The Costa Rican government recently announced it has extended previous travel restrictions until May 15 and closed immigration offices to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.

Key points:

  • Entry will be denied to tourists and non-resident foreigners. The restriction applies to ports of entry for land, sea and air. Additionally, residence statuses will be revoked for individuals who try to enter the country illegally.
  • Nationals and residents who enter the country will be subject to a 14-day quarantine.
  • Nationals, residents and tourists are all allowed to leave the country, but residents and tourists who do so will not be allowed to return until May 1 or possibly later.
  • Immigration offices will remain closed through May 15. Customer service and general procedures offices of the Directorate General of Immigration and Foreignness Services are closed through May 17.

Additional information: An extension until July 17 has been granted for filing first-time documents, prevention documents and appointments. Alternative means, such as the Correos do Costa Rica and Banco de Costa Rica, will be used to process renewals of immigration categories. Technical assessment and filing services will continue functioning. However, in the case additional documentation filing is needed, it will be submitted after May 17. Passport delivery and the issuance of exit permits for minors will function normally.

Analysis & Comments: The travel restrictions extension and immigration services disruption will impact the movement of people into and out of Costa Rica. Employers should account for affected travelers and rearrange travel schedules accordingly.

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