Borders closed until June 30, 2020
Decree 42374-MGP-S extending the closure of our borders until June 30th, 2020 was published on May 31st, 2020.
The Decree simply states that Costa Rican borders are closed until June 30th, 2020. The date may be extended if Authorities deem it necessary.
Until our borders reopen, only Residents and people with Estancias, Special Categories, applications in progress at the Immigration Department, etc., meaning anyone with legal immigration status, may enter the country as a result of the COVID19 crisis. There are exceptions to the rule for spouses of Costa Rican nationals, parents of minor Costa Rican children. You can read further on the exceptions here.
Anyone who enters during this period (meaning from mid-March onwards) will be obliged to complete a 14 natural days quarantine period at their home. Failure to comply with this sanitary measure may result in fines and penalties. You can read further on the mandatory quarantine here.
Foreign nationals with Residency, Estancias, Special Categories, applications in progress, etc., that departed the country after March 25th at 23:59 will NOT BE ALLOWED to re-enter until the borders reopen. Essential to state that the Decree says March 25th, not March 24th as other news outlets have reports.
The exception of re-entry due to Humanitarian Reason
During the past few weeks, many people have reached out to us to ask if they would be eligible to enter the country, even if they do not meet the criteria to do so based on the current rules, through the Humanitarian Reason exception.
That exception is not regulated, meaning there is no process to follow and it is reserved for situations of particular and irrefutable vulnerability. The current crisis has caused many families to be separated, people who have homes in Costa Rica who are unable to access them, people who had ongoing projects in the country that have been halted. It is a difficult time for everyone. However, the exception based on Humanitarian Reasons is for unique situations only, and, per the information available, requesting the approval of the Immigration Department is extremely difficult and cumbersome. There is no ruling or law that establishes how one should go about the request and per what the media has mentioned, getting a response from Immigration on this matter is not easy.
All the current Decrees, Resolutions, Circulares, etc. do mention that traveling is discouraged at this time. Therefore, we must be aware of the current rules and restrictions.
We will continue monitoring the situation.