What is the change? Costa Rica’s Department of Immigration will soon require registered companies to request an appointment before filing immigration-related applications.

What does the change mean? Registered companies will have to make an appointment for the following week on Fridays between the hours of 8 a.m. and noon.

  • Implementation time frame: The change will be implemented the week of May 11.
  • Visas/permits affected: All work permits and visas, including renewals and cancellations.
  • Who is affected: Employers filing immigration-related applications in Costa Rica.
  • Impact on processing times: In most cases, companies requesting an appointment should be given one for some time during the following week. However, if they are filing an extensive number of applications, there may be more lag time.
  • Next steps: Beginning the week of May 11, registered companies will have to request an appointment between the hours of 8 a.m. and noon on Fridays in order to submit immigration-related applications.

Background: The changes are being made in an effort to cut down on wait times and bring increased organization to Costa Rica’s processing of immigration-related applications. The new requirements should shorten the length of time applicants spend waiting in queues. However, because appointments will be required, approval of some applications may take longer – especially if applications are not complete when initially filed.

BAL Analysis: While the appointment requirement might ease the overall immigration application process, employers should note that quick turnaround times might be more difficult to achieve. The change will particularly impact firms that only allow employees to begin work once the Department of Immigration has approved their applications.

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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