Do You Need Visa to Visit Costa Rica?

Do You Need Visa to Visit Costa Rica? Check It Out!

Visa Types

Visa Types & Categories to Apply for Costa Rica

Visa Types & Categories to Apply for Costa Rica

Who can enter Costa Rica without a visa?

  • Holders of valid Tourist, Crew or Business visa from the United States of America or Canada, valid for at least 6 months.
  • Holders of Residence, Work, Study Permit in the United States of America, Canada, or the countries of the European Union, valid for at least 6 months

*This does not apply to citizens who have refugee status.

 

Requirements when entering Costa Rica:

  • Return or Onward Ticket
  • Proof of Economic Solvency (at least 100 USD per month)
  • Valid passport in a good condition
  • Yellow Fever Vaccine (In some cases)

 

Important Notes:
  • You must apply for a temporary residence permit before your visa expiration.
  • If you entered Costa Rica as a Tourist and you want to change your status from Tourist to Temporary Resident, you must pay 200 USD.
  • If you did not obtain your document in Costa Rica, then all your documents must be apostilled or legalized by the Costa Rica Consulate and then certified by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Costa Rica.
  • Documents must be in the Spanish language.
  • Applicants whose home country does not have an embassy/consulate in Costa Rica are exempt from the requirement of consular registration.
  • Those applicants whose home country doesn’t have an embassy/consulate of Costa Rica and no diplomatic representation of their country in Costa Rica must present a Birth Certificate, Police Record, or Marriage Certificate, a sworn declaration (depending on the case) should be protocolled over the information that is contained in the documents.
  • In case of foreigners that cannot present the requirements due to displacement from the country that they were citizens of, they must present:
    • Passport, Sworn Declaration, Certificate from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs which states that the political problem took place.
  • In case of the disappearance of the civil records in your home country (due to an accident, major force, a third party), you should present the respective certificate.
  • In case of the countries that do not issue past Criminal Record Certificate, the applicant must present the proof which is given by the officials of the applicant’s home country and the proper protocolled sworn declaration.
  • If the countries issuing a birth certificate of the applicant without Indicating the applicant’s parent’s names should provide a protocolled sworn declaration which indicates their parent’s names.
  • The documents submitted must be originals or copies and should be properly notarized or confronted by a public official. The person that receives the documents will compare the copies with the originals.
  • After the Work Permit has been approved, before applying for an appointment, you must go to the Costa Rica Social Security Fund to secure your employment.
  • You can obtain the Affiliation Form via the website  www.migracion.go.cr 
  • You must arrive in person with your ID Card to review the requirements, appointments, and quotas.
Costa Rica Short-stay Visa

Costa Rica Short-stay Visa

The validity of Costa Rica Short-stay visas is 90 days. If the person wants to stay more than 90 days in Costa Rica, he/she must apply for a residence permit.

If you want to apply for Costa Rica Residence Permit, first you can obtain a relevant Short-stay Costa Rica visa, and after entering Costa Rica with this visa, you can obtain the relevant Residence Permit from Immigration Department.

 

Type of Costa Rica Visas:
  • Tourist visa
  • Students, Researchers, Teachers, and Volunteers visa
  • Religious Activities visa
  • Rentiers visa
  • Retirees visa

 

Required Documents for Costa Rica Short-stay Visa

 

1.  Application Form

  • Duly completed and signed

2. Three Photos

  • The photo should be of passport format, a recent whole-face capture with a light background.
  • It must be in the size of 3.5 x 4.5 colored, and the head should take 70-80% of the photo.
  • You must be looking straight at the camera with a neutral facial expression (no smile and mouth closed).
  • Try to avoid uniforms or colors matching the background.

3. Passport and Copy of the Main Page

  • Your passport must be valid for at least 6 months beyond the return date.
  • It also must have at least two blank pages.

4. Copy of ID Card

5. Residence Permit/Visa Copy

  • Valid for at least 6 months

6. Criminal Record Certificate

  • Last 6 months
  • Duly apostilled and translated into English or Spanish

7. Flight Ticket Reservation

  • Entry and exit ticket

8. Birth Certificate

  • Duly apostilled
  • Issuance of this certificate must be recent

9. Proof of Financial Means

  • Bank statements or Salary statements of last 3 months

10. For Tourism:

  • Proof of Accommodation
    • Valid (existing) hotel/accommodation booking/reservation with the full address (name, street, city, zip code, contact information, booking ref.)
    • In case of staying at a private house, submit a copy of the house owner’s resident card (both front and backside) and fill out the address on the application form.

11. For Students, Researchers, Teachers, and Volunteers

  • Acceptance Letter from Educational Institution
    • Stating the applicant as a student, academic, researcher, or volunteer and the period that they will remain in Costa Rica.

12. For Religious Activities:

  • Letter from the religious congregation to which you belong, indicating the work and the period of stay in Costa Rica
  • Certificate issued by the Directorate of Worship that indicates that the religious congregation is registered with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Worship of Costa Rica.

13. Provisional Visa for Possible Temporary/Permanent Residents:

  • A certificate from the Civil Registry of Costa Rica must be provided that proves the relationship with the Costa Rican  (it can be requested online via here)

14. Provisional Visa for Rentiers:

  • Document proving that during a period of no less than 2 years, a stable and permanent monthly rental income of at least 2500 USD will be received. If the applicant receives income from abroad, the document that proves this situation must be apostilled. The issuance date of this certification must be recent (no longer than 3 months).

15. Provisional Visa for Retirees:

  • Document proving that a permanent pension of at least 1000 USD per month will be received. If the certificate is emitted abroad, it must be apostilled. The issuance date of this certification must be recent (no longer than 3 months).

16. Persons with Refugee Immigration Status:

  • Approval Letter from the country of residence

17. Yellow Fever Vaccine (If necessary)

  • At least 10 days before arrival to Costa Rica

*Additional documents may be required by the embassy.

 

Processing Time for Costa Rica Short-stay Visa

The average processing time for a Costa Rica Short-stay visa is 30 calendar days. It depends on your visa application country.

 

Costa Rica Short-stay Visa Fee

Costa Rica Short-stay visa fee is 30-50 USD. The fee may vary depending on your nationality or your country of submission.

 

Where to Apply for Costa Rica Short-stay Visa?

You will apply for a Costa Rica Short-stay visa in Costa Rica visa application centers, embassies, or consulates, whichever accepts visa applications in your country of residence. If there is none of them in your country, you need to apply to the nearest embassy or consulate to your location.

Temporary Residence Permits

If you want to stay in Costa Rica for more than 90 days, you can apply to Immigration Office. The validity of the Costa Rica Temporary Residence Permit is 2 years. If you entered Costa Rica with a Tourist or another visa, you can change your status as a Temporary Resident by applying to Immigration Office in Costa Rica. In this case, you need to pay 200 USD.

 


 

Temporary Residency for a Retiree

If you want to be in the status of Retiree in Costa Rica, you can apply for Temporary Residency for a Retiree in Immigration Office.

 

Required Documents for Temporary Residency for a Retiree

 

1. Request Letter

  • Indicating the reasons why applying for temporary residency in Costa Rica.
  • Must include:
    • Full name and last name of the applicant, nationality, age, occupation, current address, and place

2. Application Form

  • Duly completed and signed

3. Two Photos

  • The photo should be of passport format, a recent whole-face capture with a light background.
  • It must be in the size of 3.5 x 4.5 colored, and the head should take 70-80% of the photo.
  • You must be looking straight at the camera with a neutral facial expression (no smile and mouth closed).
  • Try to avoid uniforms or colors matching the background.

4. Proof of Fingerprint Registration

  • Issued by the Ministry of Public Safety.
  • Required by the applicant that is over 12 years of age.

5. Proof of Consular Registration

  • Issued by the corresponding consulate in Costa Rica.

6. Birth Certificate

  • Properly legalized and annotated (cannot be older than 6 months).

7. Criminal Record Certificate

  • From home country or the place where they have been living legally for the past 3 years.
  • For that purpose, you should additionally show the legality of your stay in that country through a certified copy of the migratory document obtained during the indicated term.
  • If the applicant resides in the USA, Federal Criminal Record Certificate must be duly apostilled and presented. This certificate must indicate that the content is according to National Crime Information Center, interstate identification index, or triple III. This certification cannot be older than 6 months.

8. Lifetime Pension Issued by a Competent Authority

  • Indicating that the person will be receiving a monthly pension of more than 1000 USD.
  • If the certificate is issued abroad, it must be duly legalized and authenticated or apostilled.

9. For Dependents:

  • Spouses, children below 25 years old or older with disabilities.
  • Marriage certificate, birth certificate, medical certificate (For children with disabilities).
  • All documents issued abroad must be duly legalized or apostilled.

10. Payment of 1.25 USD and 2.50 USD

  • For each page that is presented with the residency request. 
  • The name of the applicant should be indicated as the depositor.

*Additional documents may be required by the Immigration Office.

 

Processing Time for Costa Rica Temporary Residency for a Retiree

The average processing time for a Costa Rica Temporary Residency for a Retiree is 90 calendar days.

 

Costa Rica Temporary Residency for a Retiree Fee

Costa Rica Temporary Residency for a Retiree fee is 50 USD. The fee may vary depending on your nationality or your country of submission.

 

Where to Apply for Costa Rica Temporary Residency for a Retiree?

You will apply for a Costa Rica Temporary Residency for a Retiree in Costa Rica Immigration Office.

 


 

Temporary Residency for Students, Teachers, Researchers, Internships

If the applicant is a student, teacher, researcher, or intern, he/she can apply for a Temporary Residency in order to realize his/her educational or research activities in Costa Rica.

 

Required Documents for Temporary Residency for Students, Teachers, Researchers, Internships

 

1. Request Letter

  • Indicating the reasons why applying for temporary residency in Costa Rica.
  • Must include:
    • Full name and last name of the applicant, nationality, age, occupation, current address, and place

2. Application Form

  • Duly completed and signed

3. Two Photos

  • The photo should be of passport format, a recent whole-face capture with a light background.
  • It must be in the size of 3.5 x 4.5 colored, and the head should take 70-80% of the photo.
  • You must be looking straight at the camera with a neutral facial expression (no smile and mouth closed).
  • Try to avoid uniforms or colors matching the background.

4. Proof of Fingerprint Registration

  • Issued by the Ministry of Public Safety.
  • Required by the applicant that is over 12 years of age.

5. Proof of Consular Registration

  • Issued by the corresponding consulate

6. Birth Certificate

  • Properly legalized and annotated (cannot be older than 6 months).

7. Criminal Record Certificate

  • From home country or the place where they have been living legally for the past 3 years.
  • For that purpose, you should additionally show the legality of your stay in that country through a certified copy of the migratory document obtained during the indicated term.
  • If the applicant resides in the USA, Federal Criminal Record Certificate must be duly apostilled and presented. This certificate must indicate that the content is according to National Crime Information Center, interstate identification index, or triple III. This certification cannot be older than 6 months.

8. Acceptance Letter

  • From the Educational Institution in Costa Rica

9. Teachers and Researchers:

  • Must submit job offer duly legalized.

10. For Volunteers and Internships:

  • Letter from the Volunteer Program
    • Must be submitted and signed by the legal representative.
    • Stating the volunteer/internship project, financing, and duration of stay in Costa Rica.

11. For Students:

  • Must submit proof of economic solvency n from an authorized accountant stating where the funds are originated.
  • In the case of a scholarship, certification from the educational institution stating the amount, period, and expenses must be presented.

12. Minors without Their Parents in Costa Rica:

  • Special Power of Attorney by the parents or legal guardian
  • Duly legalized and apostilled.

13. Payment of 1.25 USD and 2.50 USD

  • For each page that is presented with the residency request.
  • The name of the applicant should be indicated as the depositor.

*Additional documents may be required by the Immigration Office.

 

Processing Time for Costa Rica Temporary Residency for Students, Teachers, Researchers, Internships

The average processing time for a Costa Rica Temporary Residency for Students, Teachers, Researchers, Internships is 90 calendar days.

 

Costa Rica Temporary Residency for Students, Teachers, Researchers, Internships Fee  

Costa Rica Temporary Residency for Students, Teachers, Researchers, Internships fee is 50 USD. The fee may vary depending on your nationality or your country of submission.

 

Where to Apply for Costa Rica Temporary Residency for Students, Teachers, Researchers, Internships?

You will apply for a Costa Rica Temporary Residency for Students, Teachers, Researchers, Internships in Costa Rica Immigration Office.

 


 

Temporary Residency for Executives, Representatives, Managers, Technical Personal and Their Dependents

If you want to carry out your business in Costa Rica as a Manager, Representative, Executive, you can apply for a Temporary Residency. And you can bring dependents with you.

 

Required Documents for Temporary Residency for Executives, Representatives, Managers, Technical Personnel and Their Dependents

 

1. Affiliation Form

  • Duly completed and signed

2. Letter about Reasons why You Apply to Temporary Residency

  • Indicating name of the applicant, nationality, age, occupation, current address, and place or means for notifications

3. Two Photos

  • The photo should be of passport format, a recent whole-face capture with a light background.
  • It must be in the size of 3.5 x 4.5 colored, and the head should take 70-80% of the photo.
  • You must be looking straight at the camera with a neutral facial expression (no smile and mouth closed).
  • Try to avoid uniforms or colors matching the background.

4. Proof of Fingerprint Registration

  • Issued by the Ministry of Public Safety.
  • Required by the applicant that is over 12 years of age.

5. Proof of Consular Registration

  • Issued by the corresponding consulate

6. Birth Certificate

  • Properly legalized and annotated (cannot be older than 6 months).

7. Criminal Record Certificate

  • From home country or the place where they have been living legally for the past 3 years.
  • For that purpose, you should additionally show the legality of your stay in that country through a certified copy of the migratory document obtained during the indicated term.
  • If the applicant resides in the USA, Federal Criminal Record Certificate must be duly apostilled and presented. This certificate must indicate that the content is according to National Crime Information Center, interstate identification index, or triple III. This certification cannot be older than 6 months.

8. In case of a Spouse or Children below the Age of the Foreigner that is Contracted in the Country:

  • Proof of Relationship must be presented with a certified document issued by the authorities of their home country properly legalized and authentically annotated.

9. Copy of the Work Contract

  • Properly legalized
  • In the case of employees, stating the salary, that should be raised 25% with relation to the legal minimum salary in the same position.

10. In the case of Executives and Managers:

  • Certificate by the legal representative of the contracted company
  • Indicating that the applicant will work for the company, the position they will fill, and duration of stay in Costa Rica, the salary they will receive.

11. Certification from the Corresponding Insurance Entity

  • Stating that the company will cover fees of work risks or has proof that the pay is up to date properly certified or faced with the original.

12. Certification from Legal Representatives of the Company

  • With no more than a month in between the issue date and the presentation of the application for temporary residency for the foreigner.

13. Certified Copy of the Constitutional Protocol of the Company

  • Or the original document with a copy to be handled by the public official.

14. Proof that the Company or Organization is up to date with the Payment of National and Municipal Taxes

15. Income Certificate

  • By an Authorized Public Accountant
  • Balance sheet

16. Payment of 1.25 USD and 2.50 USD

  • For each page that is presented with the residency request.
  • The name of the applicant should be indicated as the depositor.

*Additional documents may be required by the Immigration Office.

 

Processing Time for Costa Rica Temporary Residency for Executives, Representatives, Managers, Technical Personnel and Their Dependents

The average processing time for a Costa Rica Temporary Residency for Executives, Representatives, Managers, Technical Personnel, and Their Dependents is 90 calendar days.

 

Costa Rica Temporary Residency for Executives, Representatives, Managers, Technical Personnel and Their Dependents Fee

Costa Rica Temporary Residency for Executives, Representatives, Managers, Technical Personnel and Their Dependents fee is 50 USD.

 

Where to Apply for Costa Rica Temporary Residency for Executives, Representatives, Managers, Technical Personnel, and Their Dependents?

You will apply for a Costa Rica Temporary Residency for Executives, Representatives, Managers, Technical Personnel, and Their Dependents in Costa Rica Immigration Office.

 


 

Temporary Residency for Rentiers

If you want to live in Costa Rica as a Temporary Resident with your own income from property or investment, you can apply for a Temporary Residency for Rentiers.

 

Required Documents for Temporary Residency for Rentiers

 

1. Request Letter

  • Indicating the reasons why applying for temporary residency in Costa Rica.
  • Must include:
    • Full name and last name of the applicant, nationality, age, occupation, current address, and place

2. Application Form

  • Duly completed and signed

3. Two Photos

  • The photo should be of passport format, a recent whole-face capture with a light background.
  • It must be in the size of 3.5 x 4.5 colored, and the head should take 70-80% of the photo.
  • You must be looking straight at the camera with a neutral facial expression (no smile and mouth closed).
  • Try to avoid uniforms or colors matching the background.

4. Proof of Fingerprint Registration

  • Issued by the Ministry of Public Safety.
  • Required by the applicant that is over 12 years of age.

5. Proof of Consular Registration

  • Issued by the corresponding consulate

6. Birth Certificate

  • Properly legalized and annotated (cannot be older than 6 months).

7. Criminal Record Certificate

  • From home country or the place where they have been living legally for the past 3 years.
  • For that purpose, you should additionally show the legality of your stay in that country through a certified copy of the migratory document obtained during the indicated term.
  • If the applicant resides in the USA, Federal Criminal Record Certificate must be duly apostilled and presented. This certificate must indicate that the content is according to National Crime Information Center, interstate identification index, or triple III. This certification cannot be older than 6 months.

8. Document Stating:

  • During a period of 2 years (not less than it), a stable and permanent monthly rental income, at least 2500 USD will be received or its equivalent in colones.
  • If the applicant receives the income from abroad, proof of document must be apostilled.

9. For Dependents:

  • Spouses, children below 25 years old or older with disabilities.
  • Marriage certificate, birth certificate, medical certificate (For children with disabilities).
  • All documents issued abroad must be duly legalized or apostilled.

10. Payment of 1.25 USD and 2.50 USD

  • For each page that is presented with the residency request.
  • The name of the applicant should be indicated as the depositor.

*Additional documents may be required by the Immigration Office.

 

Processing Time for Costa Rica Temporary Residency for Rentiers

The average processing time for a Costa Rica Temporary Residency for Rentiers is 90 calendar days.

 

Costa Rica Temporary Residency for Rentiers Fee

Costa Rica Temporary Residency for Rentiers fee is 50 USD. The fee may vary depending on your nationality or your country of submission.

 

Where to Apply for Costa Rica Temporary Residency for Rentiers?

You will apply for a Costa Rica Temporary Residency for Rentiers in Costa Rica Immigration Office.

 


 

Temporary Residence for Spouse

If you want to be with your partner in Costa Rica for a temporary duration, you can apply for a Temporary Residency for Spouse at Immigration Office in Costa Rica.

 

Required Documents for Temporary Residency for Spouse

 

1. Affiliation Form

  • Duly completed and signed

2. Request Letter

  • Indicating the reasons why applying for temporary residency in Costa Rica.
  • Must include:
    • Full name and last name of the applicant, nationality, age, occupation, current address, and place

3. Application Form

  • Duly completed and signed

4. Two Photos

  • The photo should be of passport format, a recent whole-face capture with a light background.
  • It must be in the size of 3.5 x 4.5 colored, and the head should take 70-80% of the photo.
  • You must be looking straight at the camera with a neutral facial expression (no smile and mouth closed).
  • Try to avoid uniforms or colors matching the background.

5. Proof of Fingerprint Registration

  • Issued by the Ministry of Public Security.
  • This requirement is only for people that are over 12 years of age.

6. Proof of Consular Registration

  • Issued by the corresponding consulate

7. Birth Certificate

  • Properly legalized and annotated (cannot be older than 6 months).

8. Criminal Record Certificate

  • From home country or the place where they have been living legally for the past 3 years.
  • For that purpose, you should additionally show the legality of your stay in that country through a certified copy of the migratory document obtained during the indicated term.
  • If the applicant resides in the USA, Federal Criminal Record Certificate must be duly apostilled and presented. This certificate must indicate that the content is according to National Crime Information Center, interstate identification index, or triple III. This certification cannot be older than 6 months.

9. Marriage Certificate

  • Issued by the Costa Rican Civil Registry.
  • If the marriage took place outside Costa Rica, it must be duly registered in Costa Rica.

*Additional documents may be required by the Immigration Office.

 

Processing Time for Costa Rica Temporary Residency for Spouse

The average processing time for a Costa Rica Temporary Residency for Spouse is 90 calendar days.

 

Costa Rica Temporary Residency for Spouse Fee

Costa Rica Temporary Residency for Spouse fee is 50 USD. The fee may vary depending on your nationality or your country of submission.

 

Where to Apply for Costa Rica Temporary Residency for Spouse?

You will apply for a Costa Rica Temporary Residency for Spouse in Costa Rica Immigration Office.

EMBASSY INFORMATION AND LOCATION

FAQ

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Which documents do I need to present to Immigration Office in order to apply for residency in Costa Rica?

Generally, Immigration Office requires:

Birth certificate, a certificate of civil status, a criminal record, and financial statements certified by a public accountant. Once in Costa Rica, they must be also legalized by the Foreign Ministry and translated by an official translator.

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Is the yellow fever vaccine a requirement to visit Costa Rica?

If you will travel to Costa Rica from South America or sub-Saharan Africa, you will need the Yellow Fever Vaccine. The countries considered at risk are: Angola, Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Congo DR, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Liberia, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Sudan, Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Guyana, and Venezuela. You must get the vaccine 10 days before your arrival date to Costa Rica. Any individual traveling to Costa Rica that has been in transit, whether in airports, seaports, or land borders, in the following countries, will require a vaccination: Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, and Venezuela.

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I am from a country whose citizens do not need a visa to enter Costa Rica. Can I experience any problems at the border, while entering Costa Rica?

You must meet certain requirements to enter Costa Rica, even if you are not required a visa:

  • The purpose of your trip to Costa Rica must be plausible and comprehensible.
  • Your passport should be valid for at least 6 months beyond your stay in Costa Rica.
  • You must be able to finance your own living and travel costs.
  • You must hold a confirmed return flight to prove that you are prepared to leave Costa Rica before the duration of the permitted stay ends.
  • You must not pose a threat to security or public order.
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Will my fees be refunded if my visa is refused?

All fees are non-refundable and will not be refunded if your visa application is not successful.

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Can the Embassy/Consulate request me to provide additional documents or information?

The embassy may request you to provide additional documents or information, according to your personal situation, even after you have submitted all the required documents mentioned on the official website of the Embassy/Consulate/Visa Application Center.

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Who can enter Costa Rica without a visa?

  • Holders of valid Tourist, Crew or Business visa from the United States of America or Canada, valid for at least 6 months.
  • Holders of Residence, Work, Study Permit in the United States of America, Canada or the countries of the European Union, valid for at least 6 months.
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What can I show the embassy as proof of my financial stability?

  • Bank statements of last 3 months
  • Salary statements of last 3 months
  • 100 USD per month while staying in Costa Rica etc.
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Where can I get the “Affiliation Form”?

Affiliation Form can be obtained from http://www.migracion.go.cr/.

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If I am missing any of the required documents, can I provide them later to Immigration Office?

You will be given 10 working days to complete them.

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Can I enter Costa Rica with a one-way ticket?

If you have no intention to apply for Residency in Costa Rica and want to stay in Costa Rica for less than 90 days, you must have an entry and exit ticket (by land or air).

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