Over the years, Costa Rica has been a center for Tourist attraction. Foreigners who wants to travel to Costa Rica for Tourism, must get a VISA.
This article will guide you on how to apply for the VISA. It has detailed information about the VISA application Procedures and also the required documents for application.
Costa Rica Tourist VISA is a short stay VISA for Foreign Nationals, who intends to tour around the cities of Costa Rica and see the natural view of the Country.
The Costa Rica Tourist VISA is usually referred to as Costa Rica Travel VISA. The VISA is valid for 90 days.
Who Is Exempted From The Costa Rica Tourist VISA?
Some Countries are exempted from Costa Rica VISA for 30 days, some for 90 days.
Countries that are exempted from the VISA for 90 days.
- Czech Republic
- New Zealand
- Northern Ireland
- Principality of Monaco
- Republic of South Korea
- San Marino
- South Africa
- Trinidad and Tobago
- United Kingdom of Great Britain
- United States of America
- Vatican City State
For stays of up to 30 days
- Antigua and Barbuda
- El Salvador
- Federated States of Micronesia
- Kingdom Of Tonga
- Marshall Islands
- Northern Mariana
- Saint Kitts and Nevis
- Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
- Santa Lucia
- Sao Tome and Principe
- Solomon Islands
Note: If you are from a country whose Nationals need a tourist VISA for Costa Rica, you are exempt if you already hold a valid tourist VISA for:
- An EU member state
- A Schengen country
- South Korea
Required Documents For The VISA
You will need the following documents for the VISA application:
- An application letter which should be directed to the Costa Rica Consulate, and contain the following information:
- Your personal information (name, age, date and place of birth
- The reason you are travelling
- Your passport numbers
- Your nationality
- Your place of residence
- The intended date of arrival and departure from Costa Rica
- Where you will stay while you are in Costa Rica
- The date of writing
- Your contact information
- Your signature
- A complete photocopy of all the pages on your passport. Your passport has to be valid for at least another six months from the date you enter Costa Rica.
- Two pictures of yourself which follow these specifications:
- Dimensions: 2 inches x 2 inches
- Taken in front of a plain white background
- You must have a neutral facial expression, staring straight ahead
- You may wear your glasses as long as they do not hide your eyes or face (no thick rims, no reflection, no tinted glass)
- You may not wear headgear unless it is for religious purposes. Even so, it must not obstruct your face.
- Return flight ticket reservation. Costa Rica Authorities advise travelers to avoid paying for the plane ticket until after they receive the VISA. See here how to book a dummy flight ticket for a VISA application.
- Proof of sufficient financial means to cover your stay. You may submit bank statements from the last three months, a letter from employer, or proof of property.
- An official certificate of police clearance from your country.
- If you are coming from a place that’s at risk of Yellow Fever: Proof of Yellow Fever Vaccination.
- If you are a VISA-holder or Permanent Resident in another country: Proof of your VISA or Residence Permit.
Note; This is not the complete list of the documents needed for the VISA application, the consulate you lodge your VISA may demand for an additional document.
You will have to apply for the Costa Rica Tourist VISA at the Costa Rican Consulate in your Home Country. In a case where there is none, you must find the nearest one in your neighboring Country. You should follow these steps when applying for the VISA:
- Contact the Costa Rican Consulate to set up an appointment when you can submit the application.
- Collect the required documents and submit them in person.
- Fill in the Costa Rica application form, which you can find on the website of the Immigration Department of Costa Rica (Dirección General de Migración y Extranjería).here
- The Consular Officers will review your application and decide if you need any additional documents.
- Once all the required documents are submitted, they will start to process your VISA application.
- You may also be asked to attend an interview.
When your Tourist VISA is approved, the Consulate will affix it on your passport and you’ll have 60 days to travel to Costa Rica.
Note: Different Consulates may have different requirements and operational processes. As such, the first step in applying for a Costa Rica Tourist VISA should always be to contact the relevant Costa Rican Consulate.
Costa Rica Tourist VISA Extension
Costa Rica Tourist VISA extensions are issued for a maximum of 60 additional days. You can apply for the VISA extension at the General Directorate of Immigration (Dirección General de Migración y Extranjería) in Costa Rica, before your current VISA expires. You can also extend your VISA for 90 days, if you are a National of a Country that are permitted to stay in Costa Rica for up to 90 days.
If you want to extend your VISA, you must:
- A letter explaining why you’re requesting the extension which contains the following information:
- Your full name and nationality
- Your passport number and type
- Your address in Costa Rica
- Your phone number
- Your birth date and place
- The names of your parents
- A completed form of affiliation, which you can get at a photocopier in the central offices of the General Directorate of Immigration or download it from their website.
- Three recent passport-size pictures of yourself.
- Your original passport and copies of all the pages in the passport.
- A copy of your departure flight ticket.
- Proof of financial solvency to cover the duration of your requested stay.
- If you were invited in the country from an institution (public or private): A letter of financial support from said institution.
- If you’re in Costa Rica for medical treatment: A medical certificate and request from the medical institution confirming the need for an extension due to medical reasons.
- Proof of paid Costa Rica tourist VISA extension fee ($100 or the equivalent). You must pay the fee to the government bank account in the Bank of Costa Rica (Banco de Costa Rica).
You should have in mind that you cannot work with Costa Rica Tourist VISA.