by: Robelyn Martinez Yambao
I am here to share today an easy steps in activating sim cards in Costa Rica. For foreigners who wanna use Costa Rican number in calling, texting and internet, you can buy sim card anytime. All you need is your money, passport and your unlocked phone.
Why they need your passport? For ticos, they use cedula number. That is the 10 digits number from their local ID. Since you are a foreigner and you don't have cedula number, passport is your ID number. My passport number is only 9 digits but the first and last digits are letters. How about your passport number, how many digits do you have? :)
Some phones from USA are not unlocked yet. My Philippine phone is already unlocked. That means your phone is an open line, you can use your phone with any sim card from around the world. If you are not sure that your phone is unlocked, visit your network provider to check your phone so they can help you unlock the phone. There are technicians here but service fee is higher than expected and sometimes they can't do it. There are also phones that are not open line so, check before you travel.
Where To Buy Sim Card?
You can buy anywhere at electronic shop, grocery store, convenient store, cellphone accessories, etc. What I've tried so far are Claro and Movistar. I don't need internet, I just want to use local number for text and call such as emergency use in local agencies like clinic, hospital and embassies. I just use internet at home and install whatsapp messenger for texting and calling Costa Rican friends. You will need to buy load to use it in calling, texting and internet. You can buy like 1k, 2k, 5k, 10k colones up to you how often you use the service and how much you consume the load.
How To Activate The Sim Card?
I bought Claro Sim card at Claro shop so, the staff helped me to activate it for me. I gave my phone and passport to the salesman and he encoded my information in their computer. I also bought 1k load after that, just pay him and they will transfer load to your number.
The second one was Movistar. I just bought this simcard at the grocery store only 500 colones. Then, I just followed the instruction at the website to activate my number. Here is the instruction:
Activar tu línea Movistar Prepago, es sumamente fácil, por lo que podés enviar un SMS al 1693 con la palabra: ACTIVAR (espacio) número de identificación (espacio) nombre (espacio) apellido.
Translation: Send a text message to 1693 with the word ACTIVAR (space) identification number (space) First Name (space) Last name.
After sending the message, you will receive a text message from 1693 saying: "Su nuevo numero es 12345678" translation "Your number is 12345678". Another message from Movistar saying: "Le informamos que su numero de telefono ha pasado a ser 12345678"
Then, after few minutes Movistar will send welcome message "Welcome to Movistar! Enjoy the experience with the best network in Costa Rica, the fastest internet and the promotions that you like the most! +info www.movistar.cr".
Okay guys that's all for today! I hope this is helpful for foreigners who are planning to visit Costa Rica. If you wanna know how to open bank account in Banco De Costa Rica visit my article link here: How To Open An Account At Banco De Costa Rica. Ciao!
by: Robelyn Martinez Yambao
It's been awhile that I didn't do any writing in my site. Today, I am going to share with all of you my experience in getting married here in Costa Rica. I will tackle here about the documents that we submitted to the officiant of our civil wedding and how we plan our simple civil wedding in a very affordable way.
How We Plan The Wedding
When we arrived in Costa Rica, I was already pregnant to my second daughter. We were planning to have our baby here so, we immediately decided to look for an attorney for the civil wedding before our baby's birth. We don't speak Spanish so, it is so hard for us to communicate and find local attorney who can do the ceremony for us. At first, we looked online of some attorneys who can speak in English. But, they are so expensive. We inquired about fees and how they do it through email. We were so hesitant to trust someone that we don't know because they might scam us and waste our money and effort. Luckily, when our landlord visited us we asked him if he knows someone who can do the marriage and told him that we would be glad to give him a little amount for the help. He tried and he found one. We were so happy for his help and we didn't waste time anymore to book the date of the marriage.
The attorney were asking some documents from us to do the ceremony. The following documents are the one we submitted:
1. Xerox Passport (Both)
2. Cenomar (Certificate of no marriage) for me and Divorce Decree for my husband
3. Birth Certificate (Both)
4. Two Witnesses Documents
a. Costa Rican friend - Cedula ID
b. American Friend - Passport & Driver's License ID
Note: All documents should be authenticated by your embassy.
It was just a simple ceremony. The officiant only read something on his papers we don't understand because it's all written in Spanish. When he instructed to kiss the bride that's the time that we realized it's done. after that was the contract signing. The bride and groom will sign the papers then, the two witnesses. We just had a simple lunch together like having a visitor at home.
How Long Is The Processing Of The Marriage Certificate?
In our case, we got our papers after 6 months. Why? Because the attorney that we got didn't file the papers on time. The correct processing time is only 3 months before it will reflect on the Costa Rican System. You can check it online after two or three months. If you can't find your name that means your attorney didn't file it.
TIPS: Trust only attorneys that recommended by your Costa Rican Friend. If something bad happened to your papers or you have complains about not in the system or why you can't find your marriage certificate in the system through online, you know where you find him and you can ask your friend to help you kick the ass of that attorney. Most Costa Rican attorneys are not reliable and they are so slow in processing papers or Should I say not doing their job properly? Be careful also with people who are asking too much fees.
How to get a copy of your marriage certificate?
After confirming that your marriage is already registered in the Costa Rica System through online, you can have a copy anytime by getting it in the TSE office personally or order the papers through their website. To know more about this topic, you can visit my article below: Getting A Copy of Costa Rican Birth & Marriage Certificate
I hope this article is helpful for others and please share if you think this is informative. Thank you for reading!
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A licensed teacher in the Philippines who shifted her career into another direction to follow her passion to be a blogger. Her blogs are related in traveling and simple living as an expat in a foreign land.