Costa Rica: No Penalty To Be Imposed for Illegal Agricultural Workers

For the fifth time since 2013 fines for hiring foreign agricultural workers to harvest coffee and other agricultural products will be suspended.

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

The government has announced that in January 2016 it will declare a further extension to prevent the collection of fines from companies in the agricultural sector employing foreign labor for the harvesting season.

"... After a three-year amnesty given in 2010, when the new Immigration Act came into force, and following extensions of it issued from 2013, the fines would have applied to all cases starting from January 1. There are penalties ranging from two minimum wages (¢798,800) to 12 minimum wages (¢4.8 million) for employers who have employees with illegal status. " reports that "... The agro-export businessmen asked for special treatment for workers called "harvesters"; that is, those who come only to pick coffee, melons, mangos, oranges, pineapples, cane (short cane) and other seasonal products. Therefore, the fines will remain in place for construction workers, security staff and domestic service staff, according to the Government. "

More on this topic

Concern Over Shortage of Agricultural Workers

January 2018

For the Nicaraguan coffee sector, the difficulty in obtaining workers has worsened, especially in areas such as Nueva Segovia and Matagalpa.

The coffee trade union affirms that in the 2016-2017 cycle approximately 200 thousand hundredweight were lost, and in what has occurred so far of the 2017-2018 harvest, part of the production has also been lost. Entrepreneurs in the sector argue that, in both cases, it is due to a lack of grain cutters.  

Costa Rica: Deadline Extended for Registration of Foreign Workers

January 2017

For the sixth time since 2013 a six month extension has been granted to the suspension on the levying of fines on companies that hire undocumented foreign labor for activities such as agricultural harvesting.

The government announced that in January 2017 it issued a new extension to avoid levying fines on companies in the agricultural sector that employ undocumented foreign workers during the harvest season.

Manual Labor to Harvest Coffee, Sugarcane and Melons

October 2013

Costa Rica needs 75,000 coffee pickers for the harvesting which starts in November and another 7,350 people to harvest sugar cane and melon.

This was announced by the Ministry of Labour and Social Security (MTSS) who in partnership with the Ministry of Agriculture, the Agro-Industrial Sugarcane League (LAY) and the Costa Rican Coffee Institute (iCafe), conducted a campaign to find those 82,350 employees for the harvest season which runs from November to April.

Costa Rica needs Nicaraguan labor

November 2008

The harvest of sugar, coffee, melon and other agricultural products is awaiting the arrival of Nicaraguan labor.

In Costa Rica, the harvesting of coffee, sugar cane, cantaloupe, watermelon, mango, orange, and pineapple starts in October. These sectors compete for workers who mainly come from Nicaragua.

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