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How to move to Costa Rica

You’ve decided to move to Costa Rica and now are you wondering, “OK, so exactly how do I move to Costa Rica?”. This is a good question to ask! Having the idea of living in a foreign country is simply the first step in the process. Now, it’s time to look at the logistics of making that move. When thinking about how you will move to Costa Rica there are a few things you will need to consider. Visa and residency requirements are an important part of the process, as is figuring out where you want to live and how long you plan on staying. You will also want to learn how to manage your finances and support your lifestyle, and have access to any prescriptions or medications that you need.

The best piece of advice for figuring out how to move to Costa Rica is to visit the country first. Many people decide to move to Costa Rica without first coming to the country to see which region they most enjoy and whether or not the Costa Rican lifestyle fits their desired lifestyle. Planning a trip for a few weeks to visit different parts of the country and explore what each region has to offer will be a key factor in successfully completing your move to Costa Rica. Once you have visited the country and know where you would like to live, you will want to look into your options for applying for residency, which is necessary to stay long term in the country.

When you visit Costa Rica you are granted a 90-day tourist visa. At the end of this 90-day period, you must leave the country, for at least 72-hours before you can be granted another tourist visa. If you plan on moving to Costa Rica for more than 3 months, you will want to establish residency. To see what type of residency you may qualify for, it is best to speak with a representative from Send Me South, we specialize in helping people move to Costa Rica.

Another important piece of the puzzle in figuring out how to move to Costa Rica will be managing your finances. If you plan on opening a Costa Rican bank account, you can do your banking in person. But, you still may want to or need to keep a bank account in your home country. This means setting up online banking if you haven’t already and making sure you know how to transfer money and electronically handle your finances. You will also need to inform your home banking institution that you are planning on moving to Costa Rica so that they are aware of charges or activity that may show up on your bank statement. Major credit cards are accepted throughout Costa Rica at most larger businesses, but smaller restaurants and stores may not take accept credit cards, so you’ll need to be able to access local currency, Colones, with your ATM card, which means alerting your home bank to where you will be.

If you are currently taking any prescription medications or have health needs that require regular medical visits, you’ll want to speak with your current doctor about getting a supply of medications to last you until you have found a doctor in Costa Rica. The healthcare system in Costa Rica is very good with both socialized and private options available. Making sure you have access to medical support and certain medications that you need will play into choosing where you live and will also affect how successful you are in moving to Costa Rica and being able to stay long term.

These are just some of the things you will need to consider when figuring out how to move to Costa Rica. Please see other articles on this website that cover more topics like finding the right school for your children, costs of living, and housing options. You’ve already made the decision to move to Costa Rica, now the fun part of figuring out how to move to Costa Rica can begin!  Please feel free to contact us with more questions.


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