QCOSTARICA – Costa Rica’s immigration service, the Dirección General de Migración reforzará (DGME), announced Wednesday that it will add 75 officials at immigration posts at the San Jose and Guanacaste airports, to reduce waiting times for arrivals.

The decision comes after a request from President Rodrigo Chaves, of a series of solutions to the problems faced by tourists visiting the country.

“Costa Rica’s tourism brand was being damaged by the historic, legendary lines at the airport, spending four or five hours in that line,” said Rodrigo Chaves at a press conference on Wednesday.

“Por los aeropuertos de nuestro país pasan el 85% de movimientos de entrada y salida de Costa Rica”.

Esas fueron las palabras de Marlen Luna Alfaro, viceministra de Gobernación y directora de Migración y Extranjería.

— Casa Presidencial (@presidenciacr) July 20, 2022

Marlen Luna, Director of Immigration, explained that the arrival time is expected to be reduced to one hour, given that the wait to collect luggage and do the customs process will also be reduced.

Luna indicated that staff from regional headquarters would be used to complement the necessary human resources at the airports.

Currently, Immigration has 28 control officials at the airport in San Jose and 18 at the airport in Guanacaste. The addition of 75 more officials, distributed between the two airports, is expected to meet the goals of reducing check-in times.

“That guarantees that we can have the bases full, that means all the positions in total occupation during peak hours, seven days a week,” said the director of Immigration.

Read more: Travelers denounce long lines at San Jose airport due to an apparent lack of immigration staff

At peak times, arriving passengers at the Juan Santamaria International (San Jose) airport reported waiting up to four hours to check through immigration. Not as long, arriving passengers at the Guanacaste airport in Liberia, a fraction of the San Jose airport, also commented on social networks about long wait times.

The immigration line at the San Jose airport last January

Read more: Long lines at San Jose airport at start of high season normal

Down from two hours and ten minutes to just one hour, since they get off the plane, is what travelers are promised with this new plan.

As to departures, the commitment is to go from just under two hours to one hour in the entire process.

The changes are focused on the country’s high tourism season that starts in November.


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