Costa Rica – Advance Appointment Now Required at the Immigration Department

What has changed

Effective May 11, 2015, the Immigration Department in Costa Rica now requires appointments to be requested in advance of any procedure to be conducted at their offices before the sector in charge of recognized companies. Requests for appointments are to be submitted via email on Fridays between 8 AM and 3 PM only, and appointments are expected to be granted for a date within the following three (3) to four (4) weeks.

Previously, petitioners were required to secure a ticket from the Immigration Department in order to conduct individual procedures. A maximum of ten (10) tickets were granted by the Immigration Department every day, and the petitioner usually had to arrive as early as 1 AM to stand in line in order to secure a ticket. If a ticket could not be secured that day, it would be necessary to return the following day and attempt to secure a ticket again. Once a ticket was secured, the corresponding procedure could be conducted within 24 to 48 hours.

Who is affected?
What to expect

  • Foreigners who need to obtain or renew work/residence permits
  • Companies wishing to register with the Immigration Department as a recognized company or to renew their registration
  • Any individual or company needing to conduct any procedure before the Immigration Department’s sector for recognized companies

Appointments can be requested via email on Fridays between 8 AM and 3 PM only. The authorities currently expect to be able to respond to requests within one (1) business day, with confirmation of an appointment date within the following three (3) to four (4) weeks, varying according to the workload at the Immigration Department.

This procedure will simplify the method of obtaining a time-slot for conducting procedures at the office of the Immigration Department in Costa Rica, but it is expected to introduce delays caused by the limited ability to submit requests for appointments on Fridays only (rather than every week day). Additionally, if the Immigration Department experiences a high volume of requests, the availability of immediate appointments may be limited. For optimal coordination, appointments will be requested once all requirements for the particular procedure have been gathered.

What you need to do
Planning ahead

  • Please keep in ┬ámind that there is potential for delay in filing applications and requesting ID Cards.
  • Any renewal process should be initiated at least two (2) months before the expiration of the immigration documents.
  • Contact your Emigra Worldwide attorney or representative for further details on how these updates may impact you or your clients

The information above was provided by Emigra Worldwide, our global network partners, and relevant government authorities. The information herein is for general purposes only and not intended as advice for a particular matter. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact the global immigration professional with whom you work.