Costa Rica Work Permits

Work permits in Costa Rica are given to either citizens or individuals with Legal Permanent Residency. Other residency options such as dentists and pensions do allow individuals to own businesses but denies them the privilege of working in their businesses. Their responsibilities are limited to overseeing the management of these firms.

If you are highly specialized in an area that cannot be filled by a Costa Rica citizen, then you have to apply for a work permit. It is not, however, easy to get a work permit in Costa Rica considering the lengthy procedures that one has to undergo.

The laws have been designed to protect the locals from over qualified foreigners and to reduce the rate of unemployment in the country. For this reason, most of the foreign nationals who move to Costa Rica establish small businesses or work online to earn income.

A Costa Rican work permit can be granted for an extended amount of time, sometimes even longer than one year. However, the applicant must meet some minimum requirements before the permit is granted. Persons who qualify for work permits extending for more than a year must have specialization in certain job types, such as a scientist, a technician, and teacher amongst others.

Other job types that will qualify an applicant for a Costa Rican work permit exceeding one year include certain business personnel and board members of national and multinational companies operating in Costa Rica. In such a case, the organization or company employing the individual will have to provide documentation that describes the functions of the employee, employment contract length, any salary or wages that the employee will receive and the justification of employment.

The applicant for the Costa Rica work permit will also need to supply the department of immigration with a Police Clearance Certificate that has been issued within the last six months from the place of residence of the applicant for the last two years.

In most of the cases, obtaining work permits in Costa Rica can be frustrating, time-consuming, and quite confusing. This is without considering the numerous documents and strict procedures that applicants have to abide with. However, by having an attorney in Costa Rica to handle work permit matters, the process can be much easier and a lot less confusing and frustrating. Our attorneys help to direct you and answer any questions that you might have regarding the requirements for acquisition of a work permit.