Costa Rica News – For the past couple of days, an article has been circulating about a “new law” to stop the perpetual tourism in Costa Rica. There are a number of things that need to be said about this particular issue.
For goodness sake people!!! You have to choose where get your information from! It appears that this debacle initiated with an article posted in the Costa Rica Star by Marcel Evans on Sunday, January 12th, 2014. The article has the heading of “New Law in Costa Rica for Perpetual Tourist”.
First of all, I wonder if Marcel Evans is a real journalist and the Costa Rica Star is a legitimate news source. My intention here is not necessarily to attack Mr. Evans or the Star, but to protect responsible news broadcasting.
At the bottom of Mr. Evan’s article there is some text that says “Article by JacoHotels.com”. If you go to that website, you will notice that the article has no authorship. So, how can you rely on that? Going a little further, the article from Mr. Evans is a carbon copy of an article posted on February 19, 2010 in AMCostaRica.com.
Furthermore, it mentions that the Director of Immigration Mr. Mario Zamora had a meeting last week about this new law. Please notice that Mr. Zamora has not been the Director of Immigration for almost four years, he was appointed secretary of security in 2010 by President Laura Chinchilla.
This just shows the poor job that Mr. Evans and the Costa Rica Star does about providing information to the people at large.
Finally, the article initially makes reference to another article they published on December 26th, which was not an article. The Star charges $100 USD for doing press releases. This may look as a news article sometimes, but in this instance, the press release was for the attorney that they showed in the story. Mr. Campos may be a great attorney, but this not a story, this is advertising. So, my guess is that the new “article” from Mr. Evans is another attempt to further their advertising interest.
You cannot blame the Star for trying to make some money to put beer in the fridge, but the manner in which they are conducting business is not responsible. Unfortunately, anybody can be journalist today, just as everybody is a chef, a yoga instructor, a photographer, and an attorney.
If you want real news, try to read the Tico Times, or La Nación. If you do not choose your news sources wisely, you are running the risk of not knowing what is going on and making some piss poor decisions.
Perpetual Tourism and the “New Law”
I wonder who came with the term perpetual tourist. They should have copyrighted it and make a ton of dough.
Anyhow, some nationals from certain countries are allowed to arrive to Costa Rica without previously obtaining an entry visa at a Costa Rican Consulate. These countries are generally industrialized countries, such as the US, Canada, western Europe, Japan and Australia. We are not going to refer to the other countries because they are not relevant in this discussion. To move along, nationals from these countries are allowed to remain in Costa Rica for 90 days for tourism purposes. This is the so called 90 day tourist visa. As the name implies, IT IS A TOURIST VISA. I would like to believe that every one of you reading this post understands what a tourist is, so I will not elaborate into the definition of tourism.
Costa Rica, just like any other country, welcomes foreign nationals to do tourism under this type of visa. However, if the person desires to stay longer, for instance, to buy a house and get a job, then common sense will tell us that person is no longer a tourist. So how do you expect to live in a country as a tourist? For this purpose, the Costa Rican Congress, as many other legislators around the world, have enacted laws that allow foreign nationals to remain in the country under other categories different from the tourist visa.
In Costa Rica, it is a reality that there are thousands of foreign nationals living under the tourist visa category. The government wants to stop that. Whether we agree with the Costa Rican government about the reasoning of stopping perpetual tourism, the reality is that is getting a lot harder to remain in Costa Rica under “the table”. If you want to live in Costa Rica, or any other country for that matter, you will need to obtain status.
As noted, there is no such law to terminate perpetual tourism, or to allow tourist to renew their visas with $100 USD. However, last year the Immigration Department issued a memo to the various immigration posts to restrict tourist visas for foreign nationals with signs of perpetual tourism. It is going to get to a point when they are going to start rejecting people at the borders or airports.
The current immigration law and regulations allow plenty of options for people to become residents or to remain in the country under other categories.
Immigration is a legal procedure. The Costa Rica Star is not the right place to get legal information, and they have made that clear today. The best mind set is to figure out a way to do things right. To that end, you will need to obtain information from the right sources, and in this case, hire a good attorney. Do not rely in bogus news outlets.
All and all, I personally believe that every person should be allowed to live wherever they please. But the immigration laws in Costa Rica and around the world are very distant from my personal beliefs. I also believe, that if you are an immigrant and do not like the way that the law is set up, you could change the law if you and all other immigrants join efforts to petition the Costa Rican government to make immigration laws even more friendly.
So, what we can get from this today is that:
You cannot trust everything that you read or listen to in the street.
The days of the perpetual tourist are coming to an end.
You can make a change.
Hire a professional to help you.