Health CareImmigration

COVID-19 Updates

Our team is working to clarify and get answers to many questions regarding the coronavirus situation in Costa Rica. We will continue to post updates here as we receive updates from government agencies. 

Currently, the majority of our staff is working from home, however, we continue to schedule appointments at our offices as required. We have implemented procedures for anyone entering our offices, employees and clients, to avoid the spread of the virus. Should you schedule an appointment in the coming weeks, we will be providing you guidelines for your visit, we appreciate your cooperation.

Update: March 25, 2020 – 12:39 PM

Civil Registry Update

The Civil Registry Will Be Closed Today through April 13th Due to COVID-19.

The Civil Registry’s website will continue working and therefore, people can continue to conduct procedures, which are currently offered on this platform, via the web.

Update: March 25, 2020 – 09:56 AM

Reduction Of Work Schedule

Last Saturday, the President of the Republic signed a new law which allows employers to reduce the work schedule up to a 75% during the State of Emergency Declaration caused by the COVID-19 crisis. This bill has been in effect since last Monday, March 23rd, recorded as law No. 9832. Read more here.

Update: March 24, 2020 – 17:11 PM

General Guidelines For Condominiums Due To Health Alert By Coronavirus (COVID-19)

On March 22nd, 2020, the Department of Health published the latest version of these guidelines applicable to commercial and residential condominiums, as part of the preventive and mitigation actions dictated for addressing the alert by COVID-19. Read more here.

Update: March 23, 2020 – 17:42 PM

Judicial Courts Suspend Non-Essential Services

This measure starts from March 23rd and will last until April 3rd. This means that complaints filed and unanswered prior to the closing date last week will not be addressed until further notice. Read more here.

Update: March 23, 2020 – 16:06 PM

Press Relase By The President’s Office

The Government of the Republic today announced stronger sanitary measures to reduce the spread of COVID-19 in the country. Read more here.

Update: March 23, 2020 – 12:54 PM

Important: Foreign Nationals Leaves Costa Rica During The COVID-19 Crisis Will Lose Their Status

At 12:54 Monday, March 23, 2020, the President announced that any foreign national that leaves the country during the COVID-19 crisis will lose their status.

This applies to any Temporary or Permanent Resident, Special Categories, etc. and people with applications in progress. If you are interested in keeping your Immigration status, please do not depart the country.

Read more here.

Update: March 20, 2020 – 4:07 PM

Health Order For 14-Day Quarantine Upon Entrance To Costa Rica Insurance Update

In an effort to make things easier for the Expat community, we had the Health Order translated so that in case you are asked to sign it or know someone who will be asked to sign it, you know what you are being asked to do and the responsibilities that this entails.

Update: March 19, 2020 – 3:20 PM

Corporate Insurance Update

The Board of Directors of the INS has approved a grace period of 4 months for 50 thousand corporations that have corporate insurance with them. Benefited users will be waived to pay their dues during this time while maintaining coverage.
To make this benefit effective, insured corporations must approach the INS to initiate the negotiation and sign the documentation.

Update: March 18, 2020 – 3:45 PM

Immigration Update

DGME confirmed and announced more details about the Entry Ban Rule, read the full article here.

Update: March 18, 2020 – 1:30 PM

Tax Relief Law Due To COVID-19

Costa Rican Congress is expecting to pass the bill 21.845, named “Tax Relief Law Due to COVID-19,” to establish a moratorium on payment of taxes for corporations as a result of the health crisis.

With this proposal, the government is looking to ease the tax burden on taxpayers.

Read the full article here.

Update: March 17, 2020 – 1:32 PM

Immigration Update

Raquel Vargas, the General Director of Immigration, just went live on TV confirming what the Resolution Outlier Legal summarized states.

She did mention one vital exception: starting March 18, 2020, at 23:59 and until April 12, 2020, at 23:59, only Residents and Costa Rican nationals may enter the country as a result of the COVID19 crisis.

People with applications in progress, meaning people who have a Residency request filed and have, as a result, an expediente number, will be deemed tantamount to Residents in the sense that they may enter the country during this period.

Applicants with approved Residencies but who are yet to secure their DIMEX cards are also welcomed to enter. Vital to state that people must travel with their passports and DIMEX cards or approval resolution if the DIMEX is yet to be secured or, per Ms.Vargas’ comments, their application filed receipt (showing your expediente number).
Outlier Legal is trying to confirm this in writing, but it is the latest news we have, and we wanted to share.

Update: March 17, 2020 – 11:10 AM

Driver’s license Update

Outlier Legal Services has spoken with the office of the Vice-Minister for Transportation. We have been informed that Transportation Authorities are holding meetings today and tomorrow.

They informed that a Resolution will be issued in the next few days and that such Resolution shall answer some of the inquiries regarding driver’s licenses.

Update: March 17, 2020 – 10:05 AM

The CR Government Declares State Of Emergency

Read here the translation of the decree issued by President Carlos Alvarado, to declare State of Emergency for the country.

Update: March 16, 2020 – 7:13 PM

DGME Provides Update Regarding Residencies & Tourist Status

The Immigration Department issued this evening, Monday, March 16, 2020, Resolution N° DJUR-043-03-2019-JM read our summary here.

Two important points:

  1. The Immigration Department WILL NOT receive Residency applications going forward and until May 17, 2020. This includes all categories. Basically, Residency applications are suspended until May 17, 2020.
  2. Tourists (non-Residents) who entered the country after December 17, 2019, may legally remain in Costa Rica until May 17, 2020.

Update: March 16, 2020 – 1:15 PM

Costa Rica Limiting Entry to Only Citizens & Legal Residents

Starting Wednesday, March 18th at 23:59, as a result of the COVID-19 crisis, only Costa Rican nationals, diplomats, and legal residents will be allowed into the country. Upon entry, they will be expected to remain in quarantine for 14 days. This measure will be in effect until April 12th, 2020.

We are yet to know the consequence for tourists who cannot depart the country and overpass their permitted stay (the usual 90 days, for example). We are requesting clarification from Immigration to determine if all deadlines, may that be those pertaining to border runs, the 90-days to register with CAJA and secure the DIMEX, renewal processes, etc., will be suspended until further notice. Once a response is received, we will inform all our contacts.

We will continue to provide updates and information as the situation develops.

Update: March 16, 2020 – 10:45 AM

Panama Borders Closed

Whilst the Costa Rican Government is yet to announce measures pertaining to closing borders, Panama has announced that starting today at 11:59PM their borders will be closed, only Panamanian citizens and legal residents will be allowed in the country.

Nicaragua, as of today, has not announced closing of their borders.

OLS continues to work with Immigration to determine if the Government will suspend the need for border runs, however, there are no news available on this subject at the moment. As of today, the maximum stay of 90 days still applies, until further notice.



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The Author

Jeffrey Zamora

Jeffrey Zamora

Attorney, I love the law. I love languages. I love helping and serving people. I've worked as an attorney and as a translator and interpreter. I've done corporate, administrative, labor, civil, compliance, notarial, and registry law, among others.

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