Most of the readers may recall that back in January 2012, the DIMEX card became very famous since the Costa Rican Central Bank said it was going to be mandatory for banking purposes, well, after a good sleep the DIMEX is back on the charts.
DIMEX Mandatory for SINPE
Let’s start by explaining that SINPE stands for National Electronic Payment System, and is basically the platform used to electronically transfer funds from one Costa Rican Bank to another, for instance to transfer funds from Banco de Costa Rica to Banco Nacional.
Both the sender and the recipient must have an ID and starting on July 1st, 2012 all the account holders who are not Costa Rican must have a DIMEX, otherwise the system won’t process the transfer.
Ok, but what is DIMEX?
Well, DIMEX stands for Migratory Identification Document for Foreigners, so in plain words this means the Residency Card, so you do have to have in order your migratory status, whether we are talking about Permanent Residency or Temporary Residency.
Keep in mind that this is not really new, the DIMEX was implemented back in 2008, and so, any foreigner with an up to date Migratory Status since that time should have this card.
What do I do?
There are several possible situations regarding DIMEX, as follows I am listing some of the most common ones, but I strongly recommend to double-check your Migratory Status with an Attorney specialized in this area, so:
- If you are Temporary or Permanent Resident in Costa Rica and you got your Residency Card (DIMEX) after 2008, all you have to do is to go to your bank and bring up to date your information, if you haven’t, so the bank makes sure your ID number at the Costa Rican banking systems matches your DIMEX, in case your ID registered at the Bank is your passport number for instance.
- If you are Temporary or Permanent Resident in Costa Rica and you got your Residency Card before 2008, you need to make sure your card is a DIMEX, which means that you already renewed your Residency Card, if your Residency Card is not green or already expired then you want to renew it.
- If you are in the process of becoming a Temporary or Permanent Resident in Costa Rica, and you already opened a Bank Account in Costa Rica, then you need to talk to the Bank and see what options do they offer for this problem, because neither the Ministry of Security Mario Zamora (not related at all to the author of this article) nor Carlos Melegatti from Central Bank explained this when they announced the new measure.
- If you haven’t start the process to become a Temporary or Permanent Resident in Costa Rica and opened a Bank Account with your passport, then start the process of becoming a legal resident and talk to your Bank, keep in mind that passports numbers won’t be accepted at the Costa Rican banks for SINPE purposes.
Keep in mind that so far the official information is that DIMEX is going to be mandatory for SINPE, so there will be a lot of questions with no answers, so, check your information with your bank and also check your Migratory Status, you may need to hire a good attorney to get this done, but be patient this may take months, and that is what the Government never tells potential investors when they invite them to come to Costa Rica.