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Costa Rica to Enforce Overstay Law

Costa Rica para hacer cumplir la Ley de permanencia

Kelvin Marshall – Del Sur News

Costa Rica immigration has announced that they will finally be enforcing a law from 2010 that allows them to collect a US $ 100 fine from anyone overstaying a work or visitors (tourist) visa.

The original concept was to force the legalization of a foreign workforce that numbered in the hundreds of thousands. Estimates always seemed to quote the amount of legal workers, for example 400,000 and then say that there were as many as that much again that were working illegally. Over the years since the law was passed, many illegals have gone through the legalization process under programs that grant work permits to construction, domestic and agricultural workers.

Like Nicaragua, the Dirección General de Migración y Extranjería (Migración) of Costa Rica is the authority on immigration control and ensuring that a foreigner complies with the period of legal stay that was authorized at the time of entering the country.

As of April 20th, 2018, Migración will begin collecting the US $ 100 fine per month from those who have overstayed their authorized period. If the fine cannot be paid, or the foreigner will not pay it, then they will be prohibited them from re-entering Costa Rica for a period equivalent to triple the time of their irregular stay. As indicated by the law, the ban on re-entry applies to each month that the person has remained in Costa Rica after their authorized stay or in other words, a minimum of 3 months.

The Immigration Officer will notify the foreigner that the ban on entry has been entered in the Dirección General de Migración y Extranjería computer system.

Fines will be retroactive to March 1st, 2010, the date on which the General Law of Migration and Immigration No. 8764 came into force. The fine will be applied to foreign persons who are tourists, in transit, passengers and goods crew, to people with temporary residence and special categories of migrants with an expired Immigration Identity Document for Foreigners. Also, anyone who has been notified that they have been denied regularization of their permanent or migratory status and has not filed an appeal.

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