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Citizens of many states worldwide can move 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 another 3 months. There are no specific restrictions or limitations related to the number of entrances per year. Here are the most common permits requested by expats when moving to Costa Rica.
Many foreigners want to obtain a residence permit by purchasing real estate property in Costa Rica. Meanwhile, others prefer to rent 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 per month in the suburbs of the city or a spacious 1-bedroom apartment for about €1200 in the San Jose city centre. If you are moving to Costa Rica with family, you can rent a fancy house for €500 per month somewhere inland.
LIVING IN COSTA RICA
There is a myth that the cost of living in Costa Rica is low. 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 the following: utilities per month – €80, Internet – €70, a meal of the day – €7.
Do you need to send documents urgently to Costa Rica to help secure a place to stay before moving?
Given that many local people get a decent education in Costa Rica, there is high competition in the job market. 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.
Primary and secondary education in Costa Rica is free. Even the children of illegal immigrants have the right to attend local schools. The major expenses that need to be covered include only a school uniform, textbooks, and other school supplies. There are many international and bilingual schools for expats living in Costa Rica with children.
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.
Expats who immigrate to Costa Rica for a long term prefer renting a car or buying one. As a foreigner, you are allowed to drive in Costa Rica for up to 90 days, so long as you have a valid driver’s licence from your home country. After that, you will need to get a Costa Rican driver’s licence.
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.
Immigrants moving to Costa Rica allocate the following aspects of living there:
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