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Renewing Residency

July 4th, 2008

It is a bit hard to believe, but in all the years I have lived here, I have never had to make “the trip” to immigration (migración) to renew my residency. I have always been “legal” but the rarely used form of residency I began with was a true pain in the butt. Migración ran me in circles for several years, never approving my residency, but thankfully, never denying it either. Every time I thought they would approve it, they came up some new requirement that was never even in the law.

North Americans and others always have a real problem understanding “how things work” in Costa Rica. In the USA, for example, laws are more or less clearly defined. The “rules” are clear. If you go to renew a drivers license, you know what has to be done, and you are confident that all the clerks and others who assist you will follow these rules. Nobody does things on-the-fly.

This is NOT the case in Costa Rica, and most assuredly it is not the case when dealing with migración.

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Welcome to Costa Rica

April 19th, 2007

Here is an sad but interesting tale. It is a story of a mother and daughter refused entry to Costa Rica.

One of the companies I own deals with tourists coming to visit Costa Rica. This often involves having one of my people meet them at the airport. This is normally no big deal. We give them detailed instructions and nearly always, we are able to hook up without issue.

So it was odd that we sent a rep to the Liberia airport to meet a woman traveling with her 14 year old daughter. Often our customers are also being met by a tour company, so in this case, our rep met them and they both waited for the arrival of our mutual clients. After waiting an hour, it was clear they were not coming, so the tour agent and our rep left the airport.

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Important Change in Immigration!

January 3rd, 2007

Just found out today that an ages old policy has changed… and pretty much without notice.

Before, if a person had applied for any form of legal residency and had been assigned a file number from immigration, they did not have to leave Costa Rica after 90 days for that 72 hour period in order to renew their tourist visa.

Now they do!

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Costa Rica Cell Phone Update

November 22nd, 2006

The Instituto Costarricense de Electricidad (ICE) – our friendly local state-run telecommunications monopoly has decided to purchase an entirely new GSM cell phone network rather than expand the current network.

Why is this a big deal? Because with this announcement, we know that it will be at least another year… more likely two-three years before cell phone (telephone) numbers can again be purchased. Believe it or not, this is probably good news.

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Questions from Readers

October 24th, 2006

This is part of my continuing posts answering emails I receive from readers. Here are some more that I thought might interest you.

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Now Get The REAL Costa Rica Blog by Email

October 22nd, 2006

I have received several emails from people asking if they could get new posts and updates to The REAL Costa Rica Blog by email. They prefer to receive new Posts by email so as to not have to deal with RSS or visit a ton of blogs to see if anything new has been added.

This turned out to be a pretty simple request thanks to the folks at Feedburner, the company that handles my RSS feeds. Interested? To subscribe, just place your email address in the subsciption form at the top-right. You will immediately receive a verifying email which you must answer. Then you will be all set. The system will send you a copy of any new posts in HTML format at about 6-9 AM CST. No posts? No email.

Prefer a direct link to subscribe? Click Here

Basset Hounds Get Frequent Flyer Miles

September 26th, 2006

We have been back from California for awhile. Before we left for our trip, I made a list of what we had to start doing. I used the Real Costa Rica suggested list that Tim has online, and edited it to fit our situation. I refer to it simply as The List, many times accompanied with a descriptive expletive, and it is taking on epic proportions. I can’t imagine trying to do this move without it, though. I am feeling overwhelmed today by all we still have to do. Continue reading »

Considerations on Moving to Costa Rica – Part One

September 1st, 2006

Actually, this is probably better titled: “Considerations on the Expatriate Life”. Certainly the things I am going to discuss apply no matter where you plan to go.

As you might expect, I get a lot of email from people who are either making the move to Costa Rica or are considering such a move. Some are baby boomers realizing that they may not be able to afford to retire in their home country… others are younger, asking about employment opportunities and lifestyle. They ask my advice on a variety of things,and I give the best answers I can. But over time, I have come to realize that there are a some questions that are never asked, but certainly should be asked, before making a move of this magnitude.

So here are my thoughts on this.

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Considerations on Moving to Costa Rica – Part Two

September 1st, 2006

Here is Part Two written especially for the under 50 crowd.

Under 50

Everything I wrote in Part One (for the over 50’s) is certainly applicable to the under-50 crowd of course. The biggest difference as I see it is that this younger group may not have financial independence, and thus they have to work in order to live here. With that in mind, their needs are clearly different.
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Fresh Blood!

August 24th, 2006

As you can probably imagine, I get a ton of email from people who are thinking about making the BIG MOVE. Some are just sticking a toe in the international waters while others are in various stages of living the rest of their lives as expatriates.

Of course I made the move here some years ago and I remember I experienced the excitement, fear, doubts and panic that attend such a decision. I said my goodbyes to friends and family (my daughter did not believe I was really leaving until about ten days before I actually left). It was/is a scary thing experience for just about everyone I know who has done this.

So when I received an email from someone who was in the process of packing HER family and actually experiencing the emotions above… and when she further told me she wanted to BLOG her experiences, I jumped on it immediately! Welcome to Nora Schild who will be chronicling her family’s move to Costa Rica.

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