Costa Rica, a beautiful country known for its rich biodiversity and friendly locals, has become a popular destination for immigrants from around the world. Whether you’re planning to retire, work, or simply enjoy the pura vida lifestyle, it’s crucial to understand your immigration status. Checking your immigration status is not only a legal requirement but also essential to ensure a smooth stay in the country.



Understanding Costa Rica’s Immigration Status

In Costa Rica, there are several types of immigration statuses, each with its own set of rules and requirements. These include temporary residency, permanent residency, and special categories like refugee or stateless person status. It’s crucial to understand the specifics of your status, as each comes with different rights and obligations. Maintaining a legal immigration status is of utmost importance to avoid any legal complications and to fully enjoy the benefits of living in Costa Rica.



How to Apply for Costa Rica Immigration

Applying for immigration in Costa Rica involves a series of steps that need to be carefully followed:

  1. Determine the type of residency that suits your situation best. This could be based on nationality, family ties, employment, or investment plans.
  2. Gather all the required documents. This typically includes a birth certificate, police record, proof of income, and medical exams, among others. Note that all documents from abroad need to be authenticated.
  3. CRIE will submit your application to the Costa Rica Immigration Department.
  4. Pay the application fees. The amount varies depending on the type of residency you’re applying for.

Remember, the process can take several months or even longer, so it’s essential to plan accordingly.



How to Check Your Immigration Status Online

If you are wondering how to check your immigration status in Costa Rica, it’s very easy to do. Costa Rica’s Immigration authority offers an online system for verifying and checking the status of your immigration file. Click here to access the system. The status check system is Spanish only, so below are some translations for your convenience.

Query File Status

NOTE: The above is only a screenshot of the system — please click here to access the actual system.

Do NOT include the “–” in the number. For example, if your number is 135-417573, change to 135417573.

Here is an explanation of the potential results:


Your file has been opened and awaiting resolution. What do I do? Please wait until the file runs its course.


A “previo” means that a document is missing to complete the file. What do I do? Contact CRIE so that we can present the requested documentation.


The resolution of your file is awaiting signature. What do I do? Wait 15 working days to check the status of your application.


Your immigration file has a resolution, and you have been notified. What do I do? Check with CRIE to ensure the resolution has been received, and we will help you with the required steps to secure the resident card.


This indicates that the applicant has received his or her resident card (DIMEX). If you’ve applied for a change of category and already have your resident card, it’s possible that the status check will show this result until it reverts to “Resolucion Firmas.” What do I do? Please continue to check the status periodically. Note that you should apply for a change of category with enough leeway time to avoid the expiration of your current resident card.

Is your residency taking too long?

We can do a full investigation on your behalf with the Costa Rica Immigration Department (DGME) and report to you with the details we find about anything slowing down your process and give you options to fix the problem.

What to Do If Your Immigration Status is Pending

If your immigration status is pending, it means that your application is still under review by the Costa Rica Immigration Department. This is a normal part of the process; it can take several months for a decision to be made. Here are some steps you can take during this period:

Be Patient: The immigration process can be lengthy.

Prepare for the Next Steps: While waiting, you can start preparing for the next steps in case your application is approved. This includes understanding your obligations as a resident and planning for your life in Costa Rica.

Remember, a pending status is not a negative outcome. It’s just part of the process. Stay positive and proactive, and before you know it, you’ll have your decision.



What to Do If Your Immigration Status is Approved

Congratulations! If your immigration status is approved, you’re officially a resident of Costa Rica. Here are the next steps:

  • Understand and comply with the obligations of your new status.
  • Regularly check your status to ensure it remains valid.



What to Do If Your Immigration Status is Denied

If your immigration status is denied, don’t panic. It’s essential to understand the reasons for the denial. These could be due to incomplete documentation, failure to meet the requirements or legal issues. Once you understand the reasons, you can explore options for reapplication or appeal.




Checking your Costa Rica immigration status is a crucial part of the immigration process. It helps you stay compliant with the country’s laws and allows you to fully enjoy your time in this beautiful country. Whether your status is pending, approved, or denied, there are clear steps you can take to navigate the situation. Remember, legal immigration is not only a requirement but also a responsibility. Let’s embrace it with diligence and respect for the laws of Costa Rica.


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

[email protected]



Frequently Asked Questions


Can I check my immigration status online?

Yes, you can check your immigration status online through the official website of the Costa Rica Immigration Department. You will need to enter your personal information, including your passport number, to access your status.

How do I contact Costa Rica immigration?

You can contact the Costa Rica Immigration Department through their official website or by calling their official phone number. It’s also possible to visit their office in person for more complex inquiries.

How much money do you need to get residency in Costa Rica?

The financial requirements for residency in Costa Rica vary depending on the type of residency. For pensionado (retiree) residency, you need to prove a monthly income of at least $1,000 from a pension source. For rentista residency, you need to prove a monthly income of $2,500 for at least two years.

How can I check my immigration record?

You can check your immigration record by accessing the online system of the Costa Rica Immigration Department. You will need to provide your personal information, including your passport number.

How can I check my immigration status without receipt?

If you don’t have a receipt, you can still check your immigration status online using your personal information. However, the receipt can provide additional details about your application.

What is immigration status verification?

Immigration status verification is a process where the immigration authorities confirm the legality of a person’s stay in the country. This can be done through an online system or directly with the immigration authorities.

How do I check my deportation status?

To check your deportation status, you would need to contact the immigration authorities directly. They can provide information about any deportation orders or proceedings.

What is the case number for inmigrant visa?

The case number for an immigrant visa is a unique identifier assigned to each immigration application. It is used to track the progress of the application and is usually provided when you submit your application.

How long does it take to process Costa Rica visa?

The processing time for a Costa Rica visa can vary depending on the type of visa and the specifics of the application. However, it typically takes several months.

How long does it take to get residency in Costa Rica?

The process to get residency in Costa Rica can take several months to a year, depending on the type of residency and the specifics of the application. It’s essential to check your status regularly and comply with all requirements to ensure a smooth process.



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