The Dirección General de Migración y Extranjería Costa Rica (DGME) – Costa Rica’s immigration service – on April 24, automatically extended the entry stamp of foreigners (Tourists non-Residents ) to July 17, 2020.
This applies to all non-Residents who entered the country after December 17, 2020.
What does this mean as a foreigner with a tourist (non-resident) visa (entry stamp) in the country?
They are automatically able to legally stay in the country until July 17, without the need to apply for an extension, call or visit the immigration offices. Moreso, not fall prey to unscrupulous police who may threaten detention unless a donation is made.
Also, the DGME WILL NOT receive Residency applications until May 17th, 2020. This includes all categories. Basically, Residency applications are suspended until May 17th, 2020. Documents that expire in this period will be deemed valid, that is automatically extended) to July 17th, 2020.
DIMEX requests will work solely through Banco de Costa Rica (BCR) and Correos de Costa Rica, by appointment only. Appointments at the Immigration Department will be scheduled from May 31st, 2020.
Penalties for overstaying
There has been great confusion on the issue of penalties for overstaying a tourist visa that went into effect on April 21, 2020.
After years of annual extension, since the law was enacted in 2012, the US$100 per month of overstay is now in force. But due to the national emergency, the fines will not be applied.
The borders will continue to be partially closed until May 15, 2020, meaning only Costa Rican nationals and legal residents (unless they left the country after March 23) are permitted entry, subject to a 14-day mandatory quarantine.
The borders are not closed to exit, as has been mistakenly reported by many. That is, you can leave the country by air (if a flight is available), sea and land if the border in the neighboring country is open. Currently, Panama is not open, Nicaragua will allow entry to one and all.
All of the above is developing. We will post updated information as it becomes available through official notifications.