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Immigration Guidelines for Filing Costa Rica Residency Applications October 2020

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Costa Rica Immigration Department (Dirección General de Migración y Extranjería Costa Rica) has implemented new guidelines for processing residency applications and extended the validity of residency documents that show the legal migratory status of foreigners in the country. Source: Medidas Administrativas de Atención a Público CR contra el COVID19 (in Spanish).

Attention in the Service Platform will resume on December 1, 2020 exclusively with appointments that can be made starting on October 19, 2020 by phone call to the number 1311 or by entering the official site www.migracion.go.cr.

New Immigration Guidelines

  1. Residency documents related to the legal permanence of foreigners will only be received in person at Immigration offices (or through authorized digital methods).
  2. No document that is submitted via email will be accepted for incorporation into any residency/administrative files. In addition, the documentation that is sent via postal or certified mail will not be accepted either, but, the document will  remain available to the sender for its retrieval (without being incorporated into the residency/administrative files).
  3. The servicing of requests at the Service Platform will resume on December 1, 2020, exclusively by appointments that can be made starting from October 19, 2020 by phone call to number 1311 or from the official site www.migracion.go.cr (No person will be seen without making an appointment.)
  4. NEW APPLICATIONS FOR LEGAL PERMANENCE: New residency applications, under any immigration category,  will be accepted starting December 1, 2020, from 7:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. (The procedure will be carried out by appointment)
  5. APPOINTMENTS OF LAWYERS: New residency application appointments by lawyers will be received starting February 12, 2021. Appointments already made by lawyers will be attended to starting November 16, 2020.
  6. REQUESTS FOR CERTIFICATION OF IMMIGRATION STATUS: All requests will be submitted to/managed from the email address [email protected]. The certification will be sent in the same way with a digital signature.
  7. REVIEW OF FILES AND PHOTOCOPY REQUESTS: Starting October 19, 2020, foreign persons or their representatives with special power of attorney may request copies of the file. The procedure will be processed by appointment. Through this same method, the date of payment and withdrawal of copies or residency file review will be communicated. The cost of the photocopies will be paid by the residency applicant.
  8. APPOINTMENTS FOR APPEALS:  Appointments for the presentation appeals will begin on January 11, 2021, and must be done by phone call to number 1311 or by entering the official site www.migracion.go.cr. The deadlines for submitting appeals have been extended until March 1, 2021. Notes: For these purposes a single appointment will be granted. If the appeal is not presented on the day of the appointment previously granted, the appeal will be declared inadmissible as untimely.

New Residency Document Extensions Dates

  1. TERM OF VALIDITY OF THE CRIMINAL RECORD CERTIFICATES, MARRIAGE AND BIRTH CERTIFICATES: The validity the aforementioned documents have been extended until June 1, 2021.
  2. DEADLINES FOR SUBMISSION OF PENDING FILES (PREVENCIONES): The previous deadline of March 17, 2020, are extended until February 12, 2021. Submissions of Preventions will be only be accepted by appointment. Note: The deadline to present pending documents that have been marked between March 17, 2020 and February 11, 2021 will start from February 12, 2021. The presentation of these documents will be made by appointment only.

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