San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Immigration Considers Limiting Visas for Guatemalans and Mexicans

A few days after drugs were found in a Guatemala-bound plane that crashed in the San José metropolitan area on Sunday, Costa Rican immigration officials said they would consider limiting the number of visas available to Guatemalans and Mexicans.

Former immigration director and now Public Security Vice Minister Mario Zamora said on Monday, “We think it is time to evaluate the possibility of making the entry of citizens of both nationalities (Guatemalan and Mexican) more restrictive, as we have done with Colombia and more recently Jamaica,” according to the daily La Nación.

In a follow up conversation with The Tico Times, Zamora confirmed the situation is being studied.

“There is an initial study under way,” he said. “We do these studies all the time to evaluate the social and economic conditions of the people we give visas to. There are no imminent actions planned.”  

After the murders of a 20-year-old student and a police officer last year, which were linked to a Jamaican gang, immigration officials restricted visas to Jamaicans, requiring that all requests go through a special review process.

Zamora said at the time, “(These restrictions) are in relation to the recent incidents. But the details of (each case) will be taken into consideration” (TT, Nov. 2009).

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