Foreign nationals who have overstayed their visas in Costa Rica and have not filed for change of status or started an application to renew their visa are now subject to fines of $100 USD for every month they remain out-of-status. Those who fail to pay the fine will be banned from Costa Rica for three times the length of their overstay. Fines will not apply to minors, refugees, asylum beneficiaries, handicapped people, migrant workers, or tourists. It is suggested that employers take the following actions to ensure compliance:


  • Confirm that all foreign employees complete the General Directorate of Immigration registration process as soon as their Temporary Residence applications are approved;
  • Be sure that all foreign employees (and dependents, if any) are always in legal status and can present proof of this via valid identification cards (cédula) and when an identification card has expired, remind the foreign employee not to travel abroad until completion of the renewal process;
  • Verify that the Temporary Residence statuses of foreign employees who had previously been employed in Costa Rica were properly cancelled; and
  • Take action to cancel all identification cards with the General Directorate of Immigration and record these actions in company records upon the leave of a foreign employee.


Foreign nationals and employers should note that these fines have actually been in place since August, however, immigration authorities are working towards stricter enforcement.

Please note that this is general information only and not intended as advice on a specific matter. Please feel free to contact Fakhoury Global Immigration directly with questions exclusive to your situation. This news alert may have been prepared using information from Peregrine Immigration Management, which is licensed to Fakhoury Global Immigration.