IOM and the Government of Costa Rica present the “Consular Guide to the Repatriation of Costa Ricans Abroad”

15 March, 2019


According to data from the General Directorate of Migration (DGME), 5% of the total population of Costa Rica has migrated internationally. Studies such as the one performed by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and the Research Foundation of the University of Costa Rica (FUNDEVI) show that the United States is the primary country of destination and that 64.5% of total Costa Rican emigrants live in this country. The next most common destinations include Nicaragua (8.1%), Panama (5.7%), Canada (3.8%), and Spain (2.5%).

In this context, on March 11 the DGME and the International Organization for Migration (IOM) presented the “Consular Guide to the Repatriation of Costa Ricans Abroad,” which aims to improve repatriation of Costa Ricans who return to the country after migrating. 

The guide contains the procedures to follow for appropriate repatriation of Costa Ricans abroad who are in vulnerable situations and need to return to the country, as well as for returning the bodies of deceased Costa Ricans when their families lack the economic resources to transport the body to Costa Rica.

“This tool, requested by the Ministry of External Relations and Worship of Costa Rica and the General Directorate of Migration, will improve the capacities of the Government and its various institutions to meet the needs of Costa Ricans who return to the country comprehensively,” stated Roeland de Wilde, Chief of Mission of IOM Costa Rica.

Additionally, the DGME presented the “Diagnostic of Emigration of Costa Ricans and their Reintegration into the Country,” which collected information about how phenomenon of migration is addressed and the process of reintegrating Costa Rican migrants into the country, identifying the primary needs related to reinsertion. It also reviewed sources of support which facilitate migrants’ reintegration process, at the local, regional, and national levels. 

To close, the Directorate of Integration and Human Development presented the book, “Costa Rica: My New Home,” in which 11 migrants from Central America tell their life stories and how they integrated into Costa Rican society. The book is aimed at public and private institutions, with the goal of raising awareness in Costa Rican society and thus breaking down prejudice against migrants. 

“We are very pleased with the work done by the Directorate of Integration and Human Development. These instruments will contribute to improving quality of life for Costa Ricans who return to their country, as well as for migrants who have decided to make Costa Rica their second home,” said Raquel Vargas, director of Migration.

The instruments can be found through the following link [Spanish]

This collaboration between IOM and the DGME is part of the Regional Migration Program: Mesoamerica-The Caribbean. For more information, contact Isis Orozco, National Coordinator of the Program in Costa Rica.