Delayed Approval for Accredited Companies

April 3, 2019 | Costa Rica

Applicants for initial residence permits change of status applications and change of employer applications filed by accredited companies in Costa Rica should be aware that applications are delayed by several weeks past the normal processing time frame of around 14 weeks.

The Costa Rican General Immigration Directorate (DGME) is currently dealing with a shortage of personnel. This has now caused a significant backlog of applications that were filed by accredited companies to the DGME.

Costa Rican authorities should be processing applications within 30 business days; however, this is not the norm. The average length of time for applications to be adjudicated is 14 weeks. Due to shortages in staff, applications are taking around 17 to 18 weeks to be processed.

It is important to note that not all applications are being impacted. Renewals of visas filed by accredited companies, as well as those filed by non-accredited companies are not impacted by the delays.

Individuals going through this process should expect delayed work start/travel dates. If you are a holder of an expired residence card, you may face difficulties re-entering Costa Rica and initiating certain government services or dealing with financial processes.