What is the change? Costa Rica’s Dirección de Migración y Extranjería (DGME) has created a fast-tracked process for obtaining identification cards (Documentos de Identidad Migratoria para Extranjeros) for foreign nationals working at accredited companies.

What does the change mean? Accredited companies may now request ID card appointments for qualifying foreign nationals through the Bank of Costa Rica (Banco de Costa Rica) five days a week between the hours of 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Previously, requests for appointments could only be made on Fridays through DGME. The change is expected to significantly improve end-to-end processing times for obtaining ID cards.

  • Implementation time frame: Immediate and ongoing.
  • Visas/permits affected: Identification cards (Documentos de Identidad Migratoria para Extranjeros).
  • Who is affected: Foreign nationals working at accredited companies who need ID cards or ID card renewals.
  • Impact on processing times: Obtaining appointments for ID cards through DGME offices took two months or longer. Now, appointments can be booked three to four weeks out.
  • Next steps: Accredited companies may request appointments by visiting a Bank of Costa Rica branch or emailing

Background: The change is meant to streamline the process of obtaining ID cards in Costa Rica. While it will save time for those obtaining ID cards, immigration appointment requests must still be made through the DGME, however, and are usually booked up for two months or more. Appointment for ID cards, however, should be easier to make.

BAL Analysis: The change will shorten end-to-end processing times for identification cards fairly significantly for foreign nationals working at accredited companies.

This alert has been provided by the BAL Global Practice group and our network provider located in Costa Rica. For additional information, please contact your BAL attorney.

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