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Birth Abroad to Costa Rican Parents

Recently we have been getting a few questions about the citizenship status of those who are born abroad to Costa Rican parents.

Any person born abroad to a Costa Rican parents can opt for Costa Rican citizenship before the age of 25. The first step is to register your birth abroad either with the Costa Rican consulate corresponding to your place of birth, or bring a birth certificate, apostilled or legalized depending on the country, to the Civil Registry in Costa Rica. In the case of minors this can be done by the Costa Rican parent.

Note that citizenship is not automatic and can be lost if the registration is not completed in a timely manner. If the person is over 25 and has not registered their birth abroad, they, like any other foreigner, will need to apply for residency in Costa Rica.

In Costa Rica, citizenship by descent can be passed down for an unlimited number of generations. A child of a Costa Rican citizen who is registered as a citizen by birth before the age of 25 can pass that citizenship on to their child (before the age of 25), and so on, regardless of where they were born.

Remember that, like in most countries, dual citizens will be treated as Costa Rican citizens when in the territory.

This means that if a minor with dual citizenship enters Costa Rica, they must obtain Costa Rican departure authorization before leaving the country. Both parents must apply for this approval through Costa Rica’s immigration department or the Costa Rican Embassy in their home country.

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