Costa Rica Visa Guide

There are plenty of reasons to visit Costa Rica. While the purpose visit is up to you, there’s something else you need to take care of before going there: your visa, which has to be applied for correctly for you to get one.

Costa Rica Visa Guide: Costa Rican flag

Table of contents

Costa Rica visa policy

As is the case with many countries around the world, the general rule is that citizens of foreign countries need a visa to enter Costa Rica, except if their country is eligible for visa-free travel.

Those who can enter Costa Rica without a visa can stay there for 90 days without applying for one.

There is also another exemption: for holders of multi-entry visas of the US, EU (Schengen), or Canada, visa-free entry for 30 days is available.

Do U.S. citizens need a visa to Costa Rica?

US citizens do not need a visa to visit Costa Rica for tourism purposes. This visa-free entry is valid for 90 days. For stays longer than 90 days, a residence permit or visa is required.

Costa Rica visa application process

The procedure depends on the kind of visa you’re applying for: restricted or consular. Consular visas, as the name implies, are processed by the Costa Rican consulate in your country or jurisdiction. On the other hand, restricted visas are applied for by a family member of the future visitor or an appointed attorney who resides in Costa Rica.

The process for the consular visa, in general, is as follows:

  1. Make an appointment for a visa application;
  2. Fill out the visa application form and submit the needed documents;
  3. Wait for the visa to be processed and collect it.

While for restricted visas, the applying family member or attorney will need to submit a letter stating your identity and the details of your travel to the Costa Rican Directorate of Immigration.

Documents required for Costa Rica visa application

Here are the documents you need to apply for a Costa Rican visa:

Costa Rica visa photo requirements

Make sure your visa application photo fulfills these requirements:

Here is an example:

Costa Rica visa photo

Get a Costa Rica visa photo online!

Applying for visas can be tricky, but everything will go smoothly if all your documents are in order. One common slipup in visa applications is non-compliant photos.

Visafoto can be your solution. Use our visa photo converter to get a compliant picture online instantly. Just upload your portrait taken with any background, and Visafoto will immediately edit its size, format, and background. You will get a ready-to-print image that is guaranteed to be accepted.

Take an image with a smartphone or camera against any background, upload it here and instantly get a professional photo for your visa, passport or ID.
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Source photo example that you need to take in order to make a passport or visa photo at


Result example: a correct visa or passport photo that you will receive

Take an image with a smartphone or camera against any background, upload it here, and instantly get a professional photo for your visa, passport, or ID.

Оriginal photo

You will get two files from Visafoto: a digital photo for electronic applications and a template ready for printing.

Costa Rica visa photo for electronic submission
Costa Rica visa photo ready for printing

Costa Rica visa fees

The application fee for Costa Rican visas is US$52. Contact your local consulate or embassy to find out the details about the price and available payment methods.

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