Friday 9 December 2022

Residents can leave Costa Rica without losing status

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The immigration service – Dirección General de Migración y Extranjería (DGME) – in Costa Rica has confirmed that legal residents can leave the country without losing their residency status.

The Peñas Blancas border post with Nicaragua has been a ghost town since the closing of the border on March 18

However, as it stands now, non-citizens will not be allowed to re-enter the country until at least April 13.

“This restriction will last until Sunday, April 12 at 11:59 pm at which time an analysis of the situation will be carried out to determine if the measure ends at that time or extends for a longer time,” read the DGME website.

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Last month, President Carlos Alvarado announced that residents leaving Costa Rica after the shut down of the borders on March 18, would lose their residency status and not be able to re-enter.

For the most part, it was believed that loss of status was temporary and once the national emergency due to the covid-19 was over, all would be back to normal.

The U.S. Embassy in San José has also confirmed with the Costa Rican government that “legal residents who depart Costa Rica … will not have to begin the residency process again.”

The measure and the President’s statement may have been geared towards a large Nicaraguan population that traditionally do their exodus from Costa Rica during Semana Santa and back, sometimes with friends and relatives, at the end of the holidays; and the fact that Nicaragua has yet to take the covid-19 seriously, not placing any restrictions of movements across the border and effectively leaving its people to fend for themselves for lack of government action.

About the only action by Nicaragua to limit movement across the border is to deploy its army on its southern border to detect and restrict the undocumented (illegals) to leave or enter its country.

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