US

Sep 26 2019

Security Deposit Amounts Significantly Increased

Costa Rica

At a Glance

  • The Costa Rican General Immigration Directorate has announced a significant increase of the security deposit amounts that foreign nationals (or employers) must pay upon approval of their Temporary or Permanent Residence, Change of Status from Temporary to Permanent Residence or Restricted Entry Visa applications.

  • The amount of the deposit still varies depending on the applicant’s nationality but the cap of USD 300 has been eliminated. Security deposit amounts now range from approximately USD 280 to approximately USD 4,800.

  • Employers and foreign nationals should be prepared to cover the additional cost of a significantly higher security deposit amount where applicable.

     


The situation

The Costa Rican General Immigration Directorate (DGME) has announced a significant increase in the security deposit amounts that foreign nationals (or employers) must pay for several immigration processes.

A closer look

  • Cost of the deposit. The amount of the deposit still varies depending on the applicant’s nationality but the previously established cap of USD 300 has been eliminated. Security deposit amounts now range from approximately USD 280 to approximately USD 4,800. The full list of new security deposit amounts for each nationality can be found in the Legislative Gazette (pages 7-20).

  • Reimbursement still available. Foreign nationals can submit a reimbursement request for their original security deposit when they cancel their current residence permit. Reimbursements usually take up to six months to be processed.

     

Background

  • Purpose of deposit. A security deposit (also known as a repatriation or guarantee deposit) is a government method to ensure that national costs will not be used to cover the expenses of repatriating or deporting a foreign national, if necessary. In Costa Rica, applicants for a Restricted Entry Visa or initial Temporary or Permanent Residence permit must make a cash security deposit of an amount determined by the DGME upon approval of their application.

  • Previous cap eliminated. Since 1993, security deposits in Costa Rica have been capped at USD 300. However, studies conducted by the DGME found this amount to be insufficient to cover current airline ticket prices or other expenses incurred in repatriation or deportation of most foreign nationals.

  • Reason for increase. According to the DGME, the revised security deposit amounts are more aligned with the current cost of airline tickets and other repatriation expenses and are likely intended to allow the government to recover some of the costs of maintaining an effective immigration system. 



Impact

Employers and foreign nationals should be prepared to cover the additional cost of a significantly higher security deposit amount where applicable. 

Employers and foreign nationals should contact their immigration professional with inquiries on the security deposit for their particular immigration process.

Looking ahead

More fee increases are not expected in the near future.

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 lar@fragomen.com.