That was the word Monday from Javier Zavaleta of Residency in Costa Rica. He provides a service for foreigners who wish to become residents here.
Zavaleta said his firm has studied the regulations that apply to the amnesty and discovered the loophole that might help North Americans. Until now the general belief was that the amnesty program was geared mainly to help Nicaraguans living here illegally become legal. There are several categories specified in the regulations that do not seem to apply to most expats. For example, persons under 25 who came to Costa Rica as children are eligible. Also eligible are parents of Costa Rican or resident children.
Already reported is that foreigners who let their residency lapse since 2003 could bring their paperwork up to date.
Zavaleta said that the deadline for filing for the amnesty programs is Nov. 17. He said the application is paperwork intensive, similar to that for pensionado and rentista applications. Birth certificates are required for each applicant as well as a police clearance letter from the overseas residence.
The Nicaraguan Embassy on Avenida Central has been flooded with citizens from that country seeking birth certificates and other documents to apply for residency. Also flooded has been the security ministry office that provides fingerprinting, which also is required.
The regulations released by the Dirección General de Migración do not specifically say a person 65 years or older.
The rules use the terms persona extranjera adulta mayor, which is generally accepted to be someone that age or older.
Zavaleta said his sister, Mayanye Zavaleta, who handles the firm’s business in Costa Rica, attended a 20-hour immigration department seminar at which the finer points of the amnesty were discussed.