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Multi-Talented but Unilingal Newcomer
I'd love to chat with folks who have made the move to Costa Rica to hear about the challenges you ran into. I have no idea which part of Costa Rica would offer me the most opportunities but I'd like to leave in the next couple of months. I'm a 40+ single woman who has taught in Asia, worked in management in hi-tech industries in Canada and isn't afraid to do what has to be done to make my new home, my permanent home. Any advice would be appreciated. Thanks in advance.
Tell us more about your goals and reasons for coming to Costa Rica, what are you looking for specifically?
Your best opportunities are in San Jose, but that isn't to say you can't find something very good on either coast.
If you are looking to earn good money, your best move is to get hired from Canada and transferred here. I just met a guy who worked at Firestone for many years. Five years before retiring he was able to get transferred here, then retire. So he had 5 years of his normal salary while living with less expenses.
You can come here and then try to get hired, the real growth industry here is due to the trend of "out-sourcing". There are several big companies (IBM, P&G, Alienware, HP, Sykes) that have their customer service lines answered here by Costa Ricans. I could see good possibilities for a native english speaker just graduating in business in a supervisory type position. The drawback of getting hired here is probably the salary as $1000 per month would be a great salary here. Since the whole idea of outsourcing is to save costs, I don't know how flexible these companies are when they hire locally. What I mean is I'm sure they would be glad to have you and even help you get a work permit, but you would have to consider that they would probably want to pay you local wages if you are hired here.
As to relocating, you are probably looking at being a "wetback"or "perpetual tourist", since work permits and visas longer than 3 months are hard to come by. Most options for residency are geared toward people with pension income or investments. This means that as an illegal, you leave once every three months for 72 hours and return. You take a small chance that you could get refused entry upon return. Companies can get work permits for executives, they have to justify to immigration why they need a foreign worker rather than a Tico. The larger the company, the easier it is.
If you are able to come up with any sort of capital (like $5000 - $10,000) there are probably plenty of opportunities for you to start up a small business. That would be a matter of what interests and hobbies you have, looking at the local providers and determining what opportunities are suited to your budget and abilities. The only way to make money in Costa Rica is owning your own business or in sales, since salaries are generally very low.
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There are many opportunities in Costa Rica, my recomendation is to start a business, which can be done relatively with little money compared to the USA or Canada.
Some of the most popular are bed and breakfasts, restaurants, tourism industry which conitnues to expand every day.
Regarding jobs, your best bet would be to work for an international company that has an office in Costa Rica or in the tourism industry, teaching english or computering etc does not pay very much, many foreigners do work for some of the internet betting companies that pay pretty good for Costarrican salaries.
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Lic.Gregory Kearney Lawson.
Lic.Gregory Kearney Lawson
Attorney at Law/Real Estate Broker
KEARNEY LAWSON & Assoc.
attorneykearney @ yahoo.com
- Regular Poster