Byevisa » Costa Rica Tourist Visa

A visa is required. We cannot assist in processing this document, but we provide instructions on how to apply.

All About the Costa Rica Visa

Planning to visit the natural paradise Costa Rica in the near future?

Well, you’ll be pleased to hear that citizens of dozens of countries are eligible for a travel waiver, among them Americans, Brits, and Canadians. This allows you to enjoy this nation’s rich culture and biodiversity as a tourist for up to 90 days. 

Even if you don’t require travel authorisation, all visitors entering the country do require a current passport. How long the passport needs to be valid depends on your nationality. You must also be able to show immigration officials a return ticket or evidence of onward travel to another destination. 

At this time, this country only offers a traditional travel authorisation through its embassies and consulates, there is no electronic travel pass available. 

So, if you want to find out if you meet the visa waiver requirements and how to apply for a Costa Rica travel visa via the consulate if you don’t, then keep reading. 

This small Central American nation is one of the world’s top destinations for ecotourism. Get ready to enjoy ‘the rich coast!’ with these helpful tips for planning your adventure!

Costa Rica Visa Application Process

Unfortunately, there is no eVisa available to tourists at present. 

There are, however, many nationalities that are exempt from requiring travel authorisation (see the full list below in our ‘Requirements and Eligibility’ section.

The standard process to obtain your tourist visa from the consulate is as follows:

Step 1: 

Contact your local consulate to book your visa application appointment. 

Step 2:

Fill out the official application form that is available from the country’s Immigration Department. This is known in Spanish as the ‘Dirección General de Migración y Extranjería.’ 

Step 3:

Submit the required documents* which include:

  • An application letter addressed to the consulate where you’re applying.
  • A passport valid for at least 6 months and a photocopy of the entire passport.
  • Your itinerary or a temporary reservation of your ticket. 
  • 2 passport images.
  • Proof that you have sufficient funds for your trip.
  • A police record issued within the last 6 months.

(more details on these supporting documents in the ‘Forms and Documents’ section). 

Processing will commence only after all the documentation is submitted

Step 4:

Wait for your paperwork to be processed. In some instances, the consulate may contact you to ask you to obtain additional documents that they deem necessary. They may also request an interview.

Step 5:

You will be notified about the decision regarding your travel authorisation. If your application is approved, you have 60 days to use the visa to enter the country. 

*Please note, some consulates allow applicants to submit their paperwork digitally. If this is the case for applicants from your country, the consulate will explain the application procedure to you when you get in touch with them.

Costa Rica Visa Requirements and Eligibility

Wondering if you require a visa to visit the home of stunning national parks like Corcovado?

Generally, citizens of the United States, Canada and countries in the European Union do not require travel authorisation to enter this nation. If you are a citizen of one of these countries you will automatically be issued a tourist visa at the immigration point of entry.

All adults and children entering this rainforested Central American country will require a current valid passport though.

As well as this, you need to be able to show immigration officials evidence of a return ticket, either to your home country or to another onward destination.

Require consular visa

If you are a citizen of one of the countries listed below, you need to obtain travel authorisation from the embassy or consulate before entering this ecotourism hot spot.

To apply, you must be in possession of a passport that is valid for at least 6 months. Visas are granted for a period of 30 days renewable up to a maximum of 90 days.

Albania
Angola
Saudi Arabia
Algeria
Armenia
Azerbaijan
Bahrain
Benin
Belarus
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Botswana
Burkina Faso
Burundi
Butan
Cape Verde
Cambodia
Cameroon
Colombia
Côte D’Ivoire
Comoros
Chad
Djibouti
Ecuador
Egypt
Gabon
Gambia
Georgia
Ghana

Guinea
Guinea Bissau
Equatorial Guinea
India
Indonesia
Jordan
Kenya
Kyrgyzstan
Kosovo
Kuwait
Lesotho
Liberia
Libya
Lebanon
Madagascar
Malawi
Mali
Morocco
Mauritania
Moldova
Mongolia
Mozambique
Namibia
Nepal
Nicaragua
Niger
Nigeria
Oman
Pakistan

Papua New Guinea
Sahrawi Arab Republic
Central African Republic
Republic of Macedonia
Republic of the Congo
Democratic Republic of the Congo (formerly Zaire)
People’s Republic of China
People’s Democratic Republic of Laos
Dominican Republic
Rwanda
Senegal
Sierra Leone
Northern Sudan
South Sudan
Swaziland
Thailand
Tanzania
Tajikistan
East Timor
Togo
Tunisia
Turkmenistan
Uganda
Uzbekistan
Vietnam
Yemen
Zambia
Zimbabwe

Require approval from the Director of Immigration

The countries listed below fall under the restrictive category. This means that citizens of these nations must obtain an entry visa before they are allowed to enter this nation. Not only this, applicants that fall under this category must have their application reviewed by the Director of Immigration before it can be granted.

If granted, the travel authorisation is valid for a period of 30 days and renewable up to a maximum of 90 days.

  • Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Cuba, Democratic People’s Republic of North Korea, Eritrea
    Ethiopia, Haiti, Iran, Iraq, Jamaica, Myanmar (Burma), Palestine, Syrian Arab Republic, Somalia
    Sri Lanka.

 

Visa Exempt Countries

Travellers from the following nations can enter this Central American nation without advance visa approval.

All European Union citizens
Andorra
Antigua and Barbuda
Argentina
Australia
Bahamas
Barbados
Belize
Bolivia
Brazil
Brunei
Canada
Chile
Dominica
El Salvador
Fiji
Grenada
Guatemala
Guyana
Honduras
Iceland
Israel
Japan
Kazakhstan

Kiribati
Liechtenstein
Malaysia
Maldives
Marshall Islands
Mauritius
Mexico
Micronesia
Monaco
Montenegro
Nauru
New Zealand
Norway
Palau
Panama
Paraguay
Peru
Philippines
Qatar
Russia
Saint Kitts and Nevis
Saint Lucia
Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
Samoa

San Marino
Sao Tome and Principe
Serbia
Seychelles
Singapore
Solomon Islands
South Africa
South Korea
Suriname
Switzerland
Taiwan
Tonga
Trinidad and Tobago
Turkey
Tuvalu
Ukraine
United Arab Emirates
United Kingdom
United States
Vanuatu
Vatican City
Venezuela
Uruguay

Costa Rica Visa Form and Documents

If you are not eligible for a waiver, you must complete the visa application form and submit some documentation to your nearest embassy or consulate.

Details of all this nation’s consulates around the world can be found on our Costa Rica embassies page

The application form that you must complete and sign contains the following fields:

  • Full name.
  • Birth place.
  • Birth date.
  • Age.
  • Nationality.
  • Marital status.
  • Occupation. 
  • Passport number.
  • Place of issue.
  • Date of issue.
  • Date of expiration.
  • Your place of work, the company name and its address and phone number.
  • Details of any previous visas (to this country) issued during the last 2 years. 
  • Name of the hotel where you will stay or the host you will stay with (and the address and phone number).
  • Who will cover the cost of your trip and the expenses while you are there. 
  • Wherever you will be using cash, card or travellers cheques to cover costs while you are there. 
  • Entry and exit dates.
  • The date you first and last entered the country (if you’ve visited before). 
  • Duration of your last visit (if applicable). 
  • Date you will enter the country.
  • Date you will exit the country. 
  • Address.
  • Telephone number.

You will also have to indicate your motive for travel. For example, if you are visiting as a tourist, to see family or for another reason.

You will then have to sign and date the form. 

Next, you will need to submit some supporting documents.

These are:

  1. An application letter addressed to the consulate that contains the following information:
  • The purpose of your trip.
  • Your personal information (name, age, date and place of birth).
  • Passport number
  • Nationality
  • Place of residence
  • Intended arrival and departure dates. 
  • Where you will stay while you are visiting the country. 
  • Contact information.
  • The date and your signature.

2. A complete photocopy of all the pages on your passport. Your passport must be valid for a further 6 six months.

3. A return flight ticket reservation. It is advised not to pay for your ticket until your visa application has been approved.

4. 2 passport photos of yourself (measuring 2 inches x 2 inches), taken on a white background with a neutral expression.

5. Proof of sufficient financial means, such as bank statements from the last 3 months.

6. Police clearance certificate (from the last 6 months) from your country of origin.

Those applicants who are visa-holders or Permanent Residents in another country should also submit proof of this. 

Important: The documents you submit must be translated into Spanish and legalised.

If you are coming from a place that’s at risk of Yellow Fever, you will also require proof that you have had this vaccine. 

In some circumstances, the consulate may require additional documents too.

Costa Rica Visa Status Check

Want to check on the status of your application? The country’s Immigration ministry offers an online system to verify and check the status of your application. 

In some cases, applicants may be asked to submit additional supporting documents to process their application. The consulate where you applied will get in touch with you if this is the case.

How Much Is a Costa Rica Visa?

The cost varies depending on your nationality and which category of visa you fall under. Different embassies allow for different methods too so make sure to check the rules for the specific embassy where you’re applying. 

As an example, if you apply for a visa via the Consular Officer in the US, the charge is USD 32.00. Alternatively, if the visa is approved by the Immigration Office, the cost will be USD 52.00.

How Long Does It Take to Get a Costa Rica Visitor Visa?

The processing time is usually about 30 calendar days. Make sure to apply in sufficient time ahead of your trip. You don’t want your travel plans to be thwarted because of not applying far enough in advance. 

It is recommended that you do not purchase airline tickets until your visa has been approved.

More Costa Rica Visitor Visa Questions and Information

Keep reading for more helpful answers about travel authorisation to visit one of the happiest countries in the world!

Visas issued by the nation’s consulates or embassies are valid for 30 days. Visas are granted for a period of 30 days renewable up to a maximum of 90 days.
No, citizens of the United States do not require a visa application to enter this beautiful nation. They will automatically be given a tourist visa at the immigration point of entry.
Yes, Indians do require a visa to travel here. Indians must obtain travel authorisation from the appropriate consulate in their city or region before embarking on their trip. If you do not have this visa stamped in your passport on arrival, you will be denied entry at the border.
Yes, if you are travelling from South America or sub-Saharan Africa, you will indeed require the yellow fever vaccine.The countries considered at risk are: Angola, Benin, Bolivia, Brazil, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Colombia, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ecuador, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guyana, Liberia, Nigeria, Peru, Sierra Leone, Sudan, and Venezuela.You can travel to this country 10 days after the vaccination.
US green card holders just require a valid passport, your green card, and a ticket showing you will leave the country within 30 days of arrival. You don't need to apply for advance travel authorisation.
No, generally the tourist pass only allows for a single entry. There are some exceptions, for example, if you hold a diplomatic passport, you may be able to obtain a multiple-entry travel pass.
No, you are not required to apply for travel authorisation to enter this country as a tourist for visits of up to 90 days.
Yes, it is possible to extend your travel authorisation, however, you should apply for the extension before your current pass expires. Visas are granted for a period of 30 days renewable up to a maximum of 90 days.Please note that local immigration authorities are strict about foreigners who have overstayed. Fines and restrictions on returning to the country can be applied under local law.
Here is an image of how this travel authorisation typically looks:Costa Rica Visa
We hope the information on this page has cleared up your questions and has made you more excited than ever to visit the home of 5% of the world’s biodiversity!Please find below more links to useful pages full of further travel information and useful resources to help you plan your trip.