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How to Get a Work Visa In Costa Rica

It was a little difficult to navigate how to get a work visa. A few people have told me that I needed a lawyer to do it, which costs about $1,200. That’s way too much. I decided to do it on my own and pay less. I paid about $600 that is including airfare back to the states for some papers that expired.

I have had a few people ask me how I did it. To make it easy, I want to share with you the process. I went to the office in Liberia. I am not sure if it is the same in San Jose. I would assume so.

There is a bunch of paperwork you need before going to the office. Three or four (if you are married) are from your home country that does expire after 3 months. The paperwork must be filed before the 3 months or you will need to get the paperwork again.

  1. Birth Certificate: This needs to be a recently ordered birth certificate. I ordered mine online from the State of Maryland, where I was born. They sent it to my house. This needs to be APOSTILLED by the state department of the state you were born. **
  2. Background Check: This can be from either your home state or the FBI. The FBI takes a minimum of three months to be processed and needs to be APOSTILLED by the State Department in Washington DC (It can be mailed. Just adds more time). If you get one from your state you can take it or send it to the State Department for APOSTILLE, you take your Birth Certificate to. **
  3. Comprobante de inscripcon ante consulado: This is printed from the internet (doesn’t expire). You need to go to the STEP website (Smart Traveler Enrollment Program) and register your self. You want to print the page that looks like the photo below. It took me many calls to different people trying to figure out what they wanted. **
  4. IF YOU ARE MARRIED, you need an APOSTILLED and LEGAL marriage certificate.

** These will all need to be officially translated into Spanish. I use a lady in Liberia. If you are in San Jose you will need to find someone else. (Ana Sayagues Delcore-

The next set of papers are done in Costa Rica.

From your place of work:

  1. Declaracion jurada de parte del profesor indicando que se estara haciendo cargo de la manutencion de la persona dependiente en donde se especifique los rubros cubiertos. (your school or place of business will know what this is. Mine was in Spanish so I really can’t say what it is.)
  2. Your signed contract with your school or company

From you:

  1. 4 passport sized photos
  2. Photocopy of every page in your passport
  3. A letter of why and where you will be for your work. (carta de solicitud de permanencia legal indicando las calidades del interesado, su intencion, direccion fisica de domicilio actual, la cual debera venir autenticada por un abogado) I never had it authenticated by a lawyer. It needs to be in Spanish. I had the office lady at my school rewrite it in Spanish for me. (see below for example)
  4. Fingerprints from the Ministerio de Segurida Publica: When I had this done you could go at any time Monday thru Friday. Now, they only accept a certain amount a day, starting at 8 am (I believe). I would get there early because once the quota is filled they will send you away.
  5. You need to pay Ministerio de Hacienda (#242480-0, BCR) $200, with your name. You need the receipt.
  6. You need to pay them again but 500 colones (same number as above) with your name. You need the receipt.

Example of letter:

Name: _____ Birth date: _____ Nationality:________ Marital Status:________ Occupation: _____ Costa Rican Address: _____

To whom this may concern:

My name is ____________. I would like to obtain a work visa to work legally in Costa Rica. I would like to be an English teacher so that I could help children learn English here in Costa Rica. I taught in the United States and would like to have the opportunity to experience a different culture. I want to immerse myself into the Costa Rica culture to learn Spanish as well as other important ways of life here. I plan to stay in Costa Rica for a year or longer if possible.

Thank you for your time and consideration in accepting me for a work visa.



You will take all these papers to the office. They will give you a paper back with your photo and information on it. At this point, you do not need to leave the country every 90 days, unless you need to drive a car while here. Your driver’s licence from the states expires after the 90 days. Once you get the official work visa, you can apply for a CR driver’s license.

If everything is in order, you will have an email notice for the next steps in about 90 days.

You will need two things:

  1. Pay $98 to BCR #242480-0 with the reciept
  2. Proof that you have been paying in to the CAJA. To get this, you go to the CAJA in Santa Cruz and ask for a paper with your payments on it. Your school should have set this up for you and has the number to give the CAJA.

You take those to the office in Liberia, they will take your photo and give you information on getting the work visa card. I took the paper they gave me to the local post office in Tamarindo (the closest to me), paid like 4,000 colones, waited 2 weeks, and picked up my card from the post office. That was it. If you live near Liberia, you can pick up your card there.

Next, you can get your CR driver’s license. See here for information

Why Weidergabe?

It occurred to me that people might be wondering why I chose weidergabe for my blog name. It doesn’t seem like a name that you could have for a blog site about inspiration, motivation, and travel. It sort of does. Let me explain…

In the Beginning…

When I was in 7th grade, my family had a PlayStation. For some reason, the language was set to German. We thought this was hilarious, especially when we hit “play”. The word for play was “wiedergabe”. For some reason, I just loved the word, it made me smile. It was unique just like me.

Fast forward a few months…

I was creating an IM account and needed a username. Everything I tried to use was taken. My friend, who knows about the PlayStation, mentioned wiedergabe. I thought it was the best idea. She and I both knew how much this name from the PlayStation made me smile. So, I tried it and it worked. The only problem was I didn’t spell it correctly. Since I have dyslexia, I mixed up the E and the I. I still liked it so I left it and used it for everything.

From then on...

It became my “thing”. No one else used it ever. And it signified my life. It reminds me of battle with dyslexia and writing. It means “play”, which is how I life my life. My life is always on play. I may hit fast forward to look at how to make my current situation better. I am still using the fast forward to continue on “play”. Since my website is about motivation, inspiration, and travel weidergabe seemed to be the perfect fit. Who doesn’t want to live a life on “play”?

Homemade Monopoly

Hey Everybody,

Jonathan and I have been wanting to play MONOPOLY. Since it is hard to find certain games in Costa Rica or we could need to drive a long distance to buy the game, I decided I would make a game as a surprise. I did some research online and found “LOVOPOLY” so I went with it. I used a lot of the same ideas from Liife with anna blog.


I used a few pieces of paper to design the board. I designed the spaces according to the original game. The spaces were names after some places in our lives. The most expensive blue spaces were Nicaragua and USA. I chose these because I am from the USA and he is from Nicaragua. I chose places we have been such as the town of our first date, the town of where we live, the town his children live in, and the name of the wrong ferry we got on that made a trip the adventure of a lifetime. I used the street names we lived on when we were children. I used cities I have lived in and cities he wants to take me to when we go to Nicaragua for Christmas. These can be anything you want them to be. If you have children, maybe name some after your children. Get creative and make it fit your relationship and life.

For the life’s surprises and get lucky cards I modified the original game cards and add some of my own. Examples are Pregnant Pay Doctors, Ex goes to jail collect $200, hurricane flood pay $40 per house and $115 per hotel. You can get creative with these and create ones that work for you.

For money, we used money from a game we found here. We used beans for the houses and used little towers from another game we found for the hotels.

It came out quite well. It was fun to play. We were laughing and enjoying the time. Since we have had a huge amount of rain that caused power outages, we played in the candle light.


The Best Way To Make Oatmeal

Ever since I was a kid, one of the only ways we had oatmeal was if it was baked. It is the most delicious way to eat oatmeal. I have given the recipe to some of my friends and they eat it more often than I do now.

The longest part of the recipe is the cooking. It takes about 10 minutes to prepare and 40-45 minutes to bake. It originally was a non-vegan recipe. When I was vegan, I found a way to make it vegan without changing the recipes taste or texture. In parenthesis, are the alternative ingredients to make the recipe vegan.Baked-Oatmeal_exps2346_W101973175C05_12_4bC_RMS (2)

  • 3 cups quick-cooking oats
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 eggs (1/2 cup of apple sauce)
  • 1 cup milk (1 cup soy, coconut, almond, or rice milk)
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted (1/2 cup earth balance butter)
  • Additional milk (soy, coconut, almond, or rice)
  • Add chopped nuts if desired.
  • Preheat oven to 350°. In a large bowl, combine oats, brown sugar, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and nuts. In another bowl, whisk eggs, milk and butter. Stir into oat mixture until blended.
  • Spoon into a greased 9-in. square baking pan. Bake 40-45 minutes or until set. Serve warm with milk. Yield: 9 servings

For leftovers, store in fridge and reheat in microwave or oven, then add extra milk. If you want to make them more convenient for mornings, make them in a muffin tin. The cooking time would be a little less.

I hope that you love this healthy and tasty recipe! Please, post your comments if you try the recipe.