New amnesty declared for illegal laborers until Aug. 1

Illegal immigrants in agriculture, construction and domestic service will get another chance to become legal with a new amnesty decreed by the central government Monday.

These workers have 10 months to file the required paperwork, including a certification by their own embassy. The bulk of this labor force is in the country on an expired tourist visa, the government said.

The amnesty is not for most expats. Women who apply must be from a Central American country and be in domestic service.  All applicants will have to show they have been working in Costa Rica since Sept, 18.

Illegal workers will be subject to a $100 fine starting next Aug. 1 at the expiration of the amnesty period, said a government announcement that added that employers also would be fined.

Freddy Montero Mora, a vice minister of Gobernación y Policía, said the amnesty was designed to promote social justice.

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