- Sep 1, 2000
Hello People of CostaRicaLiving,
Recently, we were asked to provide information for someone’s friend, on several rather difficult questions. It is never good to deal in a one-person removed status with anyone. If your friend does not have a computer, have that friend write out the questions and then transcribe them for CostaRicaLiving.
I will point out some generalities --- Obtaining “Legal Citizenship” is a lengthy process and in my humble opinion, should always be done with a lawyer advising from the very first moment. --- The “Caja” or the primary Social Security Health Coverage is available to anyone living in Costa Rica. One’s status is not considered. You must have an address and you must pay up-front if you are applying as an individual and not being covered as a result of your employment. As of 4 August of this year I applied through the ‘Association of Residents of Costa Rica’. They are an authorized agent for Caja and this is just one of the many services they help you with as part of your membership. I paid them the first month’s fee of $37 for family coverage of one over fifty years old, plus a $5 one-time processing fee. I was given a paper, complete with the required stamp, to take to my “Local” police station along with a recent telephone, TV, water or another similar bill with my present address on it. This does not even have to be in your name, as often is the case here. For no charge, my local police filled this out and I was on to my next required stop --- that of my local Caja Clinic, where they made out my Caja Card with the attached, so far blank, appointment card. That is the total process. No mas!
I have no idea what he has read that you say he does not like about San Jose. To accomplish anything in any foreign country with a minimum amount of aggravation, time and stress sounds to me like the dreams of a North American Type “A” personality. This type rarely adapts well to life in a third world country and should visit the country several times for as long as possible before burning any bridges. Many, many people just do not make it in Costa Rica and soon go back to the States where everything is easy to do and you are able to find all the right numbers in the Yellow Pages. I know of no blueprints to follow in dealing with the local bureaucracy, which is a lot like the equivalent in any other country. Good legal advice is always nice to have when you don’t understand the process and maybe not even the language. I won’t give any numbers as magic shortcuts to doing every and anything here, even though many other people will be happy to do so --- in fact, you can get a list of magic numbers very quickly in almost all of the Gringo bars in San Jose --- use them at your peril!
Don’t worry – sea feliz,