Over the last several weeks there have been several people, mostly Americans that have been deported for living and working in Costa Rica illegally.
The most recent was a woman working in Guanacaste as a realtor living here under a tourist visa. She was kicked out of Costa Rica and will not be allowed to return for 10 years. It is my understanding that she was here for several years working in Real estate illegally.
You can NOT work in Costa Rica under a tourist visa. This is illegal and if caught, you will be deported.
Another pensinado who had been living her for 2 years with legal residency was caught by immigration working in a local hotel during one of the raids that have become more frequent over the last year. Although this man was living in the country under pensinado status (legal residency) he was working illegally as you are not permitted to work under rentista status or pensinado status. He was given 48 hours to appeal his case but ended up being deported. He has a home here in Costa Rica and has established a life for himself here but because he was working illegally, he was deported and will not be permitted to return to Costa Rica for 10 years.
Immigration is coming down hard on those that are living outside of the law. Do not put yourself in the position to loose all that you have invested in while living here because it can all be lost in a minute if immigration finds that you are breaking the law. They take this very seriously and where once you could live here as a perpetual tourist for years and work wherever you wanted, that just is not the case anymore.
I read of at least one deportation a week in one of the local papers and I am certain that not all are being reported in the newspapers.
If you don’t know what it takes to live here legally, read more on our blog under residency or living in Costa Rica. You can write or call for more information as it relates to you.