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The decree allows 22 days for residents who do not have the up to date payment of monthly Social Security contributions,
to enter the country and then make payments. - Foreign Affairs Ministry courtesy photo -

Published Wednesday, September 9, 2020

Requirements for residents to enter
the country were relaxed after
several complaints

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

After the claims made public by the Chamber of Tourism about the government’s arbitrary and inconvenient position with foreign residents by rejecting their entry into the national territory, the Institute of Tourism announced that the requirements have been relaxed.

The Chamber took a hard stance because on Thursday of last week, five immigrant residents could not enter the country. They failed to comply with one of the entry requirements ordered by the General Directorate of Migration and the Ministry of Health.

Of the rejected foreign-born residents, three are residents and did not have full payment of the quotas with Social Security and two passengers came from countries that are not included in the list of countries that allow the reactivation of commercial flights.

In response to the claims, the government reformed the Decree No. 42513-MGP-S, to now allows 22 days for residents who do not have the up to date payment of monthly Social Security contributions, to enter the country and then make payments.

As of this change, the requirements that foreigners who have a legal stay authorized under the immigration categories of Permanent Residence, Temporary Residence, Special Categories or Non-Residents Subcategory Stay can enter by air or sea via yacht or sailboat, must meet the following requirements:

• Fill out the electronic epidemiological online Health Pass form at the following link

• RT-PCR diagnostic test with a negative result; the sample must have been taken within 72 hours of travel to Costa Rica.

• Traveler's Medical Insurance can be purchased in their country of origin or Costa Rica through the Government Insurance Institute or approved private insurance companies located in Costa Rica.

• Present the current immigration identification document for foreigners (DIMEX).

• Present proof of payment of monthly Social Security payments.

In case of non-compliance with this requirement, the resident can purchase any of the covid-19 travel insurance with a minimum coverage of 22 days. During that period, immigrant residents must update the delayed payments with Social Security.

For residents who come from a non-authorized country or the U.S. States will receive a quarantine health order issued by the Ministry of Health.

The quarantine health order does not apply in the case of residents who come from an authorized country or state of the United States who also bring a negative PCR test with them, the Institute said.

Since August 1, Costa Rica has maintained open-air borders with the 26countries of the European Union (Schengen zone), United Kingdom, Japan; South Korea; Thailand, Singapore, China, Oceania, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Uruguay, and certain states from the United States.

The 26 countries of the Schengen countries are: Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, and Switzerland.

In the case of the United States, only people living in 12 of the 50 states are allowed to enter the country beginning on the following dates:

• Since September 1, residents of Connecticut, Maine, Maryland, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Vermont, Virginia and Washington D.C. can travel into Costa Rica.

• As of September 15, residents of Colorado, Massachusetts and Pennsylvania will be able to enter.

More information on entry and exit requirements for U.S. citizens can be found on the following link to the website for the U.S. Embassy in Costa Rica.

What other requirement should the government relax for tourists and residents to enter the country? 
We would like to know your thoughts on this story. Send your comments to


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