We originally scheduled our fingerprint trip in early July, then changed it to late May because the Interpol report would take too long – we risked missing the August deadline.
At the police station, they took down identifying information, including height and weight. Hmmm - *not* in feet/inches and pounds – imagine that! Fortunately, they had a height pole, but no scale.
We planned a trip in December, hoping that we could pick up our Cédulas then. We found out later that (a) no appointments were available until February, and (b) we had to pick up the Cédulas within 6 months of gaining residency status.
It took us maybe and hour or two to get our account set up into a laddered CD system and get a letter from the bank for immigration. The confusing part was the timing. We need to have a bank letter stating that we have 5 years of income. We thought it had to cover the 5 years of residency, which doesn’t start until we are approved. But the bank had to set it up for starting now. That was a little confusing and scary, so we had the bank call ARCR just to make sure. Sure enough – all is well.
We were told that our Cédula appointment was for February 12; we made our trip plans and plane reservations. Then we asked who we would meet, and where – oops! No, our appointment is on the 19th! Another change of plans.
Our original attempt (May 2006) to set up the CDs failed – but by the time we heard there was a problem, we were already back in the USA. We were assured we could fix it when we returned – we could do nothing long-distance, not even by fax or courier. By the time we returned to Costa Rica (December 2006), 6 months had elapsed, and our bank accounts had been deactivated. We had some few moments of concern... It took 2 days, another letter of introduction, and a couple of dollars to fix, but all is well now. (ok - that sounds like I am talking about a bribe - but no! It literally took a couple of dollars - deposited in our accounts - to reactivate them)
When we were notified in October that we were legal residents, we thought October was the start of our residency year. We didn't think to ask what the exact approval date was. When we picked up our Cédulas, we found out that it was *much* earlier. That meant that we needed to move approximately 6 weeks earlier than we had planned. Well, that simply did not leave us with enough time to accomplish everything – yikes! So, on to plan B. We will make an extended trip to Costa Rica to meet the 122 day requirement, return to California, do what we need to do, *then* move.