New banking requirements for foreign residents aim to combat money laundering
Starting July 1 foreign nationals will no longer be able to use their passports to open bank accounts or transfer funds between banks in Costa Rica.
After the beginning of July, foreigners will be required to present the Foreign person Identification Document (DIMEX)—a new identification card that will contain a 12-digit identification number for each cardholder and information about that person’s immigration status.
Security and Immigration officials announced the new requirements Monday at a press conference at the Ministry of Public Security.
Immigration Administration general director, Kathia Rodríguez, said obligatory use of the DIMEX card in banking transactions is an effort to put Costa Rica’s “house in order” in terms of the immigration status of the roughly 382,000 foreign nationals currently in the country.
Besides consolidating identification and immigration status in one card, the new requirements will allow security officials to track bank transactions by foreigners in the country—a key step in combating money laundering.
It is a way to see “who does what in the banking system,” said Public Security Minister, Mario Zamora.
Carlos Meleguetti, Director of Financial Services at Banco Nacional said the DIMEX requirements will bring to the foreign population in Costa Rica the same oversight in financial transactions that Costa Rican citizens have had to follow for years. Ticos must present their cédulas (identification cards) to make banking transactions.
Costa Rica is classified as a “major money laundering country” by the United States Department of State in its 2012 International Narcotics Control Strategy Report.
The Immigration Administration will issue DIMEX cards to foreigner residents, temporary residents and students who meet the requirements for residency. Current legal residents should contact Immigration to obtain their card.
See full story in Friday’s edition
You may be interested
Costa Rica still plans to negotiate with the IMF, Alvarado saysAlejandro Zúñiga - December 4, 2020
President Carlos Alvarado still intends for Costa Rica to negotiate with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to address the country's…
News briefs: Costa Rica news highlights to start your FridayAlejandro Zúñiga - December 4, 2020
Happy Friday from The Tico Times! Here's the news you should know as a new day starts in Costa Rica.…
Unemployment and underemployment rates remain high in Costa RicaAlejandro Zúñiga - December 3, 2020
Unemployment in Costa Rica was 21.9% in the August-October quarter, slightly lower than the previous period but still significantly higher than the…