This article serves as a guide to Foreign Students, who wants to get the Student VISA to Costa Rica, for the purpose of pursuing their academic goals.
Costa Rica Student VISA
International Students, who have met the Requirements, and have become eligible to study in any accredited Educational Institution in Costa Rica, must get a Costa Rican Student VISA, before they enter the Country.
Costa Rica has great numbers of Accredited Educational Institutions, in which one can complete his or her academic program, with good learning environment and modernized Lecture theatres.
Her Educational System was ranked 20th in the “Global Competitiveness Report 2013 – 14.
Do you really need the Student VISA?
Yes! you need it.
All International Students that wants to study in Costa Rica for the period of more than 90 days, must get the Costa Rica Student VISA.
Adding to that, you must be accepted into any Accredited Educational Institutions in Costa Rica, whether public or private.
There are five public Universities in Costa Rica, with several private ones as well.
Note: Upon your arrival in Costa Rica, you will have to get a residence permit, the type for students. This permit will give you the full right to reside in Costa Rica and study. But you should know that it doesn’t guarantee you as a citizen.
Check Out The Basic Requirements
The following are the list of documents you must gather, for the VISA application:
- Request letter for a Special Category provisional VISA, legalized by a notary public or signed by the Consul. The letter must contain the following information:
- Your full name, birthday, place of birth, and nationality
- Passport number
- Place of residence
- The exact address of where you will stay in Costa Rica
- Contact information
- The date and your signature
- Letter of acceptance from your School
- Your birth certificates
- Certificate of Police clearance
- Your valid passport and copies of all the pages on your passport. The passport must be valid for another 6 months from the date of entry
- Proof of sufficient financial means
Check Out Other Basic Documents
The documents you must submit for the Costa Rica Student permit Application, at the Immigration Department are:
- Completed and signed application form
- A letter, directed to the Immigration Department, stating the reason you’re requesting the “Special Category” residence permit (student permit). The letter has to be signed either in front of the immigration official or authenticated by a lawyer. It must contain the following information:
- Your full name and nationality
- Your age
- Your occupation
- Exact address in Costa Rica
- Contact information
- A certification issued by your educational institution, confirming your enrollment. The document has to be signed by a legal representative or head of the institution.
- Receipt of application payment fee
- Two recent passport-size pictures
- Proof of fingerprint registration, issued by the Ministry of Public Security
- Proof you have registered with the Costa Rican consulate
- Birth certificate
- Proof of financial means:
- Through a certificate issued by an authorized public accountant of economic solvency indicating the money’s origin; or
- Through proof of a scholarship, if you’re a scholarship student.
- Photocopies of all the pages in your passport, notarized by a public notary in Costa Rica
Take note of the following:
- Get all the required documents before you proceed to travel to Costa Rica.
- The Costa Rica Consulate and Immigration department have the right to request any additional documents as they see fit
- All the documents you submit have to be translated to Spanish by an official translator. You must have the translations notarized.
- All the documents you submit from your country have to be legalized. You can legalize them at the Costa Rica consulate or through the Apostille stamp, if you are from a country included in the Apostille convention.
Application Procedures for The Costa Rica Student VISA
You will have to first apply for the VISA at the Costa Rica Consulate in your Home Country, before you proceed to get the Student permit when you arrive Costa Rica.
The procedures for the VISA application are as follows:
- Contact the Costa Rica Consulate to make an appointment
- Collect the required documents
- Submit the documents on the date of your appointment
- Enter a VISA interview, if the Consul requires it
Note: The Costa Rica VISA application processing time is 30 days.
Keep in mind that, immediately the application is processed, you generally have 60 days to enter the Country, where you must apply for a Student permit from the Immigration Department.
In order to get the Student permit, you must know that it is you and your Educational Institution that is in charge of obtaining a Student permit.
In most cases, it is the School who applies for the Costa Rica student permit at the Dirección General de Migración y Extranjería. However, before you apply at the Immigration Department, you must register your fingerprints with the Ministerio Seguridad Pública (Ministry of Public Security) in San Jose.
Note: A Costa Rica Student VISA does not allow the holder to work.