It's time to renew your DIMEX!
An IOM study (find it here, in Spanish) found that it is very common that in countries where regularization campaigns are carried out, migrants sign up to get their papers... but then when they expire, they do not renew them.
Now that we know how to regularize our status by link to Costa Rican children, let's review what we must consider in order not to lose our valuable regular status and keep living in peace.
Temporality: if your initial regularization process is approved, the minimum time for which you will be granted residency is 2 years, however, you may be granted more. From that moment on, it is important to start thinking about the time to renew it.
Fines: after your DIMEX has expired, you have 30 days to make a renewal appointment, and if after those 30 days you have not done so, you will begin to accrue a fine of US$3 per month. It is important to keep this in mind, because in order to renew it you will have to pay the outstanding fines.
If this is currently your case, do not worry, as there is due to COVID-19 an extension on all expired DIMEX until September 30, 2022. From that moment on there will be 3 months to make the renewal appointment.
And how to save?
If you had been given residency for the minimum time of two years, the $50 processing fee and the $98 DIMEX fee represent an approximate cost of ₡100,000, or ₡4353 per month residing in Costa Rica. If you save 1000 colones each week, at the time of renewal you will have enough to complete all the paperwork. Here are some techniques to save.
- Use physical envelopes: separate a portion of your salary in an envelope and seal it so you are not tempted to use it.
- Electronic envelopes: many banks have now moved this technique to the digital world. You can have your bank account set aside part of your money each month in an envelope for a specific purpose.
- Accordion file: you can divide your entire salary in each of the compartments, to have a clearer visualization of how different items are being spent and have others separated for future expenses.
- A piggy bank: don't underestimate the power of a traditional clay piggy bank! If you deposit the leftover coins, after some time you will be able to break it and you will have a good portion of what you need.
So now you know with order and patience we can keep our immigration status up to date and live in peace!