Costa Rica Closed to Visitors until April 12; More Immigration Delays in wake of COVID-19

Costa Rica has announced entry restrictions for tourists until April 12, 2020 and a moratorium on new residency applications until May 17, 2020 on account of COVID-19.

Entry Restrictions

From Wednesday, March 18th, 2020 at midnight through Sunday, April 12th 2020, the Government of Costa Rica will prohibit the entry into national territory of tourists; the measure will not apply to Costa Rican nationals, foreigners residing in the country and bodies diplomats.

All foreigners who do not have a valid document of immigration status in Costa Rica will be prevented from entering the country for the next 26 days, including Easter. This measure includes arrivals by airports, maritime and land. It is urgent that you keep this prohibition in mind, given that if one’s immigration status is pending and the official document has not yet been issued, one will not be able to (re-)enter Costa Rica after Wednesday, March 18th 2020.

General Directorate of Immigration Services  limited until May 17th, 2020

  • Immigration Bureau will NOT accept residency applications until May 17th, 2020. This measure applies to all categories.
  • The validity of documents (criminal record / birth certificate) that will expire within this period will be considered valid (their validity will last until July 17th, 2020.)
  • Approval resolutions or warnings will continue to be issued and relevant parties will be notified by fax or email.
  • The special lawyer window will be closed until May 17th, 2020.
  • DIMEX requests: it will only work through the Banco de Costa Rica and Correos de Costa Rica ONLY BY APPOINTMENT. Residence based on marriage to a Costa Rican citizen can and will only be renewed at Immigration.
  • Entry visas for restricted nationalities are suspended until May 17th, 2020.
  • Tourists (non-residents) who entered the country after December 17th, 2019 can legally stay in Costa Rica until May 17th, 2020.
  • Requests for minors’ exit permits and the issuance of Costa Rican passports will continue to function, as is normal.

For more information on Costa Rica requirements, please contact Jet Stigter.

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The opinions expressed on this blog are those of the author and are not to be construed as legal advice.

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