Costa Rica Visa Application and Requirements

Do you intend to visit Costa Rica to explore the country’s wonderful scenery? Then here is what you need to know about Costa Rica visa application and requirements.


Costa Rica is a stunning destination known for its beautiful protected beaches, abundant wildlife, and lush green surroundings. If you’re planning to visit Costa Rica, then this article covers the important details you need to know about the application process.

Who Must Submit a Visa Application for Costa Rica?

Without wasting much time, here is what you need to know about the requirements to get a visa to Costa Rica.

The visa requirements for entering Costa Rica vary depending on your nationality. Let’s take a look at the four categories of Costa Rica’s visa regulations:

  1. Nationals from countries without visa requirements: Citizens of countries like the United States and member states of the European Union are only required to have a valid passport that is valid for at least 90 days beyond their date of entry. They are allowed to stay in Costa Rica for a maximum of 90 days.
  2. Nationals from countries with a 30-day visa requirement: Citizens of certain countries are permitted to stay in Costa Rica for a maximum of 30 days. They need a passport that is valid for at least three months beyond their travel date to Costa Rica.
  3. Costa Rican consular visa: Individuals from countries that require a Costa Rican consular visa must apply at the Costa Rican consulate in their home country. They are allowed to stay in Costa Rica for a maximum of 30 days with their visa.
  4. Restricted Visa for Costa Rica: Foreign nationals who require a Restricted Visa for Costa Rica must obtain approval from the Commission of Restricted Visas. This visa allows them to stay in the country for up to 30 days if authorized.
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What are the visa requirements for Costa Rica?

When applying for a visa to Costa Rica, you will need to provide certain documents, including:

  1. Request letter: You will need to write a letter addressed to the Costa Rican consulate. The letter should state the purpose of your travel, personal information (name, age, date and place of birth), passport number and nationality, your place of residence, dates of entry and exit in Costa Rica, accommodation details, and contact information.
  2. Passport photocopy: Include a complete photocopy of your passport, ensuring that it is valid for at least six months.
  3. Return flight reservation: Provide a reservation for a return flight, although it’s advisable to delay making travel arrangements until your visa application is approved.
  4. Two recent passport-sized photos: Include two photographs of yourself with the following specifications: size of two by two inches, light background, neutral facial expression, forward-facing gaze, and no headgear unless worn for religious reasons.
  5. Proof of financial resources: Provide evidence of sufficient financial resources, such as a letter from your employer, bank statements from the last three months, or documentation of your property.
  6. Police clearance document: Include a police clearance document from your home country.
  7. Yellow fever vaccination proof: If you are traveling from a region where yellow fever is a concern, provide proof of vaccination.
  8. Proof of visa or permanent residency: If you hold a visa or are a permanent resident of another country, provide documentation to prove your status.
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Note that these requirements may vary based on your individual circumstances, and the Costa Rican embassy may request additional documents.

How can I apply for a visa to Costa Rica?

The application process for a Costa Rica visa depends on the type of visa you require.  If you come from a country that requires a Costa Rican consular visa, you must apply at the Costa Rican consulate in your home country. The process typically involves the following steps:

  1. Contact the consulate to schedule an appointment for applying for a Costa Rica visa.
  2. Submit the required documents mentioned earlier.
  3. Fill out the application form available on the website of the Costa Rican Immigration Department.
  4. The consulate may request additional documents or an interview.
  5. Once all the required documents are submitted, the visa process will begin.
  6. Wait for the processing of your visa and receive notification of the decision.
  7. You have 60 days from the acceptance of your visa application to enter Costa Rica.

Application for Restricted Visa for Costa Rica:

If you require a Restricted Visa for Costa Rica, a family member residing in Costa Rica or an approved attorney must submit an application on your behalf. The application procedure involves:

  1. Your representative must submit an application to the Commission of Restricted Visas, including the required information mentioned earlier.
  2. If your Costa Rica visa is approved by the Commission of Restricted Visas, the relevant consulate will issue the visa allowing you to travel.
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Always contact the consulate for specific guidelines and requirements, as they may vary among different consulates.


Moving to Costa Rica and experiencing its beauty and vibrant culture may require obtaining a visa based on your nationality. However, with the recently introduced digital nomad visa, living and working remotely in Costa Rica has become easier for many. While there may still be some uncertainties regarding the process, it offers new possibilities for individuals seeking to enjoy the country’s charm.

Remember to follow the correct procedures and submit all required documents when applying for a Costa Rica visa. Although the visa application process can seem overwhelming, it’s essential to ensure that you meet all the necessary requirements for a smooth entry into Costa Rica.

For further assistance or to begin your Costa Rica visa application, visit the official visa application website.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do Nigerians need a visa for Costa Rica?

Yes, Nigerians must obtain a visa to enter Costa Rica. A valid passport is also required, with an expiration date of at least six months beyond the intended date of entry.

Can you enter Costa Rica with a US visa?

If you have a valid multiple-entry visa or resident permit for the European Union, Canada, or the United States, you can enter Costa Rica without any issues, according to the country’s visa regulations. Holders of B and D visas do not require an additional visa to enter Costa Rica.

How much is the Costa Rica visa fee?

The cost of a Costa Rica visa is $52. Once your visa application is approved, you must pay the visa fee. Please note that the visa fee is non-refundable, even if you are denied entry upon arrival in Costa Rica.


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