COSTA RICA

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GENERAL DATA

Poverty rate:

21%

out of the total population

MIGRATION DATA

  • Sending country: around 151,000 Costa Ricans, or 3% of the population, reside abroad mainly in the US (66%), Nicaragua (7.5%), and Panama (5.5%). 

  • Destination country: around 420.000 immigrants, or 8.32% of the total population, live in Costa Rica. The main countries of origin are Nicaragua (71%), Colombia (5%), USA (4.12%); and El Salvador (3.4%).

  • Transit country: migrants from Caribbean, South American, Asian, and African countries transit Costa Rica en route to the US. 

  • Host country for refugees: There are 87,190 asylum seekers in Costa Rica of whom 80% are Nicaraguan, and 7% Venezuelan.

IMPACT BY COVID-19

Hover over the country where you want to know the data.

* daily data update

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STATE MEASURES

  • After announcing a total reopening of borders, authorities announced modified requirements to enter the country, the most noticeable of these being the elimination of the PCR test, which will most likely facilitate tourism.

  • After several months of not providing face-to-face care to its users due to the pandemic, the General Directorate of Migration and Foreigners (DGME) is preparing for its reopening.

  • The General Directorate of Migration and Foreigners (DGME) assured that border authorities are preventing entry of Haitian migrants stranded in Panama, these people try to cross to Costa Rican soil through blind spots on the borders. According to the DGME, the rejected people are migrants who leave shelters in Panama, despite knowing that the land borders are closed due to the emergency of covid-19.

  • The Costa Rican Professional Migration Police says they use the regulations and health guidelines in force in the country to return migrants who try to enter through irregular steps.

  • Authorities from Costa Rica and Nicaragua signed a binational agreement to regulate the temporary hiring of Nicaraguan workers in Costa Rica to work in agricultural industries. Among the points discussed were administrative, operational, migration and health aspects. The agreement contemplates the “temporary hiring of Nicaraguan workers, due to the shortage of local labor for the harvesting of crops such as coffee, melon, watermelon, yucca, among others,” otherwise in Costa Rica there could be “millions in losses.”

  • According to Costa Rican authorities, Nicaraguan labor traditionally arrives to Costa Rica to work in the harvesting of seasonal crops. The pandemic altered the circulation of these flows, which will be carried out under the regulations in through planned increases in entries and under strict protocols imposed by the pandemic.

  • The Costa Rican authorities announced on Thursday, November 12, 2020, the creation of a special migratory humanitarian category for Nicaraguans, Venezuelans, and Cubans settled in this country who have been denied refugee status. The intention of the measure is to assist people whose refugee application was rejected so that they do not fall into a situation of greater vulnerability and can continue to live in Costa Rica on a regular basis.

  • People eligible for this migratory category are those who have been denied refugee status as of January 1, 2016, and who have physically remained in Costa Rica on a regular or irregular basis at any point up to March 18, 2020. The petitioners must provide documents that prove that they are settled in Costa Rica and prove they have no criminal record in this country or in any other.

  • Costa Rica virtually held the XXV Regional Conference on Migration, in which irregular displacement and the labor market were a priority of discussion. Other priority topics addressed in the ministerial meeting were Protection, Irregular and Mass Migration, Labor Migration, and Border Management.

  • Currently Costa Rica is working together with the UN to implement the Health Cooperation Plan generated by COVID-19. The objective is to provide effective attention to migrant flows and prevent the spread of the virus.  

  • The request for regularization by those with ties with Costa Ricans “must be made when the foreign person holds a legally approved status in the country; that is, their visa time has not expired,” according to the documents with the requirements issued by Migration.

*For more detail go to the digital archive that we created: