Visas to Enter Costa Rica

New immigration regulations state which foreigners require visas to enter the country and the length of their stay.

Friday, February 25, 2011


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The Department of Immigration of Costa Rica issued on Jan. 14, Regulation DG-3312-2010, which details visitors of which countries require an entry visa and the duration of those visas, according to the nationality of the traveler.

Besides exceptions provided in the general guidelines, foreign nationals require a visa to enter Costa Rica, which is given by the staff of the Department of Immigration at the time of entering the country. In some cases, depending on the nationality of the person, it is also necessary clearance from the Department of Immigration requesting it before Costa Rican immigration officials abroad.

There are four groups of countries according to the duration of the visa granted to its citizens, and if it requires prior proceedings before entering the country. For example, people from Germany, Japan and Panama are in the first group, and will be allowed for 90 calendar days, while foreigners from El Salvador, Honduras and Venezuela belong to the Second Group, and are granted visa only for 30 calendar days. Nicaragua and Peru belong to the third group, which means they require a consular visa and have a maximum stay of 30 days. Finally, the People's Republic of China is in Group Four of which nationals must apply for a restricted and consulted visa and have a maximum stay of 30 days.

Read Resolution DG-3312-2010 (only in Spanish)

More on this topic

Peru and Costa Rica Eliminate Visas for Travelers

July 2015

In 30 days, the agreement will become effective for the elimination of tourist visas in ordinary passports of Peru and Costa Rica.

From a statement issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Costa Rica:

July 2, 2015. Manuel A. Gonzalez Chancellor and Minister of Foreign Affairs of Peru, Ana Maria Sanchez Vargas, signed in Paracas, Peru, the Agreement on the abolition of visas in ordinary passports.

Costa Rica Issues Migration Regulations

June 2012

The General Migration and Foreign Affairs Office issued new regulations and guidelines for entry visas.

A press release by Lexincorp Central America reads:

On May, 17th, the highly anticipated Alien Bylaws were finally issued as a complement to the General Migration and Foreign Affairs Law, which is in force since March, 10th 2010.

More Facilities for Foreign Tourists in Guatemala

March 2012

The Commission on Sustainable Tourism (Comiturs) has requested free entry for every tourist that has a U.S. visa in order to facilitate immigration procedures.

"We are trying to bring more tourism revenue into the country, by helping tourists come to Guatemala," said Alfonso Muralles, president of Comiturs, attached to the Guatemalan Association of Exporters (Agexport).

Nicaragua and Russia Remove Visa Requirements

June 2010

From July 3 onwards, citizens from both countries will be allowed to enter the other nation without having to request a visa.

Nicaraguan and Russian citizens will be able to enter and stay up to 90 days without any visa requirements. This applies to all common passports, with the exception of diplomatic, official or service passports.

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