The new Costa Rica Dimex residency card is worrying some residents unnecessarily.
Some online newspapers in English reported this week about the new DIMEX cards. But the information wasn’t clear what a DIMEX is.
As a result, I have received several emails from my readership. They are worried about not being able to do any bank business without the new residency card. Of course, you can also use this residency card to buy Costa Rica real estate, although your valid passport will do.
Expiration old residency card
From January 2012 on, public and private banks and financial institutions will require all foreigners residing in the country to have this new identity card. This card, the Dimex, is issued by the Directorate General of Immigration. See below how the DIMEX (Documento de Identidad Migratorio para Extranjeros) looks like. This card has, just like modern passports, all your information digitally hidden in the film strip on the back of your card.
Apparently, there are still some people that have their old booklet type residency card. That’s because their residency hasn’t expired yet. Also, the regulation applies only to foreigners living in Costa Rican territory as residents, temporary workers, refugees, and students. Tourists can use their passport.
I’m pretty sure that if you have one of the old residency cards (DUM = Documento Único Migratorio), you can just use your passport. But, it will be better to apply for a new DIMEX as soon as you can. The old residency cards all expire in 2013. Those who have a sticker in their passport to show for residency, expire in August 2012.
The reason for the change
The reason for this measure is taken to prevent the increase in cases of phishing scams. The DIMEX meets the provisions of laws against drug trafficking and organized crime. The identification card provides for the bank being able to check the computer system for the validity of the document. So if you have a bank account in Costa Rica, public or private bank, you better check which residency card you have. I’m sure the bank makes your life miserable it yours expired.
Since 2008, Costa Rica immigration has started this process. All aliens with legal status in Costa Rica need the Immigration Identity Card for Foreigners (Dimex). This identification consists of 12 digits and is considered very safe against possible forgeries.
Therefore, if you have any questions or comments about the DIMEX residency card issue, feel free to leave a comment below.
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