Costa Rica Tourist Visa Travel Requirements

Jul 25, 2022

9 min read

Are you an international traveler who loves the outdoors and looking for activities that make your heart race? Look no further as I have the right place for you. Costa Rica offers some of the most beautiful national parks where tourists can zipline, river rafting, cave tubing, etc.

My first time in Costa Rica was extremely fun with my colleagues. We enjoyed it so much that we can't wait to plan our next trip. However, if you plan on going to Costa Rica, there are a few things you must know first.

In this post, we'll cover everything from what is the costa rica visa, the required documents, and how to apply for your Costa Rican Visa.

Let's get started:

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I can only assume that you are not in the mood to contact embassies or spend hours on your computer to find out what you need for your Costa Rica Tourist Visa.

Here is the perfect solution, and it's an app called Atlys. This app has changed my life forever. The only thing you have to do is provide them with some of your trip and personal information, and they'll do the rest.

What Is The Costa Rica Visa?

Before we go deeper into the visa application and requirements, you first must know the different types of visas you can apply for. They are as follows:

  • Costa Rica Tourist Visa (travel visa)
  • Costa Rica Provisional Visa (student visa, retirees, and rentiers)
  • Costa Rica Temporary Residence Visa (stays for a more extended period than 30 days)
  • Costa Rica Permanent Residents Visa

It is essential to know the different Costa Rica Visas because this will all depend on the purpose of your visit. For this post, I will mainly focus on the Costa Rica Tourist Visa.

The Costa Rica Tourist Visa allows you to enter Costa Rica for 30 days. You will apply for the Costa Rica Tourist Visa if you plan a tourism getaway. This can be to enjoy the food, experience the culture, hike, or even just lay on the beach for a week.

The Costa Rica Tourist Visa Explained

Now that you know what the Costa Rica Tourist Visa is, we can go deeper into what you need to know about the Costa Rica Tourist Visa. This section will cover most of the important details concerning the visa application fee, the processing times, etc.

Later in the post, I will cover the Costa Rica entry requirements and the Costa Rica application process. Feel free to skip ahead by using the links above.

Who Needs To Apply For A Costa Rica Tourist Visa?

Before starting with your Costa Rica Visa application, it is essential to determine whether or not you actually need to apply for a visa. This will depend on your country of origin. Citizens that have a passport from one of the following countries do not need to apply for a Costa Rica Tourist Visa:

If you aren't a passport holder from one of the countries mentioned above, don't worry because there is still a chance that you will enjoy visa-free travel. You can check out the Costa Rica Embassy website to find out if you need a Costa Rica Entry Visa.

Important note: If you qualify for visa-free entry, your passport must be valid for at least another 6 months after your entry date.

How Long Is The Costa Rica Tourist Visa Valid?

The Costa Rica Tourist Visa is only valid for stays up to 30 days. However, it can be issued for less.

Can You Extend Your Costa Rica Tourist Visa?

Suppose you enjoy Costa Rica as much as I have. In that case, you are already asking if you can extend your Costa Rica Tourist Visa. The answer is yes, you can.

Tourist visa extensions in Costa Rica are issued for 60 days. Therefore, before your current visa expires, you can apply for a visa extension at the General Directorate Immigration Office in Costa Rica.

If you do not require a Costa Rica tourist visa, you must request a tourism extension if you intend to stay longer than the approved travel days.

What Is The Costa Rica Tourist Visa Fee?

As you might have guessed, there is a Costa Rica application fee. The visa fee depends on where your application has been approved. This can either be at the Costa Rica Consulate or the Costa Rica Immigration Offices. The visa fees are as follows:

  • Costa Rica Consulate: $32 (USD)
  • Costa Rica Immigration Offices: $52 (USD)

What Is The Costa Rica Tourist Visa Processing Time?

The Costa Rica Tourist Visa processing time is generally 30 calendar days. However, it might be longer due to missing documents or if there is a problem with your application. The Costa Rica embassy or consulate will contact you if any additional documents are required.

Can You Work With A Costa Rica Tourist Visa?

Unfortunately, the answer is no. You cannot work in Costa Rica with a tourist visa. If you plan to work in Costa Rica, you must apply for a Costa Rica work permit and work visa.

Quick note: You can not apply for a business visa to work in Costa Rica.

What Are The Costa Rica Tourist Visa Requirements?

After you have determined if you need a visa to Costa Rica, the next important step will be to gather all the required documents. It is essential to gather all the documents before starting your application process.

Please find below the list of documents that are required for your Costa Rica Tourist Visa application process:

  • An application form
  • Photocopies of all your pages in your valid passport (your passport must be valid for at least another 6 months since the date of entry)
  • Two passport photos
  • A police record issued within the last 6 months
  • Return flight ticket reservation (it is advised that you do not pay for your flight ticket before your visa has been approved)
  • Proof of financial sufficiency (this can either be bank statements from the last 3 months, a letter from your employer, or proof of property)
  • Travel insurance (optional)
  • Proof of Yellow Fever Vaccination (only applicable if you are traveling from a country that is a high Yellow Fever risk zone)
  • Proof of visa or permanent residence permit (if you are a permanent resident of a country that needs a Costa Rica Visa)

How To Apply For The Costa Rica Tourist Visa?

Now that you know the ins and outs of the Costa Rica Tourist Visa, you can start with the application process.

Step 1 - Gather All The Required Documents

It is essential to gather all your travel documents, as I mentioned earlier. These documents must be submitted to ensure that your application is processed.

Quick note: Make copies of all your documents. If you lose one of your original documents, it can cause a delay in your application process.

Step 2 - Complete The Application Form

After gathering all your required documents, you can now complete the application form. The application form requires you to fill in some personal details and trip information.

Ensure that you make no mistakes on your application form. If perhaps you make a mistake, it can cause a delay in the processing time. You can print it out after completing the application form and stick your passport photo in the designated open space.

Step 3 - Schedule A Visa Appointment

As soon as you have all your required documents, you must contact your nearest Costa Rican Consulate or Embassy to schedule an appointment. Suppose you are applying from the United States. In that case, you can check for an embassy near you by going to the official Costa Rica Washington Embassy website. After scheduling your visa appointment, you will receive an email confirming your meeting date and time.

Step 4 - Attend Your Visa Appointment

The last thing for you to do is to attend your visa appointment. At this appointment, you will be able to submit your visa application. In addition, you can expect a short in-person interview with a consulate or embassy staff member. They will ask you a few questions about your trip and may ask you to submit additional information.

Step 5 - Wait For Your Visa To Be Processed

After submitting your Costa Rica Tourist Visa application, you are basically done. Now all you have to do is wait for your application to be processed.

As I mentioned earlier, this can take up to 30 calendar days. If it takes longer, you can contact the consular or embassy to find out why it is taking longer than you suspected.

Step 6 - Collect Your Approved Costa Rican Tourist Visa

The last and final thing for you to do is to pay and collect your approved Costa Rica Tourist Visa. As soon as your application has been processed, you will be notified via email, SMS, or a phone call. So head over to the Embassy or consulate where you submitted your application to collect your approved Costa Rica Tourist Visa.

Get Ready For An Unforgettable Adventure

I hope you are ready to experience all that Costa Rica has to present. The last thing you must do is start planning your next unforgettable getaway. If you have any more questions, you can head to the FAQ section to look for further information.

Written By: Richard Nathan
Fact Checked By: Mohak Nahta

Frequently Asked Questions

Do I Need A Yellow Fever Vaccination?

Suppose you travel to Costa Rica from South America and/or sub-Saharan Africa. In that case, you will need the Yellow Fever Vaccine. The countries considered at risk are Angola, Benin, Bolivia, Burkina Faso, Brazil, Cameroon, Colombia, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ecuador, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guyana, Liberia, Nigeria, Peru, Sierra Leone, Sudan, and Venezuela. You can travel to Costa Rica ten days after the shot.

Can I Travel To Costa Rica With My Pet?

Suppose you're planning to travel with your pet. In that case, you must verify the pet entry requirements. If you require additional information, you can go to the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS).

Can I Receive Maps And Tourist Material From Costa Rica's Embassy?

You can get this information by emailing Because this Embassy's financial resources are limited, we recommend sending a pre-paid envelope with your address so that we can send you more information. You can also make an appointment with the Embassy to pick up information.

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