Special immigration rules cover construction worker

Those who work in construction will have until March to get residency, according to an announcement made Monday by the Dirección General de Migración y Extranjería.

This only applies to persons who have worked for an employer or company since May doing construction, carpentry or masonry, said Kathya Rodríguez, the agency director.

The decision comes from a recommendation by the Ministerio de Trabajo to allow companies more time to make all their workers legal, she said.

The process has ended for others who were eligible for residency under the Tiempo de Oportunidad program by immigration.

Persons had the option to renew residency or start the process to achieve residency and obtain a DIMEX card. More than 70,000 foreigners stood in long lines and submitted applications for residency over the last six months, said the agency.

Residency will benefit these persons by letting them feel relaxed and secure while allowing them access to banking services, education, health and scholarships, said Ms. Rodriguez.

It will also help authorities get a real record of who is in the country, she added.

Everyone who applied had to fit in one of four categories. The first applied to persons who had residency but it expired between 2003 and 2012. Under this clause, 34,897 former residents were allowed to resubmit their documents, said the agency.

The second applied to those who were parents of a Costa Rican minor, and 8,864 persons took advantage of this entitlement.

Other persons eligible for residency were those who did domestic or agricultural work. Some 1,324 persons submitted documents for this. Of that number, 85 percent worked domestically.

Those who applied for residency are asked to remain patient. Since so many applications are being processed, it may take longer to resolve cases, an immigration spokespersons said.

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