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Costa Rica Work Visas & Work Permits

Learn about the requirements to work in Costa Rica and how to obtain Costa Rican work visas for your employees.

When expanding a business to Costa Rica, an important part of the process is likely to be bringing in foreign workers to help with the expansion, and to do that you’ll need work visas for Costa Rica.

The process of applying for Costa Rica work visas can be difficult, with the country’s unique laws, language barrier, and complex procedures all possibly causing delays.

At Horizons, our foreign expansion specialists offer a wide selection of Costa Rica work visa services, immigration support, and outsourcing solutions, to give your business everything necessary to expand into Costa Rica with the help of the best selection of global talent.

Hire and pay talents
with Horizons in
180+ countries

Hire and pay talents
with Horizons in
180+ countries.

Standard requirements for Costa Rica work visas

Precise requirements for Costa Rica work visas depend on a range of factors, such as the type of visa. However, there are some general requirements that most applicants will need to meet, including:

  • A valid passport
  • Filled-out application forms
  • Birth certificate
  • Payment of application fees
  • Recent health check
  • Explanation letter
  • Biometrics
  • Police check
  • Proof of medical insurance
  • Proof of finances
  • Relevant work experience and/or qualifications

What type of visa do you need to work in Costa Rica?

Foreign workers will generally need an entry visa as well as a work permit, which enables most types of employees to legally work in the country.

How to get a Costa Rica work visa

The first step in the visa process is for the employer in question to prove that they cannot find a suitable Costa Rican candidate to fill the role. When they have confirmed this, the prospective employee should begin their application for a provisional visa. Nationals of some countries are exempt from this step but must still contact their local Costa Rican consulate to inform them of the travel plans. Once in Costa Rica, the employee can apply for their work permit, which is required to legally start working. They will also need to submit biometrics (fingerprints) shortly after arriving in the country. Work permit applications should be submitted through the Dirección General de Migración y Extranjería, who will process the application and issue it.

Other considerations

Documents submitted as part of the application process may need to be translated into Spanish, the official language of Costa Rica.

The application process for Costa Rican work permits can be long, so it is important to start everything well in advance of needing to start work.

How can Horizons help?

At Horizons, we work with employers to help them expand rapidly to countries all over the world, including Costa Rica, and we are experienced in obtaining Costa Rican work visas. Our Costa Rica work visa experts offer reliable support and tailored outsourcing solutions to guide you through the country’s complex employment process efficiently. We will make sure that you and your valued employees are in full compliance with Costa Rica’s laws, save you time, and provide the answers to any queries you may have about the process. Beyond our visa services, we offer comprehensive outsourcing options to cover recruitment, payroll, HR, administration, and more, giving you everything necessary to start expanding your company in Costa Rica, even if you don’t have a registered entity in the country.