What Would I Need to Migrate to Costa Rica?

Migrate to Costa Rica

Are you thinking of emigrating to another country? Costa Rica has a wonderful climate and a relaxed way of life. Here is what you will need if you want to move there. 

Moving abroad is a huge commitment to your future self. You are lifting your roots and relocating them somewhere unfamiliar. Not only is it a different town or city, but it is also a whole different culture. Moving to Costa Rica will be a culture shock for any non-native. You should do as much research as you can before you move. This will prepare you for what to expect from the local culture before you select an area to live in. What else do you need to migrate to Costa Rica? 

Can you permanently move to Costa Rica?

Yes, the costa Rican government actively encourages foreigners to come and live in their country. Costa Rica is open land with very few limitations. If you want to live here, you will find it easier to migrate to than many other countries. 

Will moving to Costa Rica invalidate my health insurance policy?

When you move outside your native country, you may invalidate your health insurance policy. Standard health insurance doesn’t cover you while you travel outside of your home country. Instead, you will need a separate policy. You can read more about insurance Costa Rica before you go.

It will take time for you to settle into your new home in Costa Rica. You will adapt to the culture changes, but you will take time to do so. It will also take time for you to assimilate into the legal system there. Part of this is becoming used to the healthcare system. The Costa Rican healthcare system combines public and private healthcare as one of the top fifty systems worldwide.

How long can you live in Costa Rica legally?

If you are a US resident, you do not need any visas or permits to stay in Costa Rica for up to 90 days. You require your passport and a ticket that says your return journey is before the time limit. The ticket may be back home or for onwards travel. If you wish to stay longer than that, you must apply for residency. If you are not a US citizen and you want to stay in Costa Rica for less than 90 days, you should apply for a tourist visa. If you stay for longer as either US or international citizen, you must apply for a provisional visa, a temporary visa, or a permanent residency.

You can find full details on how to apply for your temporary visa here

You can find full details of how to apply for your permanent residency here.

How much money do you need to emigrate to Costa Rica?

Although you can live comfortably for around $1,500 per month in Costa Rica, you will have to prove your income before you can get your temporary or permanent visa. The Costa Rican government request that you prove your income has been $2,500 monthly for at least 24 months before they will let you reside in the country. 

How hard is it to get residency in Costa Rica?

There are lots of steps to becoming a resident full time in Costa Rica. However, if you follow the instructions laid out in the visa pages on the government website (links above), you will gain legal residency. 

How long can you live in costa Rica without residency?

You can stay in Costa Rica for 90 days as a US citizen before you must seek a permit. You can apply for a visa as a temporary resident if you are staying for longer than that. Once you have been in the country for long enough to fulfil your temporary residence visa, you may apply for a permanent residence. It is lengthy, but not too difficult. 

Other tips to make moving to Costa Rica simple

Before you decide to move abroad, follow these tips. They will help make the process as easy as possible:

  • Find a home before you move – hotels are pricey, and you will regret it when you don’t settle quickly
  • Open a bank account and deal with your finances well in advance of the move
  • Try to secure work in the country if you are planning a long-term residency
  • Inquire about local schools before you move
  • Make sure you can get your medications in Costa Rica and that any medical treatment remains uninterrupted. You should also familiarize yourself with covid policies in case of another medical disaster
  • Find a reliable international moving firm to help your relocation process
  • Consider leaving the bigger items in storage until you decide if your move is permanent or not
  • Find the local expat community before you leave your native country
  • Get to know your neighbors as soon as you arrive

If you stick to these guidelines, your migration to Costa Rica should be as smooth as can be.



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