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The steps to get the exit permit for minors in Costa Rica

If you are planning a trip beyond the borders of Costa Rican with a minor (resident or Costa Rican citizen), we recommend you to read this article first. In order to discuss the requirements to grant

Exit permit for minors in Costa Rica

If you are planning a trip beyond the borders of Costa Rican with a minor (resident or Costa Rican citizen), we recommend you to read this article first.

In order to discuss the requirements to grant an exit permit for minors (the age of majority in Costa Rica is 18 years old), you must understand that this entails an authorization given by their parents or legal representative for the minor to leave Costa Rica.

To which minors does this permit apply?

This permit must be held by all Costa Rican minors, as well as all minors who are residents of Costa Rica. Therefore, all children who are applying for a residency in the country will need this exit permit once they have their DIMEX (Residency ID card) .

Types of exit permits

There are two types, the temporary and the permanent exit permit.

The temporary one will be valid only for 30 calendar days and can be renewed for equal periods, for each future trip outside Costa Rica.

The permanent one will be valid indefinitely, so it will not be necessary to renew it for every trip.

When can the exit permit be requested?

In the case of Costa Rican minors, this permit can be applied at the moment the passport is requested. In the case of minors who are residents, they can request it at any time once they have their Dimex.

In both cases, an appointment must be requested at the Immigration Department (DGME) through the Call Center of this entity or through its webpage, specifying that the appointment is for an exit permit and requesting it in the name of the minor.

Exit permit for minors in Costa Rica

Requirements of the Immigration Department

For both types of permits, the child and parents must present vital documentation to the corresponding authorities. The requested child’s and parent’s documents are:

  • The passport in good condition, a scanned copy of the passport pages containing the minor’s information, commonly known as the “Bio page”.

  • If the Costa Rican minor is 12 years old or older, he/she must present his/her valid and in good condition minor’s identity card (cédula de menor), as well as a scanned copy of it.

  • For minors between the ages of 0 to 11 years and 11 months, they must present the birth certificate issued by the Civil Registry, in good condition and less than one year old.

  • For resident who are minors, it is necessary to present the Dimex and the apostilled or legalized birth certificate, in good condition and if it is in a language other than Spanish a translation issued by an official translator must be presented, or in its absence, a copy of the birth certificate that appears in the residence file duly stamped and signed by the official of the Immigration Office may be presented.

  • Two passport size photos of the minor.

  • Parents must also present documentation, Costa Ricans are required to present their original identification card (cédula) and a scanned copy of the same, valid and in good condition. Residents are requested the original and a copy of their Dimex or in case of foreigners with a Costa Rican child, they must present the passport and a scanned copy of their “Bio page”.

  • Fill out the forms with the information requested by immigration, these forms can be found on the webpage of this entity.

What happens if only one of the parents can attend the appointment?

If only one of the parents is present at the appointment, it will be necessary to justify the reason for the absence of the other one. If there is some type of separation or impossibility to attend, the parent who attends must bring a special notarized power of attorney, in which one of the parents authorizes the other parent to carry out the process.

If one of the parents is out of the country and cannot travel, he/she must make an appointment at the nearest Costa Rican Consulate, in the country where he/she is located, to sign a power of attorney so that it can be sent to the country.

In these situations, only a temporary exit permit will be granted.

However, in cases where one of the parents has suspended parental authority, has died or is deprived of his or her freedom, a permanent exit permit can be granted, remembering that the other party must bring the document that justifies this situation. For example, the death certificate, a court resolution confirming the suspension of parental authority or the document from the penitentiary center in which the permission to process the permanent exit permit is granted.

Last details to take into account

During the appointment, the parents must specify what type of permit they want, if the minor must travel with companions and if he/she can travel alone, with both parents or with the parents separately.

If later the parents wish to change the type of permit or modify the companions, they only need to request an appointment and update the companions or in the case they want to change the type of permit, all the requirements mentioned above must be presented again.

We recommend requesting the departure permit well before the trip, as this will help you get the necessary documentation in time for the appointment and above all, to be sure that everything will be ready for the trip so that there are no delays at the airport.

If you need help to complete this process and attend the appointment, Outlier Legal Services has the experience and the means to help you obtain your temporary or permanent exit permit successfully. As immigration specialists, we will ensure that you can obtain this permit quickly and correctly. If you have questions about this or any other immigration issue, please contact us and we will help you with everything you need.



Natalia Solórzano serves as an Immigration Client Services Coordinator at Outlier Legal. She has a Law degree, and has worked as a customer service agent for Sykes and as a legal assistant for the local government of Heredia. Organized and attentive, are some adjectives that fit her perfectly.

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