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Can a tourist work in Costa Rica?

We always get this question from the tourists who come to Costa Rica: “Can a tourist work in Costa Rica?” And the short answer is NO! You will need to obtain your official Work Permit to be able to work in Costa Rica. Here is an example of what may happen if you work illegally as a tourist.

Costa Rica deports 12 US students in a language school dispute…

Working at a language school in Costa Rica can sound like the ideal temporary position. But before you agree to anything, find out if you’ll be expected to hide in the restroom if immigration officers arrive.

In San Pedro, San José, on February 26, Immigration Police searched the Maximo Nivel language school. Twelve US visitors between the ages of 18 and 21 were instructed to turn in their passports and go to the Immigration Administration to verify their status in Costa Rica.

According to Immigration Administration spokesperson Andrea Quesada, the 12 foreigners who attended the school and taught there were given 72 hours to go.

Authorities claim that the students were breaking Costa Rican immigration law by operating as teachers without the necessary work licenses.

According to two former Máximo Nivel workers who spoke anonymously to The Tico Times, they deliberately worked for the language school for extended periods without official work licenses. The sources requested anonymity due to their connections to the present Máximo Nivel team.

When government inspectors came, illegal workers at Máximo Nivel, according to both former employees, were instructed to hide in a rear room.

Remember: when you come to Costa Rica on a tourist visa, you have the authority to be a tourist here. There are particular visas for volunteering, studying, and tourism. It is legally needed to have a work visa, even if you are spending the summer teaching English at the beach. While visiting the country, you have the option to ask to have their immigration status changed. There are short-term job work permits available that are easier to get than the residence application procedure.

To get your Work Permit CONTACT US!

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