Costa Rica’s immigration ministry announced yesterday that they will begin enforcing fines for visitors who overstay their visas. As of April 20, 2018, foreign persons who remain in Costa Rica beyond the period permitted by immigration shall be fined $100 USD for each month they overstay in the country, or in their absence, they shall be prohibited from entering a period equivalent to three times the time of their overstay. This law applies not only to tourists and non-resident foreigners, but also to foreigners with temporary residency who have let their DIMEX (Migratory Identification Document for Foreigners) expire.
This is not a new policy but one that was not enforced in the past. Article 33 of the Migration Law in Costa Rica states that “Foreigners have the obligation to exit the country when their term as authorized by the migration authority expires, unless otherwise authorized through a request in the change of category or an extension granted by said migration authority.” This same article decrees that if the foreign person does not leave the country before their visa has expired, he or she will be fined $100 per month of their overstay in the country.
If the person does not pay the fine, he or she will not be able to enter the country again for a term equivalent to the triple of their unauthorized stay. According to a March 22nd article in The Costa Rica Star, this article in the law was not being implemented because of an executive decree that delayed the implementation of the same, but this extension comes to an end on April 19.
These fines can be paid in agencies of Banco de Costa Rica, online through the Migration site, and in other locations nationwide.
- “Foreigners Who Exceed Their Stay in Costa Rica Will be Fined Starting April 20,” The Costa Rica Star, March 22, 2018.
- Dirección General de Migración y Extranjería Costa Rica (Costa Rica Immigration) Facebook page
- For trusted help with legal residency in Costa Rica