Oct 05 2018

Employee Guarantee Deposit Now Required for Permanent Residence

Costa Rica

The situation

Foreign nationals must now pay a new guarantee deposit after approval of their permanent residence.


Guarantee deposits, or repatriation deposits as they are called in other countries, are commonly-implemented government methods to ensure that national costs will not have to be used to cover the expenses of repatriating a foreign national, if necessary.

Previously, foreign nationals were only required to pay a guarantee deposit upon approval of their temporary residence application, and this amount was refunded once the applicant’s temporary residence status cancellation was processed and all requirements for reimbursement were met.

A closer look

  • Cost of deposit. The amount of the deposit varies depending on the applicant’s nationality, but does not exceed USD 300 per person.
  • Reimbursement still available. Foreign nationals or their employer, depending on the employer’s practice, can submit a reimbursement request for their original temporary residence repatriation deposit. The reimbursements usually take approximately up to six months to be processed.


Employers and foreign nationals must be prepared to cover the additional cost of paying the new deposit.

Further background

The collection of repatriation deposits is not common in Latin America, though Panama charges temporary visa applicants a repatriation deposit ranging between USD 300 and USD 800. Contrary to Costa Rica’s practice of refunding the applicant when they leave the country, Panama does not issue a refund, creating a financial burden to foreign nationals.

This change originates from the new immigration authorities’ interpretation of Costa Rican immigration law. Additional changes to immigration processes can be expected with the new immigration authorities depending on their interpretation of other immigration rules. Fragomen will report on relevant changes as they occur.

This alert is for informational purposes only. If you have any questions, please contact the global immigration professional with whom you work at Fragomen or send an email to [email protected].