Panicked Americans are researching how to emigrate online after early election results pointed to a shock election victory for Donald Trump.
There was an explosion in search traffic on Google for terms such as “emigrate” and “how to emigrate to Canada” “immigrate to costa rica” and other related searches following the announcement of a series of victories in key swing states for the Republican nominee.
Mr Trump now stands before a clear path to election victory, having won the election battlegrounds of Florida, Ohio and North Carolina.
The results have shocked pollsters, who until Tuesday night put his chances of winning at around 10 per cent.
They have also seen the US dollar plunge, with stock markets thrown into disarray under the mounting evidence that Mr Trump could soon become America’s next president.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average sank by more than 750 points after initial returns showed the Republican candidate performing far better than expected in key battleground states.
And in Mexico, where Mr Trump is seen as a major threat to the country’s economy, the peso slumped to a record low against the dollar.
Neil Wilson, a markets expert at ETX Capital, described the situation as “chaotic”, with many investors taking shelter.
“There was a major sell-off in stocks while havens like the yen and gold are soaring as the Sunshine States gives Trump a very good chance at the White House,” he said.
“Dow futures are down more than 450 points and USD/JPY is trading at just above 102.
“Mexico’s peso is getting whacked and has plunged to close to 20 against the dollar – down nearly 10% from its high earlier this morning.
“The proxy trade is speaking loud and clear at the moment.”
Why would you want to move to Costa Rica? As thousands of expats will tell you, Costa Rica offers a fantastic lifestyle at a reasonable cost. Costa Rica is one of the most beautiful countries in the world, with a modern capital city, reliable utility service, clean water, lush rain forests, long stretches of deserted tropical beaches, fun beach towns, quaint rural villages, bustling cities, cool mountain getaways, and pristine lake regions.
Moving to Costa Rica is particularly appealing because Costa Rica is a long-established democracy and politically stable. Also, because Costa Rica has been welcoming retirees and other expats for more than 30 years, and is a premier eco-tourism and beach destination for tourists. Many locals speak English. And, for the most part, it is safe. There is a low incidence of violent crime here; and outside the capital city of San José, there isn’t much crime of any kind. Costa Rica is known as one of Latin America’s most peaceful nations (and one of the most politically stable—it has enjoyed over 60 years of uninterrupted democratic rule). José Figueres Ferrer, who led an armed uprising that ended a 44-day Civil War, was glorified for abolishing the army and drafting a constitution that guaranteed free elections with universal suffrage. Unlike many of its neighbors, Costa Rica never had another civil war.
Because the country has no army to support, it is able to provide money for universal medical care and free and subsidized educational programs. The well-run national healthcare system means that the country’s people are strong and healthy. The average life expectancy is 79 years–one of the highest in the world. The country has an up-to-date medical system with hospitals, clinics, and complete medical services in all major cities and some towns. Costa Rica is considered to have one of the best low-cost medical care systems in the world. Dental care and cosmetic surgery is affordable, and Costa Rica’s plastic surgeons are considered among the world’s best.
You’ll find a wide variety of inexpensive housing in Costa Rica, whether you rent or buy, and a wealth of every imaginable activity to keep you busy and happy. There are excellent English-language magazines, newspapers, and websites catering to the expat community, as well as an active online presence of expats on Facebook and other social media sites and online forums—great for networking. You can get cable and satellite TV with all of the U.S. channels, including premium channels, movie channels, and sports packages for football and more. There is also reliable high-speed internet throughout the country, even in remote areas. That’s great for keeping in touch with family and friends back home with internet services like Skype and FaceTime. If you’re business-minded, there are a myriad of exciting opportunities for entrepreneurs, especially in the growing tourism sector. And consider this: If you move to Costa Rica, you can live comfortably on $2,000 to $3,000 per month, depending on your lifestyle. A full-time maid costs around $10 per day. Utilities, like telephone and water, are much lower than in the U.S., Canada, or Europe. Although electric rates are comparable, in the Central Valley region you won’t use AC or heat—so there is savings there. Public transportation through local, regional, and national buses, as well as taxis, is excellent and inexpensive, so you don’t really need a car.
There are also many tax advantages you can enjoy after moving to Costa Rica. Investors pay no capital gains taxes on real estate, business taxes are minimal, and high-interest bank accounts are tax free. Property taxes are very compared with the U.S. and elsewhere. You’ll pay just 0.25% of the assessed value of your property annually.
Moving your household goods: No matter where you move to, transporting household goods and personal belongings can be challenging. For a move to Costa Rica, for example, you can choose an American moving company, but that firm will still have to deal with a local relocation company to deliver your goods in Costa Rica, a process that can entail tedious dealings with bureaucracy. To avoid this problem, experienced expats say the best strategy is to first select the Costa Rican shipping broker. This firm will then choose the American company that it wants to work with. You can bring a full 40-foot container of goods, including your car. Or you can share a container with another expat. You also have the option of shipping smaller crates. Some expats liberate themselves and bring only what they can fit in their suitcases. It’s important to think long and hard about what possessions you’ll bring to Costa Rica.
Moving with your pets: There are no quarantines for pets arriving in Costa Rica. And bringing your pet to the country is a relatively easy process. A rabies vaccination is required for pets that enter Costa Rica, and it must be administered within 30 days of departure. You’ll also need to have your veterinarian fill out and sign the APHIS 7001 International Health Certificate from the United States Department of Agriculture stating that your pet is in good health. Small dogs and cats can ride in a carrier under your airline seat (subject to rules for your specific airline—always ask). Larger dogs can ride in crates with the luggage. There are extra fees involved in transporting pets. You can also hire a pet shipper to handle your pet’s transport on a charter plane or send them cargo unaccompanied—an import permit will be required in that case. Keep in mind that some breeds are restricted from flying for health reasons. And if temperatures are too high anywhere on your itinerary, the pets may not be allowed to fly. Again, check with your airline. Birds require additional paperwork.
Firearms: The admission of firearms and ammunition into the territory of Costa Rica is subject to restrictions and import permits approved by Costa Rican authorities. At this time only citizens and permanent residents of Costa Rica may possess firearms. Permanent residency is possible after three years as a temporary resident, in the pensionado category, for example. Applications to import non-military weapons into the country may be filed by or through a licensed importer, authorized dealer or a particular person. You must register your weapon at the Ministry of Public Security’s Department of Firearms and Ammunitions once you arrive in Costa Rica. You must also pass criminal background check, psychological test, and firearms safety test.
When you take into account all of these factors and the fact that in Costa Rica you will surely enjoy a more peaceful and laid back way of life, it’s hard to understand why everyone isn’t moving to Costa Rica.
Costa Rica has gorgeous flowers and animals, such as big iguanas, sloths, monkeys and deer! Costa Rica has the most abundance of wildlife from a variety of birds, howler and cappuccino monkeys and much much more. Wildlife is a BIG PLUS!
Very clean! No need to fear the local rivers or waters because the Ticos have pride in their country and their surroundings! Can you believe the tap water is drinkable! I promise.
The people take care of their homes and business, there is a lot of national pride. They finish and paint their homes (a big deal, especially compared to other countries in CA). Also there is a law against stray dogs. Costa Rica also has a lot of forest preserves and nature parks where trees are jungle are protected, and it’s against the law to chop down trees.
I don’t know the current numbers, but in 2007 there was over a million expects living in Costa Rica. All these expats has helped to develop the country’s infrastructure so that you can now find reliable power and internet (that doesn’t go out very often). Every convenience you need for long term travel, from iPhone 3G phone plans to all the snacks and foods you miss from home. Costa Rica is a good place to find balance between the “local” experience and the necessities from home.
Amazing diversity from beaches on both coasts to high mountain ranges through the center of Costa Rica. You can mountain bike and hike in the cool altitudes and then hit the sunny hot beaches for a swim and surf. Rainforests, cloud forests, protected jungles with world class river rafting, turtle reserves and so much more within this tiny country.
The Pura Vida or ‘Pure Life’, that’s what Costa Rica is all about. It’s also a country without an army, can you believe that? Costa Ricans are so peaceful and loving. Pura Vida is a way of a relaxed, easy-going living. There’s a good vibe and it’s a good place to come with your family!
The United States Embassy does not have jurisdiction or influence over the Costa Rican residency process for American citizens. However, below is basic information and links to guide you through the process. Please note that the Embassy does not provide Apostille services. For complete information, please visit the official Costa Rican government website.
To apply for residency in Costa Rica, the Costa Rican government requires applicants register with the U.S. Embassy. To do this, please complete the following steps:
PLEASE NOTE: It is no longer a requirement to have the STEP profile or confirmation page notarized at the U.S.Embassy.
The Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) is a free service provided by the U.S. Government to U.S. citizens who are traveling to, or living in, a foreign country.
STEP allows you to enter information about your upcoming trip abroad so that the Department of State can better assist you in an emergency.
STEP also allows Americans residing abroad to get routine information from the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate.