Securing employment in Costa Rica is a very difficult task. Officially, nobody can work in the country unless they have permanent residency or citizenship. There are exceptions, but not too many. The Costa Rican labour laws, like most labour laws, are there to protect the jobs of the local people. In Costa Rica, the ministry of work and immigration department take their work seriously. Essential workers for foreign companies may be an exception, but only if the company can prove that a Costa Rican can’t do the job. This probably only works for the higher management positions.
As the country has a highly educated and well trained workforce every job is fiercely contested, especially those openings in the international companies. Most jobs require fluent Spanish, not just passable. Unfortunately, for those who want to supplement an income or pick up some money while traveling, teaching English isn’t considered an essential skill. Call centers may be an option.
Some companies that like to employ foreigners because their businesses deal with tourists all the time can simply hire them as ‘consultants’ and as long as the workers’ pay their national insurance contributions, everyone is happy. With over six hundred thousand foreigners living in the country and an estimated one hundred thousand native English speakers, real estate companies like to employ native speakers too. Other opportunities are in the tourist industry. One absolutely legal way to work in Costa Rica is as an internet worker. You must work for someone outside of the country and receive your salary from abroad too.
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