Friday 1 December 2023

Costa Rica will have a biometric passport in 2022

The current passports will continue to be valid until their last day of validity

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QCOSTARICA – Within the framework of the B2B Forum of the ‘Essential Costa Rica’ country brand, which took place (virtually) this September 2, it was announced that next year the country will have a biometric passport, which means putting Costa Rica at the forefront in travel documents.

But what is a biometric passport?

The project is led by the Dirección General de Migración y Extranjería (DGME), Costa Rica’s immigration service. The new passports are expected to launch in the first quarter of 2022

According to the General Director of Immigration, Raquel Vargas, the new passport has been designed with the latest security technology, as it is meant to defy any fraud attempts. It also meets the requirements of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO).

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Vargas explained that it is a document that has a chip that has the biometric data of the person: characteristics of their face, fingerprints, as well as her personal information.  “This passport puts us up to the latest global mobility trends. It prevents forgery and alteration, which makes it a very secure document as it is high-tech,” said Vargas.

Vargas mentioned that, in addition to the passports of Costa Ricans, this biometric technology will also be available for the salvoconductos (travel documents) of refugees and foreigners, exit and entry permits for carriers, as well as neighborhood permits for people living in border areas.

For her part, Vice-Chancellor, Adriana Bolaños, highlighted the diplomatic advantages that this biometric passport will bring.

“The impact can be summed up in that we are going to comply with international standards, on a par with developed countries. We are going to have the highest security measures and that is going to characterize us as a country that is at the forefront of digital transformation.

“From the Ministry of Foreign Relations we have been talking, in international matters, of a green, sustainable, inclusive recovery with a profound technological and digital transformation. This will open doors for us because we can confirm that our citizens are identified abroad with a secure and reliable document,” she said.

The design will put the essence of Costa Rica in the hands of Costa Rican travelers

Design at the hands of Costa Ricans

This is the first time that the design of a passport has been carried out by Costa Ricans and its graphic development was carried out on four representative axes of the country, which can be seen on its internal pages:

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  • Biodiversity: highlighting elements such as islands, hammerhead shark, waves, turtles, corals, butterflies and sloths.
  • Renewable energy: with elements that refer to volcanoes and hydroelectric plants.
    Education and peace: showing the act and the independence torch, books, schools and of course the “Pura Vida”.
  • Talent: exemplified by the cart, pre-Columbian spheres, sculptures, Boruca masks, marimba, calypso and even the native Creole swing.

The new passport s expected to launch in the first quarter of 2022, however, the current passports will continue to be valid until their last day of validity.



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