Costa Rica Visa and Passport Requirements

Passport required Return ticket required Visa Required
Other EU Yes No Yes
USA Yes No Yes
Canadian Yes No Yes
Australian Yes No Yes
British Yes No Yes


US and British passports must be valid for one day from the day you enter Costa Rica.


Visas are not required by nationals referred to in the chart above for stays of up to 90 days.

Business visas are not really issued for Costa Rica. If intending to do business, the normal procedure is to enter on a tourist visa and conduct your business within that time. If you wish to stay longer without leaving the country to renew your visa you can apply for a Business Temporary Residence Permit once you are there.

Nationals not referred to in the chart are advised to contact the embassy to check visa requirements for Costa Rica.

Types and Cost

The cost of tourist visas varies according to nationality; check with the consulate.


Visas issued by consulates of Costa Rica are valid for stays of up to 30 days.

Application to

Consulate (or consular section at embassy).

Temporary residence

A temporary residence permit is usually a working visa, which you need to apply for with numerous pieces of documentation once you are in Costa Rica. It is issued for six months and can then be extended up to a year.

Working days

Applications usually take up to six working days.

Extension of stay

The most expedient way to extend your stay in Costa Rica is to leave the country and then get stamped back in to renew your new visa. The easiest way to do this is overland to either Nicaragua or Panama, but bear in mind that you are supposed to leave the country for at least 72 hours and you may be checked on this. Also, Panama has started to get very strict about onward journeys, and will be unimpressed by a declaration that someone is only coming into the country to do a visa run.

Entry with children

If travelling alone with a minor, ensure you have a notarised letter of consent from the absentee parent(s) which gives permission for such travel.

Entry with pets

You may bring pets into Costa Rica, but it is a frustrating process. Cats and dogs need a certificate of good health to prove they have no communicable diseases, and they must have had a rabies vaccination within the last year. You don’t, however, need to quarantine them. The procedure costs several hundred pounds, depending on how you wish to transport your pet.

Embassies and tourist offices

British Embassy in Costa Rica

Telephone: +506 2258 2025.

Embassy of the Republic of Costa Rica in the USA

Telephone: +1 202 499 2991.

Embassy and Consulate of the Republic of Costa Rica in the UK

Telephone: +44 20 7706 8844.