Immigrate to Costa Rica. Things you should know before moving to Costa Rica

Do you think that Costa Rica is a paradise on the earth? It might be true as Costa Rica became a home country for many American and European expats searching for the warm climate and careless life. Indeed, many foreigners are moving to Costa Rica from the USA, Canada, Europe, and the countries in Central America. This state has much to offer to tourists, expats, businessmen, and pensioners who immigrate to Costa Rica. If you are also planning a move, check this article to learn more about Costa Rica and discover affordable solutions for international removals to Costa Rica.

International removals to Costa Rica with Eurosender

Thousands of expats are moving to Costa Rica from the USA, Canada, Germany, and other states. Some of them prefer visiting the country as a tourist before relocating from the USA to Costa Rica or relocating from other parts of the world. To make the exploration and acquaintance with the country smooth and informative, we will first provide some basic facts about Costa Rica.

LocationCosta Rica is located in Central America and washed by the Pacific Ocean and the Atlantic Ocean. The country borders on Nicaragua in the north, and Panama in the south.
Capital citySan Jose
ClimateAs Costa Rica is not far from the equator, it has a warm climate all year round. However, it has smaller microclimate zones in different regions.
CurrencyCosta Rican colón (CRC)
PopulationThere are almost 5 million people living in Costa Rica. Locals call themselves Ticos.
LanguageSpanish is the official language in Costa Rica. Minor ethnic groups speak indigenous languages. About 10% of people living in Costa Rica speak English fluently.
TimezoneUTC -6
Surprising factThere is no army in Costa Rica.

Those who are relocating from the USA to Costa Rica or move from other countries have to take care of shipping their personal belongings and other essential items before they immigrate to Costa Rica. Eurosender knows how to alleviate the process of relocation by providing affordable services for international removals to Costa Rica. You can delegate the responsibility of shipping heavy and bulky items to us instead of carrying them with you on the bus or plane.

Here is the list of common items our customers send before they immigrate to Costa Rica for a long-term period:

To get more information about the international removals to Costa Rica, contact our friendly support team agents who will gladly assist you.

Living in Costa Rica

Among all Central American countries, Costa Rica is the most appealing one among tourists and expats. Both foreigners and locals love this country for its warm climate and diversity of nature. However, Costa Rica is not as safe as it was supposed to be several decades ago. Thus, we have collected both the advantages and drawbacks of living in Costa Rica for you.


  • Very high standards of living. The country’s political and economic situation is stable, so many expats are moving to Costa Rica from the USA, Canada, France, and other developed countries.
  • Safety. The crime rates in Costa Rica are very low compared to other countries in Latin and Central America.
  • Spanish language. Even if you do not know any word in Spanish, this language is euphonious and easy-to-learn. Some basic Spanish will make it easier to find local friends and travel around the region feeling more confident when the language barrier is taken down.


  • Limited work opportunities for expats. The government of Costa Rica makes everything possible to create workplaces for local people Ticos. Those who want to immigrate to Costa Rica for employment reasons will have to prove that they have exclusive skills.
  • The rising cost of real estate property. Once the prices for houses and apartments were pretty low in Costa Rica. Given that more and more expats are moving to Costa Rica annually, the cost of real estate property is gradually increasing.
  • Be cautious. Even though Costa Rica is considered to be the safest country in Central America, do not be 100% carefree. As minor robberies still take place in the streets of Costa Rica, do not take much cash and jewellery items with you when going out.

Cost of living in Costa Rica

There is a myth that Costa Rica is a cheap country to live in. We want to prove the contrary by providing actual prices for food, utilities, and entertainment. Actually, the cost of living might differ depending on the city and region across the country. However, expats will feel comfortable when their monthly budget is around $1500 per person or $2500 per family. Generally, the average expenses of expats living in Costa Rica are provided in the table below.

Apartment rental$400-700 (1-bedroom apartment)$700-1500 (a small house)
A meal of the day$7.5
A cup of cappuccino$2.5

Visa regulations for Costa Rica

Costa Rica is known as the country of perpetual tourism as citizens of many states worldwide can come to Costa Rica without a visa for up to 90 days. Afterwards, they might travel to neighbouring Nicaragua or Panama for a weekend and then come back to Costa Rica and stay there for the other 3 months. There are no certain restrictions or limitations related to the number of entrances per year. If one wants to immigrate to Costa Rica for longer, it would be more difficult but still possible. Here are the most common reasons for expats moving to Costa Rica.

  • Residence permit for rentiers. Those people who are willing to live in Costa Rica without work permit need to prove that they have at least $60,000 per person or per family for the period of 2 years. This money must be deposited in the bank of Costa Rica. Afterwards, the bank will give away $2,500 monthly or $30,000 yearly to a rentier.
  • Residence permit for retirees. Those who are going to immigrate to Costa Rica as pensioners are called pensionados. They must have an income from a pension or deposit account of at least $600 US per month for a period of five years.
  • Residence permit for students, volunteers, and researchers. Those who are moving to Costa Rica as students need to provide a certificate of enrolment to a university or courses in the country. Volunteers and researchers need to represent the following documents about their particular programmes or projects.
  • Residence permit for investors. Those who want to buy a dwelling which costs at least $200,000 or invest even more in the country’s economy are automatically granted a temporary residence permit.

Consider that it is necessary to spend 120 days in total during a 1-year period regardless of the type of residency you obtain. After 3 years of temporary residency in Costa Rica, there is a possibility to apply for permanent residency or citizenship. As the legislative basis of the country is changing, this period may vary.

Healthcare in Costa Rica

The results of many international surveys and investigations show that the Costa Rican healthcare system is one of the best in Central America and Latin America. There are two main sectors in the healthcare system of Costa Rica: government-sponsored and private ones. The state-owned network of hospitals and clinics throughout Costa Rica is called the Caja Costarricense de Seguro Social (or simply Caja) that is available to locals and expats moving to Costa Rica.

Tourists and residents usually prefer private healthcare services in Costa Rica due to the range of benefits it provides. Compared to public healthcare institutions, private ones usually employ English-speaking professionals who were trained in the US, Canada, and Europe. The cost of medical services in private clinics is much lower than in the US, for instance, but highly trained physicians guarantee the best experience for patients, while waiting time is significantly lower than in the Caja establishments.

School and education

Costa Rican authorities once decided to invest at least 8% of the country’s GDP in the education system. Therefore, the literacy level among millennials is about 98% at the moment. There is no need to pay for primary and secondary education in Costa Rica. Even the children of illegal immigrants have the right to attend local schools. The major expenses that need to be covered only include a school uniform, textbooks, and other school supplies.

Children must attend primary school between the age of 6 and 13 in Costa Rica. Afterwards, they decide whether to proceed with academic or technical secondary studies over the following 5-6 years. Upon graduation from school or college, children might opt to enrol in the university. There are 5 public and 50 private universities in Costa Rica accepting both local and international students.

The job market in Costa Rica

Given that many local people get a decent education in Costa Rica, there is high competition in the job market. Moreover, the government strives to create workplaces for Ticos people, which is even supported by legislative acts. Costa Rican law states that a foreigner can only be hired for a certain position if there are no nationals available or there was no local with the required level of qualification.

Nevertheless, expats are moving to Costa Rica from the USA, Canada, and Europe as highly trained professionals in the sphere of IT and engineering. Those who prefer relocating to Costa Rica as English teachers or seasonal workers in the tourism industry are also welcome.

Property information

Costa Rica is a very modern and safe country in Central America offering natural beauty and diversity to its nationals, tourists, and expats. Therefore, many foreigners want to obtain a residence permit via purchasing real estate property in the country. Meanwhile, others prefer an apartment in San Jose, Puerto Limon, Alajuela, Heredia, or another major city.

The most expensive dwellings are in San Jose, the capital of Costa Rica. You can rent a small apartment for about $500 in the suburbs of the city or a spacious 1-bedroom flat for about $1200 in the centre. The prices for real estate property tend to decrease when moving away from San Jose. It means that you can rent a fancy house for $500 somewhere inland. If you want to buy one, you will have to pay at least $150,000 for a budget option.

Driving in Costa Rica

Getting around Costa Rica is possible with the help of public transport (particularly buses) or a car. Expats who immigrate to Costa Rica for a long term prefer renting a car or buy one. Consider that the road infrastructure is far beyond the ideal state in Costa Rica. Even in major cities like San Jose or Alajuela, you will find many dirt roads instead of the paved ones. Moreover, most of the roads across the country are deteriorated and full of potholes, so you need to be extra careful while driving in Costa Rica.

Cost of moving to Costa Rica

Prior to relocation, discover the average moving costs to Costa Rica, the cheapest way to move furniture to Costa Rica, and the cost of moving a house to Costa Rica. We have prepared some pieces of advice on that matter along with the shipping tips for moving house to Costa Rica safely, cheaply, and fast.

Eurosender offers exclusive shipping services for expats with lower than the average cost of moving house to Costa Rica. When using Eurosender platform, you can instantly discover the shipping costs and book services just in a few minutes. Furthermore, you get a range of benefits as:

  • Take advantage of the worldwide delivery services as Eurosender partners with reliable logistics service providers operating globally.
  • Discover the cheapest way to move furniture to Costa Rica owing to our unique algorithm that crafts the best offer based on the price-to-performance ratio.
  • Enjoy the convenience of the door-to-door shipping so that you do not have to carry your heavy bags to a local drop-off point.
  • Use convenient tools on our website that would help you to estimate the delivery date, choose the type of shipping services needed, and trace your parcel in the real-time.

Before booking shipping services, you need to measure the dimensions of your parcel. If the parameters of a parcel do not fit standard dimensions, you have multiple packages or need to ship heavy items, contact our logistics experts and they will craft an individual offer for you.

The most popular destinations from where you can move to Costa Rica

Moving to Costa Rica from Canada

Are you a highly qualified professional or a retiree who is moving to Costa Rica from Canada? If yes, then you need to take care of your relocation in advance. Instead of taking your multiple suitcases and bulky items with you, delegate this responsibility to Eurosender. We offer reliable services for international removals to Costa Rica, which means that moving house or shipping lots of personal belongings abroad would be a piece of cake.

Moving to Costa Rica from Australia

If you want to immigrate to another country but have not decided where to exactly, then consider moving to Costa Rica from Australia. Do not worry about taking lots of stuff with you because international removals to Costa Rica powered by Eurosender will take care of that. Furthermore, you will get the cheapest way to move furniture to Costa Rica.

Moving to Costa Rica from the United Kingdom

Are you tired of overcrowded London or industrial Liverpool? If so, consider moving to Costa Rica from the United Kingdom in case you are a qualified specialist, a pensioner, or a rentier. Eurosender will make your move overseas as simple as ABC because we collaborate with logistics partners operating globally. It means that you will get the lowest cost of moving a house to Costa Rica.

Other destinations?

Disclaimer: The materials provided in this article were collected from other credible resources to be used for general information purposes only. Given that the legislative basis of the country and its economic development have a changing nature, the information provided in the article could be subject to change. Whilst we endeavour to keep the information up-to-date and correct, Eurosender will not be liable for any inappropriate, incomplete, or inaccurate information. Certain links will lead to websites which are not under control of Eurosender. Thus, Eurosender accepts no liability in respect of materials, products or services being not under control of Eurosender.