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Montezuma, Costa Rica
Montezuma, Costa Rica
Montezuma, Costa Rica

Costa Rica Expat Forum

Pensionada Process

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Hedjuju58
8/3/2022 12:37 EST

I am planning on moving to Costa Rica by the end of 2023 at the latest. I will have applied 3 months in advance of turning 65 for Social Security.
I have read about the needed paperwork for the pensionada application. I understand that I will need a police report from where I currently live. Is there a particular form needed? Is it better to set up a bank account in Costa Rica prior to getting there? Can I start the Pensionada application prior to the receipt of my first Social Security pay out? It looks like attorney fees are about $40-50 an hour. About how much would it cost to get the pensionada set up? Do the lawyer fees work on per hour or per pensionada service? At some point in the process I understand that one can start to pay monthly for the national health service, when in the application process could I do that as I would not have health insurance initially?
Can I arrive on a one way ticket to Costa Rica and then when the 90 days comes, I could just go to Panama for a few days and return to CR? I have read that it is best to hire a lawyer who is a graduate of the University of CR, it that correct?
Thanks you in advance! Pura Vida :)

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lindyluvsCR
8/3/2022 17:34 EST

Hedjuju - I believe best if you receive your 'Expediente' before getting bank account. I would wait until in CR. If you decide on Grecia, I can help you in Spanish for free. (not out to get your money).

Get a quote for their charges. We did, and he stuck to it. 7+ yrs ago was $1800. I can't remember for sure, but I think I just went to police station for the report. Don't forget FBI report also, which was not requirement when we did.

Your caja health insurance will not start until after your residency is approved. We didn't have in the interim and could not afford in the US, but I would rather shoot myself in the leg than go to the doctor.

Need a round trip ticket but can cancel once here.

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Salomorgan22
8/3/2022 15:25 EST

Many of your questions can be answered in this video.

https://youtu.be/khiZjOb42Mg

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AshfordTravel
8/3/2022 14:04 EST

I would first suggest you visit the Outlier Legal website. The founder attorney, Rafael Valverde, (who got is law degree in the US but is TICO) provides a lot of free articles/information and what to expect. You definitely DO NOT want a CR attorney, Many stories of dishonesty with them. They gave us a set fee to process our application. We have used them for our residency application, to buy a car, to buy a condo, to set up our corporation, to provide wills for us, the list goes on and on. It can take up to 3 years to gain temporary residency and CAJA status (national healthcare). You must have a R/T ticket to enter the country. No exceptions. By a refundable return ticket (to Miami is the cheapest) & then cancel.

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