How to obtain a police certificate - Costa Rica

If you need to give your fingerprints for a police certificate, this isn’t the same as giving your biometrics (fingerprints and photo) for an application.

Do I need to provide a police certificate when applying for permanent residence?
Yes.

How to get a police certificate:

Name of document(s) to get: Certificacion de Antecedentes Penales de usos varios a nivel internacional

If you are a citizen of Costa Rica:

If you live in Costa Rica:

You can apply in person at the Oficina de Archivo y Registro Judicial (see Information and documents you need for complete address) or you can apply online on the judicial website (available in Spanish only). You will be notified when your certificate is ready for pick-up.

If you live outside of Costa Rica:

You must write a letter to your nearest Consulate of Costa Rica and request a Certificación de Antecedentes Penales de usos varios a nivel internacional. You must include the following information in your letter:

  • Your full name
  • Costa Rican identity card number
  • Place and date of birth
  • Full name of both parents
  • Full name, identity card number and telephone number of someone in Costa Rica who you've authorized to pick up your certificate
  • A photocopy of your valid Costa Rican identity card (both sides)

The Consulate of Costa Rica will send your letter to the Judicial Register of the Supreme Court in San Jose, where your request will be processed and where the person you authorized will pick-up your certificate (see Information and documents you need for complete address).

In order for your certificate to be valid in Canada, it must be authenticated by:

Authentication Office of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Costa Rica
Avenue 7-9, Street 11-13, San José, Costa Rica
Tel. 2223 7555. Ext. 136,188 or 220
For more information, visit the Embassy of Costa Rica website.

If you are not a citizen of Costa Rica:

If you live in Costa Rica:

You can apply in person at the Oficina de Archivo y Registro Judicial (see Information and documents you need for complete address) or you can apply online at the judicial website (available in Spanish only). You will be notified when your certificate is ready for pick-up.

If you live outside Costa Rica:

You must write a letter to your nearest Consulate of Costa Rica and request a Certificación de Antecedentes Penales de usos varios a nivel internacional. You must include the following information in your letter:

  • Your full name
  • Your passport number
  • Place and date of birth
  • Full name of both parents
  • The period of time you lived in Costa Rica
  • Full name, identity card number and telephone number of someone in Costa Rica who you authorized to pick up your certificate.
  • A photocopy of your valid identity document

The Consulate of Costa Rica will send your letter to the Judicial Register of the Supreme Court in San Jose, where your request will be processed and where the person you authorized will pick up your certificate (see Information and documents you need for complete address).

If you don’t have someone in Costa Rica who can pick up your document, you may contact your Embassy or your Consulate for help. You may also contact a legal firm to follow-up with the process.

In order for your certificate to be valid in Canada, it must be authenticated by:

Authentication Office of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Costa Rica
Avenue 7-9, Street 11-13, San José, Costa Rica
Tel. 2223 7555. Ext. 136,188 or 220
For more information, visit the Embassy of Costa Rica website.

Information and documents you need:

  • Applicable fees (Payments can be made at Edificio de los Tribunales, ground floor, in front of the Organismo de Investigación Judicial)
  • For more information, please consult directly with the Authentication Office of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Costa Rica:
    • Oficina de Archivo y Registro Judicial
      Primer piso de Edificio Anexo A, Costado noroeste de la Corte Suprema de Justicia
      Calle 19, Avenida 6,
      San José, Costa Rica
      Telephone: 2295-3682
    • Judicial Register of the Supreme Court
      San José, Barrio González Lahman,
      North side of the Supreme Court, Building Annex A, 1st floor
      Tel. (506) 2295-4737, 2295-3923 or 2295-4764

For more information on requesting a certificate online, please visit the judicial website (available in Spanish only).

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