August 4th, 2014 (InsideCostaRica.com) After a one-year extension on their implementation, new laws regarding those who overstay their visa in Costa Rica came into effect last Friday, August 1st.
Effective as of last Friday, August 1st, those who overstay any type of visa, including tourist visas, must pay a fine of $100 for each month they remained in the country after the expiration of their visa.
Those who are unable or unwilling to pay the fines will be barred from reentering the country for a period equal to three times the length of time they overstayed. For instance, a person who overstays a tourist visa by three months can be barred from reentering the country for a period of nine months.
Fines must be paid 48 hours in advance of departing the country at any Banco de Costa Rica (BCR) branch.
However, those who are already in the country past the expiration of their visa will apparently not have to pay the $100 per month fine for months before the law came into effect – thus, the first fines come into place starting September 1st. As such, immigration authorities are urging those who are over their allowed stay to renew their visas or change their immigration status by the end of the month to avoid having to pay the fines.
Other immigration laws came into effect on August 1st as well, including a fine of two to twelve times the base salary for hiring a foreign worker who does not have a work visa, as well as fines for people or businesses that provide accommodations for foreign nationals who are in the country without a valid visa.