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Regulation Overview

The Regulation Nº 36576-G-COMEX, “Reglamento para el Registro de Empresas ante la Dirección General de Migración y Extranjería y la Regularización Migratoria de su Personal,” outlines the registration and accreditation of companies with the Costa Rican General Immigration Office.
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Benefits of

Accreditation

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The primary benefits of the new accreditation process include the following:
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Priority Filing Status

Accredited companies benefit from a designated filing location and staff, reducing the waiting time for applications to approximately 5 business days.

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Reduced Processing Times

Temporary Residence Permit processing times are cut to 30 business days from the date of filing, compared to approximately twelve months for non-accredited companies.

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Reduced Documentation Requirements

Foreign national workers at accredited companies do not need to submit extensive corporate documentation with their permit applications; all required corporate documentation is provided during the company’s accreditation application.

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Immediate Work Authorization
Applicants can start working in Costa Rica as soon as their applications are submitted, whereas applicants from non-accredited companies must wait up to 12 months for approval.

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Permit Validity
Temporary Residence permits for foreign nationals at accredited companies are valid for two years and are renewable as long as the company remains registered and the foreign national continues working there.

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Criteria for

Accreditation

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To be accredited under Regulation Nº 36576-G-COMEX, companies must meet the following conditions:
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Regular Migratory Flow Requirement

This must be demonstrated in the company’s operational plan for active or executive-level employees.

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Registration with Specific Institutions or Characteristics
– Operating under special regimes promoting exportations administered by COMEX and PROCOMER.
– Supported by COMEX with references from recognized national or international organizations.
– Having a touristic declaration issued by the Costa Rican Institute of Tourism (ICT).
– Registered with entities such as SUGEF, SUPEN, SUTEL, or SUGEVAL.

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Economic Contribution
The company must be constituted in Costa Rica with national or foreign investment, produce direct employment, and contribute to the country’s economic development.

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Categories of

Accreditation

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Companies can be classified into the following categories to apply for accreditation benefits.
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CLASSIFICATION A
Companies operating or about to start operations under the Free Trade Zone regimen.

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CLASSIFICATION B
Companies exporting goods and services to world markets, not under any special export promotion arrangements.

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CLASSIFICATION C
Companies in the tourism sector, including four-star hotels and airlines.

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CLASSIFICATION D
Financial companies registered with SUGEF, SUPEN, or SUGEVAL.

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CLASSIFICATION E
Telecommunications companies supervised or registered by SUTEL.

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CLASSIFICATION F
Multinational companies recognized globally with operations in at least three other countries besides Costa Rica.

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CLASSIFICATION G
National or foreign companies contracted by the Costa Rican government through administrative bidding.

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Temporary Residency Process for

Accredited Companies

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The Temporary Residence Process is suitable for individuals who will receive their salary in Costa Rica and can prove sufficient professional experience. Below is the step by step process for temporary residency.
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Stage 1: Document Gathering and Filing the Residency Application
– Gather necessary information and documents for the Temporary Residence application.
– Complete a questionnaire and upload documents into Quatro Legal Zoho Tool.
– Video call with Quatro Legal to review the process and address questions.
– Confirm immigration strategy and requirements.
– Prepare home and sponsoring host company documents, including sponsor letter, power of attorney, and work contract.
– Prepare personal documents such as legalized background checks, marriage certificate, birth certificates, and passport copies.

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Stage 2: Submit Application to DGME
– Finalize and submit the Temporary Residence Visa application to the General Immigration Directorate (DGME).
– The assignee may start working and enroll in local payroll once the application is submitted.

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Stage 3: Temporary Residence Visa Approval
– Confirmation of visa approval and upload to Quatro Legal Zoho tool.
– Complete registration and local procedures, including fingerprints and social security registration.

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Stage 4: Local ID (cédula) Appointment
– Schedule and attend the local ID (cédula) appointment.
– Provide original passport and local ID receipt.
– Obtain exit permits for children if applicable.

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Short Stay Business Visa (Visa de Estancia) for

Accredited Companies

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Costa Rica offers a Short Stay Business Visa for foreign nationals employed outside Costa Rica who need to engage in work-related activities for up to one year.
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Application Process
1. Seek admission to Costa Rica, potentially requiring a tourist visa.
2. Apply for a Short Stay Visa upon admission.

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Requirements for Short Stay Visa
– Completed application form.
– Valid passport with at least six months of validity.
– Passport-style photos.
– Proof of financial means.
– Detailed travel itinerary.
– Proof of return or onward travel.
– Purpose of stay documentation.
– Certificate of good conduct (if required).
– Health insurance coverage.
– Pay visa application fees.

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Visa Validity and Extension
Temporary Residence Visas are valid for two years and can be extended indefinitely in two-year increments. After three years, residents are eligible for Permanent Residency.

Short Stay Business Visas allow for business activities in Costa Rica for up to one year and can be processed if the stay is less than the allowed period.

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