The new immigration law (Ley de Migración y Extranjería) went into effect earlier this month. One of the changes is the requirement of foreign residents working in Costa Rica to contribute to the Caja Costarricense del Seguro Social (CCSS) - social security. Foreign residents who do not contribute will no longer be able to obtain free medical services. Also, foreigners must pay approximately $25 annually that will result in 12 million dollars from 486,000 foreign residents each year to be earmarked for public services most used by immigrants, specifically the CCSS and the Ministry of Education. The legislation also calls for a fine of $100 per month to any foreigner who overstays his or her "legal" visit; 90 days for North Americans and Europeans and 30 days for most other countries.
The law also requires hotels to maintain a public register of all foreigners and the addition of 250 Policía Técnica de Migración (immigration police). Individuals caught transporting illegal immigrants to and from Costa Rica or using false or doctored documents may face 2 - 6 years in prison.