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Key Points
  • Costa Rica has created a new online system called TramiteYa! for certain immigration applicants
  • Eligible applicants can submit applications electronically and bypass in-person appointments
  • Domestic employee visas, residency based on kinship, and certain special category visas are eligible
  • Applicants can choose to submit applications in person as well at the DGME
  • Individuals whose applications are not eligible for online submission must apply in person
  • Additional online applications will be accepted in the future

Costa Rica has created a new online system, called TramiteYa!, that allows applicants to submit certain immigration applications and supporting documents electronically without appearing in person at the General Immigration Directorate (DGME).

What are the Changes?

The electronic system is currently only available to certain visa applicants, including those applying for domestic employee visas, certain special category visas, and residency based on kinship. Only individuals whose application categories are currently available can apply through the electronic system.

Foreign nationals whose applications cannot be submitted electronically, and those who prefer to apply in person, can still request an in-person appointment at the DGME via phone or email. The agency will start scheduling appointments after November 30, 2020 when it reopens following a COVID-19 shutdown.

What Else Should Employers and Applicants Know?

Applicants who can submit their applications online do not need to appear before DGME officials to complete the application process. They do not need make in-person appointments for biometrics collection and to register with their home consulate, as is required for in-person applications.

The DGME will issue an electronic application approval for successful applicants. While the electronic approval time will be faster than the in-person approval process, applicants and employers should expect processing delays during the initial implementation of the electronic system.

A fee of USD 11 applies for electronic applications.

Looking Ahead

The DGME plans to expand the electronic application system to more applicants in phases. The second phase of the electronic system, scheduled to start in November 2020, may include accredited-company residence applications.

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