I just found this out the other day for those wishing to come here from the US. You no longer have to send in your documents to the Consulate of Costa Rica to be authenticated! It has to do with the Hague Convention and the United States is now apart of it. This means that once your documents are apostilled by the state they will be accepted here in Costa Rica. This actually went into affect in December of 2011. I found out because my daughter is coming down here and I needed to get all of her paperwork together. I did call the Consulate of Costa Rica in Washington, D.C. to be sure. This saves a step, and in some cases a lot of money. You no longer have to go to the yellow house now either to get everything stamped and signed before taking it to the immigration office. Another step saved. Two years ago I did all of mine and my husbands immigration paperwork. I did not use an attorney. We got our residency without any trouble. Hopefully I can do the same for my daughter. It may be a little more complicated for her, since her dad is in the states, but I will have all the court documents stating that she is to come here and live. I do have a friend that is an attorney here, and he speaks English, he told me that should be all I need plus the other paperwork for her. Standard birth certificate, background check, transcripts from her school, plus the court documents. He said we should be ready to go once she gets here. Praying that it all goes smoothly.
So, now the paperwork goes from city to state and then to here. Translated all into Spanish, register with the Embassy of the United States, pay deposits and stamps and wait. Registering with the Embassy is $50, translation of documents did run about 5 cents per word, that can add up quickly. Deposit is still $250 per person for pensioner status. Then I have to buy her school uniforms. Lots to do here for her.