Costa Rica is a popular tourist destination because of its stunning natural beauty and diverse culture. It is home to rain forests, volcanoes, and miles of pristine beaches. Interestingly, foreigners can access these site attractions but with a Costa Rica Tourist Visa.
In addition, you may not need this visa to visit the country for some time. So as you read further you will discover if you must apply for the Costa Rica Tourist Visa.
However, if you must apply for a tourist visa don’t be discouraged. We have put together this guide to provide everything you need to know about the Costa Rica Tourist Visa.
In this article
- Facts about Costa Rica
- What is a Costa Rica Tourist visa?
- Group one countries
- Group two countries
- Group three countries
- Group four countries
- Documents Required for Costa Rica Tourist visa
- Costa Rica Tourist visa application steps
- Processing time and application fee for a Costa Rica Tourist fee
- Frequently Asked Questions
Facts about Costa Rica
Costa Rica is a country located in Central America. The official name of the country is the Republic of Costa Rica. It covers an area of 51,100 square kilometers and has a population of 4.5 million people in the country. The capital city of Costa Rica is San Jose. The official language of Costa Rica is Spanish.
The country’s economy is based on tourism, agriculture, and electronics exports. It is also a popular destination for retirees. The cost of living in Costa Rica is relatively low, and there are many affordable housing options. The climate is tropical, and the weather is perfect for beach lovers year-round.
What is a Costa Rica Tourist visa?
It is an authorized document that allows foreigners to visit Costa Rica for tourism purposes for a maximum period of one month.
Meanwhile, some foreign nationals can stay for three months without a tourist visa because Costa Rica has visa exemption policies. The visa policies categorize all foreigners visiting the country into four groups which are:
Group one countries
The citizens from the countries listed below can stay for three months in Costa Rica without a visa.
- The Czech Republic
- New Zealand
- Northern Ireland
- Principality of Monaco
- Puerto Rico
- Republic of South Korea
- San Marino
- South Africa
- Trinidad and Tobago
- The United Kingdom
- The United States of America
Nonetheless, you need a valid passport to visit Costa Rica if your country is listed above.
Group two countries
You have the privilege to stay in Costa for one month your country is listed below but you must hold a valid traveling passport.
- Antigua and Barbuda
- El Salvador
- Federated States of Micronesia
- Kingdom of Tonga
- Marshall Islands
- Northern Mariana Islands
- Saint Kitts and Nevis
- Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
- Santa Lucia
- Sao Tome and Principe
- Solomon Islands Suriname Turkey Tuvalu Vanuatu
Group three countries
If you are a citizen of any country listed below you need to get an authorization form because you are to apply for a Costa Rica Restricted Visa.
- Democratic People’s Republic of Korea
- Myanmar (Burma).
- The Syrian Arab Republic
Group four countries
If your country is not listed in any of the categories listed above, you need to apply for a Costa Rica Tourist visa. So let’s discuss the documents required and how to apply for a tourist visa.
Documents Required for Costa Rica Tourist visa
You will have your tourist visa application considered and processed without delay if all these documents are available as required.
- The first one is the Costa Rica tourist visa application form. You can download it online or pick it up at the embassy then fill it out correctly.
- A letter of invitation from a tourism agency in Costa Rica to show you already have a schedule for tourist activities.
- You need to attach a valid passport with at least six months of validity from the date of your departure to Costa Rica. You must submit the original and photocopy of the passport. It must have a minimum of two blank pages for official use at the embassy.
- A cover letter that should capture your details such as :
- Your names,
- Residential address,
- Travel history
- Passport details,
- Genuine reasons to visit Costa Rica
- Flight itinerary such as your flight ticket for arrival and departure from Costa Rica
- The proposed date to visit and depart from Costa Rica
- Your official signature
- Evidence of financial solvency like a recent bank statement, proof of income, credit card information, or proof of property ownership.
- Proof of accommodation like a hotel reservations ticket, the residential address of your family member in Costa Rica, or other legal means of accommodation.
- A recent police clearance certificate from your country.
- Two copies of your recent passport photographs. They must be on a white background, have a two by two inches dimension, and be recent. You can choose to wear glasses if your eyes will be seen clearly. Also, headgear is required but must not cover your face.
- A vaccination certificate is optional but if you are from a region with yellow fever disease you must attach this certificate. This shows that you are immunized against the infection.
Costa Rica Tourist visa application steps
These are the steps you should follow if you are applying for a Costa Rica Tourist visa. There might be little variations from one embassy to the other but no worries they can easily be settled.
The first thing is to visit the embassy to schedule an appointment to submit your application and possible interview. You can as well seek clarification from the consular office where you are in doubt. It could also be an update on Costa Rica Tourist visa application fee since it is not a permanent fix.
The next step is to pay the tourist visa application fee either online or as instructed by the Costa Rica embassy in your country. You can pay on the date of submission but it is better to pay before so you can attach the receipt alongside other supporting documents.
Then, you cross-check your tourist visa application form if there are errors to correct. If none, you should attach all the documents listed above to the application form in a self-addressed official envelope.
You then proceed to submit your tourist visa application and all the supporting documents as scheduled by the embassy. You should go for submission in person so that you can quickly fix any error unknown to you. In addition, if the consular officers receive your application you will be interviewed almost immediately. The interview questions are related to your details and why you need the Costa Rica Tourist visa. If you are successful, your biometric capture will be done. Then you leave and wait for a tourist visa notification from the embassy.
Lastly, you can track your application status while waiting for the final decision from the embassy. But if your application process is entirely offline you can’t track it online.
Processing time and application fee for a Costa Rica Tourist fee
You need the sum of fifty US dollars to process your tourist visa from Costa Rican embassy in your country. If you want it within three days you will pay more because the normal tourist visa processing is two weeks or more.
It is best to apply for a tourist visa at least one month before your departure date if you do not have enough money to pay for expediting the application.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do I need Costa Rica Tourist visa to the country if I hold a Canadian passport?
You do not need any type of Costa Rica visa to stay in Costa Rica for ninety days if you hold passports from the countries below:
- A Schengen country
- South Korea
- An EU member state
Can I stay longer than thirty days in Costa Rica with a tourist visa?
You can apply for an extension at the nearest General Directorate of Immigration before the tourist visa expires. You must have a genuine reason to seek an extension otherwise you won’t be granted an extension.
Is it possible to work with a tourist visa in Costa Rica?
You need to apply for a Costa Rica work visa to be able to work in the country. Nonetheless, if you wish to work from home while in Costa Rica you still need a Costa Rican nomad visa.
Is Costa Rica visa-free for Indians?
You need to apply for a Costa Rican visa as Indian planning to visit the country. This is because India is not listed among the visa countries for Costa Rica. Here is the address of the Costa Rica embassy in India:
Ground Floor, C6/15, Vasant Vihar, New Delhi, Delhi 110057, India
Does Costa Rica have a visa on arrival?
Yes, some selected countries have the privilege to apply for Costa Rican visas on arrival to the country.
How much is the visa extension fee?
You need a minimum of $100 to apply for an extension in Costa Rica. You also need an extra $50 for biometrics capturing.
What is the national currency for Costa Rica?
The official currency for Costa Rica is Costa Rican colón (CRC). The US dollar equivalent is one US dollar is 630 CRC.
You will find the application procedure for a Costa Rica tourist visa very simple, with the guide we have provided you. There are numerous fun things you can access with this visa if you can get it.