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 –        Long Waiting Periods –        Slow, Impersonal Service –        Outdated Hospitals However, a parallel system of private healthcare has grown outside the boundaries of the national system which is why Costa Rica is regarded so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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How to Check Your Costa Rica Immigration Status

Posted by on Oct 6, 2015 in immigration, News | 0 comments

Costa Rica’s Immigration ministry offers an online system to verify and check your status of your immigration file. Click here to check your immigration status online, and click here for instructions and an English translation. How to Check Your Costa Rica  Immigration Status. In 2013, Costa Rica’s Immigration ministry has offered an online system for verifying and checking the status of your immigration file. Click here to access the system. The status check system is Spanish only, so here are some translations for your convenience:   PLEASE NOTE: Do NOT include the – in the number. E.g.  if your number is 135-417573 change to 135417573 Here is an explanation of the potential results: SOLICITUD RECIBIDA Your file has been opened and awaiting resolution. What do I do? Wait until the file runs its course. PREVIO A “previo” means that there is a document that is missing to complete the file. What do I do? Contact CRIE so that we can present the requested documentation. RESOLUCION FIRMAS The resolution of your file is awaiting signature. What do I do? Wait 15 working days to check the status of your application. RESOLUCION NOTIFICADA Your immigration file has a resolution, and you have been notified. What do I do? Check with CRIE to make sure the resolution has been received, and we will help you with the required steps to secure the resident card. DOCUMENTO UNICO This indicates that the applicant has received his or her resident card (DIMEX). If you’ve applied for a change of category, already having your resident card, it’s possible that the status check will show this result, until it reverts to “Resolucion Firmas.” What do I do? Please continue to check the status periodically. Note that you should apply for a change of category with enough leeway time to avoid the expiration of your current resident card. Is your residency taking too long? We can do a full investigation on your behalf with the Costa Rica Immigration Department (DGME) and report back to you with the details we find about anything that is slowing down your process and give you your options to fix the problem. Please call 8373-2085 for a price quote. 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 Check out our FAQ page here: And here to see our client testimonials:   We offer many services so just give us a call at 8373-2085 for a price quote for any of the services we...

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United States and Costa Rica Cost of Living Comparison!

Posted by on Aug 26, 2015 in Cost of Living, immigration, News, Real Estate Investment | 0 comments

The cost of living  is one of the main considerations when contemplating moving to Costa Rica. Did you know, Costa Rica’s cost of living is lower than that of the United States?  Please don’t shoot the messenger!!! If you think the price is wrong you can edit it yourself below. The information below is from the good folks at Numbeo is the world’s largest database about food prices worldwide! Do you live in Costa Rica? We need your help: Add data for Costa Rica  … Indices Difference Consumer Prices Including Rent in United States are 42.35% higher than in Costa Rica Rent Prices in United States are 107.57% higher than in Costa Rica Restaurant Prices in United States are 46.90% higher than in Costa Rica Groceries Prices in United States are 27.42% higher than in Costa Rica Local Purchasing Power in United States is 108.12% higher than in Costa Rica … Costa Rica Cost of Living   Costa Rica   United States       Difference Restaurants [Edit] [Edit] Meal, Inexpensive Restaurant 6.58 $ (3,500.00 ₡)     11.00 $ (5,855.30 ₡)      +67.29 % Meal for 2, Mid-range Restaurant, Three-course 33.82 $ (18,000.00 ₡)     50.00 $ (26,614.99 ₡)      +47.86 % McMeal at McDonalds (or Equivalent Combo Meal) 6.76 $ (3,600.00 ₡)     6.75 $ (3,593.02 ₡)      -0.19 % Domestic Beer (0.5 liter draught) 2.25 $ (1,200.00 ₡)     3.50 $ (1,863.05 ₡)      +55.25 % Imported Beer (0.33 liter bottle) 3.57 $ (1,900.00 ₡)     5.00 $ (2,661.50 ₡)      +40.08 % Cappuccino (regular) 2.37 $ (1,259.30 ₡)     3.74 $ (1,988.81 ₡)      +57.93 % Coke/Pepsi (0.33 liter bottle) 1.52 $ (807.97 ₡)     1.65 $ (877.49 ₡)      +8.60 % Water (0.33 liter bottle) 1.32 $ (703.97 ₡)     1.34 $ (711.94 ₡)      +1.13 % Markets [Edit] [Edit] Milk (regular), (1 gallon) 5.23 $ (2,783.24 ₡)     3.76 $ (1,998.83 ₡)      -28.18 % Loaf of Fresh White Bread (1 lb) 1.61 $ (857.05 ₡)     2.26 $ (1,204.05 ₡)      +40.49 % Rice (white), (1 lb) 0.94 $ (499.39 ₡)     1.50 $ (796.71 ₡)      +59.54 % Eggs (12) 2.74 $ (1,456.06 ₡)     2.48 $ (1,319.69 ₡)      -9.37 % Local Cheese (1 lb) 2.82 $ (1,499.63 ₡)     4.48 $ (2,384.76 ₡)      +59.02 % Chicken Breasts (Boneless, Skinless), (1 lb) 3.17 $ (1,688.74 ₡)     3.83 $ (2,038.80 ₡)      +20.73 % Apples (1 lb) 1.82 $ (969.84 ₡)     1.84 $ (981.79 ₡)      +1.23 % Oranges (1 lb) 1.11 $ (591.50 ₡)     1.82 $ (966.95 ₡)      +63.47 % Tomato (1 lb) 0.94 $ (498.65 ₡)     1.79 $ (952.40 ₡)      +91.00 % Potato (1 lb) 0.81 $ (433.16 ₡)     1.18 $ (630.34 ₡)      +45.52 % Lettuce (1 head) 0.84 $ (446.05 ₡)     1.58 $ (839.70 ₡)      +88.25 % Water (1.5 liter bottle) 2.42 $ (1,288.10 ₡)     1.76 $ (936.56 ₡)      -27.29 % Bottle of Wine (Mid-Range) 11.27 $ (6,000.00 ₡)     12.00 $ (6,387.60 ₡)      +6.46 % Domestic Beer (0.5 liter bottle) 1.93 $ (1,027.59 ₡)     1.76 $ (936.92 ₡)      -8.82 % Imported Beer (0.33 liter bottle) 2.74 $ (1,461.14 ₡)     2.37 $ (1,259.76 ₡)      -13.78 % Pack of Cigarettes (Marlboro) 3.19 $ (1,700.00 ₡)     6.15 $ (3,273.64 ₡)      +92.57 % Transportation [Edit] [Edit] One-way Ticket (Local Transport) 0.75 $ (400.00 ₡)     2.00 $ (1,064.60 ₡)      +166.15 % Monthly Pass (Regular Price) 56.36 $ (30,000.00 ₡)     64.00 $ (34,067.19 ₡)      +13.56 % Taxi Start (Normal Tariff) 1.20 $ (640.00 ₡)     3.00 $ (1,596.90 ₡)      +149.52 % Taxi 1 mile (Normal Tariff) 1.93 $ (1,029.98 ₡)     2.50 $ (1,330.75 ₡)      +29.20 % Taxi 1hour Waiting (Normal Tariff) 13.15 $ (7,000.00 ₡)     30.00 $ (15,969.00 ₡)      +128.13 % Gasoline (1 gallon) 4.89 $ (2,602.26 ₡)     2.86 $ (1,523.28 ₡)      -41.46 % Volkswagen Golf 1.4 90 KW Trendline (Or Equivalent New Car) 24,891.98 $ (13,250,000.00 ₡)     21,000.00 $ (11,178,297.90 ₡)      -15.64 % Utilities (Monthly) [Edit] [Edit] Basic (Electricity, Heating, Water, Garbage) for 915 sq ft Apartment 74.63 $ (39,726.36 ₡)     157.23 $ (83,694.50 ₡)      +110.68 % 1 min. of Prepaid Mobile Tariff Local ( No Discounts or Plans) 0.06 $ (34.27 ₡)     0.16 $ (83.55 ₡)      +143.80 % Internet (10 Mbps, Unlimited Data, Cable/ADSL) 52.21 $ (27,790.09 ₡)     47.97 $ (25,536.24 ₡)      -8.11 % Sports And Leisure [Edit] [Edit] Fitness Club, Monthly Fee for 1 Adult 42.57 $ (22,658.24 ₡)     37.22 $ (19,809.67 ₡)      -12.57 % Tennis Court Rent (1 Hour on Weekend) 17.11 $ (9,108.64 ₡)     18.20 $ (9,685.61 ₡)      +6.33 % Cinema, International Release, 1 Seat 6.58 $ (3,500.00 ₡)     10.00 $ (5,323.00 ₡)...

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Costa Rican immigration officials arrested for selling visa stamps to perpetual tourists

Posted by on May 26, 2015 in News | 0 comments

You may want to think twice before paying anyone to stamp your passport illegally. I read this story in a few days ago and thought i would share it with you. Many people ask me where they can get their passport stamped without having to leave Costa Rica. My answer is always the same… It’s never a good idea to cheat the system.  The head of the Costa Rican immigration office in Sixaola, on the Panama border, as well as another immigration official in the same office, were arrested on Thursday on charges that they registered false migratory exits and entrances for so-called “perpetual tourists” needing to renew their 90-day tourist visas. The office’s immigration chief, identified by the last names Gonzalez Barquero and another immigration official identified by the last names Rivera Gonzalez, allegedly charged $120 to register an exit and entry into immigration computers and provide the appropriate stamps in the passports of perpetual tourists, without the foreigner even being present in most cases, according to prosecutors.  Many of the foreign customers were U.S. and Canadian citizens. You can read the rest of the story here   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 else. Also check out our FAQ page here: And here to see our client testimonials: We offer many services so just give us a call at 8373-2085 for a price quote for any of the services we offer below. We offer Civil Marriage Ceremonies. – Click here for details We can help you with your Will.- Click here for details Is your residency taking too long? – Click here for details We can help you open a bank account – Click here for details...

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Start your Residency process with us TODAY and SAVE $200.00!

Posted by on Apr 23, 2015 in immigration, News | 0 comments

End Of Costa Rica Summer Sale. Start your Costa Rica Residency process with us today and SAVE $200.00! – Offer Ends SOON –   SAVE $200.00 or more!   Make your deposit TODAY to get started. Time is running out, OFFER ENDS April 30th. Don’t put it off another day! 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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Getting Your Documents From Canada

Posted by on Apr 2, 2015 in immigration, News | 0 comments

A bit of background — I’m a Canadian with an approved residency application, which wouldn’t have been possible without the help of Johanna of Costa Rica Immigration Experts. It turns out my file was buried deep in the catacombs gathering cobwebs. Just asking about the status of my file did nothing to change its fate. CRIE was able to get immigration to dig the file out of its bureaucratic grave and see the light. So last month, I headed back to Vancouver to get a new birth certificate and police record check, this time for my upcoming citizenship application. The requirements are basically the same as an immigration application. The birth certificate wasn’t required, as TSE (the agency that handles naturalization application) can pull the info from immigration. But the criminal record check has to be recent (within the last 3 months) so I went ahead with both documents. Canada is not a party to the Apostille Convention, which means all official documents issued in Canada must be legalized by the embassy of Costa Rica in Canada prior to use in Costa Rica. When I applied for residency back in 2012, things were a bit simpler, but recently you have no choice but to get Canada’s Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development (DFATD) involved in the process. Let’s run through the steps to get your Canadian birth certificate and criminal record check for Costa Rican residency or citizenship. This is valid and current as of this writing, in April 2015. Please refer to original source documents which I will link to within this article. I am not a lawyer so please do your own homework. Step 1. Get Birth Certificate First things first, no, your original birth certificate will not work. Costa Rica expects you to provide a birth certificate issued within the last 6 months. Also, Foreign Affairs authenticates signatures of current officials (such as the presiding Registrar General who signs your birth certificate). Ordering a birth certificate is different depending on the province you were born in. In my case, I was born in Québec, so it was a simple application through the Directeur de l’état civil. Be sure to order the long-form with the names of the father and the mother on it. Step 2. Get Criminal Record Check Get a criminal record check from the RCMP headquarters in Ottawa. You can get another type of police certificate from a local RCMP detachment or police department, but it will need to be notarized before sending to DFATD for authentication of the Canadian notary’s signature. Save yourself the trouble and get the record check from RCMP HQ. You can use an RCMP-accredited company to get your criminal record check. I have used and can readily recommend the Canadian Corps of Commissionaires, which has offices throughout Canada. If you can’t make the trip to Canada, contact them anyway — they have ways of digitizing an ink fingerprint submission. Be sure to order the fingerprint-based criminal record check from RCMP headquarters in Ottawa. Step 3. Prepare the package for the Embassy of Costa Rica in Ottawa Pay the consular fees (US $40 per document — so, US $80 for birth cert and police cert) to the Embassy of Costa Rica, Consular Services via a deposit to their Bank...

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Costa Rica deports 12 US students in language school dispute…

Posted by on Mar 18, 2015 in News | 0 comments

Working at a language school in Costa Rica may sound like a dream short-term job. But before signing any contract, ask first whether you’d be expected to hide in the bathroom if immigration police show up. On Feb. 26 Immigration Police raided the Máximo Nivel language school in the San Pedro neighborhood of San José. In all, 12 U.S. tourists between 18 and 21 years old were ordered to hand over their passports and report to the Immigration Administration to verify their status in Costa Rica. The 12 tourists who studied and taught at the school were informed last week that they had 72 hours to… Click here to read the rest of the story Story by the good people at     ________________________________________________   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 else. Also check out our FAQ page here: And here to see our client testimonials: We offer many services so just give us a call at 8373-2085 for a price quote for any of the services we offer below. We offer Civil Marriage Ceremonies. – Click here for details We can help you with your Will.- Click here for details Is your residency taking too long? – Click here for details We can help you open a bank account – Click here for...

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Getting your Residency through the Investor Category

Posted by on Mar 5, 2015 in immigration, News | 0 comments

Of the four ways to qualify for temporary residency through investing in properties, investing through a corporation is a popular choice. In Costa Rica, you can purchase real estate through a corporation. There are two options when using this method to gain temporary residency through the Investor category; –        Apply for investor category through “fee simple” –        Own property through a corporation While owning property through a corporation is a matter unto itself, it is an acceptable method for foreign nationals to own property in Costa Rica and thus gain temporary residency. Fee Simple When the property is owned in this manner, you’ll need the following documents to demonstrate ownership. –        Cover Letter: Description of asset –        Copy of the Deed –        Certificate of Title: Shows ownership of the property, owner’s name, and purchase value –        Municipality Certification: Shows location and value of property –        Certificate of Registration: Demonstrates property registered for luxury tax Property Owned Through Corporation In addition to the documents mentioned for Fee Simple ownership, you will also need the following documents as well; –        Copy of Stock Certificates –        Certificate of Good Standing in the Corporation –        Copy of Agreement to Purchase Shares –        Notary Certification detailed in Shareholder’s Registry: Show applicant as 100& owner of shares There may be a few more documents, but these are the major ones that are required to help establish temporary residency. However, there are additional requirements as well. Minimum $200,000 Real Estate Investment The investment can be made directly or through a corporation. Remember, only those who invest at least this amount can qualify as it does not apply to the actual value of the property. For those using the Fee Simple method, the rest of the process is fairly straightforward. However, if you invested in the property through a corporation, you will need to make clear through the Immigration Department that you made the purchase in that manner and have all the necessary documents to back that point. Investing in a Business You will need the following documents if you’re investing in a business to gain Temporary Residency status; –        Business Permit –        Health Permit –        Workers Compensation Insurance –        Proof of Registration w/CAJA as Employer To clarify, you only need these documents if you plan on investing in a business and not purchase any real estate. Suggestions when Purchasing Real Estate for Temporary Residence Status Here are a few guidelines to help you get through the process a little faster and with fewer complications. Fee Simple is Best: This is easier, faster, and simply a better method than investing through a corporation. Pay Taxes & Respect Local Laws: Always be aware of local laws and ordinances and pay your taxes. Purchase Price of the Property: One important fact to remember is to accurately report the actual purchase price of the property you obtained. Underreporting it can lead to serious consequences if discovered as it is illegal and prison time is possible. Get Professional Assistance When applying for Temporary Residency status, having knowledgeable, experienced, professional help will get you through the process faster with fewer complications. An experienced hand will guide you properly so you can gain your status quickly and easily.  ...

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Is the Education System in Costa Rica good?

Posted by on Jan 26, 2015 in News, schools and universities | 0 comments

Since 1869, the education system in Costa Rica has been free to all citizens of the country. The pride that as their educational system shows, they maintain a very high ranking as compared to the rest of the countries around the world. The Emphasis on Education Costa Rica enjoys a excellent educational system that is ranked 20th in the world according to the most recent Global Competitiveness Report which makes it “high quality” compared to the rest of the world. With a literacy rate of 94.9% a full 2 points above the average for Latin America countries as well as those in the Caribbean, the Costa Rican educational system is one that is admired in this part of the world. The overall educational system is divided into three different cycles; –        Pre-education: Before 7 years old –        Primary Education: From 7 to 12 years old –        Secondary Education: From 12 to 18 years old Although the primary education from ages 7 to 12 is attended by virtually every child in the country, the secondary educational system is divided into academic and technical. Families have a choice as to which type they want their children to attend and upon graduation it will help them qualify for higher education in terms of universities, colleges and training schools depending on the choice the students have made. It is an exceptional higher education system which has proven to be a model for many in the region. There are five public institutions of higher education and nearly twenty private colleges and universities in Costa Rica as well. Costa Rica has no military and a minimum of 8% of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) must be dedicated to the maintenance of the education system in the country. Although there are many different factors as to why Costa Rica enjoys consistent economic prosperity for its people, there is no question that the exceptional education system lays at the heart of it. School for Expat Children Because there are so many people from other cultural backgrounds that live in Costa Rica, there are a wide variety of private schools that exist to serve their needs. There are many children from the US, France, UK, Israel, Germany and many other nations who now reside in Costa Rica and enjoy the high education standards of the private schooling that is available. Because of the bilingual natural of the main school system in Costa Rica, it is quite common for “Expats” who have moved into the country to send their teenage children straight into national high schools because the educational quality is very high. The Costa Rican educational system is very well suited for families who have come from other countries as the standards are very high. The people of Costa Rica consider their educational system one of the pillars of their social and economic stability which has helped lead them to a more prosperous nation. Today, those who qualify to enter and work in Costa Rica can rest assured that their children will have a respected and high quality educational system in terms of private and public schools.     ________________________________________________   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...

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