Labor Migration Procedures Too Long

International labor mobility as an important factor in business competitiveness is being obstructed in Costa Rica by the inefficiency of the Department of Immigration.

Tuesday, July 26, 2016


Inefficiency is the right adjective to describe the management of the Department of Immigration and Alien Affairs, where "... there are more than 20,000 cases pending resolution."  

Delays in the management of work permits, both for unskilled workers as well as executives, whose processes are managed by the foreign companies who bring these people into the country, cause excessive costs and delays that ultimately impair the competitiveness of each of those companies.

"...According to EF, in the Department of Immigration and Alien Affairs there are more than 20,000 cases pending resolution. The procedures, which in theory should take a maximum of 60 days - which is still excessive-, and which does not always results in a positive outcome, today take well over a year. If the actual process is analyzed with an engineering mentality of time and movement, even with the "wait" times for verifications with external institutions, it should not take more than a few hours maybe even a couple of days- in the worst case.".

As explains in his editorial, "you have to seriously wonder what is gained and who wins with these bureaucratic excesses. If foreigners, companies and the country, loses out, what justification is there for not making the necessary adjustments to the system? If the laws are outdated, what are we waiting for before improving them?".

More on this topic

Panama: Law Eliminating Melting Pot Halted

February 2015

The government has asked the Assembly to return to the first legislative body a bill which eliminates the immigration fairs and to start discussions to establish a migration code.

At the request of the executive branch, "... The document was dropped from second to first debate, "arguing that it had to go back for review and take into account the considerations of the business sector, particularly the hotel industry and businesses linked to the Colon Free Zone.

The Debate Over Foreign Workers

February 2015

"... Some of the professions reserved for national citizens are chemical engineering and petrochemicals, careers which are not offered by any university in Panama. "


Acting as a backdrop to the contradiction between migrant's human right to work and the need to reserve jobs for nationals, is the upkeep of competitiveness and economic development of each country.

Costa Rica: Flexibility for Foreign Labor

August 2014

Businessmen are demanding that costs be reduced and the procedures required for immigrants to obtain temporary work permits be simplified.

The Chamber of Exporters of Costa Rica (Cadexco) has asked the General Department of Immigration and Foreign Services for migration processes to be improved and for a reduction in the cost of issuing permits, which currently "...

Business Travelers and Immigration Rules

February 2013

The increasing international mobility of "business travelers" does not have adequate regulation in terms of taxes or migration.

From Deloitte Costa Rica’s Tax Column:

Considerations for business travelers
By: Mr. Diego Padilla Duran
Junior consultant

From 2013, the Directorate General of Immigration will be taking measures for a more efficient implementation of the sanctions provided for in Article 33 of the General Law of Immigration, Law No. 8764. According to these rules, the sum of one hundred dollars in U.S. currency ($ 100) will be charged for each month of illegal stay in the country to people who do not meet the requirements of the law in this area.

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