Visas, Residences and Permits

Last Updated on 16 november 2020

 

 

THANK YOU FOR YOUR INTEREST IN VISITING COSTA RICA

If you want to visit Costa Rica please check:

https://www.visitcostarica.com/es/costa-rica/planning-your-trip/entry-requirements

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 DON'T 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:

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

 

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

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.

List of Countries that need a Consular Visa to enter Costa Rica (that cannot be issued until after 8 februrary 2021)

Albania, Angola, Argelia, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Benin, Belarus, Bhutan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cape Verde, Cambodia, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Tchad, Colombia, Congo (Republic Of), Congo (Democratic Republic Of), Côte D'Ivoire, Comoros, China (People’s Republic Of), Djibouti, Dominican Republic, Ecuator, Ecuatorial Guinea, Egypt, Gabon, Gambia, Georgia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea Bissau, India, Indonesia, Jordan, Kenya, Kyrgyzstan, Kosovo, Kuwait, Laos (People’s Democratic Republic Of), Lebanon, Lesotho, Liberia, Libya, Macedonia (Republic Of), Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Mauritania, Moldova, Mongolia, Morocco, Mozambique, Namibia, Nepal, Nicaragua, Niger, Nigeria, Oman, Pakistan, Papua New Guinea, Rwanda, Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Sudan (North), Sudan (South), Swaziland, Tanzania, Tajikistan, Thailand, Timor-Leste, Togo, Tunisia, Turkmenistan, Uganda, Uzbekistan, Vietnam, Yemen, Zambia and Zimbabwe

Countries that need Restricted Visa (that cannot be issued until after 8 februrary 2021)

Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Cuba, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Haiti, Iran, Irak, Jamaica, Myanmar (Birmania), North Korea (People’s Democratic Republic Of), Palestine, Syria (Arab Republic Of), Somalia and Sri Lanka

Visa Exceptions

  • Nationals of those countries with a consular or restricted visa requirement who possess a multiple entry visa (tourism visa, crewmember visa or business visa) to the United States of America (exclusively a B1-B2, B1 or B2 type visas, a D type visa or a C1/D multiple entry visa) or Canada (exclusively a multiple entry visa), may be dispensed from the consular visa for the purpose of entering into Costa Rica.
  • Nationals of those countries with a consular or restricted visa requirement that are Residents of the United States of America, Canada and the European Union with a minimum validity of six months, counted as of the date of entry into Costa Rica, may be dispensed from the consular visa for the purpose of entering into Costa Rica.
  • The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland is not considered a country of the European Union since 31 of January 2020 and therefor Foreigners residing in the United Kingdom are not exempt to need of Visa for Costa Rica.
  • These waivers and exceptions are not applicable to those who have a legal permanence as refugees or stateless persons, in which case they shall obtain a consulted entry visa.

 

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.