Costa Rica will limit its immigration services in the weeks to come and will close its border to all non-resident foreign nationals amid growing concerns over COVID-19.

Key points:

  • Tourist visa validity extended. Foreign nationals who have entered Costa Rica on a tourist visa after December 17, 2019 can legally remain in Costa Rica until May 17. This will allow tourists with expiring tourist visas to remain in the country and avoid international travel.
  • Inbound travel restrictions. Non-resident foreign nationals will be denied entry until at least April 12. The border closure applies to all land, air and seaports.
  • Immigration services. The immigration administration will limit in-person operations and will not receive or process new residency permit applications until May 18. Any accompanying documents that must be filed with the authorities between now and May 18, and that will expire before July 17, will remain valid until then, providing relief to those who will not be able to submit documents for renewals and new requests. Foreign ID requests and renewals must be completed in-person at Correos de Costa Rica or Banco de Costa Rica as applicants are still required to have their picture taken.

Analysis & Comments: Costa Rica is taking significant action and restricting travel to limit the further spread of COVID-19. While Costa Rica has not fully closed its border, the government has restricted non-resident foreign national’s inbound travel until April 12. Those already in Costa Rica under a tourist visa may lawfully stay until May 17, as the documents filed with immigration authorities will remain valid until July 17. All other visas and permits set to expire between now and May 18 must be renewed at Correos de Costa Rica or Banco de Costa Rica. Deloitte will continue to monitor developments as the COVID-19 situation continues to unfold.

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