QCOSTARICA – People seeking refuge in Costa Rica must do so no later than one month after entering the country, according to the country’s immigration service, the Dirección General de Migración y Extranjería (DGME).
Outside the calendar month of the person’s entry into the country, immigration authorities will not receive the refugee application.
The procedure can be carried out without an appointment at the Shelter Unit from Monday to Friday, starting at 6:00 am, until all available spaces for the day are exhausted.
It is important that people are aware that the procedure does not have any cost. Nor is there a cost to obtain a space in the line. Authorities advise not to pay ‘gavilanes’ (hustlers), who offer expedited application processing or a guaranteed place in the line.
Costa Rica has a backlog of refugee applications since 2018. Immigration authorities report that it has around 178,000 applications pending resolution of the 200,000 it has received and the reason for the announced measures.