Getting a work visa
In order to work in Costa Rica, you must either be a citizen of the country or have legal Permanent Residency. With other residency options (rentista, pensionado, etc.), you can own a business but you cannot work in that business. Your responsibilities must be limited to management of the business.
If you are highly skilled in an area where that job cannot be filled by a Costa Rican, your employer can apply for a work permit for one year but this can be very difficult to get. These laws are designed to protect workers here from foreigners who would take jobs that would otherwise be filled by a Costa Rican.
Setting up your own business
For information on setting up your own business in Costa Rica, see the Costa Rica Embassy website: www.costarica-embassy.org/index.php?q=node/18.
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