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Costa Rica visa policy

Costa Rica visa policy
iVisa | Updated on Jan 14, 2023

Visa Policy for Costa Rica

If you want to visit Costa Rica soon, you need to start checking the Costa Rica visa policy. This policy outlines the entry requirements for Costa Rica that nationalities have. Depending on where you’re from, the reasons for your trip to Costa Rica, and the number of days you would like to stay, you could need a visa to enter the country.

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Currently, 97 nationalities are exempt from a visa to Costa Rica. In other words, all these nationalities are only required to have a valid passport before entering the destination. Costa Rican Immigration usually provides a maximum stay of 90 days for these nationalities. Have a valid passport and start packing your bags for Costa Rica if you belong to this visa-free group of countries.

According to the Costa Rica visa policy, if you have a valid multiple-entry visa or residence permit for the European Union, Canada, or the United States, then you can enter Costa Rica without any issues. For US visas, holders of B and D visas are exempt from a visa to Costa Rica. Chinese travelers with a public affairs passport can enter Costa Rica without the need for a visa.

In case your nationality isn’t eligible for the visa exemptions, you will need to approach a Costa Rican embassy or consulate for your visa. You need to gather the required documents and make an appointment to acquire your visa. All the information you need about this process is available within the Costa Rica visa policy.

Tourist Visa Policy for Costa Rica

Following the guidelines of the Costa Rica visa policy, we can confirm that nationalities exempt from a visa to Costa Rica can do tourism activities here. Immigration authorities usually issue this free entry for up to 90 days. However, the period could vary according to your nationality and other factors. If you would like to stay for more than 3 months, you need to obtain a consular visa, which we will explain next.

Remember that having a visa to enter the United States, Canada, or the European Union can also give you free access to Costa Rica. For the US visa, you need to have a B1 / B2, D y C1 / D of multiple entries. For the Canadian visa, you need to have a multiple-entry visa.

It also works if you have a residence permit (Green Card for the US), student visa, work permit for the United States, Canada, Switzerland, England, Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland, any country from the European Union. On the other hand, you have a tourist visa through an embassy or consulate. In this specific case, you need to check what documents you must have before your trip and make an appointment at the nearest Costa Rican diplomatic mission.

Continue checking the Costa Rica visa policy with us.

Tourist Visa for Costa Rica

If you already disregard any of the alternatives that allow you free entry to Costa Rica, you will need a visa from an embassy or consulate. In this case, you must comply with the following requirements:

  • A letter to the Costa Rican Consul with personal and trip details.
  • Visa application form. Check the one you need at the Costa Rican embassy or its website.
  • Passport. You need a passport with a minimum validity of 6 months.
  • Trip itinerary. Show your airline reservation.
  • Funds for the trip.
  • Criminal background check of the last 6 months.
  • Passport photo. 2x2 inches.

The Consul reserves the right to ask for more documents to support your visa application. Check the communications from the consulate for more details about your tourist visa to Costa Rica. Besides, you need to follow all the measures dictated in the Costa Rica visa policy.

The Costa Rica Consulate charges a fee of USD 32 for the tourist visa. The processing time for this visa is 6 working days after you present all your paperwork. In case your visa gets rejected, the cost isn’t refundable. You will need to apply again and pay the same price.

The nationalities that need to request a tourist visa this way are:

  • Albania
  • Algeria
  • Angola
  • Armenia
  • Azerbaijan
  • Bahamas
  • Benin
  • Belarus
  • Bhutan
  • Bosnia and Herzegovina
  • Botswana
  • Burkina Faso
  • Burundi
  • Cameroon
  • Cambodia
  • Central African Republic
  • China
  • Colombia
  • Comores Islands
  • Congo (Dem. Rep.)
  • Congo (Rep.)
  • Chad
  • Djibouti
  • Dominican Republic
  • Ecuador
  • Egypt
  • Eswatini
  • Equatorial Guinea
  • Gabon
  • Gambia
  • Georgia
  • Ghana
  • Guinea
  • Guinea-Bissau
  • India
  • Ivory Coast
  • Indonesia
  • Jordan
  • Kenya
  • Kosovo
  • Kuwait
  • Kyrgyzstan
  • Laos
  • Lebanon
  • Lesotho
  • Liberia
  • Libya
  • Madagascar
  • Malawi
  • Mali
  • Mauritania
  • Moldova
  • Mongolia
  • Morocco
  • Mozambique
  • Namibia
  • Nepal
  • Nicaragua
  • Niger
  • Nigeria
  • North Macedonia
  • Oman
  • Pakistan
  • Papua New Guinea
  • Rwanda
  • Saudi Arabia
  • Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic
  • Senegal
  • Sierra Leone
  • Sudan
  • South Sudan
  • Tajikistan
  • Tanzania
  • Thailand
  • Timor-Leste
  • Togo
  • Tunisia
  • Turkmenistan
  • Uganda
  • Uzbekistan
  • Vietnam
  • Yemen
  • Zambia
  • Zimbabwe

Now that you will have your tourist visa for Costa Rica, you can’t forget your Health Pass. This mandatory document registers your current health conditions to let authorities keep controlling the current pandemic.

Apply now

Other Visa Information for Costa Rica

According to the Costa Rica visa policy, you can also apply for temporary residency, permanent residency, and special categories visas. Depending on the purpose of your trip and the period you would like to stay in Costa Rica, these visas could work for you. However, as these are not regular visa procedures, such as the tourist visa, you need to send your application to the Dirección General de Migración y Extranjería of the Costa Rican government.

Remember that processing times could vary, so apply for your visa as soon as you can. You will receive an answer from Costa Rican immigration authorities within 6 working days after you submit your visa application.

On the other hand, if you travel from South America or Africa, Costa Rican authorities request the yellow fever vaccine before entering the country. You should get vaccinated at least 10 days before your trip.

Let the Costa Rica visa policy guide you through the requirements for your visa to Costa Rica. You can have a smooth entry as long as you follow all these instructions.