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Review of the March 2nd Deadline for Tourist Visa Extensions

There have not been changes regarding the March 2nd, 2021, deadline for the tourist visas extension. In an effort to clarify questions related to the extension we have compiled this review.If You Have Benefited From

There have not been changes regarding the March 2nd, 2021, deadline for the tourist visas extension. In an effort to clarify questions related to the extension we have compiled this review.

If You Have Benefited From The March 2 Extension:

  • You cannot extend your stay further as you have already benefited from extensions.

  • You must complete a “border run” by leaving the country and returning. At this time the land borders are still closed so you must leave by air. Please note you will need to meet all the entry requirements listed below when you return:

  1. Provide proof of a round-trip ticket leaving Costa Rica within 90 days.

  2. Complete the Health Pass. The link for the Health Pass can be found here. The Health Pass must be completed 48 hours prior to entering the country.

  3. Insurance that covers hospitalization and accommodation in case you require quarantine due to COVID19. Insurance offered by the National Insurance Institute (INS) and Sagicor complies with these exigencies. The lodging exceptions mentioned in the section Insurance Matters in this article will apply. The insurance should cover you for the duration of your stay. The way this is currently calculated is by using the date of your round-trip ticket or reservation.

Tourists Who Have Entered The Country From December 01, 2020 Onwards: 

  • You are allowed to stay depending on the number of days that were stamped on your passport when you entered the country and based on the length of insurance.

  • You can request an extension for your stay but only if you received a stamp for less than 90 days.

    • You can request an appointment to extend the tourist entry stamp 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 – Visa/Trámite General – Visas

People Who Want To Apply For Residency:

Those who have an appointment for their application for residency or other immigration categories are allowed to stay in the country until the date of appointment and should keep the digital receipt to present to Immigration if stopped.

Remember that people with application in progress, meaning people whose Residency requests have been filed at the Immigration Department and have an expediente number, are not required to depart. For Immigration purposes, you can legally stay in the country during the analysis period of your process.

However, if you do need to drive, then you need a valid entry stamp and it will be necessary to leave the country and return. At the moment MOPT (Ministry of Public Works and Transport) hasn’t confirmed any extension for foreigners’ driver’s license. Since the DGME (Immigration Department) and MOPT are different governmental entities, their decisions are not unified.

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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.

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21 COMMENTS
  • Avatar
    Karyn Zaremba February 17, 2021

    Any word on land borders yet?

    • Stacey Jennings
      Stacey Jennings February 18, 2021

      No we have not received any updates at this time. When we do we will be sure to post the information.

  • Avatar
    Howard Blum February 18, 2021

    I have done business with OLS and have had many interactions with Irene Brenes. As far as I am concerned, she is the epitome of professionalism.

    If you need timely, professional , knowledgeable and responsive legal assistance I would contact her.

    Yes, you can quote me

    • Stacey Jennings
      Stacey Jennings February 18, 2021

      Thank you so much! We appreciate your words so much.

  • Avatar
    Pablo Elguera February 18, 2021

    Hello! Thanks for the updates.

    Is there a Migración document where it say we can stay of we have an appointment?

    I know that the digital recipt should be enough but if there is one migración resolution or something I would like to have it with me.

    Also, can we leave the country in the mean time?

    Thanks again

    • Stacey Jennings
      Stacey Jennings February 18, 2021

      Thank you for your comments Pablo. Yes you can leave the country during the process – but please note you will need to meet all the entry requirements such as insurance. The digital receipt is your proof of the appointment and your legal status in country. It is a DGME regulation so the receipt is all you need.

  • Avatar
    Gene Thomas February 19, 2021

    A few questions….If I make an appointment online to apply for permanent residency, and it is beyond the date of normal expiration of my official documents(apostilles for birth certificate, background check, etc.), will I have to get new ones before the appointment? I am still waiting on my background check to be returned, with the apostille(not sure if it will be here in time before March 2nd). Since I am applying for permanent residency through a Costa Rican relative, am I required to use the new website to do so, or can I do it in person? All things being equal, once submitted the application has been submitted, Is one a faster process than the other? If I apply through the website, will I get a form stating that I applied, like my wife received a few years ago, stating that she had application in process? If I make the appointment, can I change my mind at a later date and just do it online, or will that mess up the process? Also, just to be clear, as long as I don’t drive, there is zero need for me to get a new updated visa stamp to stay if I make an appointment online?

    • Stacey Jennings
      Stacey Jennings February 19, 2021

      That is a lot of questions hahaha… if I may ask – can I share your name and email with our Immigration Attorneys who will be able to answer all your questions?

      Also – you are correct – if you have a residency appointment you do not need to leave UNLESS you wish to drive.

      • Avatar
        Gene Thomas February 19, 2021

        For sure, I would appreciate you sharing. Sorry for so many questions. Lol. Thank you.

      • Avatar
        Gene Thomas February 23, 2021

        Have they been able to review my questions yet? Deadline is soon approaching.

        • Stacey Jennings
          Stacey Jennings February 23, 2021

          I just sent it off today… we appreciate your patience as we are receiving a large number of inquiries right now

  • Avatar
    Edward February 21, 2021

    If you are a part of the March 2 group and you can’t leave until a week after that date, what is the penalty for the over stay? Is it the same as one week or the total of the stay.

    • Stacey Jennings
      Stacey Jennings February 21, 2021

      The fines have been temporarily suspended but they can be reimplemented at any time and they will be retroactive. If you overstay your visa you are subject to deportation – and that is at the discretion of Immigration.

  • Avatar
    Reg February 22, 2021

    If an extension has been granted under the premise of gaining residency, is it possible to cross the land border?

    • Stacey Jennings
      Stacey Jennings February 23, 2021

      no that is only open to Residents and Citizens. When your residency is in process it does not allow you to cross land borders

  • Avatar
    William February 23, 2021

    Can I leave on 2 March or must I leave 1 March to not overstay?

    • Stacey Jennings
      Stacey Jennings February 23, 2021

      Yes you can leave March 2

  • Avatar
    Michelle Pargh February 23, 2021

    We applied for an appointment for residency for November 2021. I did it online. I received a conformation email for both our appointments. We are part of the March 2nd visa extension. We are leaving the country April 30th and returning in November for our appointments. When we leave in April, will this confirmation email be enough to not get deported? We didn’t get a Cita #.

    • Stacey Jennings
      Stacey Jennings February 23, 2021

      your confirmation email will be enough for proof – make sure you carry it with you. In your email confirmation you would have received a Comprobante de Confirmacion de Cita #.

  • Avatar
    Ryan Faubert February 23, 2021

    Hi Stacey,

    Lots of super helpful info here. Thank you! My question is, what are the penalties for overstaying your visa? And how do they determine the fine and time frame to let you back into the country? I’ve found a few out of date sources so wanted to get something more current.

    Pura Vida.

    Ryan

    • Stacey Jennings
      Stacey Jennings February 24, 2021

      Thank you Ryan! The fines have been temporarily suspended but they can be reimplemented at any time and will be retroactive. It is a $100 a month for overstay. If they decide to ban you it is 3x the length of overstay before you can return. OR they can deport you.

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