Not only North American expats are working in Costa Rica illegally on a tourism visa. The daily La Nación revealed Sunday that 20 first division soccer players are members of Costa Rican teams illegally because of faulty paperwork. Most are in Costa Rica on tourist visas.
Although the newspaper noted that the management of the soccer teams face possible legal action and fines, there has been no immediate response from the Ministerio de Gobernación, Policía y Seguridad or its Dirección General de Migración y Extranjería.
The newspaper said that having players in Costa Rica on tourism visas is a long tradition with the various clubs. Although the soccer players are mainly from South America, an unknown number of U.S. citizens also are here working illegally through the abuse of tourism visas. Being present in Costa Rica due to multiple renewals of a tourism visa is a gray area in the law, but those holding such visas are forbidden specifically to work.
Work permits for foreigners require about the same amount of paperwork and original documents as residency, and the employer has to show that a Costa Rican could not do the jo