So, we took a little road trip to San José the other day. San José is the capital of Costa Rica, about a 45 minute drive from Grecia, and also where we fly in and out – SJO – San Jose International Airport .
Our intention was to meet with an attorney who works with the ARCR (Association of Residents of Costa Rica) about starting our residency process.
We had been referred to an attorney by some friends of ours, who said this guy was very efficient and did a good job handling their paperwork.
Expediency is a good thing IF you can get it here in Costa Rica…. as most things are on “tico time” – which means – well, maybe today, maybe mañana (tomorrow)… they take their sweet time in doing things – all with good intentions – it’s just the “laid back” way here… Pura Vida.
San José is… well, a very busy, large city. We would NOT want to live there. It gets a bit… sketchy at night (we are told). And sometimes during the day. It’s a bit like a congested, mini – version of New York, but not as nice.
We hired a driver, as we had a 10 am appointment, and didn’t want to take the chance of taking the bus for the first time and missing it. San Jose being so big and all, for this first time visit at least, we wanted to eliminate the stress.
We had met Wilson before (in Jan., 2012, on our first trip to Costa Rica) – he was wonderful back then, and did not disappoint today. He picked us up as scheduled, at the end of our ¾ mile dirt road (which is heavily pot-holed, so we do not wish anyone to drive down it), drove us to San Jose, and delivered us in person – walked us to the door – of the ARCR.
We met with our attorney for an hour, he looked at all our paperwork we brought (certified, notarized & apostilled birth certs, marriage cert & police records [denoting NO police activity, I may add]), and declared everything looked perfect. YAY! – we were worried, even after so much research, that we may have forgotten something. He whipped up a contract, we reviewed & signed, handed over a hefty amount of American cash ($2,400 in legal/Costa Rican fees and $500 for immigration fees), and we were good to go! He’ll contact us in about 10 business days and we’ll have to return to get finger printed and set up a bank account.
The main reason we are applying for residency? So we won’t have to leave the country every 90 days. We will always be and remain US citizens, and we love our homeland. “Residency” with Costa Rica just means we are also residents in their country, and we have to prove we have a certain amount of money so they don’t have to support us, and we don’t have to leave every 90 days (which can amount to a lot of travel expenses, even if we just go across the border to Nicaragua or Panama).
So, with our business finished, we texted Wilson, and he showed up in 4 minutes to pick us up. We then decided to go for lunch, and he took us to this nice hotel/restaurant where we had some amazing Costa Rican food and drink (suffice it to say, we did not eat any dinner later, we were stuffed from lunch!).
Wilson is a good guy, and we enjoy his company. Plus he is an awesome tour guide, always pointing out stuff along with way… After lunch, we headed home, with one more stop on the way – COFFEE. Costa Rica is KNOWN for their coffee, and Wilson being a coffee connoisseur knew of a great place to stop – Don Mayo. And it was – amazing.
That’s all for now folks! Peace! — Jen
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Jen Beck Seymour is the Costa Rica Chica. In June, 2013 she broke free of the rat race of North America where bigger was better, and moved here with her husband from Dallas, Texas. She quit her artificially lit cubicle job and left all sense of stable income behind. She believes in taking time now, while she is still young and healthy, to just ENJOY – life, her husband, day to day simplicity. When she’s not blogging, she is either hiking, baking, sipping coffee or enjoying a glass of wine. You can find her at: www.costaricachica.com/wordpress