By Jordan Arias Hidalgo, Associate Expertis Legal Costa Rica.
As of April 20, 2018, the General Directorate of Immigration will fine foreigners who remain in Costa Rica for a period longer than the one established in the tourist visa placed in their passport on each entry into the country. As established by Decree No. 40791-MGP.
Although this fine has existed within our legislation for several years, it is until now that, finally, authorities have adopted the technical mechanisms required for its implementation. The fine consists of one hundred U.S. dollars ($100.00) for each month that a foreign person remains irregularly in the country. Nevertheless, it is not clarified in the norm if it will be charged in case of fraction less than one month.
In case that the foreign person does not pay the fine, an impediment to enter the national territory equivalent to three times the irregular stay will be imposed, however the non-payment it will not affect the abandonment of the country since there will be have any impediment because of the fine.
Also, although the foreigner can pay the fine for his untimely stay, might will always be subject to deportation in case of being caught with an irregular stay, in which case the sanction will be an impediment to enter the country for 5 years.
It is recommended that foreigners who have work or residence in the country regularize their immigration status and avoid problems. Our Immigration Law team specializes in the migratory regularization of executives, investors and expatriate personnel.