±JOIN OUR NEWSLETTER
±Compare Expat Providers
±Expat Focus Partners
±Latest Financial Articles
· Moving Abroad, Before And After Brexit
· Expat Focus Financial Update February 2018
· How To Navigate Brexit When Sending Money Abroad
· Expat Focus Financial Update January 2018
· Top Tips for Buying a Property Overseas in 2018
· Expat Focus Financial Update December 2017
· World Events And Currency: Why Politics Affect An Exchange Rate
· Expat Focus Financial Update November 2017
· What Might Brexit Mean For Expat Finances?
EmploymentBack to top Back to main Skip to menu
Costa Rica - Employment
Strict labour laws benefit Costa Rican nationals but mean that finding a job as a foreigner can prove difficult. As a general rule, foreigners can only work in Costa Rica if they can prove that they possess a skill that Costa Ricans do not. There are ways around this though and there are opportunities to earn an income whilst living in Costa Rica. Spanish is the main language used for business and journalism in Costa Rica, therefore it is usually necessary to have a grasp of the language if you plan to work in any role that isn’t specifically English-centric (such as English teaching or call centre work).
If you have a permanent residency visa or one of a few specific types of temporary residency visa in Costa Rica then you will be allowed to work. It is also possible to apply for a work permit but these are normally very difficult to obtain. If you are based outside Costa Rica and applying to work for a company within Costa Rica they may be able to secure a work permit for you – it is recommended that you enquire about this when you apply. A work permit allows you residency only as long as the conditions for employment remain the same. Below you will find a list of the necessary requirements to obtain a work permit in Costa Rica:
- You or your employer must provide evidence that you possess a certain skillset that cannot be found within Costa Rica.
- You must provide full details of your employer in Costa Rica. The employer must provide evidence that they have the economic means to pay the relevant salary.
- You must provide a certified copy of your passport and a certified birth certificate which must both be authenticated by the Costa Rican consulate in your country of origin.
You may want to consider working as an online freelancer or telecommuter and being employed by a company from outside Costa Rica. English language teaching jobs, whether TEFL (teaching English as a foreign language) or in traditional schools, can provide a good source of income and are normally well paid.
As a result of the strict labour laws for foreigners, English speaking recruitment agencies are very difficult to come by, and the Costa Rican government does not have an official employment service. There are some online agencies which post job opportunities in Costa Rica, or another good source is the newspaper.
There are a handful of international companies that have offices based in Costa Rica but these are unlikely to provide employment opportunities as they normally employ from within Costa Rica or directly from their other offices worldwide.
Chambers of Commerce and other business organisations can be a helpful source when looking for employment in Costa Rica. Here are some suggestions of organisations to contact:
Costa Rica British Chamber of Commerce (Cámara de Comercio Británico-Costarricense)
A non-profit association dedicated to developing commercial opportunities between the United Kingdom and Costa Rica.
Tel: +506 2201 6095
International Chamber of Commerce Costa Rica
An organisation aiming to strengthen commercial ties between Costa Rica and other nations.
Tel: +506 22573282
AMCHAM (Costa Rican – American Chamber of Commerce)
An organisation representing the interests of its members with regards to economic, educational and social factors.
Tel: +506 2220-2200
AED (Asociación Empresarial para el Desarrollo)
A non-profit business association for development.
Tel: +506 2231 2081
Do not consider working in Costa Rica without the necessary visa or work permit – this will likely result in deportation. If you do have permission to work in Costa Rica then you should carefully consider the salary that you will be earning. Salaries in Costa Rica are generally very low – the average is $500 per month. Realistically you will need to be earning around $1000 - $1500 per month to live a standard of lifestyle that is considered comfortable by Western standards.
Read more about this country
Expat Health Insurance Partners
Our award-winning expatriate business provides health benefits to more than 650,000 members worldwide. In addition, we have helped develop world-class health systems for governments, corporations and providers around the world. We want to be the global leader in delivering world-class health solutions, making quality health care more accessible and empowering people to live healthier lives.
At Bupa we have been helping individuals and families live longer, healthier, happier lives for over 60 years. We are trusted by expats in 190 different countries and have links with healthcare organisations throughout the world. So whether you're moving abroad for a change of career or a change of scene, with our international private health insurance you will always be in safe hands.
Cigna has worked in international health insurance for more than 30 years. Today, Cigna has over 71 million customer relationships around the world. Looking after them is an international workforce of 31,000 people, plus a network of over 1 million hospitals, physicians, clinics and health and wellness specialists worldwide, meaning you have easy access to treatment.