Expatriate in Costa Rica: “Pura Vida” Expat Living

Costa Rica has become a magnet for expats worldwide for the high standard of living, but before you pack your bags and book your flight, there are a few things you need to know about living as an expat in Costa Rica.

What is the meaning of expatriates?

An expatriate has left their country of origin to reside in another country.

What is the difference between a foreigner and an expat?

  • Foreigner: citizen of another country.
  • Expat: a foreigner who lives in a foreign country long term as a non-immigrant. Usually, it is a business or work assignment. For example, the Japanese Toyota staff at a Toyota plant in Germany stays in Germany for 5- 10 years at a time.

Why do many expats live in Costa Rica?

There are many reasons why Costa Rica is such a popular destination for expats. Here are just a few:

  • Stunning natural beauty: Costa Rica is a small country with an enormous punch for natural beauty. From lush rainforests and volcanic mountains to beautiful beaches and coral reefs, there’s something everyone can enjoy.
  • Affordable cost of living: Compared to many other developed countries, the cost of living in Costa Rica is relatively low. This makes it an attractive option for retirees and budget-minded travelers alike.
  • Laid-back lifestyle: Costa Ricans are known for their relaxed and laid-back attitude. This Pura Vida lifestyle is infectious, and it’s one of the things that makes living in Costa Rica so special for many expats.
  • Friendly people: Costa Ricans are known for their warm hospitality. You’re sure to feel welcome from the moment you arrive and into your plan to live.
  • Costa Rican government: Costa Rica is a democratic and stable government. This makes it a safe and secure place to live.
  • Establishment of foreign companies: Companies from the United States, Spain, Canada, and India establish operations in Costa Rica, and managers fall in love with the country.
  • Public healthcare: Costa Rica is the Central American country with the best social security service, among the best in Latin America. Private healthcare is excellent and has world-class clinics and private hospitals, but it is more expensive; you will find both in Guanacaste and San José.
  • International education: If you should bring your children to Costa Rica, there are international schools with international validity, excellent English levels, and premier universities.
  • Real Estate Investments: Expats seeking to be a real estate agency; many business opportunities serve to continue generating money; whether you are a retiree or investor, it is always a source of income in Costa Rica and attracts expats.
  • Safety: Costa Rica is ranked in the Top 20 in the world and the safest in Latin America. Also, it is one of the safest countries for travel and backpacking in Central America, but that doesn’t mean you should let your guard down.

Planning Your Move to Costa Rica

Once you decide that Costa Rica is the right place for you, it’s time to start planning your move. Here are a few things to keep in mind:

  • Visas: You must obtain a visa to live in Costa Rica; the U.S. and Canada do not require a visa, just a passport.
  • Residency: Expats are attracted to staying for over a few months, so you may want to consider applying for residency in Costa Rica as a rentist, investor, or retired expat. This will give you the right to live and work permanently. Also, your wife is covered as a dependent of an expat living in Costa Rica, with a new high quality of life!
  • Finding a place to live: Various housing options are available to buy a property in Costa Rica, from beachside condos to mountain cabins. The best place to live for you will depend on your budget and lifestyle; if you like surf can be Tamarindo o Jaco in the Pacific Ocean; if you like the city, it can be San José, and if you like relaxed and tropical beaches live in the Caribbean Sea, AG Legal can help you find the perfect place to call home.

Adjusting Plan to Life in Costa Rica

Once you’ve arrived in Costa Rica, giving yourself time to adjust to your new life is essential. Here are a few tips:

  • Learn some Spanish: While you can get by in some tourist areas without speaking Spanish, learning the language will make your life in Costa Rica much easier. There are many Spanish language schools in Costa Rica, so you can find one that fits your needs and budget.
  • Embrace the culture: Take some time to learn about the local customs and traditions. You can do this by attending festivals, visiting museums, and talking to local people in friendly communities. Wherever you go
  • Get involved in the community: Costa Rica has many expat communities. Getting involved in one of these communities is a great way to meet new people and make friends.
  • Be patient: Adjusting to a new life in a new country takes time. Don’t get discouraged if things don’t happen overnight. Just be patient and enjoy the journey.

Living as an expat in Costa Rica can be an enriching experience. With careful planning and preparation, you can ensure that your transition to life in paradise is smooth and successful.

AG Legal can help you with expat living—residency, visa, and property in Costa Rica.

We have a team of experienced lawyers who specialize in immigration law. We can help you with everything from obtaining a visa to applying for residency. We also offer other legal services, such as real estate and business law.

If you live in Costa Rica, you can contact AG Legal today. We’ll be able to help you. info@aglegal.com