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Update on the Extension of Entry Stamps

Whilst Immigration officially announced on March 3rd, 2021 that tourist entry stamps have been extended until June 1st, 2021, there is a process to follow if you wish to file for Residency or any of

Whilst Immigration officially announced on March 3rd, 2021 that tourist entry stamps have been extended until June 1st, 2021, there is a process to follow if you wish to file for Residency or any of the other available Immigration categories such as Estancia or Special Categories. This process has been confirmed by Immigration. Below a document issued by the Immigration Department validating this. We have also spoken to one of the Directors and he has confirmed that this approach is valid and correct.

People who wish to file for Residency

If you enter the country with the intention of filing for Residency, to legally stay you must:

  • Request an appointment to file for Residency by calling 1311 using a Kolbi line (in Costa Rica there are various phone providers, including Claro, Movistar, and Kolbi. Only Kolbi lines can be used to call 1311) or by going online to migracion.go.cr where the person registers and requests an appointment in the following: Crear Cita – Tipo de Cita – Plataforma Primera Vez – Extranjería.
  • All of these requirements are presented per person. One appointment is requested per person.
  • You must request the appointment whilst having legal status. If you already have irregular status, the appointment will not fix that.
  • Per Immigration’s confirmation, you would be able to stay until the date of your appointment and beyond exclusively if you do file for Residency. Below document that confirms this, issued by Immigration.
  • Immigration has confirmed that people who book appointments for the sole purpose of extending their stay, without the intention of filing for Residency, will face consequences. The fines and penalties for this irregular approach are yet to be confirmed.

Final Notes 

These are the matters we are still pending to confirm with Immigration:

  • Penalties and fines for scheduling a Residency appointment people are not planning on honoring.
  • We are working with Transportation to have them extend driving privileges until June 1st, 2021.

We will continue to publish further information as it comes through.

Outlier Legal will schedule all of our immigration clients’ appointments.

 

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ibrenes@outlierlegal.com

Attorney with more than 10 years of experience in customer service, team management and team building at an international level. Has worked immigration cases in various countries, including Costa Rica, Colombia and Panama.

Review overview
58 COMMENTS
  • Avatar
    Dan Casey January 21, 2021

    For those that have documentation to show residency in progress, where do we stand? Thanks so much for the excellent information.

    • Rafael Valverde
      Rafael Valverde January 24, 2021

      Dan,

      Please be more specific. Where you stand with what?

      • Avatar
        Majid Farahzad February 9, 2021

        Your website for making an appointment has been down for the past 2 days. And I don’t have costa rican phone to call the number. why do you guys make things complicated? just ask to send you the insurance extension papers along with passport picture. Thats all! Also I need the address to show up for appointment please.

        • Marianela Sánchez
          Marianela Sánchez February 10, 2021

          Hi Majid! Thanks for reaching us. Immigration Department has had constant issues with their site, we recommend you to ask for an appointment calling to 1311 through a Kolbi mobile line.

  • Avatar
    Sarah Russo Sime January 21, 2021

    From above:
    “Per Immigration’s confirmation, you would be able to stay until the date of your appointment and beyond exclusively if you do file for Residency. Below document that confirms this issued by Immigration.”

    So if you have an appointment to apply for your residency, you can stay beyond March 2nd? Do I understand that correctly? If I understand this correctly, does carrying our appointment papers serve as proof? Is driving permitted under this circumstance? Thank you for this detailed post!

    • Stacey Jennings
      Stacey Jennings February 10, 2021

      Yes you are correct! Once you have a confirmed appointment with Immigration it will stop the clock on your stamp until the date of the appointment. And yes the appointment papers is what you need to show.

      • Avatar
        Angie February 16, 2021

        This is great! We have an appointment to file for residency (through marriage) but it’s until July!

        I can’t find proof (not that I don’t appreciate all this information but when I try to confirm I’m ok to stay until my appointment at 1311 and other immigration officers, they all give me mixed data) that staying here past March 2nd is ok with the appointment though. The document posted above doesn’t actually say that I won’t have problems and can stay past March 2nd.

        Do you have the whole document you could share with me? Or any other information from immigration saying this is ok. I don’t want to have to wait all this time and be told on the appointment they won’t accept it or be deported.

        I’d rather not have to leave with a pandemic going on and have been hoping to find this confirmation in writing so when the time comes, I have backup.

        Thank you!

        • Stacey Jennings
          Stacey Jennings February 16, 2021

          When you made your appointment you would have received a confirmation email with your expediente number listed on it. That is the proof you need should you be stopped by Immigration. Once your appointment is booked you are extended to that date.

          • Avatar
            Angie February 17, 2021

            Unfortunately, our email came with an appointment number only, no expediente number since the confirmation is to file for residency. Is the confirmation number enough? I’m guessing when we arrive at the appointment, they’ll give us an expediente number too.

            • Stacey Jennings
              Stacey Jennings February 18, 2021

              You receive an expediente number once the case has actually been filed. When you make your appointment you are given a Comprobante de Confirmacion de Cita #… that is the number you need to reference.

  • Avatar
    Sarah Russo Sime January 21, 2021

    Apologies if I’m posting this a second time. From above:
    “Per Immigration’s confirmation, you would be able to stay until the date of your appointment and beyond exclusively if you do file for Residency. Below document that confirms this issued by Immigration.”

    Does this mean that if we have an appointment to file for residency we are permitted to stay beyond March 2nd? And if my understanding is correct, does carrying our appointment papers suffice? Is there any other paperwork we should keep with us? And is driving permitted under these circumstances? Thank you!

    • Stacey Jennings
      Stacey Jennings February 10, 2021

      If you have an appointment for residency, you are extended to the date of the appointment. Yes you will need to carry the confirmation of your appointment as proof of your extension. This does not apply to driving – you would need to leave the country and return in able to continue driving legally. If not you are subject to large fines and/or having your plates taken if stopped.

  • Avatar
    David Tupes January 22, 2021

    Hello

    Is this requirement ONLY for anyone who is extending their stay? If one arrives with all proper requirements for a 90 day stay (insurance, return flight, and all other needed items) there is no need to extend, correct? Thank you.

    • Stacey Jennings
      Stacey Jennings February 10, 2021

      yes if you were given a 90 day stamp and you are staying within those days there is no need for anything additional on your end.

  • Avatar
    Wendy Smallridge January 22, 2021

    Does this also apply if I have received the extension until March 2nd?
    Can I apply for another 90 days?

    • Stacey Jennings
      Stacey Jennings February 10, 2021

      If you have been extended until March 2, 2021 your options are: apply for residency or leave the country and return on a “border run”.

  • Avatar
    Bradley Ross January 22, 2021

    If they would include driving priveledge for all those who have applied and submitted their application for residency- tramite –
    Would relieve the need for border runs by those that are already here and have been for awhile, with homes and all.
    For the safety of everyone as well

    • Stacey Jennings
      Stacey Jennings February 10, 2021

      Unfortunately, since the DGME (immigration) and MOPT (dmv) are different governmental entities, their decisions are not unified.

  • Avatar
    Lozion January 22, 2021

    Hi, are those who benefited from the March 2nd extension eligible for a regular visa extension?

    • Stacey Jennings
      Stacey Jennings February 10, 2021

      No they are not. Their options are to apply for residency or do a border run outside the country and return.

  • Avatar
    Larry Wilhite January 22, 2021

    Si i understand correctly that since we have an appointment to asply for residency in February, we do not need to leave and return by March second?

    • Stacey Jennings
      Stacey Jennings February 10, 2021

      That is correct unless you are wishing to extend your driving priveledges. Then you would need to leave and come back.

  • Avatar
    Leo January 24, 2021

    Hello! Thank you for the excellent information!

    What happens in the event of a tourist overstaying their entry stamp? What are the fines and penalties? Does Immigration verify if a tourist has overstayed at the airport? And what if a tourist overstays their entry, but still has insurance coverage?

    Thank you!

    • Stacey Jennings
      Stacey Jennings February 10, 2021

      If you overstay, please be advised that you would be in violation of local immigration law. If by any chance, you are caught by the Immigration Police or any Authority that identifies your irregular status, you could face deportation proceedings. Furthermore, while the fines and penalties for overstaying are currently suspended due to, when reinstated (which could be any day), they will be retroactive. Furthermore, if caught driving without a valid foreign drivers’ license and a valid entry stamp, your plates could be taken, a fine could be imposed and you will be referred to the Immigration Police. And yes when you leave Costa Rica Immigration will place a stamp in your passport as you exit so they will inspect your passport then.

  • Avatar
    Farrel Stevens Painter January 24, 2021

    Thank you Irene and all the staff for all the important information. The information is clear and easy to understand. I will follow per I instructions to lengthen my stay. I am 69 years old and going to California sounds awful, to expose myself to possible infection. And hopefully not be trapped for 8 months , that happened in 2020 before I could return. Thanks Farrel my son is a citizen in this beautiful country.

  • Avatar
    Farrel Stevens Painter January 24, 2021

    Farrel here, I will be applying for residency.

  • Avatar
    Kalah January 24, 2021

    What about people who have there residency paperwork in the system? From what I understand we have to exit which is silly. To spend all that money to exit just so we can drive is crazy.

    • Stacey Jennings
      Stacey Jennings February 10, 2021

      Unfortunately, since the DGME (immigration) and MOPT (dmv) are different governmental entities, their decisions are not unified.

  • Avatar
    Lori January 26, 2021

    Thank you…so if I understand correctly, (I am a CR homeowner but will not be starting the residency process until I can get back to Canada to get the required docs in July). we will fall under the “tourist” and have to go through the appointment procedures before the March 2nd deadline? Gracias

    • Stacey Jennings
      Stacey Jennings February 15, 2021

      Yes you will need to call and make the appointment before March 2, 2021. Appointments now are booking for August / September time frame.

  • Avatar
    Mark January 26, 2021

    does the application appointment take place in person and where?

    • Marianela Sánchez
      Marianela Sánchez February 10, 2021

      Yes, it is in person at San Jose Immigration offices.

  • Avatar
    Guy January 26, 2021

    Hello, if I schedule appointment to start residence process can I leave CR if need to make visit back to the US, what happens to my process if I leave?
    Thank you

    • Stacey Jennings
      Stacey Jennings February 10, 2021

      Your appointment will stand – you are able to leave the country and return.

  • Avatar
    Blue January 27, 2021

    How do we prove we are waiting for our residency appointment? If immigration stops us? Has that been confirmed yet? Thanks so much

    • Stacey Jennings
      Stacey Jennings February 10, 2021

      Once you make your residency appointment you will receive an email confirming the date. This is your proof that you would need to provide if needed.

  • Avatar
    mac January 27, 2021

    Currently my visa allows me a 31 day stay ( US national with health insurance) if I were to extend my stay for 2 additional weeks, acquire the necessary and approved insurance coverage for the additional 2 weeks, and not be detained for any reason by immigration prior to my departure, would I be able to pay the $100 fine at the airport upon my departure and incur no harm or obstacle to my departure as a result of my overstay?
    Thank you for your help.

    • Stacey Jennings
      Stacey Jennings February 10, 2021

      If you overstay, please be advised that you would be in violation of local immigration law. If by any chance, you are caught by the Immigration Police or any Authority that identifies your irregular status, you could face deportation proceedings. Furthermore, while the fines and penalties for overstaying are currently suspended due to, when reinstated (which could be any day), they will be retroactive. Furthermore, if caught driving without a valid foreign drivers’ license and a valid entry stamp, your plates could be taken, a fine could be imposed and you will be referred to the Immigration Police.

      To request an appointment to extend the tourist entry stamp you need to call 1311 using a Kolbi line (in Costa Rica there are various phone providers, including Claro, Movistar, and Kolbi. Only Kolbi lines can be used to call 1311) or by going online to migracion.go.cr where the person registers and requests an appointment in the following: Crear Cita – Tipo de Cita – Visa/Trámite General – Visas. You will notice there are many appointments available from one day to the next.

  • Avatar
    Michel Hebert January 27, 2021

    Any written update on this?

    Thank you

    • Stacey Jennings
      Stacey Jennings February 10, 2021

      We have not received any updates. When we do we will post the information. Thank you!

  • Avatar
    Lozion January 28, 2021

    Hello any updates on this? Txs!

    • Marianela Sánchez
      Marianela Sánchez February 10, 2021

      Hi Lozion! We don’t have any update yet.

  • Avatar
    Susan Strong January 30, 2021

    When do you hope to have confirmation on this? Can people make an appointment with migración now?

    • Marianela Sánchez
      Marianela Sánchez February 10, 2021

      Yes people can make the appointments by website (it might have technical issues) or by phone calling 1311 from a Kolbi line.

  • Avatar
    Jessie January 31, 2021

    Thanks so much for your detailed explanation. Your continued communications are very much appreciated.

    Regarding the requirement of a recently issued and apostilled/legalized background check with translation, where can that be obtained? Is it a background check that could only be obtained in your home country (obviously impossible for people who are already in Costa Rica attempting to receive an extension to avoid traveling due to COVID), or is there a service in Costa Rica that can provide that?

    • Haley Cooney
      Haley Cooney February 5, 2021

      You can order authenticated background checks from OLSdocuments.com and schedule a fingerprinting appointment in San Jose or Liberia.

  • Avatar
    Ramy February 1, 2021

    Hey, I don’t seem to find where the appointment for visa extension takes place. Thank you.

    • Haley Cooney
      Haley Cooney February 5, 2021

      The appointments are at the Immigration Department (DGME) in San Jose.

  • Avatar
    Pablo Elguera February 5, 2021

    Hello! As I understand, you can only apply to a Residency if you are maried to a Costa Rican, or have a child, etc.

    I’m not in that position. But anyway can I call 1311 and ask for an appointment and stay legally in the country until that day? What would happend after that?

    Thanks!

    • Haley Cooney
      Haley Cooney February 5, 2021

      Hello Pablo, there are numerous residency options available other than applying as a spouse or parent of a Costa Rican, you can read more about those options on our site here. We do not recommend scheduling an appointment if you do not intend to file for residency, as this may limit the ability of people who legitimately wish to apply to obtain appointments. We recommend you request an appointment to extend the tourist entry stamp if you wish to say longer (up to the full 90 days).

      • Avatar
        Pablo Elguera February 8, 2021

        Thanks. I’ve noticed that one of the requierments Migracion has when you apply for residency is to “be legal” in the country. Meaning your visa hasn’t expired.

        If I schedul an appoinment for June my visa will be expired by that time.

        Or because of Covid they will take me as “Legal” when I arrive to Migracion on June with my passport?

        Sory for my english and thanks again

        • Stacey Jennings
          Stacey Jennings February 10, 2021

          Yes once you make your appointment for residency the clock stops on your stamp. You will be considering “legal” until the date of your appointment. If you are driving here in Costa Rica you will need to leave and re-enter for your driving priveledges

  • Avatar
    Jan Erik Paulden February 18, 2021

    When you say that having an appointment does not allow you to drive, does that apply to driving a rental car as well?

    • Stacey Jennings
      Stacey Jennings February 18, 2021

      The valid stamp is so that you can continue to drive using your valid foreign drivers license. Without that you will not be able to rent a car either.

  • Avatar
    Ben Grant February 22, 2021

    We have our residency appointment scheduled for for July. Will transit police be informed to not detain/deport people who have an expired entry stamp but show their residency appointment confirmation email? Since this is I believe a new resolution to issues caused by the pandemic, perhaps the police will not know to accept appointment email confirmations as proof of good faith to normalize one’s immigration status?

    • Stacey Jennings
      Stacey Jennings February 23, 2021

      No as of right now the driver’s licenses have not been extended for anyone including people with residency in process. The DGME and MOPT are not the same entity and their decisions are not in alignment. You will need to leave the country to have a valid stamp in order to drive. If you are found to be driving without it you can be subject to large fines and your plates taken.

      • Avatar
        Ben Grant February 23, 2021

        Sorry for the confusion,, I meant if we are checked while not driving. Maybe as just a passenger in a car. Thanks.

        • Stacey Jennings
          Stacey Jennings February 23, 2021

          Oh no that is fine.. you can be a passenger! My apologies!

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