QCOSTARICA – As of this Friday, September 3, 2021, those requiring apostille of the vaccination certificate against covid-19 from the Ministry of Health may go to any of the 110 branches of Correos de Costa Rica (post office) and process the service.
The apostille for the Health certification officially confirms to authorities of another country (Apostille Convention) that the interested party has a complete vaccination scheme against the disease caused by the new coronavirus.
It is necessary to enter countries that, due to sanitary measures, made it a requirement for Costa Rican travelers, such as France.
With the change, there is no longer the need to visit the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in San José (also known as Casa Amarilla).
The simplification of the process results from the signing this Tuesday of an agreement between Correos de Costa Rica and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, by Foreign Minister Rodolfo Solano Quirós and the general manager of Correos, Jorge Solano Méndez.
The alliance seeks to simplify procedures and reduce waiting times, both institutions reported in a statement.
In its first phase, access to the apostille service will be for covid-19 vaccine certifications and for Civil Registry certifications only.
In this new process, Correos will receive documents and send them to the Foreign Ministry for the apostille and legalization process, which will then be available for pick up at the Correos, with reduced waiting times and no need to travel to downtown San Jose.
These are the steps:
- The person must obtain the document that requires the apostille (legalized)
- Make payment at Banco de Costa Rica (BCR)
- Once the foregoing has been fulfilled, go to one of the 110 Correos branches with the document to be legalized and the proof of payment
- Correos will receive the documents for their subsequent transfer and delivery to the Department of Authentication of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs
- Once apostilled, they will be returned to the same branch where the client made the request, for pickup
Basically, the Correos is a go-between, the client has to have all the documents and fees paid, and stamps (available at the Correso) as they would at the Foreign Ministry office in San Jose. See the requirements for certifications here.
Using the Correos for this process adds an approximate cost of between ¢5,000 and ¢8,000 depending on the weight of the document and the distance.
The apostilled document will be delivered to the client within a maximum period of 8 business days.
Typically, documents processed at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs can take up to five business days, requiring two trips – one to submit the documents and two to pick up the certified docuemtns.