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You can get into serious trouble when you try to leave Costa Rica with a minor who is registered in Costa Rica but is lacking the required travel permit.
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Isabella, our three-year-old toddler, was born in Atlanta and is thus a United States citizen. But my wife is Costa Rican, and I am Austrian. As a result, she was eligible to apply for citizenship in those two countries as well. For Isabella to become a Costa Rican citizen, we had to register her with the “Registro Civil,” which we did after she was born. At the time, relatives from Costa Rica advised us to look into a so-called “travel permit for Costa Rican minors to exit the country,” but we ignored the advice because we figured that Isabella was also a U.S. citizen and they could not possibly prevent her/us from going home to Atlanta.
The law exists to protect minors from human trafficking and to make sure only the birth parents or legal guardians can take children out of the country.