A week after I posted about my concerns regarding a proposed update to Costa Rica’s residency laws, I feel better about the situation. Some lawyers in CR have maintained that it would be unconstitutional for the law to be applied retroactively, and that was my great fear – that people would be forced to leave when it came time to renew their residency and meet higher income requirements. An article yesterday, quoting Mario Zamora (the Director of Immigration who basically drafted the proposal), goes a bit further. Mr. Zamora is quoted thus:
“This does not affect in any way those already in Costa Rica. In fact, all Resident Rentistas (or pensioners) who have a temporary residence will automatically become permanent residents…. The benefits are retroactive, but not the negative aspects.”
I’m cautiously relieved, especially since his comments about the proposed figures being too high with a possibility of negotiating down to more reasonably levels is sensible. Hopefully this sensibility extends to other legislators he will be working with.
This whole issue did force me into some soul-searching and what kind of a life experience I envisioned in Costa Rica. The idea of having a large community of expats and the availability of western amenities were never the primary reasons that made CR attractive – they were the logical reasons that helped with the fear of the unknown. The dream began with a land chock full of nature and affordable living. After researching I found that there were quite a few expats, which was comforting. Moving any place new is hard – it took us 2 years before we got comfortable living in the Hudson Valley. Some neighbors recently moved away in less than 2 years, and I’m sure that the culture shock of moving from the Bronx to upstate NY made things a lot harder. Moving to a different country with a new language adds some hurdles, but it will definitely be easier with people around who can offer insight into our shared experience.