The immigration agency is embarking on an amnesty plan that will make legal thousands of foreigners living in Costa Rica, but the proposal has little to offer U.S. and Canadian expats.
Special deals are being offered to those who let their residency expire before 2003. And foreigners with children born in Costa Rica also can obtain legal residency. So can what the Dirección General de Migración y Extranjería is calling special cases. These are persons who are handicapped, physically or mentally.
Immigration also is offering residency to persons 25 years and younger who came to Costa Rica as a child. Although some U.S. and Canadian expats might fit in some of these categories, the bulk are expected to be Nicaraguans and other Latin Americans who hare living here illegally.
A.M. Costa Rica reported before the new immigration law received final approval in 2009 that the text contained provisions for amnesties. However, there were no specifics.
In the past Costa Rica has offered amnesties to those who have lived here a certain amount of time, legal or illegal.