Visas, Residences and Permits

Last Updated on 20 october 2020

 

 

THANK YOU FOR YOUR INTEREST IN VISITING COSTA RICA!

We are open for tourist and visitors since 1st of August 2020.

 

VISITING COSTA RICA DURING THE COVID 19 PANDEMIC

Only tourists departing from one of the authorized countries by the Ministry of Health of Costa Rica will be allowed to enter Costa Rica. This list reflects the authorized origins and is not related with whether a visa is or not needed.

United Kingdom (England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland),

Australia, Austria, Belgium, Belize, Bulgaria, Canada, China (People's Republic of China), Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Guatemala, Honduras, Ireland (Republic of), Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Liechestein, Luxembourg, Mexico, Monaco, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Norway, Panama, Poland, Portugal, Republic of Korea, Romania, San Marino, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan (Region), Thailand, Uruguay and Vatican (Holy See)

United States of America ONLY from the following states:

Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Ohio, Oregon, Pensilvania, Rhode Island, Texas, Vermont and Washington D.C.

 

You can find more information about our country at https://www.visitcostarica.com/en

 

  1. Entry requirements for all Tourists during the COVID 19 Pandemic
  2. Passports Exempted of Tourist Visa
  3. Visas to enter Costa Rica
  4. Types of Residences
  5. Permits
  6. Yellow Fever Vaccine
  7. Getting Married in Costa Rica
  8. Application for Certificate of Delinquency

 

1. Entry requirements for all tourists during the COVID 19 Pandemic:

  • Tourists may enter the country as long as they do not require an entry visa or have the exception of a visa (Check Passports Exempted of Tourist Visa link interno)
  • Prove to have remained for the 14 days prior to the flight in a country of the authorized list by the Ministry of Health of Costa Rica.
  • Complete and submit the form “Pase de Salud”, which is available at the following link: https://salud.go.cr, in Spanish or English.
  • Submit in the “Pase de Salud” document proving to have been made within 72 hours prior to departure the flight to Costa Rica, a test called COVID-19 PCR-RT, with negative result.   This document must be presented in Spanish or English
  • Air travel continuation ticket.
  • Prove that you have Traveler's Health Insurance International and certification from your insurance company, issued in English or Spanish, verifying at least the following three conditions
    • Effectiveness of the policy during the visit to Costa Rica.
    • Guaranteed coverage of medical expenses in the event of becoming ill with the pandemic COVID-19 virus while in Costa Rica, for at least USD $50,000 (fifty thousand United States Dollars).
    • Includes minimum coverage of USD $2,000 for lodging expenses issued as a result of the pandemic.
  • (This certification must be uploaded when filling out the HEALTH PASS).
  • If you do not have an insurance complying those conditions you can purchase an insurance from the National Insurance Institute of Costa Rica at
  • National Insurance Institute (INS) https://cotiza.ins-cr.com/frmDatosIncluir.aspx?P=431,
  • Or from Sagicor https://tiendasagicor.com/en/

 

Entry requirements for Foreigners related to Citizens or Residents of Costa Rica:

  • Foreign persons who are able to prove to have a first degree family bond with a resident or Citizen of Costa Rica and have the health insurance indicated in the previous point will be admitted to the country under the category of tourism.
  • Foreign persons referred to in this derogation may be allowed to enter the country even if they do not arrive accompanied by the Citizen or Resident of Costa Rica, provided that:
    • They do not require an entry visa,
    • They meet all immigration entry requirements or have the exception of a visa and
    • There is no other legal impediment that does not permit it.
    • They ARE ABLE TO DEMONSTRATE their family bond to entry through the appropriate documentation.
  • These persons will be notified by the immigration authority of a sanitary direct quarantine order for 14 days.

This derogation applies for:

  • Parents of under-age citizens or residents of Costa Rica.
  • Parents of no-under-age citizens or residents of Costa Rica with disabilities.
  • Disabled parents of non-under-age citizens or residents of Costa Rica.
  • Under-age siblings or Non-under-age siblings with disabilities of citizens or residents of Costa Rica.
  • Spouse of citizens or residents of Costa Rica.

 

2. Passports Exempted of Tourist Visa:

NOTE:

  • Some airlines and migration authorities require a minimum passport validity of 6 months, based on dispositions of the International Civil Aviation Organization.
  • Proof of air transportation ticket as either a return ticket or to continue to a third country.
  • Proof of sufficient monetary means to finance your tourist stay in the country.

Nationals of the following countries or territories do NOT need a tourist visa to enter Costa Rica, and require a passport validity of at least one day, and can remain in the country for a maximum of 90 days:

Andorra Czech Republic Japan Paraguay Slovenia
Argentina Denmark Latvia Peru South Africa
Australia Estonia Liechtenstein Poland South Korea
Austria Finland Lithuania Portugal Spain
Bahamas France Luxemburg Principality of Monaco Sweden
Barbados Germany Malta Puerto Rico Switzerland
Belgium Greece Mexico Qatar Trinidad and Tobago
Brazil Hungary Montenegro Romania United Arab Emirates
Bulgaria Iceland Netherlands San Marino United Kingdom
Canada Ireland New Zealand Serbia United States of America
Chile Israel Norway Singapore Uruguay
Croatia Italy Panama Slovakia Vatican City
Cyprus

 

Nationals of the following countries or territories do NOT need a tourist visa to enter Costa Rica and can remain in the country for a maximum of 30 days:

Antigua and Barbuda Guatemala Mauritius Saint Lucia Tonga
Belize Guyana Micronesia Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Turkey
Bolivia Honduras Nauru Samoa Tuvalu
Brunei-Darussalam Kazakhstan Northern Mariana Islands São Tome and Príncipe Ukraine
Dominica Kiribati Palau Seychelles Vanuatu
El Salvador Malaysia Philippiness Solomon Islands Venezuela
Fiji Maldives Russia Surinam
Granada Marshall Islands Saint Kitts and Nevis Taiwan

 

IMPORTANT

If you are a national of a country not mentioned in the two previous groups, or you have a Travel Document instead of a Passport, then you DO need a visa to enter Costa Rica.

 

3. Visas to Enter Costa Rica:

Costa Rica is not issuing any kind of visa until after the 8 of February 2021.

 

4.Types of Residences

A residence is an authorization of temporary or permanent stay in the country with freedom of employment within Costa Rica, an authorization usually related with professional work. There is many circumstances under which an applications for residence is valid, some of them being:

A. Special permit for students, volunteers, academics or researchers

Should you want to remain in Costa Rica as a student, volunteer, academic or researcher, you must request a provisional visa in the Consulate. For this, you must present the following documents:

  • Provisional visa request letter under the special category of student, academic, volunteer, or researcher that includes the following information regarding the applicant:

  1. Full name
  2. Nationality
  3. Passport number
  4. Country of residence
  5. Profession or trade
  6. Exact address in Costa Rica
  7. Date and place of birth
  8. Fax number to receive notifications
  9. Date and signature
  • Birth certificate translated to Spanish with apostille.

  • Police records/Certificate of Delinquency translated to Spanish with apostille.

  • Original and copy of the entire passport or travel document. Please note that said document must be valid for at least six months.

  • Acceptance letter to a public or private educational institution recognized in Costa Rica that confirms the applicant as a student, academic, volunteer or researcher. This document must also include period of time the applicant is expected to remain in the institution.

  • Proof of sufficient monetary means to finance the applicant’s stay in the country.

  • Three passport sized pictures with light gray background.

  • Proof of payment for all corresponding fees

Once the corresponding authorities have verified you fulfill all the requisites, the Consulate will issue a provisional visa for entry to Costa Rica, and the applicant will receive the documents he/she must present in the General Directorate of Migration and Aliens in Costa Rica to continue with the process of registering under the special category of student, academic, volunteer, or researcher.

B. Temporary residence as Annuitants

Those people who wish to apply for a temporary residence in Costa Rica as annuitants must fulfill the following requirements before the Consulate:

  • Visa request letter in which the applicant indicates the reasons for his/her residence request. This letter must also include the following information regarding the applicant:

  1. Full name
  2. Nationality and age
  3. Passport number
  4. Country of residence
  5. Profession or trade
  6. Date and place of birth
  7. Address or other means by which notifications can be sent
  8. Date and signature
  • Birth certificate translated to Spanish with apostille.

  • Police records/Certificate of Delinquency translated to Spanish with apostille.

  • Original and copy of the entire passport or travel document. Please note that the document must be valid for at least six months.

  • Proof by means of official documents that, for a period not shorter than two years, the applicant will receive a stable and permanent income of at least two thousand five hundred dollars (US$2,500.00) a month, currency of the United States of America or its equivalent to the Costa Rican colon based on the exchange rate established by the Central Bank of Costa Rica. If the income is received from abroad, the documents must have an apostille.

  • Three passport sized pictures with light gray background.

  • Proof of payment of any required fees.

C. Temporary residence for retirees

Those people who wish to apply for a temporary residence in Costa Rica as retirees must fulfill the following requirements before the Consulate:

  • Visa request letter in which the applicant indicates the reasons for his/her residence request. This letter must also include the following information regarding the applicant:

  1. Full name
  2. Nationality and age
  3. Passport number
  4. Country of residence
  5. Profession or trade
  6. Date and place of birth
  7. Address or other means by which notifications can be sent
  8. Date and signature
  • Police records/Certificate of Delinquency translated to Spanish with apostille.

  • Original and copy of the entire passport or travel document. Please note that the document must be valid for at least six months.

  • Proof by means of official documents that he/she has been granted a lifelong pension with a monthly payment of at least one thousand dollars (US$1,000.00), currency of the United States of America or its equivalent to the Costa Rican colon based on the exchange rate established by the Central Bank of Costa Rica. If the documents are issued abroad, they must have an apostille.

  • Three passport sized pictures with light gray background.

  • Proof of payment of any required fees.

Important:

  • The translation of foreign documents to Spanish can be done through the services of official translators in the UK (in which case, the document must be translated before being apostilled) or in Costa Rica. The most important aspect is that the document is already translated with an apostille when presented at the General Directorate of Migration and Aliens.

  • Certifications must be valid and have been issued no more than six months ago.

  • If a person enters Costa Rica as a tourist and, during his/her legal stay, he/she presents a request of temporary residence directly to the General Directorate of Migration and Aliens, he/she will have to pay an additional fee of US$200 for the change in migration category.

D. Other migration categories (Spanish only)

 

5. Permits

Costa Rican migration legislature considers working or studying permits as Special Categories.

Special Categories have important subgroups to be aware of, based on the characteristics of the activities that the foreign person will carry on in Costa Rica.

Given these circumstances, before you present your request for a work or study permit it is important that you become familiar with the recommendations given by the Ministry of Labour, which you can find in the following links:

For more information please visit: http://www.migracion.go.cr/extranjeros/permisos.html (Spanish only)

 

6. Yellow Fever Vaccine

If you will be traveling to Costa Rica from South America and/or Sub-Saharan Africa you will need the YELLOW FEVER VACCINE. The countries considered at risk are:

Angola Cameroon Gabon Nigeria
Benin Colombia Gambia Peru
Bolivia Democratic Republic of the Congo Ghana Sierra Leone
Brazil Ecuador Guinea Sudan
Burkina Faso French Guiana Liberia Venezuela

 

You will be able to travel to Costa Rica ten days after you have received the shot.

EXCEPTIONS:

  • Any individual travelling to Costa Rica who has been in transit through the countries in the list above, whether in airports, sea ports, or land borders, will be exempt from having to get the yellow fever vaccine.

  • People who have been in countries at risk and that have spent at least six days in a non-risk country without developing symptoms before entering Costa Rica, will be exempt from having to get the yellow fever vaccine.

  • In the case of people with contraindications for the Yellow Fever Vaccine and who are nationals of countries at risk, they will be exempt from having to get vaccine but will have to provide, before entering Costa Rican territory, a valid medical opinion supported by the health authority in the country from where they are from.
  • The Yellow Fever Vaccine will be mandatory for everyone except people with the following contraindications, typical in relation to said vaccine: people younger than 9 months, severe egg allergy, immunosuppression and thymic disease present or in their medical history.

  • There must be a medical assessment of the pros and cons of vaccination on people with the following conditions: over 60 years of age, pregnancy, lactation, family history of adverse events associated with the yellow fever vaccine, hypersensitivity to gelatin and asymptomatic HIV infection, with laboratory verification of adequate immune system function.

 

 

7. Getting Married in Costa Rica

Marriage Requirement for Foreigners in Costa Rica

  • Civil and/or religious wedding
  • The documents required to get married in Costa Rica are the following:
    • Original birth certificate
    • Affidavit of single status (if applicable)
    • Valid passport
    • Divorce decree (if applicable)
  • These documents need to follow the authentication procedure before being taken to Costa Rica. We recommend to contact a lawyer or notary in CR if it is a civil marriage, or contact a priest if it is a religious wedding.
  • Authentication or legalisation must be done through the UK Legalisation Office. https://www.gov.uk/get-document-legalised

Authentication or legalisation must be done through the UK Legalisation Office.

8. Application for Certificate of Delinquency

Process

If you reside outside of Costa Rica and need to get your Certificate of Delinquency, you will have to make a specific request (in a letter) to the Consulate. The application letter must be sent to the Consulate via email to concr-uk@ree.go.cr and it must indicate:

  • Applicant’s full name
  • Copy of applicant’s identity card ( cédula de identidad) or passport
  • Applicant’s date of birth
  • Full name of both of the applicant’s parents
  • Full name, copy of identity card (cédula de identidad), and phone number of the person in Costa Rica who is authorized to pick up the applicant’s certificate of Delinquency

The certificate will not be sent by post or email to the Consulate or the applicant. It has to be collected by the authorised person in the Judicial Registry. This process has no additional cost.