Costa Rica Visa
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Costa Rica Visa: Types, Requirements, Application and Fees

Are you planning to travel to Costa Rica? Then, there is good news for you! One thing you do not know is that you may not even have to travel with a visa. But If you do, we have painstakingly provided all the information you need to get a Costa Rica visa.

Whether or not you need a Costa Rica visa depends on your nationality. Not everyone who wishes to visit the country requires a visa. Your nationality, purpose of visit, country of residence, and length of stay all come together to determine if you need a Costa Rican visa.

Moreover, visa requirements are determined by international agreements or treaties. Nevertheless, having a visa does not guarantee your entry into Costa Rica. It is determined by the immigration officer upon arrival, just as it is in the United States.

This article walks you through the process of obtaining a Costa Rica visa. Read on to learn more!

Where is Costa Rica?

Before we begin, you may like to know where the country of Costa Rica is. Costa Rica is a country in Central America that shares boundaries with many prominent landmarks. For example, Nicaragua borders it to the north, the Caribbean Sea to the Northeast, the Pacific Ocean to the southwest, Panama to the southeast, and shares the Maritime border with Ecuador to the south of Cocos Island. The country has a population of five million people in a 51,060 km2 area of land.

Costa Rica has the most stable and democratic government among all the Central American countries. Its 1949 constitution established an impartial judicial system and an independent electoral body.

Do I Need a Visa to Visit Costa Rica?

Are you wondering whether you need a visa to visit Costa Rica? Here’s the thing; Costa Rica’s visa policy is of four categories:

#1. Visa-free Countries

Citizens from visa-free countries may enter Costa Rica with only their passports. This passport must be valid for at least one or more days from its entry date. Examples of citizens of countries with visa-free entry into Costa Rica are nationals of the United States and European Union member states. They are permitted to remain in Costa Rica for a maximum of 90 days.

#2. Visa-free nationals who are permitted to visit Costa Rica with only their passport

They must ensure their passport is valid for at least three months. These nationals can stay in Costa Rica for not more than 30 days.

#3. Foreign nationals who require a Costa Rica Consular Visa

These applicants must obtain visas from a Costa Rican consulate in their home country. The visa allows them to remain in Costa Rica for thirty days. Under listed countries fall under these categories:

Under listed countries fall under these categories:

  • Albania
  • Algeria
  • Angola
  • Arab Democratic
  • Armenia
  • Azerbaijan
  • Bahrain
  • Belarus
  • Benin
  • Bhutan
  • Bosnia and Herzegovina
  • Botswana
  • Brunei 
  • Burkina Faso (Upper Volta)
  • Burundi
  • Cambodia
  • Cameroon
  • Cape Verde
  • Central African Republic Chad
  • Colombia
  • Comoros
  • Democratic Republic of Congo (Former Zaire)
  • Democratic Republic of Laos
  • Djibouti
  • Dominican Republic
  • East Timor
  • Ecuador
  • Egypt
  • Gabon
  • The Gambia
  • Georgia
  • Ghana
  • Guinea
  • Guinea Bissau
  • India
  • Indonesia
  • Ivory Coast, 
  • Jordan
  •  Kazakhstan
  • Niger
  • Nigeria
  • Oman
  • Pakistan
  • Papua New Guinea
  • Peru
  • Qatar
  • Russian Federation
  • Rwanda
  • Uganda
  • Ukraine
  • United Arab Emirates
  • Uzbekistan
  • Vietnam
  • Zambia
  • Zimbabwe

#4. Foreign nationals who require a Restricted Visa to enter Costa Rica

Country nationals who require a restricted visa must get approval from the commission that approves this kind of visa.

The visa allows its holder to stay in Costa Rica for up to 30 days if approved. Under listed countries fall under these categories:

  • Afghanistan 
  • Iran
  • Bangladesh 
  • Iraq
  • Cuba 
  • Jamaica
  • Democratic People’s Republic of Korea Myanmar ( Burma )
  • Eritrea 
  • Palestine
  • Haiti 
  • Somalia
  • The Syrian Arab Republic

Costa Rica Visa Requirements

Below is the list of documents you will need to obtain a Costa Rican visa:

#1. An application letter directed to the Costa Rican consulate.

It should contain:

  • Your purpose of travel
  • Passport number
  • Personal information (such as name, age, date, and place of birth)
  • Place of residence
  • Nationality
  • Expected date of arrival and departure from Costa Rica
  • Accommodation (where you will stay throughout your visit to Costa Rica)
  • Your contact information
  • The Date
  • Your Signature

#2. Photocopy of the entire pages on your passport.

Ensure your passport is valid for an additional six months after you arrive in Costa Rica.

#3Reservation for Return flight ticket.

You should not pay for your flight ticket until your visa application is successful and approved.

#4. Two photographs of yourself with the below specifications.

  • The passport must be on White background
  • Size – 2 inches x 2 inches
  • Keep a neutral facial expression; staring straight ahead

#5. Proof of sufficient financial funds

You must prove that you have enough money in your account to cater to your needs while in Costa Rica. You can submit your bank statements from the last three months’ letter of proof of property from the employer.

#6Certificate of police clearance.

It must be from your country.

#7. Proof of Yellow Fever Vaccination.

If you are coming from a place at risk of Yellow Fever, you must ensure to get vaccinated.

#8.Proof of the visa/Residence Permit 

If you are a visa holder or Permanent Resident in another country, you should submit your proof of visa.

Also, read the steps to obtain a Costa Rica Pensionado Visa.

Application Process

You must apply for a visa if you plan to travel to Costa Rica. The procedure is straightforward, but there are some steps you must complete for your visa to be approved. The steps are below:

Step 1: Collect All Required Documents

As previously said, it is critical to obtain all of your travel documents. You must present these documents for your application to receive consideration.

Step 2: Fill Out The Application Form

You can complete the application form after obtaining all the essential documentation. You must fill out basic personal and trip information on the application form.

Make sure that your application form is error-free. If you make an error, it may create a delay in the processing time. After completing the application form, print it off and place your passport photo in the designated open space.

Step 3: Make A Visa Appointment

Once you have the necessary paperwork, you must make an appointment with your nearest Costa Rican Consulate or Embassy. Assume you are submitting your application from the United States.

In that case, visit the official Costa Rica Washington Embassy website to find an embassy near you. After scheduling your visa appointment, you will receive an email confirming your meeting date and time.

Step 4: Attend Your Visa Appointment

The last thing you should do is go to your visa appointment. You will be able to submit your visa application at this appointment. You can also expect a brief in-person interview with a consulate or an embassy employee. They will ask you a few questions about your trip and may want more information from you.

Step 5: Sit tight while your visa is processed.

You’re almost through once you’ve submitted your application. All that remains is for your application to be processed.

As previously stated, this can take up to 30 calendar days. If it takes longer than you expected, you might contact the consular or Embassy to find out why.

Step 6: Pick Up Your Approved Visa

The last and final step is to pay for and get your approval. You will receive notification through email, SMS, or phone call once your application has been processed. So, go to the Embassy or consulate where you applied to pick up your approved visa.

Costa Rica Visa Duration

If you’re considering visiting Costa Rica, you might wonder how long your visa will be valid. In a nutshell, most visas are suitable for 90 days.

There are, however, certain exceptions to this rule. For example, if you enter Costa Rica on a business visa, your visa may be valid for up to 180 days. Your student visa may be valid for up to 365 days if you enter Costa Rica on it.

Costa Rica Visa fee

The visa price for Costa Rica is $52. After your visa acceptance, you must pay a fee. Even if you are denied entrance upon arriving in the country, the visa fee is non-refundable.

Also ReadGuide on Applying for a Costa Rica Residence Permit

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the requirements for an Indian visa to Costa Rica?

Before traveling to Costa Rica, Indian nationals must apply for a Consular Visa. Then, they can apply to utilize the application mentioned above procedure.

How long does it take to receive a visa to Costa Rica?

Costa Rica visa processing time is approximately 30 calendar days.

Is a Costa Rica visa sufficient for entry into the country?

No, it doesn’t. You will still be subject to an immigration check at the Costa Rica point of entry after receiving a Costa Rica visa. If border control agents decide to let you in, they will stamp your passport with the decision.

You must return to your home country if you are not permitted to enter. Your visa fee is not refundable.

Can a Costa Rica visa be extended?

You certainly can. A visa can be extended for 60 days by applying to the Directorate General of Immigration in Costa Rica. You must provide evidence of why you are asking for the extension.


In conclusion, several different types of visas are available for Costa Rica, each with its requirements and fees. The application process is relatively straightforward, but it is essential to ensure that all necessary paperwork is in order before submitting it.

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