SAN JOSE, COSTA RICA – September 24th, 2012 – Immigration estimates an approximate 60,000 foreigners live in the country and work without proper paperwork. The figure doesn’t include seasonal undocumented workers.
On September 26th, new regulations and fines for employers who hire undocumented workers will come into force. The fines will increase to twelve base salaries plus employer-worker fees that have to be paid to the Costa Rican Social Security (CCSS).
The base salary being used for 2012 is of 360,600 colones, meaning that employers face fines as high as 4,327,200 colones (about $8,600 USD) for hiring an undocumented worker.
While the typical image of an undocumented worker in Costa Rica is that of a Nicaraguan or perhaps a Honduran, many North Americans and Europeans also work illegally in the country. Most types of residency permits available to North Americans and Europeans do not permit them to work for others. Expats can, however, run businesses in the country.