Costa Rica: EXcited to be an EX-Pat

Re #5: Actually the marriage certificate went off without a hitch (Pun intended). It’s $20 per certificate in Florida and we got it back 10 working days after sending it off. $20 + 2 stamps = $20.98

Retire in Costa RicaRe #6: It takes 2 weeks to get the letter from Nevada verifying my retirement and then I send it off to the Secretary of State. 2 weeks later, it comes back- it wasn’t notarized! Can’t Apostille it if it’s not notarized since that’s what an Apostille does- certifies the notary. I told them it was for Apostille. The gal who did the request said she does these letters verifying retirement funds all the time and they never need to be notarized. I can only assume that people from Northern Nevada are not moving to foreign countries. I may be happy about this- I don’t know. She was super nice, created a new one, notarized it and then left it at the desk where my daughter, who still lives in Nevada, picks it up the next day and hand delivers it to the Secretary of State. Thank God she lives in the capitol! But wait- the girl tells her that it will take 3-4 weeks and we are at 17 days and counting till we leave. It cost $20 but for $75 more I can get it done in one day and with mailing I’ll have it in a week. She explains they are so far behind. Well yeah! Because people with money are paying to be ahead of everyone else! The American way! I pay the money, they have processed the credit card and it did arrive in time

Recap: $95 + postage = $96.47

Re #7: John got his police form with a social security card and his driver license last week. Took 10 minutes. I went today… surely I think I have run the gamut of glitches and it should go smoothly. I’ve already passed a background check to be a teacher here so fingers crossed! First they give my form to the guy at Window 1 and I get his at Window 2. We exchange papers but wait…. after I leave we realize they have given me the wrong form even after telling them I need the Immigration standard paperwork. At home John asks if it’s notarized? “No”, then “Go back’. I do- in pouring rain with zero parking spaces outside of small lakes possibly teeming with alligators- it is Florida- and get the right form and get it notarized. Not one single paper with my name alone on it has gone without a hitch!

Recap: $40 + postage = $40.95

We left for a 12 day trip to Costa Rica with all of the necessary documents except the police forms which also needed to be apostilled, but since our instructions neglected to say that, we took it literally although common sense should have led us to ask since everything else required that process. We didn’t need to have every single document to start the process though, and those papers arrived a week after our departure and were filed by our representative.

Signing over Power of Attorney for immigration purposes only, fingerprinting with the local police, continued searching areas of interest to live in, and of course surfing all happened within our last 12-day visit. The fingerprinting was a touch dicey held in a heavily guarded building smacking of Kiss of the Spider Woman dinginess with lots of machine guns, peeling paint on the walls, and a language barrier that our representative smoothed over immediately (again, what we are paying for). We are currently waiting for the process to be finished which can take anywhere from 6 months to 2 years.

Retire in Costa RicaBut the waiting is over. We are moving in 4 months and 1 week and upon arrival since we have officially filed for immigration, we can enjoy all the residency benefits except for being able to apply for a Costa Rica driver license- but that’s another day , another post along with the process of deciding where to live.

Post Script:

If you’re thinking of doing this, start as soon as you can at the 3-month mark! It can take a long time if there’s several states involved. Also join the many groups on Facebook for Ex-Pats in any country imaginable. They are mostly retirees and a fount of information. Truly almost any question you can think of, they will joyfully answer.

Last thoughts of this day about Apostilles:

1. Ask around your friends and see who knows what an “Apostille” is. I’ve yet to find one person who knew, young or old.

2. Costs: Apostille California- $20 per certificate, Apostille Florida- $20 per certificate, Apostille Nevada- $20 per certificate, Apostille Illinois- $2 per certificate. Interesting…

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  1. Oh, gee. We were told that when we give all our paperwork to an attorney in CR, it only takes 3 months to become a resident. You indicated 6 month to 2 years. How long did it actually take you to become a CR resident?
    Also, where did youdecide to live? What town? We are thinking of Escazu or Grecia. Not sure until we check it out next month. Please let us know.
    Good luck to you.

  2. Hi Renee,
    We filed in March and are still waiting (mid-August) and do not expect residency anytime soon. Whoever told you 3 months is very, very uninformed! We move in 3 weeks. the temporary form that says we are in process of receiving residency will allow us to stay in country without a visa, but does not apply to our drivers license which will require us to go out of country every 3 months until we get our residency and can get a CR license. We are both surfers and will always live on the coast. Starting with Santa Teresa. Join all the expat Facebook sites you can- they will help with all questions and avoid bad lawyer advice! I have not heard of anyone receiving residency in 3 months. 6 months is quickest I’ve heard and even that is a unicorn!

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