Updated on May 30, 2022
Renewal of your DIMEX/Residency Card for Expats in Costa Rica
This information is a bit dated, but since many of you are still emailing me about renewals of your DIMEX (residency) cards, I thought it timely to post this review.
Due to urgent needs to be outside of Costa Rica during COVID, some of you had/have not been able to renew your DIMEX (residency) cards. Or you just let it slip your mind. Others have been keeping track and are being proactive only to discover you cannot renew your DIMEX (residency) cards.
The renewal system is being upgraded with new software and staff training (and hopefully hardware invented in this century.)
This upgrade is significant and expected to take up until September 30, 2022, to complete. The DGME (Immigration) has granted extensions to most cards under certain circumstances.
These measures were set in place as of January of this year.
Through Resolution No. DJUR-0197-12-2021-JM, the DGME has decided to extend all DIMEX expired from October 1, 2021, to September 30, 2022.
The measure is applicable for the following migratory categories: Residencia Permanente (Permanent Residency),
Residencia Temporal (Temporary Residency), Categorías Especiales (Special Categories) and the subcategory Estancia (Estancia Visa).
1. Renewal appointments: As of January 22, 2022, DIMEX renewal procedures will not be carried out in any Banco de Costa Rica offices, at the VES Windows of the Costa Rican Post Office, or the central or regional offices of Migration.
2. For those who already paid the renewal deposit: Central and regional offices remain available to request a refund, presenting the payment receipt.
3. Clarifications on the relevance of the expiration date: If your DIMEX is for Permanent Residency, you can benefit from the extended validity even if your DIMEX expired before October 1, 2021. Otherwise, if your DIMEX is for a category other than that of Permanent Residency, that is, if it is a DIMEX of Temporary Residency, Special Category, or Estancia, it will be extended only if it expired after October 1, 2021, since if it were already expired on that date, you would no longer be able to carry out the renewal process in the usual way.
4. Fines: If your DIMEX expired before January 10, 2022, please take into account that you will still need to cancel a penalty regarding all pending months. Visit your nearest BCR to handle this issue.
5. Extension of the Term: After September 30, 2022, the DIMEX shall be renewed in the three subsequent months.
Logically, that appointment system should open before September 30 to create the que, so please be attentive to that appointment system opening up. Check with your local BCR from time to time starting in August. I strongly suggest that you put alerts in your cell phone calendars and be ready to proceed by the end of July to make those bookings. There will be a bottleneck of others trying to book for the same thing. But the main thing is to call and book the appointment as soon as those appointments open up. When I get more definitive news of the appointments, I will post it on this site to alert you.
I also remind readers that you are entitled to apply for Permanent Residency after the three initial years of temporary residency. That category requires no further proof of income and allows you to work or draw a wage or an income from a business without a work permit. Permanent residencies are renewable every three years. After a combined total of 10 years of permanent and temporary residency, renewals for Permanent Residency are every five years. After a combination of seven years of Temporary and Permanent residency, you are entitled to apply for Costa Rican Citizenship. That allows you to opt out of CAJA, vote, and obtain a Costa Rica passport.