Costa Rica Tourist Visa

Costa Rica Tourist Visa

Who Needs an Costa Rica Visa?

The following nationalities are obliged to obtain a Costa Rica tourist visa to enter the country:

Afghanistan, Albania, Algeria, Angola, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Belarus, Benin, Bhutan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cambodia, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Central African Republic, Chad, China, Colombia, Comoros, Congo, Congo (Dem. Rep.), Cote d'Ivoire (Ivory Coast), Cuba, Djibouti, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Eswatini, Ethiopia, Gabon, Gambia, Georgia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Haiti, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Jamaica, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kosovo, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Laos, Lebanon, Lesotho, Liberia, Libya, Macao, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Mauritania, Moldova, Mongolia, Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar, Namibia, Nepal, Nicaragua, Niger, Nigeria, North Korea, North Macedonia, Oman, Pakistan, Palestinian Territories, Papua New Guinea, Rwanda, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Somalia, South Sudan, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Syria, Tajikistan, Tanzania, Thailand, Timor-Leste, Togo, Tunisia, Turkmenistan, Uganda, United Arab Emirates, Uzbekistan, Venezuela, Viet Nam, Yemen, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.

Costa Rica Tourist Visa Validity

Nationalities that cannot enter Costa Rica visa-free are required to obtain a tourist visa. The Costa Rica tourist visa is a single-entry travel document that allows eligible travelers to enter the country lawfully for a specified duration. The tourist visa is issued solely for tourism purposes.

Tourist visas issued through consular processing are typically granted for stays of 30 days.

Some nationalities will be issued a Restricted Visa which falls under the purview of the Restricted Visas and Refugee Commission. The Commission determines both the permit of entry and the maximum amount of days that a particular foreigner can stay in Costa Rica.

Costa Rica Tourist Visa Requirements

To apply for a Costa Rica tourist visa, applicants must submit the following documents:

A valid passport

The applicant should hold a passport/travel document valid for at least six (6) months from the date of entry into Costa Rica and a copy of the entire document.

A personal photo

Photographs of the applicant must be recent, passport-sized, and in color.

A visa request letter

    The letter must be addressed to the Costa Rican consulate and contain the following pieces of information:

    • Full name
    • Passport number
    • Country of residence
    • Purpose of the trip
    • Duration of stay in Costa Rica
    • Approximate place and date of entry and exit of the country
    • Profession or trade
    • The exact address in Costa Rica
    • Date and place of birth of the applicant
    • Fax number to receive notifications

    Date and signature

    Itinerary or booking

    The itinerary must show the bookings for return or onward journey departing from Costa Rica.

    Proof of subsistence

    Applicants must show they have sufficient means to support themselves financially for the duration of their stay.

    Valid police records

    Police records must be issued within the previous six months.

    Complete visa application

    Visa application forms can be requested from the embassy or consulate where the applicant plans to submit their visa application OR at their official website.

    Yellow fever vaccine (if applicable)

    Foreign nationals of Angola, Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Democratic Republic of Congo, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Liberia, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Sudan, Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Guyana, and Venezuela are required to obtain a yellow fever vaccine certificate before traveling to Costa Rica. They must travel to Costa Rica within ten (10) days of the vaccine.

    In addition to the above, applicants for a Restricted visa must also submit the following:

    • Identification for requesting party
      • The requesting person(s) must submit their legal identification document. This document must be verified before a consulate official.
    • Proof of subsistence of the requesting party
      • The requesting person(s) must show proof of their economic solvency.
    • Proof of economic solvency and kinship of the requested foreigner (if applicable)
      • In some cases, the requested foreigner must show their financial standing and relationship to the requesting person.
    • Proof of relationship between requesting and requested parties
      • The certification must prove the relationship between the requesting and requested parties. 
    • Single status certificate (if applicable)
      • In some cases, the requested foreigner may have this certificate issued by their home country, legalized, and authenticated by the consulate.

    Costa Rica Visa Application Steps

    Applying for a Costa Rica tourist visa can be done by following a few simple steps to complete the application procedure:

    1. Schedule a visa appointment (if required)

      Depending on the consulate, some applicants may be required to schedule an appointment.

    2. Gather all required documents

      Applicants are required to complete the application form accurately and collect all required documents and copies to submit to the consulate.

    3. Attend the appointment

      Once the appointment is set, applicants must be sure to arrive on time and prepared with all required application materials.

    4. Submit the visa documents

      All required documents must be completed correctly and submitted to the consulate.

    5. Receive the new visa

      If the visa is approved by the consular officer, the applicant must pay the visa processing fee. Once the fee is paid they will receive their new Costa Rica tourist visa.

    Costa Rica Tourist Visa Fees

    If the visa application is approved by the consular officer, the applicant must pay the nonrefundable visa fees. The cost of the visa will vary depending on the applicant's nationality and the consulate or embassy where the application is submitted.

    Where to Apply

    Costa Rican tourist visas can be obtained by applying to the relevant consulate. Applicants must send their visa request letter to the consulate office to start the application process.

    Costa Rica Tourist Visa Processing Time

    The processing times for a Costa Rica tourist visa will depend on the applicant’s nationality and the location of the consulate where they submit their application. It is advised to allow for plenty of time for visa processing when making travel plans to Costa Rica. Restricted Visas usually take longer to be processed and issued. 

    Approved Visa Applications

    If the Costa Rica tourist visa has been approved, the applicant can pick up their passport with the visa stuck inside. They will then be eligible to travel to Costa Rica and present their visa at the border. The visa does not guarantee entry into the country. Costa Rican immigration officers at the border have the authority to deny any traveler entry. 

    Denied Visa Applications

    If the Costa Rica tourist visa is denied, the applicant must wait six (6) months in order to apply again. It is advised to double-check any errors that were made during the first application procedure and avoid repeating them.

    Costa Rica Visa Extension

    Costa Rica tourist visas typically allow for a maximum stay of 30 calendar days. An extension may be requested at the Immigration Office in Costa Rica.

    Costa Rica Tourist Visa FAQ

    What is a Costa Rica tourist visa?

    A Costa Rica tourist visa is a travel document that allows foreign nationals to enter the country for tourism purposes such as sightseeing or trekking.

    How long can I stay in Costa Rica on a tourist visa?

    The Costa Rica tourist visa is typically issued for stays of up to 30 days from the date of entry.

    How much does a Costa Rica tourist visa cost?

    If the visa application is approved, the applicant must pay the visa processing fee. This fee is non-refundable and will vary depending on the applicant’s nationality and the foreign mission where they submit their visa application.

    Where can I apply for my Costa Rica tourist visa?

    Costa Rican tourist visas can be obtained by applying to the relevant embassy or consulate.

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