Requirements to Work in Costa Rica as a Foreigner: Functions, What it is and MORE

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In this case we will tell you about the Requirements to Work in Costa Rica as a Foreigner.

They are detailed in a simple way and be successful when managing your work permit.

For foreigners who wish to emigrate to any country, it is extremely important to know the immigration conditions, and thus be able to carry out the corresponding procedures.

Requirements to Work in Costa Rica as a Foreigner

As a foreigner it is advantageous to acquire residency or legality in Costa Rica.

This gives the peace of mind of knowing what you have within the territory, such as:

  • Open bank accounts, and access credit in Costa Rican banking institutions without restrictions, only those stipulated by law.
  • Free medical service and enjoy social security CCSS (Costa Rican Social Security Fund).
  • Authorization to work on some occasions.
  • The peace of mind of knowing that you will not be deported by immigration enforcement agencies.
  • By complying with the times and periods established by law, you can opt for Costa Rican citizenship and passport.

The Document of Immigration Identity for Foreigners (DIMEX), is the official accreditation to be residing regularly in Costa Rica.

It is an identification document consisting of twelve numbers, which bears the photo and signature of the person in question.

It was from 2008 on when this credential began to be granted to foreigners who were stable in the country.

The Immigration Identity Document for Foreigners (DIMEX) is requested by people who need residence in Costa Rica.

This applies only to those who have tourist visa for a period of 90 days.

This procedure has a cost of $ 200.00 per classification change and $ 50.00 for making the request.

Documents for the Work Permit

For get a job in Costa Rica a permit is required. The same is required by the employers, however, it can only be achieved if the employer endorses the request.

The work permit can be requested if you are a resident in the country. For this reason, it is advisable to obtain a residence permit as soon as possible.

The information can be found by entering here .

Within the Requirements to Work in Costa Rica as a Foreigner, are detailed below:

  1. Submit the request for legal stay in Costa Rica or Affiliation Form.
  2. Submit an explanatory letter with the reason for which you ask for permission. It must include: Full name, nationality, occupation, age and address of residence.
  3. Proof of payment for each sheet presented with the residence petition by 125 ¢ and 2.50 ¢. The applicant must pay and place his name.
  4. Bring two updated passport size photos.
  5. Fingerprint registration certificate, issued by the Ministry of Public Security.
  6. The certificate of insular registration.
  7. The certified birth certificate.
  8. Certificate of criminal record issued by the country of origin or where you have lived during the last three years.
  9. The certified copy of the migration document to verify the legitimacy of residence in that country.
  10. Certified copy of all pages of the updated passport.
  11. Authenticated job offer, where the salary, functions and hours are indicated,
  12. The certification of the legal representatives of the company. It must be issued with a maximum term of one month to the consignment of the request for temporary residence.
  13. Certificate indicating that the company is up to date with the cancellation of both tax and municipal taxes.
  14. The certification of income, balance and income statement, issued by a Certified Public Accountant.
  15. Certification from the insurance company stating that the insurance for the employee is up to date.

How long does it take to process the Requirements to Work in Costa Rica as a Foreigner?

By meeting all Requirements to Work in Costa Rica Being a Foreigner, the processing begins to process.

Thus, the approval or the answer will be between 90 and 180 days. This process may take a little longer, but it will depend on the specific case.

Who can work in Costa Rica as foreigners?

Foreigners who can work in Costa Rica are those who have Permanent Residence Card. They also have a temporary residence due to the legal status of refugee, asylee or work.

If the foreign person works illegally (without authorization), he is sanctioned with fines of an economic nature or with deportation.

Within the professions or trades recommended by the MTSS (Ministry of Labor and Social Security), there are those mentioned below:

  • Radiologists.
  • Anesthesiologists
  • Nurses.
  • Geologists specializing in oil spills.
  • Teachers of the German language and academic subjects in the German language.
  • Environmental engineers, specializing in hydrocarbon pollution.
  • Pipeline lifting machinery operators for petroleum items.
  • Low-flying pilots specializing in spilling anti-oil dispersants.
  • English language teachers (only in rural-excluded areas far from the central area).
  • Mathematics teachers (only in rural-excluded areas far from the central area).
  • Civil engineers, specializing in the construction and creation of tanks and pipes for petroleum products.
  • Bilingual receptionists in several languages ​​(Spanish / English, Spanish / Portuguese, Spanish / French or Spanish / German).
  • Bilingual executive secretaries (Spanish / English, Spanish / Portuguese, Spanish / French or Spanish / German).
  • Welders specializing in pipes for petroleum derivatives.
  • Metallurgy technicians.
  • Certified translators in languages ​​other than Spanish.
  • Metronics technicians.
  • Mechatronics technicians.

What if you work illegally?

It is very important that the company that employs the foreign person, verify your legal stay in the country.

The law in Costa Rica establishes that those who hire foreigners with an illegal situation are exposed to administrative penalties according to the law.

The regulations stipulate the following:

  1. Article 68 of the Political Constitution.
  2. Law 8764 of Migration and Foreigners.
  3. The Labor Code and related legislation.
  4. The Decree issued by the Executive N ° 19010-G, the Regulation to the General Law of Migration and Aliens.


It is recommended to do your immigration procedures when you are in the country. This as long as your tourist visa is valid.

The General Directorate of Migration and Foreigners provides services totally free. Only the fees stipulated by law must be paid. Use only authorized personnel to find out about requirements, appointments, among other data.

If your application is for Temporary Residence for Worker or Self-Employed, you must present your university degrees and notes duly apostilled. Notes and titles must be validated in the CONARE (National Council of Rectors).

The documents mentioned above must also register with the relevant Professional College. The previous point does not grant permission to work, since it is processed by professional services.

What is a Work Permit in Costa Rica?

A work permit in Costa Rica, is an approval issued by the Directorate of Migration and Foreigners. This authorization must be possessed by all foreign citizens who want to work in the territory Costa Rican.

This permit gives foreigners the opportunity to work for a particular company or employer.

It should be noted that foreigners who have ID as permanent residents under DIMEX status, have the possibility of work without work authorization.

With this status of permanent resident or properly approved exile, it offers the possibility of working. Thus they enjoy the benefits offered by the law.

The Costa Rican migration law determines the permits to work as Special Categories.

They have a number of subgroups that must be known. This will be according to the qualities of each activity that the foreigner is going to do in the country.

The Special Categories are authorized by the General Directorate both to enter the country, and to remain in it under this classification.

This is done with the objective of regularizing migratory conditions. And that due to their characteristics they need a different treatment with respect to other categories. The following subcategories fall into this category:

  • Artists, members of public shows, guest technicians, professionals and athletes.
  • Employees of specific occupation on their own account with a properly constituted business.
  • Specific occupation self-employed employees in the areas of construction, services, agriculture.
  • Teachers, students, researchers and volunteers.
  • Workers involved in specific projects of public interest.
  • Border residents with fixed residence in border areas.
  • Temporary workers.
  • Descendants of diplomatic and consular officials and delegates of international missions.
  • Border workers.
  • People invited by the State, organizations and for reasons of public security.
  • People related to Costa Ricans.
  • Minors where the PANI represents them.
  • Citizens linked to teachers, researchers, professionals and volunteers of registered organizations.
  • People with transfers.
  • People related to permanent residents.
  • Employees for preventive and corrective maintenance services of post-sales operations.
  • People related to temporary residents.
  • Employees of specific activity to work with natural persons.
  • Domestic employees.
  • People linked to tutors or curators.
  • Business visitors.
  • Specific job employees to work with legal entities.

If you want to know the requirements for each subcategory you can enter this link.

We hope that through this article you have cleared up any doubts regarding the Requirements to Work in Costa Rica as a Foreigner.

The idea is that you have accurate information about the process, which is reflected here.

In order for you to successfully complete your diligence, we hope that you can manage your work permit in Costa Rica.


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