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Expat Advice: Working in Jaco, Costa Rica

What is the name of the city or town that you are reporting on?

Jaco

What are the main industries in this city? What types of career opportunities commonly exist? How do most people find new jobs?

Tourism. Have a job before coming here or a home based business. It is a beautiful country with wonderful people. You just need to learn the culture if you are going to try to work or do business here. It's a great community for expats that are retiring, second home owners and tourists!

What type of work do you do and how did you find your job?

Graphic Design / Marketing

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Expats living in Costa Rica interested in expat health insurance should take a minute to get quotes our partner, International Citizens Insurance, a trusted expat health insurance broker. They will provide you with comparison quotes from some of the biggest expat health insurers: Cigna, Aetna and GeoBlue.

How did you obtain your work permit? What advice would you have for others about work permits?

I work for US Companies. I own a business. Residency can take 12 months to 24 months. Start early or work as a perpetual tourist (leave every 90 days for 72 hours). Most people begin this way while the slow immigration department completes their paperwork. Use an attorney who specializes (important) in residency.

Have you taken language and cross-cultural training courses to prepare for your assignment? If so, how have they helped you on the job?

No. It takes six months to adapt and learn the culture. On the surface, it is easy to adapt and fit in here, but to live you need to talk to an expat who lives here. Don't come to Costa Rica assuming it is exactly like the US or Canada. It is close, but under the surface you need to understand the Tico mentality. Once you get it, life gets much easier and less frustrating. Come with an open mind and patients. Don't try to convert Costa Rica to your culture.

What advice would you offer others about finding jobs and working abroad?

Come with a job or a business that occurs outside of Costa Rica. Don't think that you can move here and start working and making money.

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Comments about this Report

guest
Nov 20, 2010 10:39

I just came back from visiting my friend in Costa rica and felt in love with the country. I speak Spanish fluently and would love to make a change in my life and move out there, however I have a job here that I enjoy which is for the airlines. Will it be easy to find a job with the airlines, travel agency or with tourism in Costa Rica?

guest
Nov 20, 2010 10:42

I just came back from visiting my friend in Costa rica and felt in love with the country. I speak Spanish fluently and would love to make a change in my life and move out there, however I have a job here that I enjoy which is for the airlines. Will it be easy to find a job with the airlines, travel agency or with tourism in Costa Rica?

guest
May 27, 2012 13:28

this is not a place to find work! Lived there 20 years and came back to LA to work

Cigna Expat Health InsuranceExpatriate Health Insurance

Get a quote for expat health insurance in Costa Rica from our partner, Cigna Global Health.
Get a Quote

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Costa Rica is has both public and private healthcare systems. When you become a resident, you must enroll in the public healthcare system (CAJA). Many expats use the public system for routine healthcare and have private expat health insurance for specialists, surgeries and emergencies.

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Support your favorite restaurants in Jaco as they recover from the pandemic. Submit a free listing for them on Expat Exchange to help spread the word about them to the expat community.

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Living in Playa Hermosa de Jaco

An expat in Playa Hermosa de Jaco, Costa Rica says newcomers learn to relax, slow down and enjoy the carefree beach life in Jaco. Expats and locals love to surf, have picnics on the beach, go the the feria (farmer's market) on Friday mornings and choose from the diverse selection of restaurants.

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