What is the change? Due to staffing shortages at the Migration Bureau, work permit filing appointments are backlogged until February, delaying approvals of work permits by four weeks.

What does the change mean? The delays affect applications for new work permits, which are taking approximately 70 days. Renewal applications do not appear to be affected.

  • Implementation time frame: Immediate and ongoing.
  • Visas/permits affected: Work permits and residence cards.
  • Who is affected: Foreign nationals filing applications with the Migration Bureau in Costa Rica.
  • Impact on processing times: The normal processing time of 40 business days has lengthened by four weeks.
  • Business impact: Businesses should factor in the delays when planning work schedules and start dates.
  • Next steps: Applicants should schedule their filing appointment as soon as possible and note that they may only request filing appointments on Fridays.

BAL Analysis: Employers should note the current time frames for booking a filing appointment and plan for 70-day processing for new applicants. Applicants seeking to renew their permits are not affected by the delays and are currently able to obtain appointments within five to 10 days and receive their residence card approximately two weeks thereafter.

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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