Dentons US LLP

04/26/2021 | News release | Distributed by Public on 04/26/2021 16:21

Costa Rica: Recent amendments to immigration measures

April 26, 2021

Resolution No. DJUR-0031-03-2021-JM, published in The Official Gazette No. 43 of 3 March 2021, some temporary administrative measures were amended by the Immigration Authorities (DGME), of interest to our clients:

Capacity: a capacity of no more than 20 percent of the institution's employees will be maintained. In-person services will only be offered via appointments.

Deadlines to respond preventions: within a period of 10 business days from the day following the notification of the corresponding resolution, the interested person must schedule an appointment for the filing of documents that have been prevented. The term to file the prevented documentation will be extended through the date of the appointment.

Criminal background certificate and marriage certificate expiration date: obtaining the appointment interrupts the expiration of duly apostilled criminal and marriage certificates that have been issued on 17 March 2020 or later.

Documents issued abroad that were in force on 17 March 2021: the validity of these documents will be considered extended through 31 July 2021.

Birth certificate expiration date: the duly apostilled birth certificate will be considered valid despite the fact that it will have an issue date of over six months, as long as the information contained in the document matches the information in the passport of the foreign person and the document is in perfect condition.

Appeals presentation: it will be made via appointment, which must be requested within three days of the receipt of notification of the corresponding denial resolution. Once the appointment is obtained, the term to file the appeal is extended until the date and time of the corresponding appointment.

Documentation for the first time and DIMEX renewal (residencies, non-resident stay permits (estancias), special categories): this will be processed through the Banco de Costa Rica and Correos de Costa Rica, by appointment only.

Request for advance delivery of your DIMEX: this can only be requested by email.

DIMEX expiration date: the validity of the DIMEX for permanent residents, temporary residents, and special categories, which expired after 17 December 2019 was extended through 11 January 2021, and the validity of Estancias (non-resident stay permits) which expired after 17 March 2020, was extended through 12 February 2021. By virtue of the above, temporary residents and special categories cases should pay special attention to the following: If a DIMEX expired prior to 18 December 2019, the person no longer holds an immigration category, therefore, the provisions corresponding to the tourism category will apply to them. If the DIMEX expired after 18 December 2019, its validity was extended through 11 January 2021, with the possibility of renewing its DIMEX through 11 April 2021.

Consular visas: Consular and restricted visas will not be granted until 30 April 2021.

Requests submitted in the visa unit: no new applications will be received from people who require a visa, until 30 April 2021, except: i) applications submitted by executives and their dependents, by companies recognized in Costa Rica. ii) transit visa applications, submitted by shipping agencies. iii) requests for family reunification in favor of citizens of countries included in the entry groups requiring consular visa and restricted visa.

Tourism extensions: for the last time and through 1 June 2021, the extension of the legal stay of foreign persons who entered the country as tourists as of 17 December 2019, will be authorized. However, in order to obtain the benefit of this exception, the foreign person must obtain compulsory travel insurance and must send the proof of this insurance by email. This insurance must cover, at least, accommodation and medical expenses that the COVID-19 disease may generate. The person who does not validate their insurance within the period of legal stay, will incur an irregular stay and, therefore, may be subject to the sanctions provided by law.

The Employment & Labor and Immigration Law practice of Dentons Muñoz Costa Rica offers legal advice relating to:

  • Legislation review to determine the types of migratory categories applicable to companies and individuals.
  • Drafting of legal opinions on immigration topics.
  • Practical and strategic tips to prevent future legal issues.

To obtain legal advice on Costa Rican Employment & Labor, Human Resources, and Immigration Law, please do not hesitate to contact us.