Effects of Covid19 on Immigration

Updated: Apr 9, 2020

On march 19th an Emergency Decree is put in effect due to the Coronavirus issue in Costa Rica and the rest of the world. Specifically regarding Immigration, here are the dispositions the Government took:

·       Legal stay granted in the entry stamp on your passport if you came in after December 17th, 2019, will be extended up to May 17th, 2020;

·       No new requests for legal status under any category will be received from March 17th to May 17th, 2020; 

·       Validity of Birth Certificate and Police Reports will be extended to July 17th, 2020 (we should assume that every other document required from abroad to complete a request must also have this benefit);

·       No documents, appeals or incidents received between March 17th and May 17th will be accepted. The term to submit these is extended to May 20th, 2020; The submission of documents requested by Immigration will be extended to July 17th, 2020;

·       Appeals on Migratory Status Requests and copies of files will be processed regularly (This is contradictory in the resolution taken. Discretion should be applied)

·       Previous Resolutions requested by CCSS for registration can be processed via mail; 

·       First time and renewal of DIMEX will only be processed via BCR or Correos de Costa Rica; Appointments already granted by the Immigration Department for this will be rescheduled after may 18th, 2020; 

·       Renewal of Temporary residence of any category except by bond to a Costa Rican spouse, will be extended up to July 17th, 2020;

·       Renewal of temporary residence due to a bond with a Costa Rican spouse can only be processed at Immigration and will be extended up to July 17th, 2020;

·       Appointments for First time Refugee requests are suspended and will be rescheduled in August;

·       Refugee cards and work permits will be extended to July 17th, 2020;

·       New Work Permits for Refugees can be submitted through an email by filling a downloaded form that Immigration provides;

·       Interviews scheduled within March 17th and may 17th will be held after June 1st, 2020;

·       Withdrawals and waivers to Refugee status will be taken every day 7am to 11am;

·       Exit authorization, travel documents, change in identification information and copies for Refugees can be processed via mail, and the resolution will be notified the same way;

·       Migratory Status Certificate Requests can be made via email;

·       No artists permit will be granted during the term from March 17th, to May 17th;

·       No visas for Group 4 will be granted until after April 13th, 2020;

·       Disconformities before the Service Comptroller will only be processed via email;

·       Notification of resolutions of pending cases will be done via the email or fax indicated in the request;

·       First time Passports and exit permits or their revocation for minors will be received normally

·       Borders are closed as of March 19th 00:00 hours. Only Nationals and legal residents are allowed back in. If your request for a legal status is in process, you are considered legal in the country, but you´ll have to show that it´s in process by giving the Immigration agent your file number. (This was said by the General Director of the Immigration Department, but is not clearly included in the Resolution, so if Immigration Agents are not duly instructed, there might be some sort of confusion). Feel free to contact us if you find any problems on this issue upon arrival in the country;

·       Appointments that had already been granted by the Immigration Department prior to the Resolution for Special Policies Regarding the Corona Virus will be re assigned according to a specific plan, after August.

·       Appointments granted under the same conditions by the Bar Association Office at Immigration, will be re assigned after May 18th, 2020.

In addition, on march 23rd, 2020, Carlos Alvarado, our President announced that any Costa Rican Resident from any country to leave Costa Rica as of march 24th during this emergency period will automatically lose their legal status in Costa Rica.

The Immigration Department clarified some of the latest measures addopted with regards to the Covid-19 Emergency.

Foreign people are not allowed to travel between march 25 to april 12 2020. This period has been extended to april 30th 2020.


This applies to foreigners with a legal status granted through the categories of permanent, temporary residency, special cateogories, or legal stays granted according to articles 78, 79, 87, dot 2 and 94 of the General Immigration Law, who leave the country after march 25th.


To those foreigners who conduct any transportation means by land, sea, water or air.


According to the first Decree, the Immigration Agents are the ones entitled to control the exit of these persons. They must notify and execute the re entry restriction.

Once the Re Entry Restriction is issued, they can´t come back in. If they try to get in through unauthorized places, they can be penalized through: 1. Cancellation of the migratory status, 2. Deportation; 3. Rejection of their request for a legal status.





El Gobierno ha aclarado algunas de las medidas adoptadas con relación a la Emergencia decretada por el Covid 19

Los Extranjeros no podrán viajar entre el 25 de marzo y el 12 de abril de 2020. Este periodo fue extendido hasta el 30 de abril de 2020.


A todo extranjero que ostente un status legal como residente temporal o permanente o bajo categorías especiales, o no residentes con estancia otorgadas de conformidad con los artículos 78, 79, 87, inciso 2 y 94 de la Ley General de Migración y Extranjería que dejen el país después del 24 de marzo de 2020.


A los conductores de medios de transporte terrestre, marítimo, pluvial o aéreo.


El primer Decreto de Emergencia confirió la competencia para ejercer el control migratorio de salida el país, notificar y ejecutar la Restricción e Ingreso.

Una vez con Restricción de Ingresos, el extranjero no puede regresar al país. Si lo intenta hacer por lugares no habilitados para ello, será sacionado mediante: 1. La cancelación de su status migratorio; 2. La deportación o 3. La Denegatoria de su solicitud

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