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

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

Honduras and the United Arab Emirates Eliminate Visas

May 2018

As of May 25th, Honduran citizens will be able to travel to the Arab country for tourism or business purposes for up to 90 days without requiring a visa.

From a statement issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Honduras:

United Arab Emirates. Starting from May 25, an agreement will enter force that will allow Hondurans traveling to the United Arab Emirates to enter that country without the need for a visa. The migratory benefit applies to Hondurans holding diplomatic, official, special and ordinary passports. The agreement also establishes that in the same way citizens of that Middle East country wishing to travel to Honduras will be exempt from the visa requirement. 

Nicaragua Eliminates Visa for Dominicans

March 2018

Citizens of the Dominican Republic who travel to Nicaragua for tourism or business purposes for a period of up to 90 days may enter without having to have a visa.

Nicaraguans visiting the Dominican Republic will also not be required to have a visa to enter.

Inexplicable Obstacle to Tourism

August 2017

A new measure imposed by Nicaraguan immigration authorities requires foreigners who intend to enter the country to file a "notice of entry" seven days in advance.

The Nicaraguan business sector, particularly companies working in the tourism industry, regret the government's decision to implement this measure.

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.

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