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Overstaying in Costa Rica? Get Ready For Fines

If you are overstaying in Costa Rica, you better get ready for fines because, as of August 1, 2014, Costa Rica is implementing new laws for foreigners who overstay their visas. Foreigners overstaying their assigned visas will have to pay a fine of $100 for each month they remain in the country after the expiration of their visas. In addition, they can be barred from re-entering Costa Rica for a period of 3 times the length of the time they overstayed.

For example, a foreigner who overstays his 90-day tourist visa by 4 months can be barred from re-entering the country for 1 year and will be required to pay a fine of US$400. Just imagine the problems that would cause if you own property or have family living here!

Your fine will have to be paid 48 hours before departing Costa Rica. You’ll be able to pay your fine at any branch of Banco de Costa Rica. There’s no indication of what will happen if you do not pay this fine in advance.

Immigration authorities are urging those who have overstayed their visa to renew their visa status by the end of this month to avoid paying fines, which will start being applied on September 1 for those on 30-day tourist visas. The easiest way to deal with that is to leave Costa Rica to renew your passport stamp.

You may even want to take this opportunity to go back to your home country and get your paperwork done to apply for residency as soon as you get back because border runs (Perpetual Tourism) are frowned upon by immigration.

The good news is once you apply for residency and your application is filed, you will have a receipt in hand from Costa Rica immigration, allowing you to stay in the country while the application is being processed. Therefore, you will not be required to leave the country every 90 days to renew the visitor visa.

Click here to see the shortlist of the requirements common to most forms of residency applications in Costa Rica. At Costa Rica Immigration Experts, we’d love to be able to help you file the first time correctly and enjoy your residency as quickly as possible. Contact us now for a free assessment!

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