“Updated Papers” is the communication campaign for the development of IOM Costa Rica that seeks to help you with the immigration documents in order to reach peace of mind. This campaign has the support of the General Directorate of Migration and Foreigners (DGME).


Learn how they got their papers up to date!

  • Ginnés tells you what the residency by link is
    If you are a migrant person in irregular migratory condition, and you have a direct family relationship with a Costa Rican citizen, you can obtain a permanent residency through your family relation. Here we explain it to you!
  • Marta tells her story
    Marta has lived in Costa Rica since she was 9 years old and currently has 4 Costa Rican children. A few months ago she opened her file, motivated to give a better life to her family; and today she is waiting to receive the resolution to obtain the permanent residency by family relation with a Costa Rican citizen.
  • Joaquín tells her story
    Joaquin came to Costa Rica to join his wife. Their son was born in Costa Rica, and when he had difficulties getting a stable job, he realized that he needed documents. Today, Joaquín is a Costa Rican resident and invites migrants to update their papers in order to get a job, social security, and gain more peace of mind.
  • Queila tells her story
    Queila came to Costa Rica with her mother when she was a minor. Here she studied, got married and had her two daughters. When she found out that she could have permanent residency as a Costa Rican citizen, she did everything she could to meet the requirements, and she succeeded. Today Queila has a bakery business, and lives with the peace of mind of having her papers up to date.
  • Sandro tells his story
    Sandro and his family arrived in 2017 in Costa Rica. Here his youngest son was born, so he was able to process permanent residency by family relationship with a Costa Rican. By having a regular immigration status, Sandro got a stable job and managed to get his house with a bank loan.
  • Videoclip Your Story, My Story
    Making the decision to migrate is not always easy, each person has their own reasons. Through music, we represent the stories and the contribution of migrants to their communities and society. Lyrics and music by: Dani Maro
  • Omar tells you the benefits of getting your papers up to date
    By having a regular migratory status, you can obtain a series of benefits for you and your family, such as access to the social security and more steady job opportunities! You can do this process personally and without intermediaries!
  • Find the peace you need with your updated papers

    Iveth has lived in Costa Rica for ten years, and her children were born here. At first, she was only with her passport, but she soon noticed that it was very difficult to access services. As a result, she carried out her regularization process by link without any extra help. 

  • Updated papers, migrants in peace 

    Discover the benefits of regularizing your migratory status by link to your Costa Rican spouse, sons or daughters.  

  • The benefits of regularization in Costa Rica

    María Elena has lived in Costa Rica since she was a minor. After she turned 18, she did not have an official identification from any country, but she learned how to regularize by link to her Costa Rican children and now she lives more peacefully. 

A campaign to get regularized by link to Costa Ricans.

Benefits of regularizing your migration status

  • Access to the national social security system.
  • Access to social aid such as scholarships, housing bonds, educational programs and other types of subsidies that the Costa Rican State provides regularly or in emergency situations.
  • More and better employment options.
  • Admission to the formal educational system.
  • Access to banking services.
  • Possibility of entering and leaving Costa Rica, without taking risks on irregular routes where you can suffer accidents or be a victim of organized crime.

Requirements to regularize

  • Letter stating the reasons for requesting permanent residence. The applicant’s full name, nationality, age, occupation, address where he/she lives and an e-mail address for notifications must be indicated. You must sign the letter during your appointment, in front of the immigration officer. Otherwise, you will be asked to bring the letter authenticated by a lawyer.
  • Receipt of payment for the amount of US$50, with the name of the foreign person is indicated as the depositor. This money must be paid in colones, in the account 242480–0 of the Bank of Costa Rica.
  • Receipt of payment for the amount of ¢ 125; and ¢2.50 for each page presented with the application, for stamps, where the name of the foreign person as depositor is indicated, in account 242480–0 of the Banco de Costa Rica.
  • Two recent passport size photographs, with the person staring directly at the camera.
  • Birth certificate of the foreigner; issued in the country of origin, duly legalized and authenticated or apostilled.
  • Certification of criminal record of the foreign person from the country of origin or the place where he/she has resided legally for the last three years, duly legalized and authenticated or apostilled. For these purposes, the foreigner must additionally demonstrate the legality of his/her stay in that country by means of a certified copy of the migratory document obtained within the indicated period.
  • Photocopy of the pages of your passport with the personal information, the stamp of entry to Costa Rica and the entry visa are found, in case your nationality requires it, which must be confronted with the original before the official who receives them. Do not forget to bring your original passport on the day of the appointment!
  • Certification issued by the Civil Registry that demonstrates the link with Costa Rican, that is, your child’s Costa Rican nationality. This has a cost of ₡ 1,575 and the date of issuance of this document cannot be more than two months at the time of filing the application. It can be purchased from the website of the Supreme Court of Elections.
  • In the case of siblings or adult children of a Costa Rican with disability, the same must be demonstrated by medical opinion, and certification of the guardianship issued by the judge in those cases in which it corresponds.
  • If a person entered Costa Rica as a tourist and wishes to apply for a residence, they must additionally deposit the amount of US$200.00 in account 242480–0 of the Bank of Costa Rica for change of category. This money must be deposited in colones.
  • This amount, however, could be saved if you request to be exempted from leaving the country to renew your visa. To do this, you must write a letter under Article 58 of the Foreigners Regulation, which states that you must explain to the DGME that you are responsible for the care, upbringing and education of a minor, whose welfare would be affected if you were to leave the country. If your application is approved, you will not have to pay the fee or present the visa in good standing to regularize.

Please note that the requirement to include fingerprint registration has been repealed by Article 1° of Executive Decree No. 42389 of January 17, 2022 (find the reference in Article 75 of the Alien Regulations).

Information channels on migration regularization

General Directorate of Migration and Foreigners (DGME)

Municipal Centers for Migrants

MigApp: Free application that provides information for migrant’s protection.

How much will this cost me?
Ilustración: Alcancía
The base fee is $50.
Certification from the Civil Registry: ₡1,575.
Stamps for ¢125, plus ¢2.50 for each page presented with the application.
If you have outstanding fines: $3 per month spent with an expired residence card.
If you need to change migration category, $200.
If you have Costa Rican children, though, you can ask to be exempted from the requirement of leaving the country to get your visa re-stamped, according to article 58 of the Foreigners Regulation.
DIMEX emission: $98.
This is only payable once you have been granted permanent residence.
Learn more about costs and planning for regularization, here.
Or read here about how to prepare for DIMEX renewal.

All migrants have rights. Do you want to know what they are?

Click on the image to know your rights.

Ilustración de un hombre, con la leyenda 'Trabajo'. Está en una calle, vendiendo frutas
Ilustración de una mujer, con la leyenda 'Educación'. Está en la zona de juegos de un centro educativo.
Ilustración de un hombre y una mujer, con la leyenda 'Acceso a la justicia'. Están en una calle, sonriendo, cargando una persona menor de edad.

A comprehensive campaign... Beyond information!

Following the Communication for Development methodology, "Updated Papers" works together with community organizations to create actions such as:

  • "Migramóviles" which are information and accompaniment sessions for migrants.
  • Training for migrants and key institutions.
  • Awareness activities with a collaborative approach.


A campaign by IOM Costa Rica