Looking to teach English in Costa Rica?
Why not?! This beautiful nation in Central America offers a tropical climate, beautiful beaches, lush rain forests and historic cities. It is also one of the strongest job markets for teaching English in Latin America.
One critical matter to learn about no matter where you decide to teach English abroad are visas and/or work permits that you might need to acquire to teach English. Visa requirements and practices vary from country to country so it's important that you learn what the exact policies and practices are in each country that you are researching.
So, What Type of Visa do I Need to Teach English in Costa Rica?
Tips for Going Through Customs on Arrival in Costa Rica
- Don’t tell customs that you are there to teach English or work. Why? Since you don’t have a work visa and are traveling on a tourist visa, you are not legally allowed to work in the country yet. Since you are traveling on a tourist visa you need to be a tourist when you go through customs.
- Don’t bring a suitcase full of teaching materials. Why? If you pack suitcase full of teaching materials and books titled “How to Find a Teaching Job in Costa Rica” and your bag is randomly searched, customs will most likely know that you are not there as a tourist. Pack a modest amount of materials that will get you started as a teacher in Costa Rica.
- Do tell customs that you are there on vacation and that you are a tourist.
- Do have proof that you are leaving the country before your tourist visa will expire.
Upon Arrival in Costa Rica - Get a Tax I.D. Number at the Tributación
Teachers in Costa Rica only have to pay taxes if they make more than $8,000 per year so many do not end up having to pay taxes, but you still must be registered in order to work legally. NOTE: many teachers and schools find creative ways to report just enough income to avoid paying taxes.
- You do not need to wait until you have a job to register however, you do need to have a local address. You must visit and register at the Tributación in the same city as listed in your local address.
- Bring your passport, a copy of your passport, and your local address in order to register.
- Once you receive your tax number, take it to a print shop and have a book of receipts made. This is how you will log your hours. Each time you receive payment from your school, you will give them a receipt from this book.
Want to Learn More about Teaching English Abroad?
- Teaching English in Costa Rica - Country Profile
- What Documents Will I Need When I Teach English Abroad?
- 17 Insider Tips for Getting a Job Teaching English in Latin America
- Visas & Documents FAQ/Article Index:
Check out dozens of articles about visas, documents, passports & more!