New Immigration System In Costa Rica Is Gummed Up

lady with large pile of papers on her desk

I'm sure it's not a surprise to anyone that trying to implement new governmental procedures and mechanisms never quite goes smoothly. Leave it to Costa Rica, however, to make sure that the works get gummed up before you even start. They have implemented some new rules for residency recently and introduced a new system, available in select branches of Banco de Costa Rica (BCR) and some post office branches. I already described our experience at the Curridibat P.O. that went about as smoothly as one could rightfully expect. Except ...

Our cedulas were to be delivered on September 24th, over a month since our appointment in Curridibat. The first time we got our cedulas they were in our hot little hands just two days after our appointment. So, we went to our local P.O. on Monday hoping to finally have our new cards. 

  • Sean's card was there. Yay!
  • Tamara's was not and she had a notice that she must go to the main Migración office next Wednesday, no reason given. Boo!
  • long line around Nicaraguan embassy in San José
    Line around Nicaraguan Embassy
  • Mine was not there, no notice, no nothing. Double Boo.
So, you can just imagine how well this is going for all the Nicaraguans in the country who would like to extend their stay. They were given 90 days to get their documents together (ending August 31st), which is pretty short. Thus, the long lines snaking around the Nicaraguan Embassy. I haven't heard if the C.R. government has extended the deadline, but if they haven't about 700,000 Nicas are going to be in a world of hurt if they are deported.

Director of Costa Rican Immigration
Kathya Rodriguez, Director of Migración
has a lot of questions to answer
We did consult with an attorney who is a former Migración director, showed him our receipts and he said not to worry, it's just that the new DIMEX (computerized!) system has a lot of bugs in it and that my cédula might show up in a couple of weeks. Our lawyer is meeting us in La Uruca next week for the appointment at Migración (for which we have to get up at 4 bloody AM). So, perhaps (wishful thinking) they can straighten out my cedula, too. Fingers crossed.

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  1. Nothing quite like a fun trip through beurocracy and red tape, especially when they have to 'get the bugs out' and when it involves life as you know it....

  2. Aaarggghh, another trip to San José. Thought I was done with that this year.

  3. Who is this former Migracion director that is now an attorney? Are they doing Residency (& well??)??? I'd LOVE to have that name as well as any other GOOD, HONEST, REASONABLY priced attorney's that SPECIALIZE in Immigrations/Residency to share with others!!! If you don't feel comfortable sharing that here anyone, please e- me at THANX!!! Vicki Skinner

  4. Ask for Steven: 8657-2852 (Spanish only)


Thanks so much for your comment! - Casey