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Foreigners with Criminal Past can Circumvent Costa Rica Residency Law

Costa Rica News – Well it seems that the Costa Rica background check has a little loophole that is allowing US citizens to become Costa Rican citizens with criminal backgrounds. The Costa Rican government seeks to close this loophole by accessing data from Interpol and the FBI.

Citizens with a criminal past from different countries such as the United States, can circumvent the filters of the Directorate of Immigration and obtain a residence permit in Costa Rica.

The “blind spot” in the immigration legislation which allows for citizens with criminal records (from countries with federal systems) to get a clean crime sheet, is by them just moving from one state to another.

Thus, an ex-con or a person with a criminal record in the state of Florida, can get a clean record without a bad history in the state of Washington, and  request residency in Costa Rica.

The existence of this blind spot in the national immigration legislation confirmed the Deputy Minister of Interior, Marcela Chacon Castro, and deputy director of Migration, Freddy Montero Mora.

“That gate is still open and this occurs in federal countries. I’m honest: it is very hard to close because we can not ask immigrants bring us good conduct certificates from the 52 states, “Marcela Chacon Castro admitted.

In turn, Freddy Montero said the Migration Act provides for the existence of a criminal record as a ground to cancel the residence permit of a foreigner in Costa Rica.

“The law clearly states that you can cancel the residence of those who have been convicted in a criminal court judgment in Costa Rica or abroad, when the offense is recognized as such by the Costa Rican criminal law for intentional crimes against life, narcotics or psychotropic substances, trafficking or trafficking, fraud or conspiracy, among other crimes, “Mora Montero specified.

Freddy Montero Mora said that the Immigration Department is making arrangements with Interpol to improve access to criminal records in the countries of the international police network.

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