Foreigners in process of requesting resident status may stay in the country

Last January 25, 201, the General Immigration and Foreign Affairs Bureau of Costa Rica (DGME) issued the official note number DG-232-2017 answering a consultation about the permanence of those foreigners who have requested a resident status.

In the indicated official note, the DGME established that those foreigners who have presented their request for resident status may stay in the country while the request is decided.

The DGME indicated the following:

“Once the foreign person who entered the country as a non-resident, presents a request to access to one of the migratory conditions contained in the General Immigration and Foreign Law number 8764, he/she may stay in the country up until a definitive decision is taken in regards to his/her migratory situation, in accordance with what is indicated in article 11 of the Granting of Entrance Visas to Costa Rica Bylaws.”.

Nonetheless, it is important to indicate that the same official note is clear in establishing that the person requesting the migratory status may not work in the country (1) up until its resident status request is decided and the corresponding decision allowing the foreigner to remain in the country as resident is issued.

“In conjunction with the former it should be taken into consideration that, before a decision authorizing the foreign person to remain in the country is issued, he/she does not have authorization to perform any type of lucrative or paid activity, in this sense what is established in article 185 of the Migratory Control Bylaws must be taken into consideration (…), which establishes that only those person authorized to do so may perform lucrative labors.”

Additionally, employers must take into consideration that it is illegal to hire foreign persons who are not authorized to work as per what is above indicated. In regards to this point, the afore mentioned official note indicates that:

“…article 187 of the indicated Bylaws states that (….) personnel which has entered or remains in the country under the non-resident category or which are in the process of legalizing their migratory situation must not be hired…”.

(1)- The Law only contemplates some exceptions for very specific limited cases.