Types of Visa in Costa Rica



One important thing foreign nationals need to know before applying for a visa to enter Costa Rica is if they even need to get one.

In Costa Rica, there is only one type of visa issued to foreigners: the tourist visa. Citizens of the United States, South Korea, Japan and several South American countries as well as those with entry permits issued by the immigration offices of the US, an EU nation, and Canada are exempted from acquiring visas to Costa Rica. These entry permits include tourist, multiple-entry, work and student visas, and papers documenting permanent residency or refugee status. Foreign nationals who fall within these categories are allowed to stay within the territory for 90 days and are required to have a valid passport and a round-trip ticket.

Moreover, foreigners from the following countries are allowed to stay in the country for 30 days without a need to acquire visas: North Korea, Australia, Belgium, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Romania, Slovenia, Sweden, Switzerland, Vatican, Brazil, Czech Republic, Ecuador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Monaco, New Zealand, Portugal, Puerto Rico and Venezuela.

Foreign nationals who wish to stay longer than their entry permits indicate can apply for either Temporary or Permanent Residency at the General Office of Migration in Costa Rica. People who wish to continue their business engagements without renewing their visas may apply for a Business Temporary Residence Permit while those who establish familial ties or get employed by a Costa Rica-based organization may qualify for Permanent Residency status.

Visa applicants to Costa Rica must be prepared to present additional documents to the Consulate upon request to validate their identity and the purpose of their visit. The processing for visa applications would vary on the applicant's country of origin though the usual turn-around time takes two weeks. A tourist visa costs approximately $20.00.

Additionally, visitors aged 9 months and above from countries with the risk of transmitting Yellow Fever, except for Argentina, Panama, and Trinidad and Tobago, are obliged to get vaccinated 10 days before travelling to Costa Rica.