Costa Rica is a host country to asylum-seekers primarily from Latin America and the Caribbean and is a transit point for others. Over the past five years, the country has experienced an upward trend in the number of asylum applications received as a result of political unrest and violence in the region.
Since the onset of the sociopolitical crisis in Nicaragua in April 2018, over 80,000 individuals have sought asylum in Costa Rica. UNHCR works with the Costa Rican Government to support persons in need of international protection.
UNHCR expanded its operations in 2018 by opening a Field Office in the north to assist the Government’s response to the influx of Nicaraguan asylum-seekers in the region. In 2020, the operation added a San Jose Field Unit to respond to the needs of persons of concern (PoC) in the metro area. At a policy level, the framework for the multi-sectoral refugee response is outlined in the Comprehensive Refugee Response Plan (MINARE).