Moving To Costa Rica

Located in the Central part of America, Costa Rica boasts of stunning natural vistas varied with volcanic mountains, pristine beaches and some of the globally known rain forests. If you are planning to move to Costa Rica from the USA and want to settle there for a longer term than a vacation, then it’s a good choice as the country also has progressive economy and culture welcoming relocation of expats from around the world.

Costa Rica, the name brings to mind the aromatic coffees associated with this country. But it is not only for coffee, this Central American country is quite famous for its stunning natural diversities consisting of beaches, mountains and rain forests!

If natural beauty is not enough, Costa Rica is also famous for being a gastronomic heaven! Under the progressive government this country ranks high on the human index and offers a home that many expats will love to settle down.

Moving to Costa Rica from USA

So, if you are planning to move to Costa Rica from the USA it is perfect! Now, all you need to know is the “how” part of the international relocation to Costa Rica and you are all set.

How International Sea & Air Shipping can help for moving to Costa Rica

Costa Rica, a famous Central American country. We understand when you want to move in this stunning country. But you need to give a thorough consideration to the steps involved in this international relocation. Every relocation, be it a domestic or an international move can be hectic. It may create a lot of confusion regarding the processes you need to follow. A relocation involves moving your household goods, clearing the documentations, house-hunting and a lot of other tasks and the scale is larger when you are moving to a new country altogether!

It maybe, a lot to process, but there is no need to fret! There is enough hope to get a hassle-free relocation to Costa Rica from the USA. At International Sea & Air Shipping we understand your requirements perfectly and create a bespoke plan handled by our team of experienced relocation professionals who are equipped with knowledge and expertise to guide you at every step.

International Sea & Air Shipping has been operating globally for many years and we can extend our professional services from packing and relocation of your household goods to the relocation of your car, giving you an exact estimate on what kind of container will suit your purpose, documentation help and more. Additionally it may give you a lot of peace of mind to know that you get all these services at a competitive price!

So, let our professionals handle your international move to Costa Rica from the USA while you can focus on the post-move to do list.

Costa Rica, an aromatic country!

Costa Rica, which means “rich coast”, is the greenest country in the world, according to the New Economics Foundation. The Central American nation is among the top-rated countries in the Environmental Performance Index and Human Development Index, with beautiful beaches, unpolluted waters, and a pledge to become one of the only developing nations that is a zero net-emitter of carbon by 2021.

Bordered by NicaraguaPanama, the Caribbean Sea and the Pacific Ocean, Costa Rica is located in Central America, and is also comprised of several outer lying islands. The beautiful country’s landscape includes hills, valleys, forests, mountains, volcanoes, wetlands and plains. Cerro Chirripo is not only the highest point of Costa Rica, but also the fifth highest peak in Central America.

Algeria is bordered by Tunisia, Libya, Morocco, Western Sahara, Mauritania, Mali, Niger and the Mediterranean Sea. It has a unique culture rich in literature, music, and art. The country’s cuisine is made up of varied dishes, depending on the region and time of year-however, cereal is often always incorporated into the cuisine because of its abundance in the nation.

Algeria is a member of the Arab League, United Nations, African Union, and OPEC and is also a founding member of the Arab Maghreb Union. The driving force of Algeria’s economy is the fossil fuels energy sector. Algeria has the eighth largest proven natural gas reserves in the world-and the 14th largest petroleum reserves. Its trade partners are US, Italy, SpainFrance, China, Germany and Netherlands.

Customs Regulations for Costa Rica

  • Passport (for all members of the family)
  • Inventory (in Spanish or English, indicating value declared for customs, showing complete contents of cartons and the exact number of cartons in the lift van or container)
  • Include brand name, serial number, model and price of all electronic equipment and electrical appliances
  • Insurance documents
  • Letter authorizing the destination agent to clear shipment


  • Narcotics and drugs
  • Explosives
  • Used tires
  • Pornographic or subversive material
  • Animal or agricultural products
  • Plants
  • Medicines

If any of the above items are included in your shipment, they will either be shipped back to your origin country or abandoned. Additional costs for either option will be charged to the customer.

  • Live plants
  • Pornographic materials
  • Weapons and ammunition
  • Radio equipment (walkie-talkies)
  • Drugs
  • Currency and jewelry
  • Political materials
  • New items
    • Subject to very high duties and require an original receipt
  • Large appliances
    • Must not exceed one of each item
  • Computers
    • Subject to import regulations
    • Purchase invoice, instruction booklets, and original Ocean Bill of Lading/Air Waybill required
  • Alcoholic beverages, tobacco products, and food
    • Large quantities require a special permit
  • Weapons and ammunition
    • Require an original invoice and registration at origin
    • A special permit at the Firearm and Explosive Department
    • Import tax applicable
    • Must be for personal use only
  • Subject to high import taxes and duties
    • Amount of taxes/duties depends on the value, model, year, cubic centimeters and extras
  • Documents required:
    • Registration card or title
    • Purchase invoice
    • Originals required for all above documents
  • Your vehicle must have an EPA Smog Test signed off by the consulate of the country from which the auto is being exported. Contact your destination agent for more information before sending a vehicle to Costa Rica.
  • Dogs and cats permitted
  • Documents required:
    • Anti-rabies vaccination
    • Health Certificate
    • Invoice indicating value of animal

NOTE – Customs regulations are subject to change at any time. The proceeding information is a brief summary of customs regulations applicable to household goods shipments to this destination and is being provided for general guidance to assist our Agents and Customers. Since such regulations are subject to change without notice, International sea & air shipping cannot be held liable for any costs, damage, delays, or other detrimental events resulting from non-compliance. Always double check with your local embassy or consulate.

Call our International Moving Specialists @ 1 (866) 315-4170

Know how to move to Costa Rica from the USA

For any international move there are specific documents and processes involved. Costa Rica is no different. Adhering to the common international moving norms in Costa Rica also one will need to have a proper visa to enter and stay. Especially, if you are moving to Costa Rica from the USA and staying there for longer than 90 days you will need to have a proper visa and temporary residency permit to justify your reason to be in the country.

There are quite a few options which you can explore if you are planning to relocate to Costa Rica from the USA and stay there for a longer term than 3 months. Based on your requirements you can choose any one of the following options –

  • Moving to Costa Rica for work
  • Moving to Costa Rica for study
  • Moving to Costa Rica for retirement

In all three options, however, you have to apply for the proper visa and go through valid documentation processes to obtain the necessary permit to live in this country. Now, here are some more details for you to navigate through the visa requirements and residency permit processes in Costa Rica.

Work Visa

Work permit or work visa can be obtained when you are employed by an employer in Costa Rica for a position where the native citizen cannot fill that. This can be challenging. However, if you succeed in securing a job in Costa Rica then getting a work permit is relatively easier. Here are the processes that you have to follow –

  • Apply for a provisional visa from the Costa Rica consulate in the origin country.
  • Next, when you enter Costa Rica for job purposes you have to apply for a work permit with the Dirección General de Migración Extranjería (Costa Rica’s Immigration Department).
  • Once these are done, you can live and work in Costa Rica for a longer period. In fact, if you live in this country for three years on the temporary residence permit, you can apply for a permanent residency permit then after.

Study Visa

If you are planning to move to Costa Rica from the USA to study then you must apply for a student visa. Here is the process that you need to follow in this regard –

First and foremost, apply for a provisional student visa and this needs to be applied at the Costa Rica consulate in the USA. Once you get the provisional student visa you will be allowed to enter Costa Rica.

Remember that once you get the student visa there will be only 60 days in which you have to enter the country. Once this step is done then you have to apply for a student permit or a temporary residence permit to stay and study in Costa Rica.

However, there is one big step left. To get a student permit, one must go to the Dirección General de Migración Extranjería (Costa Rica’s Immigration Department) and apply there. Note that the student permit is categorized under the “Special Category” of immigration. However, good news is the resident permit allows you to stay in Costa Rica as long as your study program lasts.

Retirement Visa

This is another option to move to Costa Rica from the USA and stay in the country. If you can show proof of financial stability and earning a minimum of $1000 monthly then you can be considered eligible to apply for the retirement visa.

On a retirement visa if you enter Costa Rica then after you have to apply for a temporary residency permit.

There is a special Rentista visa available for the digital nomads willing to move to Costa Rica from the USA and work remotely while staying in the country for a longer duration than 90 days.

There is another provision of staying in the country longer following the “perpetual tourism” way where you move to a neighboring country for one day and come back to Costa Rica and stay there visa free for another 90 days. But in this situation you cannot work in Costa Rica.