Crime and Safety in Costa Rica

Posted by on Dec 2, 2017 in Crime and Safety in Costa Rica, News | 0 comments

This article is not intended to scare you or make you worried during your vacation however it is important to understand crime and safety in Costa Rica, it will merely lessen the chances of anything negative happening which allows you to enjoy your hard-earned vacation here in Costa Rica. I have lived here for about 20 yrs, and other than maids picking the odd thing up, I have not had any horrific experiences. But, facts are facts. Let’s begin by understanding that Costa Rica is a developing nation and is not quite up to Canada, U.S. or even European standards of policing. Costa Rica is literally in the middle of drug producing countries like Columbia, Peru and Bolivia and the main Consumer, the U.S making Costa Rica a flow through country. With limited funding, the police are understaffed and undertrained by our standards. Because of lack of funds, the prison system is overcrowded and many criminals are on the street when they should be locked up. Petty theft and drug-related crimes are what you need to watch for. The legal system is rather lax as well, which means criminals don’t suffer harsh sentences and are on the street when they should be locked up. Here are a few tips and recommendations: • There are many ATM’s in Costa Rica. You do not need to carry wads of cash on you. If you need to take out a rather large amount from the local bank or are converting $’s to Colones, ask for a sobre “envelope” and have the teller put the money in it behind the counter instead of flashing it around as you stuff it into your pockets. • Keep your cell phone out of site. Carrying it in your hand or in your back pocket is just too much temptation. • Your passports are a valuable commodity and can fetch a high price, so please leave it in your safe and carry a copy on you at all times as that is the law. You need a copy of the page with your photo and a copy of the page with the entry stamp so that they can see that you are not overstaying your visa. • While at the beach enjoying the sun and surf, it is not a wise idea to take valuables with you, unless you have a trusted partner or friend to watch over your things. • Take a taxi anytime you can at night time. Do not walk or bike after dark. • Leave your valuables in your hotel safe if possible and try not to take anything with you in your car or even your trunk (unless your trunk is very secure). • Bad guys will puncture your tire with a small object, causing you to lose air while you are driving and have to pull over. At that point, one will offer you help and the partner will empty your car while you are distracted. • If confronted or threatened, do not resist, give them what they want. Everything you own can be replaced. You can’t be! • Don’t become a target by being drunk or high in public. • Travel in pairs or better yet, a group if possible. • If you are a victim of theft or assault, please...

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Vacation Dreams Come True with a Move to Costa Rica

Posted by on Nov 17, 2017 in News | 0 comments

Costa Rica is a country that exudes that much-needed vacation lifestyle no matter how long you have lived here. From the amazing shoreline with sand in shades of color unseen in other parts of the world to spectacular volcanoes and hot springs where people bathe and soak up the majestic beauty of the country, every day can be a vacation whether you have work to do or you just want to find somewhere to relax and enjoy the scenery.  Nature abounds in Costa Rica, and it’s very easy to drop what you’re doing, find a rental home and make this great country your new home instead of just a short vacation. A Few Places You Should Check Out in Costa Rica When you are considering a move to Costa Rica just to live in paradise or to spend your retirement years in peace and quiet, it may help to discover a few of the best places that paradise offers before cementing your life into a permanent stay. Guanacastea Situated right on the North Pacific Coast of Costa Rica, Guanacaste is a traveler’s dream come true. This is a place where the sun never fails to shine and where you can take time to check out area volcanoes, beautiful hot springs and some of the most beautiful vegetation in the country. You’ll also be able to see some of the local wildlife including monkeys, vibrant birds, and other small animals while having the time of your life. Guanacaste runs all the way to the Nicaragua border where you can cross over and take some time to visit Nicaragua during your stay. If you enjoy the old westerns on television, you’ll like the western themes you’re bound to see in Guanacaste. Jaco If shopping is something you enjoy, then Jaco is the place for you. This town offers some of the best shopping as well as restaurants in Costa Rica. While Jaco is quite popular with tourists, it is also a great place to visit as well as live full time. You can enjoy quiet nature walks or head to the beach to try your hand at surfing and tackle the hearty waves or spend a few hours soaking up the sun. Be sure to take along your sunscreen because the sun seldom ever fails to shine in this part of the world. Many of the tourists as well as locals enjoy Ziplining, hiking, checking out the local wildlife and beautiful lush gardens as well as taking time in the evenings to dance the night away with friends and others visiting the area. Nicoya Peninsula No matter where you go to Costa Rica, you are bound to see the ocean. One of the best places to see the ocean, however, is on the Nicoya Peninsula. With 80 miles of pristine shoreline and surrounded by some of the greenest jungle land in the world, this area has a wide array of things to do including fishing, surfing, swimming and even checking out a local cattle ranch. The area is usually very hot and sunny and if you’re not busy in the evenings, watching the sunset over the water is a special event and one you won’t want to miss. To get to Nicoya Peninsula, you can drive directly from San Jose in...

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How to become a resident in Costa Rica before the next Ice Age!

Posted by on Jun 8, 2017 in News | 0 comments

So, now that you have been to Costa Rica a few times and have fallen in love with this tropical paradise, you have decided to make the move to Costa Rica full-time…. That means going through the dreaded “residency” process everyone complains about! Let’s start here. How to become a resident in Costa Rica before the next Ice Age! The residency process for Costa Rica is not unlike, or as complicated as, many other places in the Western Hemisphere. (Try getting a residency status in the U.S. if you are from Costa Rica!) To speed up the process, find someone who specializes in residency and only residency. Yes, any lawyer can help you apply for residency, but few are experts in the field (if the lawyer is an immigration lawyer, it will say so on the business card). Now, let’s think about that. An immigration expert would have gone through the process hundreds of times a year, for hopefully, many years. They would get to know the immigration administrators very well as they are used to seeing them on a daily basis. Would this not be a great plus to have on your side? Processing many applications, a week, your immigration expert would have the paperwork down to a science, saving countless hours of wasted time. The other important thing is the amount of hand-holding that the process demands. Do you really want to try to find the building to get your fingerprints done in downtown San Jose by yourself and try to explain to the police that you need fingerprints for your residence when the officer does not even speak English? Find an immigration expert who will actively take you from door to door for your requirements personally, instead of sending you here and there on your own. You will become frustrated and annoyed just trying to locate the offices you need to go. Let’s move on to choosing which type of residency you would like to have. There are basically 8 main categories: 1. Temporary Residence- Pensionado.  2. Temporary Residence – Rentista.  3. Temporary Residence – Investor.  4. Temporary Residence – Company Representative.  5. Temporary Residence – Spouse of a Costa Rican Citizen.  6. Permanent Residence.  7. Citizenship by Residence.  8. Citizenship by Marriage to Costa Rican Citizen. 1, 2, and 3 are the most common with expats. Requirements; There are 9 basic requirements that need to be met which your immigration expert will help you with. Once these are fulfilled, the process moves along, sometimes relatively quickly. Delays are generally caused by applicants not providing all the documentation required in a timely manner. This is the key when applying for residency. If not, here’s what happens: you turn in half the documents and the filing begins but you waiting for the last few document that are needed for 6 months… and the first set of documents expire and the process has to start all over again. So in summary: Find the right Costa Rican immigration expert to help you along and not a jack of all trades lawyer who says they can do it. (You can tell by their business cards and website if they are immigration experts or not.) Choose your category with the help and guidance of your immigration expert, and finally ask your...

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End of Costa Rica Summer Sale

Posted by on May 31, 2017 in News | 0 comments

Start your Costa Rica Residency process with us today and SAVE $200.00! Time is running out, Don’t put it off another day! SAVE $200.00 or more! – OFFER ENDS JUNE 30th. – Make your deposit TODAY to get started. OFFER ENDS June 30th.   Contact me TODAY to enjoy the benefits of Costa Rica Residency at +506-8373-2085 In Costa Rica or 305-906-6784 from the USA Or email me at We keep the application process simple. In most cases, all you need to do is to provide us with the key documents and be available to be fingerprinted. We do everything...

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What Are All the Best Options for Residency in Panama?

Posted by on Jan 17, 2017 in immigration, News | 0 comments

  Panama stands out among the world’s expat destinations because it offers solid infrastructure and First World amenities. Panama has many different types of immigration visas and residency programs offering permanent residency, and in many cases, full citizenship with a passport. Whether you’re looking for residency in a foreign country to relieve your US tax burden, have an escape hatch in case the worst should happen at home, or if you are looking to make working, living and traveling to/from a foreign country easier, having a second residency is an incredibly beneficial thing to have. Don’t put it off another day! We keep the application process simple. Contact me TODAY to learn about the best options for Residency in Panama at +506-8373-2085 In Costa Rica or 305-906-6784 from the USA Or email me at...

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Don’t leave your brain on the plane!

Posted by on Dec 8, 2016 in News | 0 comments

When coming to Costa Rica for the first time, you will undoubtedly be in absolute awe of it’s natural beauty, wonderful people, relaxing atmosphere and the incredible opportunities abound! However, we hear the horror stories all the time. One client told me “I came down and bought 4 properties all on our first trip! Now, we can’t even find the lot’s we purchased. They sold two of their lot’s at half price on their second trip, but had a hard time finding the other lot’s. (true story) When coming to CR, don’t leave your brain on the plane, you must approach everything with a positive, but cautious attitude. Just as you would back home! They have laws, restrictions, permits etc just like any other modern society. Do not be fooled by the famous saying “oh it’s Costa Rica…you can do what you want down here”. Once you have made your mind up that CR is to be your new home, seek out information on the following; Immigration rules and procedures, banking facilities, investigate car purchases and the “Marchamo”. (Annual car tax) Immigration may seem a bit complicated but if you find the right people than they do most of the work for you. Remember, most lawyers are not immigration experts! They are general lawyers and don’t specialize in immigration. Find a firm that specializes in immigration. Depending on the category you choose (pensionado, rentista, permanent, Investor, company representative, and citizenship) the prices can start as low as $1500.00 for a straightforward residency application. Additional complexities may incur additional fees. As an expat, you are probably somewhat capitalized from liquidating your assets back home. Expect little help from your local  bank as you are probably not a citizen or resident yet..You can still open a bank account but will find it difficult to move money around without your DIMEX (residency).  There are other options available for you such as private equity loans. The interest rates may be seem high but are relative to the local bank rates. Good loans should be around 12% and commercial loans around 14%. Many of the lenders are just retired folk looking for a monthly income from their investment. Cars have come down in price over the last few years, but you will find them more expensive than back home, especially if you are from the U.S. although there is a good selection of vehicles to choose from, my advise is to find one that has parts readily available. Those include Nissan, Hyundai, Suzuki and Toyota. Many dealers have to order parts from the Factory and it can take a long time. (I waited 2 months for a water pump for my Chevy Trailblazer LTD) Real Estate purchases can be challenging if you do not have a good understanding of the process. It is not complicated, just different. There is no “Full Disclosure” mandated by the Government so it is a buyer beware! Have a look at the “Plano” and ask your lawyer to check it out for any liens, lawsuits etc at the registry. It is quick and inexpensive. Never buy a property from your own lawyer! His job is to protect you and could have a conflict of interest, especially if he is selling you his brothers property!  Finding a dependable and faithful lawyer can be achieved,...

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Dual Citizenship In Costa Rica!

Posted by on Sep 9, 2016 in News | 0 comments

Dual Citizenship In Costa Rica! What is a dual citizenship? Anyone whom possess 2 citizenships is to be considered a dual national when he or she owes allegiance to more than one country at a time. Can one keep U.S. citizenship after becoming a Costa Rican? Yes. But, the U.S. authorities no longer encourage this as a count of coverage because of the troubles it can cause. Dual nationals owe allegiance to both the united states and abroad, and they’re required to obey the laws of both international locations. The united states of America where a dual national life usually has a stronger declare to that man or woman’s allegiance. Recognizing the fashion, the USA is tolerant of dual citizenship no matter the strict wording inside the U.S. naturalization oath wherein one renounces allegiance to all different nations. In other phrases, the USA looks the other way. The united states are simply accepting a developing truth. One of the maximum critical reasons the USA permits dual citizenship with Costa Rica is because there is no army here and one does no longer have to swear to guard the country, just to uphold the charter. One of every one hundred people on this planet live out of their state of birth. Transmigration in current many years has reached an unheard of scale. With the shrinking of the arena via reasonably-priced travel and telecommunications, governments are beginning to catch up with an unstoppable trend – dual or even multiple citizenships. A second or even a third passport has emerged as no longer just a link to a homeland, however additionally a glorified journey visa, a license to do business, a stake in a 2d economic system, an escape hatch, even a status image. However Costa Rica in June 6th, 1995 changed their political constitution in such a manner where it fits to be said “Once a Tico always a Tico” enforcing that once nationalized, there is no such thing as a renouncement of nationalization of Costa Rican citizenship, no matter what grounds no matter voluntary or involuntary. Also note doesn’t matter if you have several citizenships when in Costa Rica you will be seen as strictly a Tico as long as you are naturalized & in the state of Costa Rica. E.g: I have naturalization in both the USA & Costa Rica if in the country of (CR) you are looked at as a solely as a Costa Rican citizen NOT a US citizen. So in the end, yes, Costa Rica does support dual...

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U.S. expats can get embassy benefit letter by email

Posted by on Apr 29, 2016 in News | 0 comments

There is good news for expats who might have to prove their income to acquire residency or even a mortgage. U.S. expats can get embassy benefit letter by email. The Federal Benefit Unit at the U.S. Embassy said it has simplified the process for verifying Social Security and other government benefits for Costa Rican immigration purposes. The government will accept email requests and make a follow-up telephone call to confirm the requestor’s identity. The embassy said that the document commonly is called a proof of income letter, a budget letter, a benefits letter or a proof of award letter. The letter is an official report on money an expat might be getting from the U.S. Social Security Administration, the Veterans Administration, the Railroad Retirement Board or the Office of Personnel Management/Civil Service Retirement. Until now, a personal embassy visit was required. The email document is being accepted by the Dirección General de Migración y Extranjeria, according to Javier Zavaleta of Residency in Costa Rica, who gave the first notice of the new procedure. The embassy said that an expat had to follow these steps: 1.Request a benefit verification letter–free of charge–by filling out a form using this link: 2.Within five working days, a representative from the Federal Benefit Unit will contact you to verify your identity and get your permission to email the letter verifying the benefit amount. 3. Requestors should print the letter and provide it to the Costa Rican immigration office. This letter does not require an apostille (or notarization). Story by April 29th. 2016...

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Costa Rica’s Healthcare System

Posted by on Feb 23, 2016 in News | 0 comments

The High Quality of Costa Rica’s Healthcare System. Costa Rica is one of the most advanced countries in the Western Hemisphere and has garnered a considerable reputation for its incredible scenery, education, and modern living. However, one aspect that may come as a surprise to some is the very high quality of Costa Rica’s healthcare system. A survey conducted by the World Health Organization (WHO) in 2000 demonstrated that Costa Rica placed 36th out of 191 countries when it came to their healthcare system. This put Costa Rica in the top three in terms of Latin American countries and actually beat out the United States which came in 37th. While the survey may have leaned towards particular qualities in a healthcare system that not everyone shares, it did demonstrate that Costa Rica is very dedicated to providing the best healthcare possible for its residents Costa Rica’s Private Healthcare System The government of Costa Rica runs the 30 hospitals and 250 clinics and has done so for nearly 60 years. However, as with most nationalized systems, there have been some serious issues that have yet to be fully addressed. –        Long Waiting Periods –        Slow, Impersonal Service –        Outdated Hospitals However, a parallel system of private healthcare has grown outside the boundaries of the national system which is why Costa Rica is regarded so highly in terms of its healthcare. This rapidly growing private healthcare system is directed towards the Medical Tourism market that brings in thousands of patients each and every year. Since the turn of the 21st century, Costa Rica has developed a powerful reputation for its cosmetic and dental surgery which is a fraction of the cost compared to the United States. Costa Rica has managed to develop this particular area of healthcare to appeal to those in the US who do not have the insurance coverage to receive these procedures. As a result, people come in virtually every day to have cosmetic and dental surgery performed at a very low cost with excellent results. A Low Cost Cosmetic and Dental Surgery Alternative Typically, a person who comes to Costa Rica to receive either cosmetic or dental surgery can save upwards of 40% to 80% on the procedure. Plus, there is a new rise in laparoscopic and orthopedic surgeries that are also quite inexpensive yet deliver the high quality results as found in the US. Costa Rica has managed to capitalize on this current trend in healthcare based in part by attracting some of the best doctors, dentists, and surgeons in the hemisphere to set up their practice in the country. Plus, with the growing cost of insurance rates combined with decreasing benefits that US citizens are seeing on a daily basis, it is little wonder that more people are coming to Costa Rica to have the aforementioned treatments performed. In addition, Costa Rica is also seeing a growing number of patients from Canada and the UK thanks to the long waiting lines and rationing of healthcare as experienced in those countries. For those who are interested in the growing medical tourism industry in Costa Rica, there are many opportunities for people to get the treatment they want at a fraction of the cost and without having to wait for months to receive...

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Buying or Selling a Vehicle in Costa Rica?

Posted by on Jan 14, 2016 in News | 0 comments

Buying or Selling a Vehicle in Costa Rica? We can help with your Vehicle Registration – Transfer Process. Vehicle ownership must be transferred with the help of a lawyer / notary by law, so If you’re buying or selling a vehicle in Costa Rica, you’ll want our help to complete the paperwork process that is involved in transferring a car’s title. We check the car’s title on the Public Registry (Registro Nacional) to make sure that the car does not have another owner and that there are no outstanding fees due. The following documents are needed to buy a used car: The seller must provide the original car title (Certificado de Propiedad) Both the buyer and seller must have official ID. (passport or cédula) The Notary Public creates a bill of sale (Escritura de Traspaso) which is signed by both the buyer and the seller. This document is submitted to and recorded in the National Registry (Registro Nacional) which takes about a month The Notary Public returns the new title to the new owner....

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