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CR paperwork - Visas etc...
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tideout



Joined: 05 Feb 2011
Posts: 180

PostPosted: Thu Feb 10, 2011 3:29 am    Post subject: CR paperwork - Visas etc... Reply with quote

I realize a lot of people working in CR will just do the border run and not worry too much about visa requirements. Let's say I'm interested in fewer border runs and really want a legit visa.

I'm curious what paperwork is required for work visas at this point?

Passport is obvious.
Degree (original/apostille?)
TESOL cert. (Original/apostille?)
Background check (state/local/apostille?)
Etc.......

My main interest is in making sure these things are either in hand when going to Costa Rica or easily (I realize that's relative) obtainable via some FedExing or a relative/friend throwing something in the mail for you. I obviously want to avoid returning to the States for a bizarre $5 apostille issue.

Thanks for your ideas and responses!
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tuanis mae



Joined: 20 Dec 2009
Posts: 34
Location: costa rica

PostPosted: Wed Feb 16, 2011 7:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think youre asking for a massive headache trying to get a working visa, especially doing it from the states before you have a job. My advice to you is stick with the visa runs, they are a great way to see new places and have experiences, and much more realistic then trying to get a visa.
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tideout



Joined: 05 Feb 2011
Posts: 180

PostPosted: Thu Feb 17, 2011 12:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

tuanis mae wrote:
I think youre asking for a massive headache trying to get a working visa, especially doing it from the states before you have a job. My advice to you is stick with the visa runs, they are a great way to see new places and have experiences, and much more realistic then trying to get a visa.


Thanks for your input.

I did just find a work around on getting paperwork done in the States so the "stray" piece of paperwork can probably be done with the help of family there. No doubt, traveling for the sake of traveling appeals to some but not for everyone. I think you also have to factor in the expenses of travel then as part of what you're earning.
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tuanis mae



Joined: 20 Dec 2009
Posts: 34
Location: costa rica

PostPosted: Thu Feb 24, 2011 1:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
No doubt, traveling for the sake of traveling appeals to some but not for everyone. I think you also have to factor in the expenses of travel then as part of what you're earning.


good point
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Jen.Johnson



Joined: 01 Mar 2011
Posts: 6
Location: Costa Rica

PostPosted: Wed Mar 02, 2011 5:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've never heard of any teachers (or expats) down here having a working visa or legal papers.

Every single other teacher (and a few other people I've met who work in other jobs - editor, tour guide etc.) do border runs every 3 months.

The cost of traveling to Nicaragua for a few days:

Chicken bus round trip: $6 (unless you absolutely have to take the Tica Bus for $40 round trip)
3 nights accommodation in a hostel: $30
Meals for the 3 days in Nicaragua: $40 tops
Stamps etc. at immigration:$14

Total 3-4 day cost to renew your visa: $90

So if the expense of a border run is a concern for you then you may want to reconsider Costa Rica, it's quite expensive to live here compared to what you earn. Something to keep in mind.
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75rustico



Joined: 24 Jul 2007
Posts: 1

PostPosted: Sat May 28, 2011 6:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Despite the fact that people have not ever heard of teachers getting work VISAs, it does happen.

For example, a recent post by IH Costa Rica/Instituto Britanico can be found on TEFL.com and states:
Candidates need to bring with them copies of their birth certificate and a police report, both certified by the Foreign Ministry and by the Costa Rican Consulate in their country of birth. Any costs involved should be covered by the applicant.

Having personally applied for a VISA through the birth of a child I can tell you that the birth cert has to have been issued in the past 6 months (a copy, obviously), certified by the States Attorney then authenticated by the Costa Rica embassy of your State's jurisdiction (or D.C. for all states) and then authenticated again at the "Yellow House" here in Costa Rica. The same goes for the FBI background check. You will have to get your prints taken at the "Archivo Policial" (sp?) in San Jose for your Interpol check. Costs can run into the several hundreds for sure.

I am pretty sure you school has to sponsor you in some way/shape or form so if they are not willing to participate in the process with you, you are SOL (or OTL as they say in Korea).

Hope that helps.
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dhsampso



Joined: 17 Jun 2009
Posts: 44
Location: Virginia

PostPosted: Mon Jun 06, 2011 1:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

75 Rustico is correct. The process is a pain and expensive. I thought of getting a resident visa since my Mom is Costa Rican and I'm older than 25 so I don't get automatic citizenship. Had to get my birth certificate certified by my State's Attorney General then needed to get it translated by the CR Consulate in DC. Also needed to get my finger prints taken at a police station. I ended not going through with it since I came back to the U.S. I don't know what would have happened it I submitted my paper work since CR lost my Mom's citizenship papers after she filed everything. Stick with the border runs or tourist visa extensions. It's very difficult to get a worker visa. Companies would rather pay you under the table because it's cheaper. They don't want to have to pay you the legal yearly bonus (which is an extra month's pay at the end of the year) and overtime. Companies would rather have you work illegally and 65 hours a week (in my case), violating CR's overtime laws of overtime after 45 hrs./week.
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JZer



Joined: 16 Jan 2005
Posts: 3824
Location: Alaska

PostPosted: Sat Jul 02, 2011 4:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Jen.Johnson wrote:
I've never heard of any teachers (or expats) down here having a working visa or legal papers.

Every single other teacher (and a few other people I've met who work in other jobs - editor, tour guide etc.) do border runs every 3 months.

The cost of traveling to Nicaragua for a few days:

Chicken bus round trip: $6 (unless you absolutely have to take the Tica Bus for $40 round trip)
3 nights accommodation in a hostel: $30
Meals for the 3 days in Nicaragua: $40 tops
Stamps etc. at immigration:$14

Total 3-4 day cost to renew your visa: $90

So if the expense of a border run is a concern for you then you may want to reconsider Costa Rica, it's quite expensive to live here compared to what you earn. Something to keep in mind.



Is it possible to do a border run only on the weekend? I would like to move to Costa Rica but cannot be away from the internet for three days.
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Jen.Johnson



Joined: 01 Mar 2011
Posts: 6
Location: Costa Rica

PostPosted: Tue Jul 05, 2011 5:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Is it possible to do a border run only on the weekend? I would like to move to Costa Rica but cannot be away from the internet for three days.


I mean, it's possible - it really depends where in Costa Rica you are, so how far away from a border you are.

There are internet cafes all over the place though if you really need to use the internet. Or bring a laptop (I did), most hostels have free wi-fi all over Central America.
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dhsampso



Joined: 17 Jun 2009
Posts: 44
Location: Virginia

PostPosted: Sun Jul 10, 2011 10:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You need to be out of the country 72 hours for a border run, so you're going to have to take a day off from work. A lot of schools work a border-run day into contract every 3 months because they know teachers need to renew their visas.
True, a lot of hostels have wifi, and some even have a computer or two you can use. There are also lots of internet cafes. I would not bring your lap top with you on a border run. You're asking for it to get stolen. Too risky. Just something else to worry about. I've had too many friends lose laptops and cameras on trips. Stick to the internet cafes and even you want to use skype, bring a head set with you.
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JZer



Joined: 16 Jan 2005
Posts: 3824
Location: Alaska

PostPosted: Tue Aug 16, 2011 6:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Are 3G capabilites available in Costa Rica? Can I use my iPad while doing a border run?

I will be working online and not teaching.
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dhsampso



Joined: 17 Jun 2009
Posts: 44
Location: Virginia

PostPosted: Tue Aug 16, 2011 3:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think CR upgraded to 3G last year and is trying to mainstream everyone on to it. I would call the ICE to double check or check the Web site. I'm not sure about data plans though for internet browsing. I know I tried getting a phone card for my unlocked 2G in early 2010 and I couldn't get one because all new phone lines were 3G as they were trying to phase out 2G completely. I believe the government also deregulated the phone industry, so there will be international competition eventually.
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JZer



Joined: 16 Jan 2005
Posts: 3824
Location: Alaska

PostPosted: Wed Aug 17, 2011 2:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

How difficult will it be for me to get internet in San Jose?

I hope to move to San Jose. I work online and need internet service as fast as possible.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
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dhsampso



Joined: 17 Jun 2009
Posts: 44
Location: Virginia

PostPosted: Wed Aug 17, 2011 3:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I never had to get internet when I lived in CR since I moved into an apartment with another person who was already living there. We rented from a family that owned the whole house and had two apartments above the house, so the internet was communal. A lot of apartments complexes have internet already set up and a lot of single apartments that are rented out are often part of someone's house or the second floor of a house with an exterior entrance, in my case.

I've read on the forum that getting internet installed in your house can be a lengthy hassle. I would recommend an apartment that has internet included to avoid the hassle. Here is the ICE page on internet services: http://portal.grupoice.com/wps/wcm/connect/web+content/Esp/CatTelecom/Residencial/Acelera/
Just to warn you, internet speeds are much slower in CR for the same cost as in the U.S. A comparable standard speed in the U.S. may cost you close to $100/month in CR. I lived in San Pedro, outside of San Jose, and the internet I had was pretty reliable. I could stream movies, talk on skype, etc.
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yfeem



Joined: 08 Jan 2010
Posts: 4

PostPosted: Tue Apr 17, 2012 11:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

dhsampso wrote:
You need to be out of the country 72 hours for a border run.


This isn't strictly true. There actually nothing in the law that says you need to stay out of the country for 72 hours but there is a mention of this relating to bringing goods back from the destination so it is a customs requirement rather than an immigration one.

The problem lies in the way laws are implemented here, or rather interpreted. If the person on the border that day thinks the 72 hour rule exists then it does (while he/she is on shift).

It is certainly possible to do border runs in much less time, I did one in less than 24 hours once, and I have heard of people just having lunch on the other side and coming back.

I have heard mention of it possibly causing problems later on if you need to apply for residency but I can't vouch for this.
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