In Costa Rica, immigration legislation is vast; more than ten regulations, mailshots and guidelines. For this reason, it is necessary and convenient to have specialized knowledge on this subject. This will allow you to opt for a proper immigration category since the beginning of the process, avoiding inconveniences and delays. Companies' Human Resources Departments should take these aspects into account when hiring foreigners in the country. 

The Migration General Law and its regulations have established a differentiated process for those companies or associations that require hiring or mobilizing foreign staff, enabling them to register with the Directorate. Within this type of companies and associations we can mention educational and religious institutions, companies operating under special regimes (inward, free zone), export, tourism, finance, telecommunications and public contract awarded companies. 

Based on the above, we recommended considering the following: 

  1. Knowing if the employing company qualifies as a Recognized Company with the General Directorate of Immigration, as this would give the company a number of benefits, for example, reducing resolution times from 90 to 30 business days. 
  2. If there is a contract entered into directly in Costa Rica, or if the hiring is given as part of the internal mobilization of company personnel. 
  3. Foreigner's nationality. For example, United States, Canada and England citizens do not require a visa to enter Costa Rica, but other nationalities do require it. 
  4. The length of time during which the foreigner will work in Costa Rica. 
  5. If the foreigner comes with his/her immediate family (spouse and children) or not, the way the family group is made of (for example, family group composed of children from previous marriages). 
  6. Having properly apostilled documents, legalized and/or translated as appropriate, to avoid delays in the process. 

There are also options for foreigners wishing to make Costa Rica their country of residency. Such is the case of the residency as a pensioner, financier and investor, or shareholders of Costa Rican companies, among others. Each category has its own requirements, but as mentioned above, if the correct procedure is made from the beginning, future problems will be prevented.