Q COSTA RICA NEWS – The Costa Rica consulate in Managua reports a drop of 11% of visa requests by Nicaraguans wanting to visit Costa Rica.
Costa Rica’s ambassador to Nicaragua, Eduardo Trejos, said that so far this year the consulate has processed 15,000 visa applications less than last year. As of mid-December the consulate had processed 115,000 applications in contrast to the 130,000 at the same time last year.
Trejos stressed the drop is only in Managua, the Chinandega office is reporting for this year a similar number of applications to 2015.
The ambassador claims the drop is due to the fact that the visas for Nicaraguans are now for 90 days, 60 days longer than before. Up to the end of 2014 the visas for Nicaraguans were only for 30 days at a time.
However, Trejos would not predict the demand for the end of the year, given that in the last couple of days there has been a rise in the number of Nicaraguans visiting the consulate, mainly, to obtain a visa to visit their relatives in Costa Rica.
“For the moment, I cannot say how this December will be in comparison with previous years,” Trejos explained.
According to the Managua consulate figures, between the early days of December and third week in February (the high season), the number of visa applications almost doubles.
During the year the Managua consulate handles some 550 visas a day, in the high season, the number can reach up to 900 a day.
At Chinandega office averages is 350 visas a day in the high season; the rest of the year the number is between 150 and 200 a day.
The ambassador explained that the pilot plan to allow visa applications via the Internet will commence on January 9, 2017. Currently, applications are in person and on a first-come-first-served basis.
Trejos added that the start of the (Internet) plan was delayed due to Hurricane Otto. “We were about to implement, the hurricane complicated the situation because the technical resources were to devoted to tasks with more priority, but we hope to start tests on January 9,” said Trejos.
The implementation of the electronic visa applications has been tasked to the Instituto Costarricense de Electricidad (ICE), Banco Lafise, which will handle the online payment platform.
Source: La Nacion