On 1 September 2009, the government of Costa Rica published a new migration law. The following lines identify major changes to the previous regime.
- Executive Payment for foreign nationals. Salaries paid to foreign nationals in an executive position must be at least 25 percent higher than the national minimum wage established for a similar position.
- Dependents. Dependents of foreign workers in Costa Rica may now also seek a job in the country. Prior to the change, spouses of migrant workers were not allowed to seek work in Costa Rica.
- Travel rules. Holders of temporary and permanent visas may now leave the country for up to 2 years without losing their permit. Prior to the change the maximum period was capped at 6 months.
- Retirement. Foreign nationals seeking to retire in Costa Rica must now prove monthly entitlements of at least USD 2'500. Prior to the change in regulation, the minimum level had been set at USD 1'000.
- Fees for residence application. Under the new law, fees for initial and renewed residence permits have been increased to USD 250 (from USD 30) and USD 123 (from USD 58) respectively.
- Consular Visas. Visitors for business purposes may now apply for a visa on arrival rather than prior to the business trip. This amendment does not apply to nationals from countries with "restricted, authorized" status.
The new immigration law is effective from 1 March 2010.