Recently we have been getting a few questions about the citizenship status of those born abroad to Costa Rican parents.

Any person born abroad to Costa Rican parents can opt for Costa Rican citizenship before the age 25. The first step is to register your birth abroad either with the Costa Rican consulate corresponding to your place of birth or bring a birth certificate, apostilled or legalized, depending on the country, to the Civil Registry in Costa Rica. For minors, this can be done by the Costa Rican parent.

Citizenship is not automatic and can be lost if the registration is not completed promptly. If the person is over 25 and has not registered their birth abroad, they must apply for residency in Costa Rica, like any other foreigner.

In Costa Rica, citizenship by descent can be passed down for unlimited generations. A child of a Costa Rican citizen who is registered as a citizen by birth before the age of 25 can pass that citizenship on to their child (before the age of 25), and so on, regardless of where they were born.

Remember that, like in most countries, dual citizens will be treated as Costa Rican citizens when in the territory.

This means that if a minor with dual citizenship enters Costa Rica, they must obtain Costa Rican departure authorization before leaving the country. Both parents must apply for this approval through Costa Rica’s immigration department or the Costa Rican Embassy in their home country.


-Written by Glenn Tellier (Founder of CRIE and Grupo Gap).

[email protected]

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