QCOSTARICA – The complaints of foreigners waiting on the delivery of their Documento de Identidad Migratorio para Extranjeros (DIMEX) – Immigration Identity Document for Foreigners – is founded, with the confirmation by the immigration service admitting that they have fallen way behind in the production and delivery of the document.
Marlen Luna, director of the Dirección General de Migración y Extranjería (DGME) – Immigration Service, the backlog is due mainly to the fact that they do not have the material to produce the plastic ID cards, but also the high demand.
The director avoided indicating how many people facing delays in the delivery of the document, only saying that requests increased seven-fold, going from 4,000 to 28,000 per month.
“Yes, we are very behind, remember that we came from a process in which it had been automatically renewed, the country did not have the material (the plastic) to issue the documents, for it had not been contracted,” she explained.
Though foreign nationals are able to maintain their legal status in Costa Rica without a valid DIMEX if they have made a request for the card, however, may face restrictions in traveling abroad; dealing certain government services, such as obtaining a driver’s license and opening a bank account, among others.
It is not clear when these delays will be fully resolved.
The director confirmed that the delivery of the DIMEX is taking some six weeks, this by paying overtime to several officials and transferring others to the immigration service to work at the documentation department.
Luna added they are doing their best to reduce the delivery time of DIMEX.
“We think that in the next few weeks, we are going to lower it (the waiting time), with all the actions that we have taken from within,” she said.
New DIMEX card
In addition to a lack of materials, last month the DGME began the transition towards a new digital identification for foreigners residing in Costa Rica, which will be through a digital identification in pdf format, which has a QR code that will contain the person’s non-sensitive information, which can be consulted through an institutional website in order to verify that the document is authentic and is current.
It is important to clarify that the DIMEX currently carried by foreigners will continue to be valid until their last day of validity, so it is not necessary to seek a renewal before the expiration date.