Recognition of companies before migration Costa Rica

By: Valeria Rivera y Jose Andrés Gutiérrez 

Due to the growing interest in the establishment of operations of foreign companies in Costa Rica, and the fact that the process of legalization of the immigration status of foreign employees is one of the main obstacles that national and foreign companies must face when they wish to include foreign workers in their business, the Costa Rican government determined that the incorporation of these foreign capital companies was extremely favorable for the country’s economy.

As a consequence of the above, decree 36576-G-COMEX allows those companies established or about to be established which comply with the pre-established requirements to opt for the Registration of Companies before the General Directorate of Immigration and Foreigners; such registration brings with it a series of benefits such as:

A specialized window, which will give priority to the cases presented by said window.
Shorter resolution times, compared to the usual time frame of the regular window. The timeframe is estimated to be reduced to between 5 to 7 months.
Simpler processes for all the companies that decide to opt for this registry. There is a series of documents provided by the companies at the time of accreditation, which will not have to be provided each time an employee of such company submits an application for residency.
It is expected that eventually the digital platform of Tramite Ya! ( will provide the option to submit these procedures digitally.

In order to initiate the company recognition applications to the interested companies, they must be part of one of the following seven (7) classifications:

Classification A: those companies operating or initiating their operation under spatial promotion and export regimes. These regimes are administered and supervised by the Ministry of Foreign Trade (COMEX) and the Foreign Trade Promotion Agency of Costa Rica (PROCOMER).

Classification B: corresponds to companies that export goods or services outside of the aforementioned spatial promotion and export regimes; or those companies that carry out research and development activities.

Classification C: this classification refers to companies that operate in the tourism sector within Costa Rica, with particular reference to tourist lodging areas; however, these must have a Tourist Declaration and a classification of more than 4 stars. Likewise, area lines may be registered, as long as they are registered before the Association of Area Lines, they may be dedicated to the transportation of passengers or cargo, as long as the latter also has an operator category.

Classification D: this category is focused on companies operating in the financial sector in Costa Rica, provided they are registered or supervised by SUGEF, SUPEN, SUGEVAL, or those operating in the insurance sector and registered with SUGUESE.

Classification E: dedicated to companies engaged in the operation of telecommunications in Costa Rica, which are supervised by the Superintendence of Telecommunications (SUTEL).

Classification F: focused on those multinational companies, whose parent company has decided to install a subsidiary in Costa Rica, with a line of business of production and commercialization of goods and services. The term “multinational” should be understood as those companies that have operations in at least 3 countries in addition to Costa Rica.

Classification G: companies that are awarded an administrative contract with an entity or body of the Public Administration may opt for this classification; however, the minimum term of the contract must be 1 year.

The process of company recognition is quite agile, once all the requirements have been submitted, the estimated waiting time for a resolution is only 4 to 5 weeks approximately and the recognition before Immigration will be valid for up to 2 years.

If you want to know more about the benefits of your company having the status of “company recognized before migration”, or to know if your company fits in any of the classifications, do not hesitate to contact us at or at the number 2257-3553.