The Director of Immigration has changed the interpretation of Articles 22, 26, and 34 of the bylaws for the “GUARANTEE DEPOSIT FUND FOR THE GENERAL IMMIGRATION OF FOREIGNERS” law. This law, which has been in effect since 2011, required applicants to make a guarantee deposit of approximately $300 USD to obtain their original ID (DIMEX) card as a resident. This was to secure and guarantee the issuance of the new status.
Under that interpretation of the law, applicants desiring to change their residency status, for example from Pensionado to Permanente, once the change of status was approved, were only required to pay the cost of $123 USD for the new ID card; the original guarantee deposit was used to secure the new status.
Beginning about one month ago, Immigration has ruled that the original deposit made for the previous status will no longer be accepted to guarantee the new status. That is, anyone making a change of status, once approved, will be required to make a new $300 USD deposit, in addition paying the $123 USD cost of the new ID card. Once the applicant has complied with the new deposit payment they will be able to request a refund of the original deposit. (This, however, will require a new request to immigration and at least six months for them to process the refund.)
It is clear that Immigration wants to get fresh funds and to make it as difficult as possible to obtain the return of the original deposit. (The bylaws do mention this procedure but it was never applied because it was obviously redundant and abusive, although applicable.)
If you are in the midst of a change of status procedure, please be prepared to make this new deposit and to wait for the return of your original deposit. For those of you that have already completed the change of status process, be aware that in the future, when you request a renewal, you will be asked to make the new deposit and go through the process for obtaining a refund of the original deposit.
For more information or assistance, contact us at the ARCR offices.