One member asked, "We are planning to move to Costa Rica in October of this year. We’ve been reading about entering the country, however we’ve read where it says you need a return ticket. Does this have to do with visas or other documentation? Can you apply for residency before you actually move there?"
"Yes, a return flight is required by the airlines. Without one, chances are that you will not be allowed to board the plane. The return flight must be for less than 90 days. You can apply for residency before you actually move but it won't help you to get around this rule and you can expect your application to take up to a year or even more," said one expat.
"You can still do this, but when flying in, you need a return flight or at least a ticket out within 90 days...although traveling to Panama has more 'rules and requirements' ' than going to Nicaragua. Until you are a legal resident with a cedula 'in hand' , and you wish to continue driving, you are required to renew your 'drivers license, every 90 days, so you must exit the country," added another member.
"It is my understanding that although you need a return ticket, if you apply ahead of being here, or even not, once you have your "Expediente" which is proof of application for residency, you do NOT have to take border runs. We didn't. And received our cedula 8-1/2 months later. I did end up using my return ticket as had some banking issues that could not be solved from here. But my husband never did. Also, a one way ticket usually costs more than a round trip. Our travel agent recommended as it was about 3 times more otherwise. But like said, you need round trip until you have cedula. But some people we know bought a returnable round trip ticket which is really expensive, but then cancelled the return ticket and were refunded. But takes a month or so to get it," recounted one member.