QCOSTARICA – Costa Rica’s immigration service, the Dirección General de Migración y Extranjería (DGME), will be issuing biometric passports starting on March 7, as was announced last year.
As of that date, any Costa Rican person who requests a new passport, either directly from the immigration service, through the Banco de Costa Rica (BCR) or a Costa Rican consulate abroad, will be issued the “Biometric Bicentennial Passport”, within 48 business hours.
The biometric passport will cost US$75 plus ¢250 colones, and is valid for ten years. It is a document that has a chip with biometric data, as well as personal information. The document includes the latest mobility trends at a global level, since its security measures prevent the falsification and alteration of information.
Each personalized chip provides advantages in cases of loss or theft of the document, and would allow the eventual speeding up of border procedures when traveling, due to its easy verification, opening the doors to Costa Ricans to a greater possibility of flexibility in terms of travel.
The biometric data will now consist of fingerprints of the ten fingers (previously there were only two fingers), a passport number different from the cedula (identity card) and personal data, such as the self-perceived gender of the Costa Rican people who made the change in the Civil Registry.
Among the main differences between the new biometric document and the conventional passport used up to now is its validity period, which goes from six to ten years.
The new passports will have holograms, visible figures in intaglio prints, 3D drawing, latent image, “Esencial” (Essential) mark, security polycarbonate sheet with personal information, and other features.
“The realization of this project has been an arduous process for our institution, it has been thanks to the perseverance of the officials of the DGME that make up the Bicentennial Biometric Passport Project team, that today, in an emotional moment, we disconnected the system to make way for technological modernization processes with biometrics and digitization,” said Raquel Vargas, Director of Immigration.
The current or old passports remain effective until their last day of validity, and it is not necessary to get the new one before the expiration date. Likewise, the requirements for the passport application are maintained.
Information on obtaining or renewing a passport can be found at https://www.migracion.go.cr/Paginas/Pasaportes-y-Permisos-de-Salida.aspx.