Costa Rica can be an Awesome Move
As far as the nuts and bolts of relocation go, moving to another country is in a category all by itself. While it’s exciting to start a new life somewhere completely new, there are a lot of moving parts to keep track of. There’s also a lot to get used to in your new environment. If you’re considering making the big move, or if you’re already in the process, here are some things to consider, and some helpful tips to make the process smoother.
If you’re in a position where you don’t have to do this right away, fantastic. However at some point, unless you’re retired or you’re moving due to a job transfer, you’re going to have to figure out your employment situation. You can’t legally work in many places in Costa Rica until you become a permanent resident, which takes two years. But you can start your own business, and doing so is very easy.
While many people in Costa Rica speak English and there is a large population of ex-pats, Spanish is still far and away the predominate language. Learning Spanish will help you navigate much more smoothly through your day-to-day life. You don’t have to be completely fluent right out of the gate. However, learning enough to find ingredients in a grocery store, make transactions in stores, find a restroom, ask for directions, and get help if you get lost, injured or sick will be very helpful as you start out your new life.
Do your homework.
Research the country and the culture. Learn about the currency and the exchange rate. Find out everything you can about the area you are moving to, including what types of shopping, entertainment, and amenities will be available to you. Learn about local customs, and about any lifestyle changes you can expect. One way to do some research is to speak to someone who’s already made the move. Another is to hire a relocation service, which facilitates the moving process, and may even have cultural classes to help ease your transition.
Sell your stuff.
You make want to take small items or sentimental items with you to Costa Rica. However, it’s best to sell your furniture and other items and buy everything new once you get there. If you do decide to ship your furniture, be aware that there will be pricey shipping fees and the import tax on used goods ranges from 40 percent to 90 percent of their value.
Become a legal resident.
Securing your status as a legal resident is fairly easy, and will allow you to live in the country legally for anywhere from one to five years. There are income, employment, and other requirements to becoming a legal resident. Do your homework to ensure you’ll be in compliance with any regulations.