Payroll Cycle
Minumum Wage
Overtime Pay
Visa Immigration

Talent Wiki - Costa Rica

Your quick guide on talent and labor compliance norms in Costa Rica
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San José
Costa Rican colón (CRC)
Payroll Frequency
GDP per Capita
Employer Tax

Supplementary Guide for Employment and Expansion in Costa Rica

Talent Overview

Costa Rica holds the rank for second in Latin America and 15th in the world for retaining local talent. With progressive industrialization and economy, Costa Rica has developed better opportunities for its people.

Major Economic Hubs:

San José, Puerto Limón, Alajuela, Heredia

Skills in Demand:

Finance Manager, Human Resource Manager, Data Analysts, Machine learning

Local Universities

The top local universities in Costa Rica are listed below:

Universidad de Costa Rica


Costa Rica : 1

World : 677

Universidad Nacional


Costa Rica : 2

World : 1306

Instituto Tecnológico de Costa Rica


Costa Rica : 3

World : 1977

INCAE Business School, Costa Rica


Costa Rica : 4

World : 3284

Universidad Internacional de las Américas


Costa Rica : 5

World : 3991

Salary Data

Average salary data of some job titles in Costa Rica:

Job Title Salary Range (CRC) Salary Range (USD)
Financial Manager 4,690,000 CRC 7119.08 USD
Information Technology Manager 3,730,000 CRC 5661.87 USD
Business Development Manager 3,670,000 CRC 5570.79 USD
Business Analyst 2,800,000 CRC 4250.20 USD
Project Manager 2,630,000 CRC 3992.15 USD
Developer 2,200,000 CRC 3339.44 USD

Talent Sourcing Tips

Top Local Job Boards:

Indeed, Craiglist, LinkedIn

Number of LinkedIn users:


Top Recruitment Agencies:

MRI Caricam, Doris Peters & Asociados, DyN

Employing in Costa Rica

While onboarding any individual from Costa Rica, the employer should know about the employment terms, Labor laws, deductions, and benefits. This section has all the necessary information that employers can use.

Employee Contract

According to the Costa Rica Labor Laws, an Employment contract is necessary and should be in Spanish or English mentioning all the terms and conditions of the employer. The contract has to be provided within one month of commencement. 

Probation period

The probation period in Costa Rica is 90 days.

Public and Provincial Holidays

Date Name Type
1 Jan New Year's Day National holiday
11 Apr Battle of Rivas National holiday
14 Apr Maundy Thursday National holiday, Christian
15 Apr Good Friday National holiday, Christian
1 May Labor Day / May Day National holiday
25 Jul Annexation of Guanacaste National holiday
2 Aug Our Lady of Los Ángeles Non-Compulsory Payment Holiday
15 Aug Mother's Day National holiday
19 Sep Independence Day National holiday
5 Dec Day of Abolition of the Army Non-Compulsory Payment Holiday
25 Dec Christmas Day National holiday, Christian

Employee Leaves

Type of Leave Time Period Mandatory
Annual Leave 14 days Yes
Sick Leave
Maternity Leave 112 days Yes


Payroll Cycle

The payroll cycle is Monthly in Costa Rica

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Minimum Wage

In Costa Rica, the minimum wage varies from CRC10,875.11 to CRC696,873.72 per day for Unskilled workers to Technical Workers (University graduates), respectively.

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Overtime Pay

Overtime in Costa Rica is termed as Exceptional, and an individual is allowed to extend working hours only on high necessity. The Overtime pay is generally 50% of the regular daily wage. However, overtime on a holiday will double the regular daily wage for compensation.

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Health Examination Clause


13th Month Pay:

The 13th month pay in Costa Rica is mandatory.

Employee Benefits:

Below are some benefits that Costa Rican employees are entitled to:

  • ~Health Insurances
  • ~Pension Scheme
  • ~Bonuses
  • ~Leaves
  • ~Allowances
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Employer Payroll Tax:

Category Contribution
Social Insurance Programs 26.5%
Health Insurance 34.5%

Employee Payroll Tax:

Category Contribution
Social Insurance Programs 9.34%
Health Insurance 9.7%

Employee Income Tax:

Annual Income (CRC*) Tax Rate
Ranges from 0 to 3,836,000 CRC 0%
Ranges from 3,836,000 to 5,729,000 CRC 10%
Ranges from 5,729,000 to 9,555,000 CRC 15%
Ranges from 9,555,000 to 19,150,000 CRC 20%
19,150,000 and above CRC 25%

*CRC is Costa Rica Colones.


Standard rate of VAT in Costa Rica is 13%.

Offboarding & Termination

Termination Process

In Costa Rica, either the employer or the employee can terminate the employment contract without any responsibility.

Notice Period

The notice period in Costa Rica is 14 days.

Severance Pay

The severance pay is the average earning of the individual in the last six months of service in Costa Rica.

Visa and Immigration

In order to stay and work in Costa Rica, individuals have to get a “Special Category Permit”. This permit allows the individual to stay and work in Costa Rica under the Ministry of Labour and Social Security. Special Category Permit includes the following;

  1. Costa Rica works permit for transfrontier workers.
  2. Costa Rica works permit for Artists, Athletes, and Entertainers.
  3. Costa Rica works permit for temporary workers.
  4. Costa Rica works permit for Professional and Technical guests.
  5. Costa Rica works permit for self-employed individuals in a well-established company
  6. Costa Rica works permit for Transferee Staff.
  7. Costa Rica works permit for self-employed individuals in the agriculture, construction, and services sectors.
  8. Costa Rica works permit for Preventive Maintenance Services and Corrective Post Sales Management.
  9. Costa Rica works permit for working in a specific occupation with a company (legal entity).
  10. Costa Rica works permit for working in a specific occupation as a domestic worker.
  11. Costa Rica works permit for working in a specific occupation.
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