(QCOSTARICA) On numerous occasion we’ve written about it here, heck, you may even know one or more persons who have been stopped from leaving the country, at the airport, maybe even boarded their flight and minutes before takeoff, told to get off.
This is the “impedimento de salida” (exit restriction) in action, which allows the Judiciary from barring anyone from leaving the country that is involved in criminal proceedings or the more common, issues with family support payments or Sistema de Obligados al Pago de Pensión Alimentaria (SOAP) in Spanish.
Restrictions on leaving the country, by air or land are enforced the immigration service.
At land crossings, a person leaving the country interacts directly with an immigration official. At the airport that is not the case, as it once was: the airlines submit their passenger list to the immigration service, who behind the scenes to cross check their database and take action if necessary. Hence the 1 hour prior to departure rule at the international airports.
The restriction applies equally to nationals, foreigner residents (legal or not) with a child in Costa Rica and a support order and in cases of a criminal proceedings, especially where there is an order by the court barring the leaving the country.
The problem, as it has occurred on numerous occasions, is when there is an error, for example the wrong name, your name is placed on the last or an order was never removed. Read our report: The Horror! Taken Off Plane For Child Support Order, But Has No Children
In the case of criminal proceedings you pretty much know that you will have problems leaving the country. But in the case of a SOPA order you really don’t until you are pulled off that flight.
So how do you know if your name is on the list? You really don’t unless you take the time, before leaving the country, to verify with the Judiciary.
The solution is coming. After multiple complaints the Superior Council of the Judiciary has ordered a series of actions to prevent problems when leaving the country.Among the actions is the creation of a website where one can check to see if there is an impedimento (restriction).
The Judiciary has ordered the Directorate of Information Technology department to implement the system within the coming three months.
The website would also have a mobile app (application) so that the information can be accessed from a smartphone. Be entering their identification (cedula or passport number for foreigners), a person can learn beforehand of any problems they may encounter once at the airport.
In the event there is a restriction, the user will be able to learn where and when the order was placed, the information used to deal with the issue. The Judiciary has also ordered security measures from massive downloads of the database.