GovernmentImmigrationResidency

DGME Closed until September 18, 2020

Update: As announced a few days back, the Immigration Department issued Resolution N° DJUR-0105-07-2020-JM, confirming that they will remain closed until September 18, 2020.

The Resolution had three mistakes corrected this morning. The corrections are: 1. Documents issued abroad that were valid by March 17, 2020, will be deemed valid (meaning their validity will be automatically extended) until November 18, 2020, and not September 18, 2020, as previously announced. 2. Deadlines to respond to exigencies and appeals are extended until November 18, 2020, and not September 18, 2020, as previously announced. 3. Stamping of Entry visas (processed at the respective Consulates) for Restricted Nationalities are suspended until November 18, 2020, and not September 18, 2020, as previously announced.

The Immigration Department issued this morning Resolution N° DJUR-0105-07-2020-JM, which, in summary, states:

  • The Immigration Department WILL NOT receive Residency applications going forward and until September 18, 2020. This includes all categories. Basically, Residency applications are suspended until September 18, 2020. Outlier Legal Services is working with other firms and members of the Professional Board of Attorneys to suggest various options to receive applications prior to September 18, 2020. This is a work in progress.

  • The Immigration Department will continue analyzing applications during this time. Please be advised that we cannot follow up except via an email address which is responded on a first come, first served basis.

  • Approvals and rejections will continue to be issued and notified solely via fax or email.

  • Documents issued abroad that were valid by March 17, 2020, will be deemed valid (meaning their validity will be automatically extended) until September 18, 2020.

  • Deadlines to respond to exigencies and appeals are extended until September 18, 2020 and November 18, 2020, respectively.

  • File copies can be requested only after September 18, 2020.

  • The exclusive attorney window used by many professionals to follow up on applications will remain closed until September 18, 2020. We are working on a proposal to allow the attorney window to reopen, thus allowing new applications to be submitted sooner than September. This is a work in progress.

  • DIMEX (commonly known as cedulas) requests: Will work solely through Banco de Costa Rica and Correos de Costa Rica by APPOINTMENT ONLY except for Temporary Residency based on Marriage.

  • For Temporary Residency based on Marriage, one can request an appointment at Banco de Costa Rica or Correos de Costa Rica to secure the initial DIMEX (people who recently received their Residency approval). However, appointments will not be granted for the renewal of Temporary Residency based on Marriage. Temporary Residents based on Marriage will need to wait until after September 18, 2020, to request an appointment and renew at Immigration.

  • DIMEX validity:

    • The validity of DIMEX cards for Permanent Residents will be extended until September 30, 2020. If a Permanent Resident did not renew on time, they will still be required to pay a $100 fine per month of expired DIMEX. However, a fine will not be computed and therefore will not need to be paid for the months of December 2019 until September 2020. Consequently, if a Permanent Resident has a DIMEX that expired in July 2019, if they wish to renew now they can, paying a $100 fine per month of expiration. Under normal circumstances that means from August 2019 until July 2020. Per this Resolution, this person would only pay for August, September, October and November 2019.

    • The validity of DIMEX cards for Temporary Residents and Special Categories that have expired after December 18, 2019, onwards will be extended until September 30, 2020.

    • The validity of Estancias that expired after March 17, 2020, will be extended until October 18, 2020.

    • After September 30, 2020, Residents, as well as Special Categories, will have up to three months, per law, to renew. Failure to renew within these three months will result in the cancellation of your status.

    • Notice that you can still renew your DIMEX cards either at Correos de Costa Rica or Banco de Costa Rica to avoid rushing after September 30, 2010. This does not apply for Temporary Residents based on Marriage. It may also not apply for People with Rentista and Investor, however, Immigration is yet to confirm this.

  • Stamping of Entry visas for Restricted Nationalities are suspended until September 18, 2020.

  • Minor’s exit permit requests and issuance of Costa Rican passports will continue to work, as normal.

  • Tourists (non-Residents) who entered the country after December 17, 2019, may legally remain in Costa Rica until November 18, 2020. This is an automatic extension.

Please take note:

  • Borders remain closed until August 01, 2020. This date is expected to be reevaluated and may be extended for travelers of certain countries. The opening of the border is expected to be done in a controlled manner, starting by countries of low infection rates. The protocol for the opening of the borders is yet to be confirmed.

  • The rule today is that only Residents, people with Special Categories, Estancias, people with applications in progress filed at the Immigration Department, parents of minor Costa Rican nationals, spouses of Costa Rican nationals, the latter two if accompanied by the Costa Rican national, and Costa Rican nationals may enter the country as a result of the COVID-19 crisis.

  • However, Residents, people with Special Categories, Estancias, parents of minor Costa Rican children, spouses of Costa Rican nationals or applications in progress who depart the country after March 25, 2020, at 23:59 WILL NOT BE ALLOWED TO RE-ENTER until our borders fully reopen.

  • Driving license privileges for people who entered the country as tourists after December 17, 2019, have been extended until August 18, 2020.

In the meantime, the expat community interested in securing Residency can continue collecting their documents to be ready to file their applications after September 18, 2020. We continue assisting clients who have decided to take advantage of this time to gather the documents, have them apostilled or legalized, and be ready to go by mid-September.

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The Author

Irene Brenes

Irene Brenes

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.

4 Comments

  1. Avatar
    Niani
    July 8, 2020 at 11:43 pm — Reply

    Where is the tourist visa extension date of November 18th coming from? Is creating a little confusion because I have been continuously checking on the US Embassy of Costa Rica website for updates and it still says August 18th so far.
    Please let me know! Thank you!

  2. Avatar
    ROBERT GILLES
    July 9, 2020 at 12:23 am — Reply

    ¿So we can submit documents now, for when appointments are available after September 18?
    Robert Gilles
    RGILLES@GILLESREALTY.COM
    506-8477-7658
    +509-939-6420 WHATSAPP

    • Jeffrey Zamora
      July 16, 2020 at 5:37 pm — Reply

      Robert,

      Thank you for your question!

      Documents may not be submitted yet. Immigration will resume receiving requested documents as well as new applications on September 18th, 2020.

      Please let us know if we can assist you further.

      Best regards,

      Jeffrey Zamora
      Attorney-at-Law

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