim spouse and dependents under 18 years of age.
  • -Can own a company and receive dividends.
  • -Must remain in Costa Rica at least 1 day per year.
TEMPORARY RESIDENCE- RENTISTA
  • -Requires proof of deposit of at least US $60,000 in an approved bank, with $2,500 withdrawn every month, until the applicant applies for Permanent Residence.
  • -OR proof of US $2,500 per month unearned (cannot be employment income), stable, verifiable, and permanent income such as bank interest, annuities, or dividends for at least 2 years.
  • -Cannot work as an employee.
  • -Can own a company and receive dividends.
  • -Can claim spouse and dependents under 18 years of age.
  • -Must remain in Costa Rica at least 1 day per year.
TEMPORARY RESIDENCE- INVESTOR
  • -Investment of US $200,000 in a business OR property.
  • -Can own a company and receive dividends.
  • -Income allowed from the investment.
  • -Can claim spouse and dependents under 18 years of age.
  • -Must remain in Costa Rica at least 1 day per year.
TEMPORARY RESIDENCE- COMPANY REPRESENTATIVE
  • -Company incorporation documents.
  • -Business license from corresponding municipality.
  • -Income certification by Certified Public Accountant.
  • -Proof of Caja (CCSS) registration of company.
  • -Proof of payment/registration of company income taxes.
  • -Cannot claim spouse or dependants.
  • -Must remain in Costa Rica at least 1 day per year.
TEMPORARY RESIDENCE- SPOUSE OF A COSTA RICAN CITIZEN
  • -Must provide documentary proof of the marriage’s validity.
  • -Can own a company and receive income.
  • -Can work.
WORK PERMIT- HIRED BY A PHYSICAL PERSON*

*Note: this category is only available to domestic and agricultural workers.

  • -Signed letter from intended employer, acting as a guarantor.
  • -Authenticated job offer indicating functions, hours, and salary, signed by employer.
  • -Proof of employer’s economic solvency (such as income certification by Certified Public Accountant).
  • -Cannot claim spouse or dependents.
  • Must remain in Costa Rica at least 1 day per year.

 

Permanent Residence and Citizenship

 

PERMANENT RESIDENCE
  • -May apply for Permanent Residence after three years as a temporary resident.
  • -OR first-degree relative status with a Costa Rican Citizen (having a Costa Rican child)
  • -Can work
  • -Can own a company and receive income.
  • -Can claim spouse and dependents under 18 years of age.
CITIZENSHIP BY RESIDENCE
  • -7 years living in Costa Rica as a resident with a cedula (5 years if you are a citizen of a Central American country, a citizen of certain Latin American countries, or a citizen of Spain by birth).
  • -Must proof having lived in Costa Rica for the accumulated time through the record immigration entries and exits.
  • -Proof of financial means such as an income certification from a CPA.
  • -2 character witness declarations.
  • -Completion of citizenship test- Spanish and Social Studies.
 CITIZENSHIP BY MARRIAGE
  • -2 Years living in Costa Rica married to a Costa Rican citizen.
  • -Proof of having lived in Costa Rica for the accumulated time through record of immigration entries and exits.
Finding or Creating Work in Costa Rica

Employment is the recommended means of obtaining temporary and ultimately permanent resident status in Costa Rica. Make sure to find out the details of the job, salary, hours, social security, how will they help you to get work permit.

Here are a few employment and also business ideas you might consider:

  • Teaching- there is a demand here for those who can teach English in a bilingual school in Costa Rica.
  • Remote work- It’s possible to work as a trader, writer, or run an online business, keep in mind that this would be illegal if you are being paid by a Costa Rican company.
  • Become an Investor- If you are financially able to create a business in Costa Rica, you then can obtain residency status. This means that if you run the business, you must oversee your employees.
  • Real Estate Agent.

Small Business ideas you might want to consider:

  • -Food delivery service
  • -Pet sitting service
  • -Repair, maintenance and remodeling company
  • -Sporting goods store
  • -Office supply store
  • -Home security system, installation, maintenance
  • -Fully insured maid and cleaning service
  • -Picture frame business
  • -Fabric and crafts store
  • -Appliance, computer repair

 

**For more information on specific immigration requirements, please visit

Costa Rica Immigration Experts. http://www.crimmigrationexperts.com/en/

 

 

 

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