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How Can I Earn Money in Costa Rica?

Costa Rica is considered a paradise by those who live in the country and by tourists who visit by the millions every year. To stay and work in the country, it takes more than catching a flight and getting in with your passport. To legally work in Costa Rica, you’ll need to obtain a work permit, which is not easy to get.

If you manage to find an employer, they can apply for a work permit on your behalf. However, that only lasts a year (renewable), and that is if you have the skills that the local population does not have. So, you will need to follow the right path to work and live in Costa Rica.

Temporary Status

You can obtain temporary residency if you gain the assistance of a company that wants to hire you for the skills that you offer. However, it does mean that the type of work you do will depend on your employer. After 3 years of temporary residency, you can obtain permanent residency, which will give you greater freedom to choose the work you want to do.

Permanent Resident

It is possible to become a legal resident even if you don’t have a work permit. You may obtain temporary residency by purchasing property in Costa Rica, or by making a deposit with a bank to show solvency. However, these residency categories do not allow you to work in the country right away, as you would have to apply for permanent residency after 3 years.

Find out more about Costa Rica residency options at Costa Rica Immigration Experts– our ally in providing the best value-added services in Costa Rica!

Employment Possibilities

Gaining rightful employment is the recommended means of obtaining temporary and ultimately permanent resident status in Costa Rica. What follows are a few employment options you might consider.

Potential Employer: Some employers might offer employment for you in Costa Rica, but expect to be paid less than your fellow employees even if you have legal residency. Be sure to call first and get the details about the salary, hours, social security, how they will help you to get a work permit, and other details before you accept the position.

Teaching: There is a demand for those who can teach English in a bilingual or language school in Costa Rica. Schools that hire teachers can help you get a work permit. Be careful to check out the status of the job first as it might be illegal. This means you might be contracted to work for a partial salary while on a tourist visa which is illegal in Costa Rica.

Real Estate Agent: One of the more popular jobs in Costa Rica is working in real estate. This is because there is no license requirement which means you can start immediately. If you are bilingual, you can provide a valuable service to foreign investors who want to purchase property and need expert advice on real estate laws in Costa Rica and can speak Spanish.

Become an Investor: You can create or operate a business in Costa Rica and obtain residency status. This means that if you run the business, you must oversee the employees. Your lawyer can advise you on what is and is not possible in obtaining an investor status.  Click here to see investment opportunities in Costa Rica.

Remote Work: It is possible, however informal, to work as a trader, writer, or run any business online while living in Costa Rica. You can maintain your status as a perpetual tourist, but keep in mind that would be illegal if you are being paid by a company based in Costa Rica.

Referral Fees: Earn extra money referring borrowers to A quick introduction to a borrower will be rewarded with a $500.00 referral fee. Simply send us an email or WhatsApp with the potential borrower’s name and phone number and that’s it! This will entitle you to a referral fee of $500.00. (when their loan has closed)

Taking Advantage of Opportunities

From becoming a tutor to offering IT support to walking the dog, you can find gainful employment without having to be stuck in a cubicle for 40+ hours per week. You should open yourself to the possibilities which can provide you with the right job at the right time.

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