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Same-Sex Marriage in Costa Rica is legal now

Estimated Reading Time: 3 Minutes

Same-Sex Marriage in Costa Rica is legal now

Starting today, same-sex marriage is legal in Costa Rica today, on May 26, 2020. This is great news for the LGBT community in Costa Rica and those planning to relocate to Costa Rica.

In January 2018, The Constitutional Chamber of Costa Rica gave Congress the opportunity to process a law on equal marriage. As part of the Advisory Opinion issued by the Inter-American Court of Human Rights.

For many years Costa Ricans have opposed same-sex marriage for cultural and religious reasons. Do you belong to the LGBT community? Then, you can now get legally married and celebrate this publicly or have an event at your own home. In Costa Rica, you can find most wedding event supplies, even tablecloth linens, easily. PAC, under president Solis, promoted equal rights since the last government.

Congress decided not to intervene and last night, at 00.00 hours the term expired. This repealed the articles of the Family Code and other laws that prevented the same-sex marriage.

As a result, some Regulatory aspects of importance are:

Notarial Implications

  • Notaries Public may perform a same-sex Civil Marriage.
  • Notaries Public must perform the same due diligence to verify the legitimacy of the parties to act.

Migratory Implications

  • Temporary Residence as Dependents is accepted by the General Directorate of Migration and Aliens, when the existence of a union recognized abroad as marriage, de facto union, or any other civil figure is proven. This must be allowed by the legislation of the country where the same was carried out, or such recognition was granted.
  • The Civil Registry must process applications for Naturalizations through ties with Costa Rica to persons of the same sex. In addition, it is necessary to meet the requirement of having TWO (2) years of marriage duly registered in Costa Rica after legally residing in the country.
  • Temporary Residence through ties with a Costa Rican is accepted by the General Directorate of Immigration and Foreigners when the existence of a marriage bond with a Costa Rican citizen is verified, said union has to be registered in the Civil Registry of Costa Rica, starting May 26, 2020.

Social Security Implications

  •  Since October 2014 the Costa Rican Social Security Fund (Caja) amended the Health Insurance Regulations giving same-sex couples the possibility for the assurance. Therefore, the applicant has to demonstrate his/her ties with the registration of Civil Marriage.

In other words, Costa Rica is now a true option for the relocation of same-sex couples or families of the same sex. In conclusion, same-sex marriage has the same legal and social security benefits in Costa Rica.

The Author

Juan Jose Valerio Alfaro, Esq. practices Immigration law, Intellectual Property, Competition, Corporate, and Business. For more information:

VIVANCO & VIVANCO TRUST SERVICES is a natural expansion of the international services that we have been providing for decades and which has shown significant growth in recent times. VIVANCO & VIVANCO IMMIGRATION is specialized in immigration services and processes and is an efficient department within the Firm. So, if you need more information, visit their website now.

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