So after 9 years of talking about it, we are going to take the rest of the steps to make the move from San Diego, California to Costa Rica. Lyndsey and I are both nervous, excited but are trying to make the most effective plans possible. So far they have changed a bit, and I am certain that they will again but as for today this is what we are planning on doing.
We have a timeline because Lyndsey can’t fly with the baby after a certain date. With this in mind it looks like we are going to fly out no later that the 15th of February. This gives us just under 5 weeks, because we plan on being out of our San Diego place by the 1st of the February.
Since we are planning on having our baby in Costa Rica we will also apply for residency because our little girl will be a Costa Rican Citizen. A friend of mine from childhood lives in Costa Rica and just got through processing the papers so that his Mom and Dad could retire down there. He is fluent in Spanish and is also a pretty smart fellow when it comes to understanding how things work down there. He sent me a list of things that need to be done to before coming down, since we are leaving in a few weeks we have to get everything done as fast as possible.
Required Documents to Obtain Residency In Costa Rica for A North American:
Here is Jason’s translation (highlighted the stuff we have to do in the U.S.):
1. Fill out the form.
2. Letter requesting residency. Follows a template they have.
3. $50 deposit
4. Some stamps
5. 2 pictures
6. Fingerprints – done in Costa Rica main police station
7. Registration with consulate – this is a new requirement and might be something you both have to do in L.A.
8. Birth Certificate – Legalized: i.e. Notarized, stamped by Sec. of State, stamped by Consulate, then stamped by CR Foreign relations office here and translated by an official translator. Since this is such a hassle I would recommend getting two copies done. I’m not sure if you’ll need to present a 2nd copy to CR Social Security down the road is why it would be a good idea.
9. Criminal Record from where you’ve been living – get this in San Diego, same legalization process as for birth certificate, i.e. Notary Public, stamped by Sec. of State, stamped by Consulate, then stamped by CR Foreign relations office here and translated by an official translator.
10. Photocopy of all pages of your passport
11. Birth certificate of your Costa Rican born baby from the Costa Rican civil registry
Important Notes: (I’m only translating the important ones, the others say the same as I said above or don’t pertain to you.)
1. Application must be done while you still have a valid tourist visa
2. If you come in to the country on a tourist visa, they’ll ask for a $200 deposit to change to permanent resident. On the website they talk about a Visa de posible residente that doesn’t require that $200 change fee, but I don’t know how you get that. I doubt saying we’re going there to have our kid there would be a good basis.
9. All documents are good for up to 6 months.
11. Present receipts for the $50 app fee and $200 deposit (this is just the start, they’ll find other amounts for you to deposit once you get going. Probably another $500 each total… but its still cheaper than leaving the country every 3 months.)
12. Present the application between 8am and 12pm
14. Once your application is approved you will need to register yourselves with Costa Rican social security and pay for public health care. This is what you will need your Marriage Certificate for.
We are going to try to get everything done as far as paper work as well as decide what to keep and what to sell. What we decide to keep we will put in storage to ship by container to Costa Rica at a later date. By the beginning of February we plan on heading out to Oklahoma and dropping Judah the dog off with Grandma and Grandpa. He will stay with them until the baby is born giving us a little time to settle in, and then come down and stay with us in Costa Rica. After visiting Lyndsey’s folks in Oklahoma and dropping off the dog we will drive down to visit my Mom and Dad in Dallas, leave our car with my folks and fly out of DFW.
What to keep, What to Sale?
The good thing is that we already downsized a lot on our last move. We are going to find some good homes for our rabbit and chickens, but just in case we don’t there is a local farm that we can take them to not to far from where we live. Lyndsey has already began listing and selling a few things on craiglist. What doesn’t sale on craigslist or make it into the storage unit I will take up to the local swapmeet and see what we can get for it there the Saturday before we head out of San Diego. The rest gets donated to a charity.