How to get a visa for Costa Rica

Expats can apply for a variety of visas in Costa Rica, but they must first get a residence permit (either temporary or permanent depending on their situation). Read on to find out how to get a work permit, whether you’re a skilled worker or interested in a self-employment visa for Canada.

Costa Rica is the place for you if you enjoy lush, green scenery, engaging with animals, and relaxing on a lovely, protected beach away from hectic streets and towering buildings. It may not be as straightforward as booking a flight to Costa Rica, depending on where you are from. Prior to entering Costa Rica, some nations must get a visa.

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

If the application is complex or the immigration service is particularly busy, it might take anything from four months to a year for approval. Meanwhile, you can either return to your home country or remain in Costa Rica without having to leave every 90 days to renew your visa.

Who is required to apply for a visa to enter the country?

If you are visiting Costa Rica for tourism or any other purpose that does not exceed 30 days, you will require a tourist visa. Costa Rica’s visa policy is separated into four categories:

  • Visa-exempt nations may stay in Costa Rica for up to 90 days without a visa.
  • Visa-exempt nations may remain in Costa Rica for up to 30 days without a visa.
  • Nationals from visa-required countries must apply for a normal Costa Rica tourist visa (Consular Visa) at a Costa Rica Consulate in their home country.
  • Nationals from visa-required countries must apply for a Costa Rica Restricted Visa. This implies they must have someone in Costa Rica (a family member or appointed attorney) who can file a visa request to the Department of Restricted Visas on their behalf.

Furthermore, even if you are a national of a country whose citizens require a tourist visa for Costa Rica, you are exempt if you already have a valid tourist visa for:

  • A country that is a member of the EU
  • A Schengen member state
  • USA
  • Canada
  • South Korea
  • Japan

How Do I Apply for a Tourist Visa in Costa Rica?

You must apply for a Costa Rica passport at a Costa Rican embassy or consulate in your home country. If your nation does not have a Costa Rican embassy or consulate, you must go to the next country that does. The following is the procedure for obtaining a tourist visa in Costa Rica:

  • Set up an appointment with the Costa Rican Embassy or consulate to submit the application.
  • Gather the necessary documents and submit them in person.
  • Fill out the Costa Rica visa application form, which may be found on the website of Costa Rica’s Immigration Department (Dirección General de Migración y Extranjera).
  • The consulate officials will evaluate your application and determine whether any more papers are required.
  • They will begin processing your visa application once all of the needed documents have been provided.
  • You may be invited to attend an interview as well.

When your tourist visa is accepted, it will be stamped in your passport, and you will have 60 days to visit Costa Rica.

Keep in mind that various consulates’ criteria and operating processes may differ. As a result, contacting the local Costa Rican embassy should always be the initial step in applying for a Costa Rica tourist visa.

In addition, several consulates have made the Costa Rica application procedure digital. If this is the case, the consulate is responsible for clarifying the application process.