Robert Shannon – Playa Ocotal, Guanacaste / Green Cove Springs, Florida
The day I decided to move forward I went on my last immigration service provider search. I found the website of Immigration Specialist Laura B. Gutierrez, along with another one, which I had seen before and liked the look of, as they had an office in the U.S. as well as in Costa Rica.
I contacted that site first, and when I got no reply after several days, I contacted Laura who responded to my email within a few hours.
We spoke on the phone the next morning, and after a brief back and forth questioning, we determined I was a good fit for her services. We signed the contract on February 21, 2019. Over the course of the next weeks, we exchanged a total of 28 emails, and perhaps 3 phone calls, including the first consult. That’s all it took for her to get me ready.
On Tuesday, May 7th, 2019, we met in San Jose and Laura submitted my thoroughly prepared application. I finished the process, begun less than 3 months previous.
7:30 AM: We meet at the Dactiloscopia Ministerio De Seguridad Pública, just east of downtown San Jose, and we get in line. When prompted Laura hands the form she had finished preparing the night before to the policeman at the entrance. In a few minutes, I am allowed in. Seated at a desk an officer enters my identification information into the Interpol database. When the report comes back clean, another officer takes my fingerprints. When finished I am given a document attesting to the successful completion of my background check. It is 8:15. We make some copies and then put it in with all the other needed papers and at 8:30 AM begin the drive in my rented car over to the main Immigration building.
9:30 AM: After being delayed by some traffic, we arrive at the Immigration Building. Laura consults with the security man, who she obviously knows, and we are directed to sit in a line of chairs which is the queue outside a tiny office in the corner of the main room. There are only 3 other people in line, and in about 30 minutes we are told to enter. The woman behind the desk, also seems to know Laura well, and they exchange a few pleasantries. She then turns to her computer and creates a new case file. In what feels like less than 15 minutes, I place a few signatures on some forms, and the Immigration employee puts a stamp on each of the many pages of the 2 copies we have brought her, it is done.
As we leave Laura hands me an Expediente (proof of submission) that allows me to stay in the country as my file makes its way thru the system. Laura walks me back to where my car is parked. It is now 10:30 AM.
3 hours from start to finish, which might have been shorter if not for the traffic.
Given my experience, there is only one person you need contact when you are ready to make your application.
John & Jan Rundall – Tamarindo Costa Rica / Bahrain
We were so fortunate to hear of Laura Gutiérrez through her an online news site in Costa Rica.
We anticipated real nightmares as we were trying to coordinate everything from the Middle East, where I was working. Required documents needed to be sourced from more than one country and coordinated from long distance at times.
Laura’s attention to detail was impressive, and when problems arose they were dealt with quickly and efficiently.
When the time came to file our applications, Laura checked all our paperwork through the night before to ensure that everything was in order and then charmed her way through the officialdom the next morning resulting in our lodging all the paperwork and having our fingerprints taken on the opposite side of town in under 4 hours.
Four months and a week later Laura emailed us to say that our application had been approved and our residence cards were ready for collection. It doesn’t get better than this!
Jose L Monteagudo – Playa Coyote / Formerly from Miami Fla.
Due to the nature of my profession, (Police Captain), I was skeptical before vetting Laura. However, she quickly dispelled my doubts by the professional, ethical and confident manner which she conducted herself. She provided sufficient guidance for me to be fully prepared upon my arrival in Costa Rica
On the date we met for submission of my application, she guided me through the absolute maze of the immigration process effortlessly. From the payment of the stamps, the submission of the paperwork to the fingerprinting by the Police Department, she described the process in detail to the point that I knew in advance exactly what to expect at every step.
Due to circumstances that occurred while I was a child, I was not able to produce a birth certificate. Laura was able to properly articulate my circumstance and provided alternative official documents that were accepted by Immigration.
Although my case was not a “cookie cutter” one, Laura was confident the application would be accepted and it was!!! After several months, it was also approved as she promised.
Without any doubt, I recommend Laura for your immigration needs………whether a “cookie cutter” case or not, Laura will treat it as one and ensure that the entire process is effortless!!
There is one phrase that best describes Laura…….”She walks the talk!”
Ken & Natalie Chilvers – Tamarindo, Guanacaste
Costa Rica is a beautiful, safe country, populated with mostly friendly, honest, helpful people.
However, the Immigration Department and its system are frustratingly dysfunctional. We [my wife and I] could not imagine attempting to become permanent residents on our own. The process is too chaotic
Expert help is a must.
Enter Laura Gutierrez, an immigration consultant. Fluently bilingual, Laura really knows the ropes and how best to maneuver around the onerous procedures and surprises. She is responsive, patient, well organized and very efficient. We were not typical applicants given that we had to source our documents from Canada, U.S., and Mexico… our previous domicile.
We highly recommend Laura for this daunting process.
Just stay mindful as you endure the process that Laura has nothing to do with the Immigration Department’s policies or shaky operations. Her only task is to maneuver through them all and get you your resident status.
Good luck and stay cool!
Paul and Kathleen Fleischer – Grecia, Costa Rica / Palm Beach, Florida
In March of 2018, we applied for Costa Rican residency with Laura. She guided us through gathering our paperwork in the US, getting it all Apostilled and acceptable for the Costa Rican Immigration.
In Costa Rica, Laura met us at the Dactiloscopia (Fingerprinting Center) and had us out of there in 15 minutes. On the taxi ride to the Immigration office, on the other side of San Jose, she coordinated all of our original documents with the copies and translations that she had prepared in advance. When we got to the Immigration office, Laura took us to the head of the line (I think she knows everyone in the office!) to process our applications. (We are seniors.)
Amazingly, we were out of there at 9:20 a.m. – completely finished!
We received our approvals in January 2019… 10 months from the date we submitted.
Throughout the entire process, Laura was friendly, patient, intelligent and highly efficient. We were happy that we chose her (out of three different people we interviewed) and we would choose her again in a minute.
Thank you again, Laura!
BBA, MS, PhD, LCDR, US Navy (RET)
Laura is the best of the best. She is above a 10 on a 1 to 10 scale.
I would and have highly recommended her to many my friends. From our first discussion, I knew she fully understood the process and could provide the personal touch which I needed.
Laura also took into consideration all the needed accommodations for my fiancé who is from Costa Rica.
In months of previous research before obtaining her services, the pricing from attorneys was outrageous and totally confusing. Laura’s process is smooth and understanding from beginning to end.
I have to attest that the service rendered is much more than the price for service. Her ability to place you in the right area, double checking your documentation, communication with different departments, personal attention, kindness, warmth, understanding and her on point for appointments is priceless.
Laura, I salute you and your company in leading and assisting my family’s ultimate dream.
Muy Buen Trabajo Laura! Pura Vida!!!
Angus and Agnes Hay – Perez Zeledon/Hong Kong/Canada
Our immigration to Costa Rica was more complex than most.
When we started the process we were working and living in Hong Kong. My wife is from the Philippines and I’m from Canada. I mention this because it was relevant to the complications of our case for immigrating to Costa Rica. We knew we would need help with our immigration process and fortunately, we found Laura Gutiérrez.
From our first contact with Laura, she was there for us every step of the way. As mentioned earlier, with us living in Hong Kong and being from two different countries, significantly complicated our immigration process. Some of the documents required by Costa Rican Immigration had to be verified in our respective countries of Canada and the Philippines.
Whenever it looked like a certain issue couldn’t be resolved, Laura came to the rescue. This happened with my documents from Canada, and with our Police Reports from Hong Kong. In both cases, Laura found a way through by directly contacting the Costa Rican Consulates in Canada and Beijing.
Her experience, patience, creativity, and persistence directly contributed to our eventual success.
She expertly guided us through the process all the way.
Her excellent communication skills in both Spanish and English smoothed the way with CR Immigration. She always kept us in the picture and promptly responded to our queries. All of this finally culminated with acquiring our cedulas on 10 February 2017.
We can’t say enough about how much Laura’s assistance over the past 16 months has meant to us. Without her, our immigration to Costa Rica would have been much more difficult, stressful, lengthy and quite likely unsuccessful.
We most highly recommend Laura Gutiérrez to expertly guide you through the Costa Rican Immigration process.
Bonnie Bynoe – Playa Hermosa, Puntarenas / Wasaga Beach ON., Canada
In June 2017, Laura was recommended highly by a woman (who has become a very good friend) in San Jose. From the beginning, Laura was very straightforward, telling me exactly what I needed to do. I was born in Canada so it was maybe a little more complicated, as Canada has a more onerous authentication process than the U.S.
You never want to repeat this portion of your documentation, so it is important that it is done correctly the first time through.
I received direction from Laura as I went along. I chose to go to Ottawa rather than entrust my documents to a courier, this really sped everything up. The chances of documents getting lost also goes way up, when you use couriers, stamped, self-addressed envelopes, etc., etc.
On the day Laura and I met for submissions, it was very obvious at the Immigration Center that staff were familiar with Laura and they seemed responsive to her, which is probably because she makes their jobs easier.
I was very glad to have had her there with me, as navigating the Costa Rican system could have been more than I was prepared for.
Looking back, I realize all the more that with immigration you need a specialist.
My local lawyer did offer to provide immigration services…but his specialty was real estate. Laura’s was Immigration and as such, was definitely the better choice as evidenced by her commanding proficiency.
Sometimes the whole process seems a bit overwhelming, but Laura is there for you and she is responsive. In any case, just knowing that, it made everything less stressful.
Laura also had invaluable advice when it came to internet blogs and what is true and what isn’t, providing some much-needed stress relief.
Five months after submission of the application, I received my cedula (in 2017).
Thank you very much Laura for all you have done. Life is very much easier for me now.
Brian Friesen & Junko Imai – Pérez Zeledón / Santa Cruz, California
Prior to applying for the Pensionado status, we were very apprehensive about the application process in Costa Rica, where we knew very few people and our Spanish skills were minimum.
We vetted Laura carefully through both emails, phone conversations and other testimonials on her website.
Laura was very professional, thorough, and patient, and throughout the entire process, she made us feel confident that we were in very capable hands.
First of all, she provided us with a detailed list of documents we needed to assemble, and she was always prompt to answer our questions and patiently guided us to prepare all the necessary documents.
As the submission day approached, she sent us the detailed instructions as to where to visit and what to expect to complete the application process.
On the day of submission, she was very prepared with all the documents, translations, and application papers. She guided us through in a very calm and professional manner, from getting fingerprinted and Interpol checked at the Dactiloscopia (Fingerprinting Center) to submitting our applications at the chaotic Immigration Center right after.
We could tell that she was very familiar with how things were handled at each intimidating department. Everything went very smoothly thanks to Laura, and we were done before noon.
Laura is very knowledgeable about the immigration requirements and process and pleasant to work with. We highly recommend Laura for anyone who plans to apply for the residency status in Costa Rica.
Henshall Morse – Puerto Viejo / Queen Creek, Arizona
I’m a 66-year-old disabled Veteran and got tired of being in a rut and dealing with the fast pace of life in America. I decided to retire in Costa Rica after vetting many other countries and cultures.
After studying up on how to optimize my life in Costa Rica, it was obvious I would need to obtain my residency there. It seemed very complicated based on what I had heard and read. I knew I needed help with the process. So that started my next search eventually leading me to Ms. Laura Gutierrez.
She responded very quickly with a phone interview to go over my particulars. After listening very carefully without interruption, she assured me that I could qualify for Costa Rica Residency as a Pensionado. She assured me that if I followed her directions, all would go well for me.
Following her DETAILED INSTRUCTIONS closely yielded my success in getting all the documents I needed in relatively short order while she prepared the required paperwork in Spanish on her end.
A few short months later I was in Costa Rica and met with Laura for submission of my application. We visited both the Fingerprinting Center and the Immigration Center the same morning. I was on my way by 10:AM. Done.
Laura is the most professional person I’ve ever worked with. It was truly a pleasure.
She dresses and presents herself in a professional manner. She is unbelievably organized and knows the right people and they work her in quickly. She makes it look so effortless. Being in a wheelchair, if had I tried this on my own, I’d still be trying to get my paperwork filed.
I promise you will not find a better person to help you through the process.
Tim Nugent and Corina Meador – Arenal CR
We are so grateful for acting on a recommendation to hire Laura to do our residencies. Laura was extremely efficient and made the whole process painless. If we would have had our paperwork Apostilled previously, we would have spent less money. So in hindsight, I recommend contacting Laura at the very beginning of your process to avoid extra costs and stress. The U.S. Embassy was a snap and the whole application and fingerprinting submissions went very smooth. I highly recommend Laura to anyone seeking residency.
Ed Liddiard – Tambor, Costa Rica
Yes! You sure can believe what you read on this website!
Laura is a very special person and talented professional with the ability to get things done in an environment where such things are often the exception rather than the rule. She is well versed in how to work for optimal outcomes in this overwhelming system.
Step by step, Laura guided me patiently and thoroughly through document retrieval as well as perfectly coordinated travel logistics. We actually began with limited (insufficient) documentation in August, 2014. Through Laura’s creativity and determination, on June 11, 2015, I walked out of CR Immigration with my nice, new residency card!
I am very grateful to the lady acquaintance that steered me to Laura. As an extremely happy client, it’s my turn to pay it forward to all who read here.
Don & Nancy Osborne – Buffalo Gap, Texas, Herradura, Costa Rica
My initial search about Costa Rica residency yielded little clarity… so many different levels and types of residency. I also read of how NOT to attempt it, especially if you are not fluent in Spanish. Advice included hiring a lawyer, but not all lawyers by any stretch of the imagination are even familiar with the process. Even then you are in danger unless you have tremendous, justified trust in your legal representative. I was to realize later, that ALL lawyers who accept residency work, assign it to underlings and messengers. In short, the dream can become a nightmare very swiftly as it becomes almost impossible to decide how to proceed.
One lucky day, I read Scott Oliver’s “welovecostarica.com” website where I saw Laura’s advertorial. I read the entire story of her involvement in residency services before contacting her. She invited a no-cost consultation over the phone, which was much appreciated and effective at establishing trust. It was obvious to us from the start of communications that she would be helpful and trustworthy. Throughout the entire process, Laura was available with time and crucial information, preventing our dream from becoming a nightmare. We are so glad that we made the correct choice, and we highly recommend her as an ally to gain your Costa Rica residency. Laura’s integrity, in our opinion, is beyond reproach…