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Come and visit the country first, if possible not only once and stay at least for 1-3 months. Get to know the people, go to local shops, ride on buses, research the culture, and make sure you will be happy here. Many people take the decision to live in a foreign country based only on the marvelous experience they had on their holidays, and this is a big mistake. This is a wonderful country that offers great possibilities with unlimited opportunities, but it is definitely not for everyone. We will not try to convince you to stay here, this decision is only yours, but we will certainly show you all the pros and cons; but if you have decided that this is the country where you definitely would like to live, please remember you can count on us and that we are here to help and assist you in any case.

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Costa Ricans often use the diminutive form of words to sound friendlier. They use, "ico", instead the more common "ito" diminutive expression in Spanish. For example, the word “momento” (moment), becomes “momentico” (little moment).This form of diminutive is rarely used in other Spanish speaking countries, so they started calling Costa Ricans "ticos". 

New residency requirements went into effect March 1, 2010. Residency in Costa Rica is available in different formats, depending on the applicant’s possibilities and requirements. The Costa Rican legislation defines two general types of residency: permanent and temporary; the first category means that you can both reside and work in Costa Rica, since it is usually granted without limitations. Temporary residency may be given to individuals for a specific purpose, such as executives, representatives, managers and technical personnel of established corporations in the country, members of a religious order, or educational institutions. It may also be granted to individuals with certain specialized knowledge, students enrolled in specific educational institutions, artists, investors, and retirees and to other individuals who qualify, at the discretion of the Department of Immigration. When you are applying to become a legal resident of Costa Rica under the Pensionado (pensioner), Rentista (small investor) or Inversionista (large investor) programs (all temporary residency categories), and as a result of the changes made by the Asamblea Nacional, effective August March 1, 2010, you can now file abroad, in your country of origin, or directly at Migración y Extranjería in San José, Costa Rica. However, all adults need to be fingerprinted by the immigration authorities in Costa Rica, therefore you will need at least one or two days in Costa Rica in order to meet this requirement before Immigration’s review of your application. It is important to note that without proof of fingerprinting, your application will be automatically denied. All documents need to be translated in Spanish by certified translator........


Medical care costs a fraction of what it does in the U.S. and Europe. However, quality is not sacrificed. Doctors are highly trained, many in the U.S. and Cuba. Costa Rica’s life expectancy is higher than in the U.S. and the national health system will treat anybody and is considered the best one in Latin America. Costa Rica's Social Security system (the Caja) offers a medical insurance assistance program for foreigners needing emergency medical assistance. The coverage can be bought at travel agencies, language schools or through tour companies.

Compared to the U.S. or any European country, property tax is very low. The tax rate is set annually by the municipality and is based on 0.25% of the recorded property value in the National Public Registry ( Registro Público Nacional). The property value may be adjusted automatically by the municipality, when the property is sold or mortgaged.

I know people who live with $500 a month, but they live simply. I personally like to eat out and travel around the country. If you are thinking of moving to such a beautiful and exciting country, you will not want to sit at home. Realistically, if your home is paid for, $2,000 a month can give you a good lifestyle. 

Yes, any foreigner can purchase a vehicle in Costa Rica, however, as in real estate, does present some title search and title transfers.

Yes, a non-resident can own a property in Costa Rica with no national partner required by government laws, or becoming a resident first. It is always recommended to use a qualified realtor and lawyer for any real estate transactions. It is important to note, that even as legal owners, you will need a legal residency in order to acquire utilities such as water, electricity and phone services. Another way to get these utilities is through a Sociedad Anonima (corporation).

There are many good American and European school options in the Central Valley, but if you are planning to live outside this area, your options will significantly decrease. Public schools in Costa Rica will generally offer instruction only to the 9th grade as it is required by law for children between 6-14 years of age. Those schools that go beyond 9th grade are required to offer the Bachillerato de Educación Diversificada, which is the National Baccalaureate. This degree allows entrance into university in Costa Rica, however not in the U.S. or Europe.

Yes, of course you can, as long as you have the proper documentation. The rabies vaccination must be administrated within 10 days prior to departure. This way your pet can entry Costa Rica together with you and no quarantine period will be necessary.

Although Spanish is the official language of Costa Rica, there is a very large community of English-speaking people living in this country and it is also a fact that English is also widely spoken by many Costa Ricans. However, if you have decided to live in this country, we strongly recommend learning some conversational Spanish in order to communicate with the local people and get better integrated.  

No vaccinations are required to enter Costa Rica as epidemic diseases have been eradicated throughout the country. Infectious hepatitis, a serious problem throughout Central America, is reported only rarely in Costa Rica.

Citizens of the U.S., Canada and most of European countries do not require a visa to enter Costa Rica. A valid passport will allow you to stay up to ninety days. Although you are required to carry your passport with you at all times, if you are stopped by officials, a photocopy with your photo, passport number and entry stamp will usually be enough. To check if you need a visa to enter Costa Rica please click here:
Costa Rica Embassy web page

In general Costa Rica is very safe. Like any place, normal precautions and care should be taken depending upon where you are visiting. Violent crime is rare in Costa Rica. Big cities, beach areas and anyplace with a concentration of tourists is more likely to draw thieves and such.

Simply because you can never lose. You always have the option of doing everything by yourself. But why go through all the stress and hassles of  moving, when you can have it done the easy way?  In AEGIS we have all been through this process already, we live in this country and know how things work here. We have the knowledge and experience to help you according to your needs. Let us be your host in Costa Rica, helping you to take the right steps and make the right choices to avoid mistakes that can end up turning your paradise dream into a real nightmare.