San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Fines for hiring undocumented immigrants to begin this month

Companies that hire undocumented immigrants could receive fines of up to 12 base salaries ($17,130) starting this month, when the new Immigration Law becomes effective.

Immigration Administration General Director Kathia Rodríguez explained that although the new Immigration Law went into effect in March, the regulation is still under review to prevent people from using a legal loophole to circumvent the law.

The new law punishes those who hire employees who do not have permission to work in the country, but Rodríguez said it is difficult for [Immigration] to nab those who have the habit of leaving the country every three months. “The Immigration Administration has all the records on arrivals and departures, but the law allows visitors the possibility to do this as many times as they want,” she said.

However, Rodríguez stated that if it can be proved that someone is working on a tourist visa, the employer will be punished and the person could be deported immediately.

According to the Immigration Administration, some 45,000 people are rejected every year while trying to enter the country, and about 500 foreigners are deported.

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