by: Robelyn M. Yambao
This is Robelyn, I'm back again. Today, I'm going to share our experience in applying my baby's crba and passport. So, let's get into it!
The Documents They Asked
We brought the following original documents:
* Baby's Costa Rican Birth Certificate (this should be from the civil registry with timbres) but we got ours online so, the officer asked us to scan a copy of the certificate from the civil registry (TSE) the one in literal form and send it to their email.
* Parent's marriage certificate, it is okay not translated or got it online.
* Divorce decree if any
* Passport of parents
* Driver's license or national ID of parents
* Proof of physical presence in USA of the US citizen parent (we provided them school record for this proof and they approved it)
In our case, my husband has aliases so we included explanatory affidavit in support of his alias with documents.
We got our appointment in their website a month ago. Once you completed all your documents, you should go ahead and do appointment because usually it was fully booked to avoid getting a long waiting time. Then, print a copy of your appointment to take with you on your interview day.
At The US Embassy
We arrived at the embassy one hour before our appointment. There were other people in the line-up including a group of families. Once you arrived the officer will come to you to ask your purpose or appointment especially when you have kids with you they usually give priority to check if you are on the list. They will check your bag and ask if you have gadgets or anything that is not allowed inside. We left our bags in the MasXMenos grocery baggage counter walking distance from the embassy. But, when they checked my purse they found two pens and in my husband's waist wallet they found razor and nail cutter. So, they threw away the razor and nail cutter while they kept my pens, wrote my name and instructed me to get it when we exit the building. Inside the building, you will see the photo booth/white board where you can take passport size picture of your baby for only 1ooo colones that is equivalent to $2. Then, there are also officers will guide you at the center when you ask where to go for CRBA. They will tell you to go to the left of the entrance door to go to the area of windows 5, 6 & 7 that's beside the cashier. There are chairs there where you can wait for your name call. Once they call your baby's name, you go to that window and present the documents required.
The first interview will be when presenting the documents.
Consul: Hi, how are you?
Us: Fine, thanks. How about you?
Consul: Great! So, do you have all the documents? What is the document you have for your 5 years proof of presence in US?
Us: Yes, we have here the school record. But, the surname in the passport and the school record are not the same so we have affidavit.
Consul: Let me have it!
We gave all the documents including the application forms and picture.
Consul: Wait for a moment.
We went back to our chair while the consul was reviewing all the papers. Then, he called us to pay the fee of $215 at the cashier window and went back to him to give a copy of the receipt.
After awhile, in another window we heard another consul calling our baby's name. We went to that window. We greeted each other! Then, the consul asked us to raise our right hand and make a statement that we will tell the truth nothing but the truth. So help me God! Start of interview:
Consul: So, the baby's name is Kaylee Jazlyn am I correct?
Consul: When and where did you get married?
Consul: How long you've been in a relationship?
Here, they will ask more about personal questions to prove your relationship such as When and where did you meet?
After the question and answer about relationship and baby information, the consul will tell you "Congratulations your application is approved! Pick up the passport and CRBA within two weeks between 8am-11am, just show your receipt".
We left the building with smile and relief!
Two weeks later, we got email notification from US embassy informing us that the passport and certificate are ready for pick-up!
That's all for today. Thank you for reading, see you next time!
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COSTA RICAN BORDER: The Cheapest Visa Run To Avoid The New Immigration Law $100 Fines Effective On April 20, 2018
by: Robelyn M. Yambao
I am going to share the new information we received from the immigration regarding the renewal of stay here in Costa Rica. Last December 2017, I gave birth to a beautiful baby here in Costa Rica therefore, I have a Costa Rican baby. Through our baby as a direct relative, we can apply for permanent residency or citizenship through her, just submit paper works proving that we are the parents. If we get the residency, we don't need to leave the country every 90 days. Unfortunately, we did not apply residency yet. In this case, we will need to exit the country to renew our stamp. We thought that we are exempted not to cross and it's okay to overstay because our newly born baby has no passport yet. The system in Costa Rica is very slow in providing papers like our baby's birth certificate that takes 2 months before we can receive a copy. Every paper you need, they will give you appointment just like the hospital director letter stating the pertinent facts of the birth, we should wait for another 3 weeks to get the letter. In short, we already spent 1 month more after the expiration of our stamp.
When they release the important statement from the immigration law that starting April 20th, 2018, they will collect fines of $100 for every month of overstay in the country. We thought that was unfair in our situation because without the baby we can cross the border anytime. Since, their system is so slow, we couldn't leave until the baby's papers are done. To be safe with the fines, we called the immigration officer to clear it up. She told us that we still need to pay the fines if we can't renew our stamp before April 20, 2018. That is a sure thing that can make us broke since we are 3 in the family. If we overstay for 2 more months, that will be $600 fines for us. So, we did a visa run immediately the other day before hitting April 20th to avoid the fines.
The Department of Immigration will start applying the law on April 20th, 2018 collecting a $100 fine per month for overstaying your tourist visa in Costa Rica .
When we enter Costa Rica, we are allowed to stay for 90 days depending on your return ticket date. The maximum allowed is 90 days, if you show them a return ticket that stating a month of stay, then you must leave the country in 30 days.
If you overstay your tourist visa you are subject to deportation and a fine of $100 for every month you overstay in the country starting on April 20, 2018. The fine will be computed at your exit from Costa Rica (airport or border crossing). This new law was approved many years ago by article 3 of the Immigration Law (Law 8764) but the implementation has been postponed. Starting April 20th the law will be applied and many foreigners will be affected if they won't renew their stamp before this date.
As far as my understanding, this also applies to those foreigners who have temporary residency or special residency categories that had expired DIMEX.
If those foreigners let their residency card expire, they will be charged $100 per month for every month that passes until they renew it. For safety purpose, call the immigration office to make sure that you are safe.
Watch my video by going to this LINK:
The Cheapest Budget Visa Run
Last April 6, 2018 we did our visa run with my family. We overstay for a month here so we need to renew our stamp before April 20 to avoid fines. Since, we have a baby who has no paper, we still took her at the border but we left her to our friend while we did our thing in crossing the border. That was the best thing we can do to renew our stamp. We should trust friend for our baby, a risky decision, just to avoid fines. If you have the same situation with us you should choose the best friend you ever had to take care of your baby while you are out for 2 hours.
The Cheapest visa run I am talking about is crossing the Las Tablillas Border. In this border, you can return as soon as 1-2 hours depends with the number of people that are crossing the border. Only few people are taking this route because most of the people are used to take Penas Blancas border. This border has friendly officers, few walks away and less traffic. You don't need to cross Nicaragua and stay for few hours or overnight in the hotel. But, you should stay at least 20 minutes at the immigration departure area and can return in Costa Rica after you get your exit stamp. The officers are friendly that they told us it's not a problem if you go there just for stamping. Those who needs visa in entering Nicaragua like me, it takes longer stay in the office compared to others like Americans. My husband is an american so he can come back to CR in an hour if lot of people are waiting in line, if only few people are waiting, it won't take that long. For me and my daughter as Filipinos, we finished our stamping in 2 hours because we waited for our visa upon arrival in Nicaragua. My American husband doesn't need a visa to enter Nicaragua so that makes a difference.
The Total Cost to do the visa run
You should prepare the total of $22 USD for exit tax (Costa Rica $8) and municipality tax + tourist card + arrival/exit tax (Nicaragua $12 + $2). While $72 USD if your nationality needs a visa to enter Nicaragua like myself, it costs me $50 USD for the visa.
If you don't have a car, we can offer you our service because we have a Costa Rican friend who can drive you for your visa run going to Las Tablillas border. It takes only 3 hours from San Ramon to the border and she will wait for you until you finish. For more info about the visa run service please contact me.
WATCH ANOTHER VIDEO HERE!
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A licensed teacher in the Philippines who shifted her career into another direction to follow her passion to be a blogger. Her blogs are related in traveling and simple living as an expat in a foreign land.