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Renewing My Residency and Ummm Groveling

August 18th, 2009

23minBack in July, I  blogged about the new cedula renewal process (this also applies to lost cedulas). The days of visiting Immigration (migracion) are over… at least that was what I was told.  I have lived far too long here to think that any process here can change literally overnight.  Overnight in Costa Rica can mean anything less than two years

Well.. I was wrong.  It seems there is a process in Costa Rica that can take less than a decade to change for the better.  Today was my appointment for my cedula renewal at at the American International Mall branch of Banco de Costa Rica in Alajuela.  It went without a hitch… and if this interests you… read on!

Twenty Three Minutes!  OK.. actually it was about 28, but I spent 5 minutes chatting up the young lady at the renewal desk.

And! The new cedula is for TWO years.

Those of you who have had the pleasure of a 5-6 hour wait at immigration whilst being moved from room to room and rows of seats to standing areas in 90 degree heat standing near people who did not bathe that day….  well those people know exactly what I am talking about! And that was for a ONE year renewal.

Today was sweet! Seems immigration has gotten their act together!

The Process

The bank security guard took my old cedula, gave it to the woman at the renewal desk (yes, it is a dedicated desk in an air conditioned branch).

She waggled a come here finger to me and it was all over just that quick.  I gave her my address, phone number and the closest Post Office branch (Belen) as they deliver the cedula to the closet branch of Correos de Costa Rica (Post Office) and about three weeks.  I bet they do too!

The only “issue” was the 329 times I needed to press my index fingers (both) into the little fingerprint reader thingy. Apparently it is not a very good fingerprint reader thingy as she mentioned a lot of folks have finger print issues. Apparently it requires a correct reading 4 time in a row per finger.  I’d get 1 then 3 then 1 then none… and eventually 4.  The other digit… sigh.  No big deal! Probably did not help that my fingers are the size of most Tica’s feet… but I digress!

That’s it… a boring post if ever the was one!

5 Responses to “Renewing My Residency and Ummm Groveling”

  1. Bob Furlong on August 19, 2009 6:57 am

    Tim, Don’t get lulled into a sense of complacency, the first part of my process went great as well, ALERT this part was accomplished in a Bank not Govt institution. Watch out Soc Med Ty[es in USA. I waited the required number of days and contacted the post office, no joy, visited a couple of times, no joy , tracked on migracion site, no joy. (No joy is a piloting term for no contact, has nothing to do with Gay movement. 3 weeks after promised date post office had received a missal for me though still not reflected on migracion site. Went to Sabanilla post office and the nice folks provided with a sealed enveloope following much signing of paper. To my chagrin it was a letter from migracion that I needed to visit them on the next Saturday. You guessed it, not open on Sat. Contacted my Attorney and she advised I go the following Tuesday. I had previously paid the $300 for possible deportation and picked up a copy of this from lawyer before trip. Hour and half wait at migracion , talked thru Tica friend and was told hold up was not paying $300 Extradition fee. Showed receipt and pointed out the document in my file and functionary said OH I must have missed it. Needed to wait till next day for cedula as machine was down. Returned next day and after an hour wait, the machine became functional and I received my cedula. Wish there was a moral to this story, oh I see lots of them, you write them. Bob, Permanent residente libre condiciones.

  2. Jim Gaudet on August 19, 2009 7:41 am

    Wow this does sound better. I went with a friend and it took forever. I couldn’t believe it, but now I feel better about “the process”

  3. Mary on September 1, 2009 11:33 am

    Any way to get Cedula renewed in the same day?

  4. Tim on September 18, 2009 10:04 am


  5. Evan on August 22, 2012 7:18 pm

    I just went through the renewal application process. Two days ago my wife called the BCR 800 number. They scheduled an appointment today at a BCR in Barrio California. The whole process took 20 minutes and costed $136. I have a comprobante and they tell me that my new cedula will arrive at a Post Office on 9/12. In the meantime, I can use the comprobante as proof of residency. So far, it was really painless!!!