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Work authorization for foreigners married to a Costa Rican

In other blogs we have commented that foreigners with ties to a Costa Rican by civil or common law marriage can opt for temporary residence. With this residence, foreigners obtain authorization to “work in any paid work or intellectual activity.” In this blog we delve into this topic.

The aforesaid authorization is independent of any other authorization that is required by law to exercise a profession or operate a business in Costa Rica. The benefit that this authorization offers is that the foreigner is not exposed to any immigration sanctions (such as the cancellation of their immigration status) for working in Costa Rica.

The practice of certain professions such as medicine or law requires the homologation of university diplomas and incorporation into the respective professional association. Otherwise, the foreigner could be exposed to criminal consequences for the crime of illegal exercise of the profession, which is punishable by imprisonment of between three months to two years.

Not all professions require homologation and incorporation into a professional association. Individuals who practice journalism do not require it. The exercise of commerce does not require it either, except for authorizations or permits that are required by law to operate a business in Costa Rica.

At CELIG we provide specialized services to the LGBTQI+ community. If you would like more information or make an appointment with us, call us at 4001-6439 or write to us at

We are located in San José, San Pedro de Montes de Oca, neighborhood.

Master of Science Ana Isabel Sibaja Rojas

CELIG – Center for Equal Litigation