Update: COVID-19 Costa Rica

Hello from beautiful Playa Hermosa, Guanacaste, Costa Rica. With all the talk and concerns of the Coronavirus, world-wide, Costa Rica is taking steps to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus.  Here is an update on the Coronavirus, aka COVID-19) in Costa Rica.

COVID-19 in Costa Rica
I received the information below from a reputable Costa Rican law firm specializing in immigration. This information, for residents and non-residents of Costa Rica, covers new immigration procedures put into effect because of the COVID-19 virus. Especially for those that may be in the process of obtaining their residency.

COVID-19 Costa Rica
I highly recommend that if you are in the process of obtaining your residency in Costa Rica, to contact the firm you are working with to be up to date on the status of your residency application.
The President of Costa Rica, Carlos Alvarado Quesada, along with the central government is taking the COVID-19 issue very seriously.  They have issued a decree that put travel restrictions at all borders. Land, air and sea ports of entry, will be closed off to all foreigners, starting the 18th of March at 11:59 PM and will continue through at least Sunday, April 12 at 11:59 p.m.

Citizens and legal residents returning to Costa Rica will be allowed in but will be quarantined for 14 days during this same time period. As of writing this, those that will be quarantined will need to disclose where they live in Costa Rica to the immigration officials at the entry points.

From Outlier Legal Services:
The Immigration Department issued this evening, Monday, March 16, 2020, Resolution N° DJUR-043-03-2019-JM, which, in summary, states:
• 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.
• Consequently, documents that will expire within this period will be deemed valid (meaning their validity will be automatically extended) until July 17, 2020.
• Exigencies will not be raised by the Department until July 17, 2020.
• The Immigration Department will continue analyzing applications during this time. Hopefully, it will give them time to catch up on delayed work.
• Approvals and rejections will continue to be issued and notified solely via fax or email only.
• The exclusive attorney window used by many professionals to follow up on applications will remain closed until May 17, 2020.
• DIMEX requests: Will work solely through Banco de Costa Rica and Correos de Costa Rica by APPOINTMENT ONLY. Residencies based on marriage to a Costa Rican national can and will only be renewed at Immigration. Therefore, these will be suspended and may be processed between May 17 and July 17, 2020. If any of the other categories cannot be renewed through Banco de Costa Rica or Correos de Costa Rica, applicants will have until July 17, 2020, to process their renewals.
• Entry visas for Restricted Nationalities are suspended until May 17, 2020.
• Tourists (non-Residents) who entered the country after December 17, 2019, may legally remain in Costa Rica until May 17, 2020.
• Minor’s exit permit requests and issuance of Costa Rican passports will continue to work, as normal.

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