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    Costa Rican Government Signs Two Decrees With New Immigration Provisions

    First decree modifies the refugee regulations on the granting of work permits. The second document corresponds to the Temporary Special Category for Nationals of Cuba, Nicaragua and Venezuela, in order to release the refuge system

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    The government of the Republic of Costa Rica signed two decrees this past Wednesday, the first modifies the Refugee Regulations on the granting of work permits and the second concerns the Special Temporary Category for Nationals of Cuba, Nicaragua and Venezuela, both as part of the immigration provisions mentioned last November 16th.

    Refuge Regulation

    The first decree is a reform to the Refuge Regulation, which determines that work permits will not be granted to applicants immediately, but they must comply with the internal procedure established by the institution and that will be communicated in a timely manner. Permits for those who have already been granted will only be renewed if the person is registered with the Costa Rican Social Security Fund (C.C.S.S)

    Likewise, any new application for international protection must be submitted within one calendar month from the day of entry into the country without the need to request an appointment, and must be presented in person. To do this, the person must come directly from their country of origin, if not, they must justify the reasons why they did not request said protection in the country where they were.

    Likewise, refugee applicants will no longer be able to leave Costa Rica for any reason, while their application is being processed. In doing so, it will be understood as an abandonment of the process and will be archived permanently.

    Temporary Special Category

    The second document corresponds to the Temporary Special Category for Nationals of Cuba, Nicaragua and Venezuela, which would come into force on March 1, 2023, it is carried out in order to release the refuge system, which has suffered an abusive use of the figure that negatively affects refugee applicants who truly deserve international protection and who must wait for months and even years to have a resolution on their refugee status. To date, the General Directorate of Migration and Aliens has received 222,056 refugee applications since 2018, of which 172,689 are still pending resolution; Likewise, the institution has detected that between 80% and 90% of the people who request refuge do not qualify within the definition of this international protection, including economic migrants or those who have been living in the country for years and have never been regularized.

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