Visa Requirements

Which papers do you need to enter Costa Rica?

Visa Requirements

The required paperwork to enter Costa Rica depends on the purpose of your visit and your nationality.

Costa Rican consulates handle tourism visas whereas all other applications will be send to the Department of Immigration in Costa Rica.

Take into account that the Costa Rican Immigration Department can require additional documentation for each application and policies change frequently. To avoid problems, we recommend you make preparations some time in advance and check with the nearest Costa Rican consulate what requirements apply. The documents that are most often required for visa applications are:

  • Application Form: This needs to be correctly completed and addressed to Director General of Migration.
  • Special Authority to Representative: Authority should be granted to a person in Costa Rica to represent the applicant. Personal data and an address of the representative within the judicial perimeter of San José should be indicated in this statement.
  • Birth Certificate. A certified copy of you and your dependent is required. Every birth certificate should have the parent’s names on it. Birth certificates have to be authenticated.
  • Photocopies of passport. The pages of the passport will have to be certified by the Consul, a Costa Rican notary public or a notary public of your country of residence. If the passport is certified by a notary public in your country of residence, the copies will have to be authenticated as well.
  • Marriage Certificate. This certificate has to be certified and authenticated.
  • Proof of Income. This can be a letter from your bank or from the government of your country of origin.
  • Police Statement of Good Conduct. This statement is issued by the authorities in your country of residence and valid for six months. If the six month period expires while you are still in you application procedures you have to obtain a new statement.
  • Background Check. Depending on the visa you apply for you might have to visit the Costa Rican Ministery of Security. They will take your fingerprints and run a background check.
  • Photographs. Four passport size photos are required but it is recommended to have several more.
  • Diplomas. If you want to practice a profession in Costa Rica you should provide copies of your diplomas and qualifications.


Below are estimates of the prices Costa Rican Consulates and Authorities charge.

  • Authentication US$ 40 per page
  • Certifications US$ 40
  • Declarations US$ 50
  • Patents US$ 80
  • Power-of-Attorney US$ 80
  • Trademarks US$ 80
  • Consular Tourist Visa US$ 20

Further reading

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