Last Updated: Thursday, 24 April 2014, 11:39 GMT

Costa Rica: Procedure for regaining permanent resident status in Costa Rica after losing this status following an extended stay abroad

Publisher Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada
Author Research Directorate, Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada, Ottawa
Publication Date 6 April 2009
Citation / Document Symbol CRI103129.FE
Cite as Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada, Costa Rica: Procedure for regaining permanent resident status in Costa Rica after losing this status following an extended stay abroad, 6 April 2009, CRI103129.FE, available at: [accessed 24 April 2014]
DisclaimerThis is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.

Article 123(f) of the Law on Immigration and the Status of Foreigners (Ley de Migración y Extranjería), which came into effect on 12 August 2006, states that permanent residents lose their permanent resident status if they are absent from Costa Rica for more than 12 consecutive months (Costa Rica 22 Nov. 2005). Individuals who have been granted permission to be absent for reasons of health, education, or family responsibilities, and whose reasons have been duly verified, are exempt from this provision (ibid.).

A document published by the Immigration and Foreign Nationals Branch (Dirección General de Migración y Extranjería) reports that permanent residents who have lived outside the country for more than one year may renew their residence document by presenting, in writing, the reasons for their absence and a certificate confirming a criminal background check duly authenticated by the renew permanent residence, foreign nationals must submit their expired permanent residence cards; pay the government the appropriate fees for the renewal, the cost of the document and any fines; and present a document indicating their current place of residence (ibid. n.d.).

This Response was prepared after researching publicly accessible information currently available to the Research Directorate within time constraints. This Response is not, and does not purport to be, conclusive as to the merit of any particular claim for refugee protection. Please find below the list of sources consulted in researching this Information Request.


Costa Rica. 22 November 2005. Ley N o 8497 – Ley de Migración y Extranjería. [Accessed 2 Apr. 2009]
_____. N.d. Dirección General de Migración y Extranjería. "Renovación o Reposición Residencia Permanente por Vínculo." [Accessed 2 Apr. 2009]

Additional Source Consulted

Oral source: The Consulate General of Costa Rica in Ottawa did not respond to a request for information within time constraints.

Copyright notice: This document is published with the permission of the copyright holder and producer Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada (IRB). The original version of this document may be found on the offical website of the IRB at Documents earlier than 2003 may be found only on Refworld.

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