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Friday, January 29th, 2016  |  USD: Buy 531.29 / Sell 543.92
20 years

Hotels, landlords may soon want to check your immigration status

August 4th, 2014 ( After a one-year extension on their implementation, changes to Costa Rica’s immigration laws that took effect on Friday, August 1st, may mean that hotels and landlords could soon be asking to see your visa or cedula to ensure you are in the country legally.


Under the new law, individuals or businesses that provide accommodations to anyone in the country illegally or without a valid visa could potentially face stiff fines.


The law would seem to apply to hotels and landlords renting property.  As such, it seems likely that landlords and hotels may soon begin checking visas and immigration documents before renting a property or providing accommodations.


Eddie Maurer, a property developer and landlord who owns several condominiums in Playas del Coco and rents them long-term, mostly to foreigners, told Inside Costa Rica he would be amongst those who would begin checking potential renters’ immigration status, but says he disagrees with the law.


“The law puts immigration enforcement on the backs of landlords and property owners, which I don’t think is right,” Maurer said.


The new rules came into effect on Friday, August 1st, along with new rules regarding those who overstay their visas.


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  • Upset with goverment of CR

    Nazi Germany use to ask for paper everywhere you went now CR goverment will ask the same. The other day i was walking in San Jose andwas stopped by two police that asked for my Cedula or passport. When i asked why they where stopping me they said your white and look like a tourist. I showed them my Cedula and said make sure you don´t travel without documents in CR or you could be detained. Nazi State is still very alive in the world.

    • duke ster

      Yes I agree with you–it feels very much like a communist country when you are stopped and asked for your papers==the USA doesn’t do that to me–never– Costa Rica is pure shit–to me anyway.

      • Frank Castle

        I don’t know where you have lived in the USA, but I have been asked to produce ID, papers, several times in my life in the USA by law enforcement personnel. That be said, I don’t really agree with that either. Also, almost all good guide books to Latin American countries state that you should have your passport (or at least a copy of the main page with you photo, name, country, etc and the page of your current visa stamp allowing you to be in that country) on your person or very close by. That is standard SOP and has been for years.

        • Ken Morris

          Correct. The US also requires people to carry valid IDs, and to produce them when an authority demands, which sometimes happens. Meanwhile, Arizona as we all know upped the ante for showing IDs for anyone with a Spanish accent. CR is hardly unique among the world’s countries.

          As for agreeing or disagreeing with the law, I tend to disagree with it as a general matter. I am not comfortable with states requiring people to have papers, and charging them for them. (One of the reasons there are so many illegal Nicas in CR is because many can’t afford the papers, not because they couldn’t obtain them legally if they had the money.) I wonder where it was decided in like international law that everybody in the world is obligated to pay for state-issued papers. States have become incredibly powerful, and my Libertarian streak recoils at that.

          Yet, in the real world (divided into nation-states) governments do end up having to regulate who can and who can’t be in their territory. In this real world, it’s a small thing to carry an ID and produce it when asked.

          Meanwhile, regarding CR, I have to wonder what the folks who keep getting asked for their IDs are up to. I have lived here 8 years and no cop has ever stopped me on the street to ask to see my ID. Granted, it could happen any day, but it hasn’t happened so far.

  • Chris Perkins

    Nazi germany? The comments below are just ignorant.

  • prdatki

    What the Government needs to is arrest the Last President for Corruption , theft,etc then audit all elected officials past and present.

    • Miguel

      ok we will also arrest one of your previous presidents for lying to the WORLD about the WMD…….

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