Due to the COVID- 19, the Costa Rican Immigration Bureau has issued new special rules for the following months.

Tourists who entered the country after December 17th, 2019 will have their tourist visa extended until August 18th, 2020.

The borders will continue to be closed for foreigners (Tourists) entering the country, until June 15th 2020.

Only Costa Rican citizens, residents and persons with a residency in process (need to have the file number to give it to the Immigration officer) are allowed to enter the country, with the inconvenience that everyone will be required to do a 14-day quarantine at home.

The above will apply only for any foreign person with Costa Rican residency either temporary or permanent, estancia permit, special categories, or any other legal authorized permit, who left the country before March 25th 2020. After that date the foreign person who exists the country, will have an entrance impediment for the period of time that the emergency continues. If the person that has this impediment, enters the country irregularly through an unauthorized place, the residency or permit will be cancelled.

Immigration offices will not receive new residency applications until July 18, 2020, for any residency types.

The residency card (Dimex) for permanent residents, temporary residents and special categories that expired after December 18, 2019, will be extended automatically until September 30, 2020. After this date these persons will have up to 3 months, as established by law, to proceed with the renewal, if not the residency will be cancelled, unless if the person has duly proven reasons that demonstrate the impossibility of doing it within said period.

If the above mentioned categories want to proceed with the renewal of the residency card (Dimex), before the indicated dates, it can be done at Correos de Costa Rica or Banco de Costa Rica with an appointment.

The Dimex for the persons with authorized estancia permit that expired after March 17, 2020 will be extended until August 18, 2020. If it expired before March 17, 2020 and have not proceeded with the process for the renewal or change of category, the person must leave the country.

The General Migration Law number 8764, in force since 2009, established that all foreign persons who are not residents of Costa Rica must leave the country once their tourist visa or authorized period of stay expires, and it also establish that foreigners who remain in the country in an irregular situation (with the expired tourist visa) have to pay $100 for each month of irregular stay or, otherwise, foreigners are prohibited from entering to Costa Rica for a period equivalent to three times the time that the person irregularly stayed in the country.

This penalty has not been applied and Immigration was going to reinstate starting April 20th, 2020, but due to the COVID- 19, this penalty will not be charged until further notice.

We will inform you of any changes related to the aforesaid information.

Note:  The purpose of the present publication is to provide general information on the updates for Immigration regulations in Costa Rica and it is not intended to be legal advice as such. In case more specific information is required regarding these topics, please do not hesitate to contact any of our lawyers.

Please contact us.