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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 this means that the citizenship is not automatic, and can be lost if the registration is not done in time. If the person is over 25 and hasn’t registered their birth abroad, they will need to get residency if they want to live in Costa Rica, just like any other foreigner.

Citizenship by descent in Costa Rica can be passed down an unlimited number of generations. As long as a child of a Costa Rican citizen is registered as a citizen by birth before they turn 25, they can pass on that citizenship to their child (before their child turn 25), and so on and so forth, regardless of place of birth.

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 have Costa Rican departure approval to leave Costa Rica. Both parents must request this approval from Costa Rica’s immigration department, or through the Embassy of Costa Rica in their country of residence.

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