Costa Rica Employment - Finding a Job in Costa Rica

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With tourism being Costa Rica's largest industry, hundreds of thousands of visitors get a taste of this beautiful country.  Many of those that visit think about staying in Costa Rica on a more permanent basis.

A reoccurring question by mostly younger non-retirees considering Costa Rica extended stays or permanent relocations is; "What type of employment is available?" or "How do I find a job in Costa Rica?".  Unfortunately I don't have good news for those seeking a move to Costa Rica that involves finding a job.

Costa Rica actively encourages tourism and investment as these are both in its best interest.  Foreigners can visit and enjoy this beautiful country with a valid passport from most countries.  The passport entry stamp grants visitors 90 days to remain in-country as a tourist.  For those looking to invest, Costa Rica laws allow foreigners to purchase real estate, invest in industry and conversation, and even gain residency status if the person can prove they have independent sustainable income (ie: pension, social security, etc.).

Costa Rica Residency Comparision Chart

IMPORTANT NOTE:  The Costa Rica laws regarding Residency are under seemingly constant review and interpretation.  The minimum income standards for Pensionado and Rentista residency status are currently in legislation for possible increases from $600/mo. to $2,000/mo. and $1,000/mo. to $5,000/mo. respectively. If passed into law, these new minimum guaranteed income levels may prohibit many from applying for Costa Residency - which is apparently Costa Rica's goal.  I will of course post an up-to-date blog entry outlining the new residency requirements once they are law.
 

However, tourist status does NOT allow the visitor to work or earn money ... and Costa Rica Migracion strictly enforces this policy. The steadfast view is that no foreigner should take a job that can be performed by a Costa Rica citizen. With Costa Rica having a highly educated, bilingual work force - this does not leave many jobs that can qualify for a foreign worker exemption.

That said; there are many, many foreign corporations that operate in Costa Rica. Persons considering a move to Costa Rica may benefit by seeking their employment via one of these established companies.

Some U.S. companies that have operations here in Costa Rica include:

  • Microsoft
  • General Electric
  • Abbot Laboratories
  • Continental Airways
  • Intel
  • Lucent Technologies
  • Maersk Sealand
  • Proctor & Gamble
  • Cutler Hammer
  • Eaton
  • Sykes
  • Merck
  • Citigroup
  • Dole
  • Del Monte
  • Century 21 Real Estate
  • Bristol Myers Squibb
  • Manpower International
  • CISCO Systems
  • American Airlines
  • Equifax Credit
  • Wal-Mart
  • etc., etc.,

There are also many work abroad, study abroad and missionary opportunities in various industries such as tourism, travel and education that may allow for extended, income earning stays here in Costa Rica in order to determine if a more permanent move is desired.

NOTE:  The company or program should have all necessary immigration and work permit paperwork lined-up prior to your Costa Rica departure.

 

Resources:

 

Hopefully this information is useful.

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