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Update: COVID-19 DGME Update

by Herb DeMars
 
COVID-19 DGME Update
 
 
 
 
 
 
This morning, the Immigration Department issued Resolution N° DJUR-0132-09-2020-JM, which, in summary, states:
 
The Immigration Department WILL NOT receive Residency applications going forward and until December 1st, 2020. This includes all categories. Basically, Residency applications are suspended until December 1st, 2020. All applications must be filed by appointment only. Starting October 19th, 2020, Immigration will allow appointments to be scheduled by phone, by calling 1311, or through www.migracion.go.cr
 
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, or issued after, March 17th, 2020, will be deemed valid (meaning their validity will be automatically extended) until June 1st, 2021.
 
Deadlines to respond to exigencies that were valid by March 17th, 2020 will be extended until February 12th, 2021. Responses to exigencies will be accepted by appointment only by calling 1311 or through www.migracion.go.cr. Appointments can be scheduled from October 19th, 2020 onwards.
The deadline to respond to exigencies that were notified between March 17th, 2020 and until February 11th, 2021 will start running on February 12th, 2021. Responses to exigencies will be accepted by appointment only by calling 1311 or through www.migracion.go.cr. Appointments can be scheduled from October 19th, 2020 onwards.
 
Appeals may be filed up until March 1st, 2021. Filing of appeals will work by appointment only. Appointments can be scheduled from January 11th, 2021 onwards by calling 1311 or through www.migracion.go.cr. They will grant one appointment only. If the applicant is granted an appointment to file an appeal and misses such appointment, the appeal will be declared inadmissible.
File copies can be requested from October 19th, 2020 onwards. Requests for file copies will be accepted by appointment only by calling 1311 or through www.migracion.go.cr. Appointments may be scheduled from October 19th, 2020 onwards.
The exclusive attorney window used by many professionals to follow up on applications will remain closed until February 12th, 2021. We are working on a proposal to allow the attorney window to reopen, thus allowing new applications to be submitted sooner than December. 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.
 
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) and for renewal. For the renewal, an affidavit signed before a Notary stating the couple’s information and that they are still together will be mandatory to renew.
 
DIMEX validity:
The validity of DIMEX cards for Permanent Residents will be extended until January 11th, 2021. If a Permanent Resident did not renew on time, they will still be required to pay a fine per month of expired DIMEX. However, a fine will not be computed and therefore will not need to be paid for the months between December 2019 and January 2021.
 
The validity of DIMEX cards for Temporary Residents and Special Categories that have expired after December 18th, 2019 onwards will be extended until January 11th, 2021.
The validity of Estancias that expired after March 17th, 2020 will be extended until February 12th, 2021.
 
After January 11th, 2021, 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 their 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 January 11th, 2021. Some categories, such as Rentista and Investor, may face inconveniences when trying to renew.
Stamping of Entry visas for Restricted Nationalities are suspended until February 8th, 2021.
 
Minor’s exit permit requests and issuance of Costa Rican passports will continue to work, as normal and by appointment only. Appointments can be scheduled by calling 1311 or through www.migracion.go.cr.
 
Tourists (non-Residents) who entered the country after December 17th, 2019 and until October 31st, 2020, may legally remain in Costa Rica until March 2nd, 2021. This is an automatic extension. Tourists who enter the country from December 1st, 2020 will need to depart the country depending on the tourist days granted at the port of entry. For example, a US national who enters on December 2nd, 2020 and is granted a 90 day stay, will need to depart by March 2nd, 2021.
 
Please take note:
This is a very recent resolution; hence, Transportation Authorities are yet to confirm if driving privileges will also be extended until March 2nd, 2021. Once this is confirmed, we will let the community know.
In the meantime, the expat community interested in securing Residency can continue collecting their documents to be ready to request a filing appointment after October 19th, 2020. We continue assisting a vast number of clients who have decided to do just that, meaning take advantage of this time to gather the documents, have them apostilled or legalized allowing us to request an appointment for them after October 19th, 2020.
 
We will continue doing what we can to provide information to the expat community.
 
Kind Regards,
 
Outlier Legal Client Services
(506) 2100 6593

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