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What can I do if I still do not have a response to my application for residence?

At CELIG we have officiated several wedding ceremonies of same-sex couples and processed the application for temporary residence when one of the spouses is Costa Rican. In some cases, applications to the Directorate General of Migration and Immigration takes several months. In this blog we analyze an option to speed up the process before Immigration.

A foreigner is entitled to have its application decided within three months after filing it before the Directorate General of Migration and Immigration. If a response is not issued within that period, the foreigner may file an amparo before the Constitutional Chamber. This does not require a lawyer, so the person can do it on its own and present it directly before the Court located in La Sabana. On our website we have some templates that may be useful.

Upon receiving the amparo, the Constitutional Chamber will study the case and if it considers that the case is admissible, it will notify Immigration and await its response on the allegations in the amparo. If the Court verifies that there has indeed been a delay, it will order Immigration to issue a response and notify the foreigner. The Constitutional Chamber does not order Immigration to approve an application, but rather orders it to give an answer – be it affirmative or negative – to the applicant. The processing of an amparo can take just a few weeks.

Before filing an amparo, it is essential to verify that the application and all supporting documents before Immigration are complete. If for any reason the person has omitted any document or has not complied with previous requests made by Immigration, it is likely that after filing the amparo the foreigner will have his/her application rejected. In case of doubt as to whether the file is complete, it is advisable to request a review of the file in Immigration.

At CELIG we provide specialized services to the LGBTQI+ community. If you want more information or make an appointment with us, call us at 4800-0248 or write to us at

We are located in San José, Barrio Escalante.

M.Sc. Ana Isabel Sibaja Rojas

CELIG – Center for Equal Litigation