Looking to live the Pura Vida dream?

If you have heard of or visited Costa Rica and wondered, how can you do to live in the Tico paradise, today we will bring you a small guide of the aspects that would allow you to achieve this dream.

Costa Rica is a small country in Central America, bordered by Nicaragua and Panama and the Pacific Ocean and Caribbean Sea.

Despite its small territorial extension of 51,179 km², Costa Rica has great potential to become the temporary, permanent or retirement residence of many expatriates. Its fame as a focus of attraction of foreigners has been growing and consolidating for several years, today we can say that the country has new tools of an immigration nature that allow expatriates to live the Pura Vida dream.

The Pros of Living in Costa Rica

Referred by many as the “Central American Switzerland” or “the happiest country in Latin America“, Costa Rica has earned over the years this fame for several political, ecological, and social aspects:

  • Costa Rica is a stable and full democracy, according to The Democracy Index. Even rated with a better score than many countries in Europe, and for being one of the few American countries to obtain this qualification.
  • It is a peaceful country, considering that since 1948 Costa Rica abolished its army.
  • In terms of citizen security, the country is considerably safer than other American countries, and its crime rate is relatively lower in comparison with the other countries of the region. Which makes it a great place to come accompanied with the family, as well as for young and older people.
  • At the tax level, its system is considerably favorable in relation to other Latin American countries, which is just as beneficial for the expatriates.
  • It has consecutively obtained the position of the happiest country in Latin America, and one of the happiest countries in the world according to the World Happiness Report.
  • Access to health can be through public health, for which social security contributions are mandatory, or through private health, both are economically accessible compared to other countries, and provide high quality services, referring globally as one of the best health systems in Central and Latin America.
  • It has a great social and ecological development and has been rated among the best positions of the Environmental Performance Index over the last years. The country promotes a green policy and clean and renewable energy.
  • Its paradise beaches and mountains would allow you to freely choose where to settle, being able to easily know all the corners of the country and be surrounded by different biodiversity in a matter of few hours, even if you decide to settle in the Greater Metropolitan Area.
  • Costa Rica is a small country with a good public transport system as well as a road system so you can travel from north to south with great ease.
  • By having a tropical climate, its temperatures do not vary drastically, and does not have extremely opposite winters or summers being a pleasant place to live all year round.
  • The language, although the official of Costa Rica is Spanish, most Costa Ricans speak English, so you don’t necessarily have to learn Spanish to move to Costa Rica.
  • The “Pura Vida” Costa Rica is known by a famous expression “Pura Vida (“Pure Life” “La Vie Pure” “Pures Leben”) which the Ticos use it as a slogan, it´s our greeting, our way of saying thank you, of saying that everything is fine, a phrase with endless uses, but beyond that the Pura Vida symbolizes a lifestyle that attracts expatriates to feel Ticos , including  all these positive aspects of living in Costa Rica, accompanied by a relaxed lifestyle, without pressure or regrets.
  • The Costa Rican, also known as “the tico”, is usually a friendly and welcoming person, as well, like to receive foreigners, make them feel welcome, include them within our group of friends, our family and teach them the Costa Rican culture. The tico is Pura Vida!

Living in Costa Rica

Currently, Costa Rican legislation makes available to foreigners various options to settle in the country, we find long-stay visas, special categories, temporary and permanent residences and even naturalization. Each of these options should be analyzed on its own and recommended by legal counsel to each person specifically according to their personal conditions and those of their family, considering aspects such as their economic, family, work, and age status.

However, it is important to note that the country currently has various options that allow the expatriate to settle in Costa Rica legally without the express need for a family link or an employment contract, within these options we can mention:

  1. Long Stay Visa for Digital Nomads.
  2. Temporary Residence as a Rentier.
  3. Temporary Residence as an Investor.
  4. Temporary Residence as a Pensioner.

For our team of legal advisors at Lexincorp Costa Rica, it will be a pleasure to receive you, guide you and accompany you in the process of living Pura Vida.

If you wish to receive this article in its German and French versions, do not hesitate to contact us at nblau@lexincorp.com

Written by: Nathalie Blau

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