Updated Costa Rica Entry Requirements | Bill Beard's Costa Rica

Discover the Latest Costa Rica Entry Requirements

Are you planning on visiting this tropical country but need to know the Costa Rica entry requirements to make your journey seamless and hassle-free? You’re in the right place.

Ensuring you meet all the requirements to enter this paradisiacal country can be stressful, even for the most seasoned travelers. As local travel experts, we’ve been there.

That’s why at Bill Beard’s Costa Rica, we’ve designed a comprehensive guide that provides clear and concise information to streamline your entry process.

Let’s walk you through everything you need to enter Costa Rica smoothly and according to Costa Rican law.

Visit Costa Rica fully informed and equipped!

The Most Important Requirements to Enter Costa Rica

All visitors to Costa Rica must adhere to the immigration procedures outlined in the General Immigration and Aliens Act (Ley General de Migración y Extranjería).

As per Article 42 of the General Law on Immigration and Aliens (No. 8764) and Article 30 of the Immigration Control Regulation (Executive Decree No. 36769-G), foreign nationals wishing to enter Costa Rica are required to provide the following documents:

  • A valid passport or travel document that is electronically readable according to the guidelines set by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) and has a specified duration of validity.
  • Visa, if applicable, under the prevailing guidelines.
  • Evidence of financial means amounting to at least US$100.00 per month or partial month of legal stay in the country.
  • A return ticket to the country of origin or proof of onward travel that includes the next destination. This could be:
    • A pre-purchased bus ticket departing the country
    • A pre-booked flight departing the country
    • Evidence of passage on a cruise ship
  • No restrictions on entry into Costa Rican territory.
  • A valid passport for the duration of the intended stay. Entry may be denied if the passport is damaged.

All You Need to Know About Costa Rica’s Visa Requirements

The Costa Rican immigration department categorizes countries into four groups according to their entry requirements. Furthermore, each group has distinct regulations that citizens of those countries must follow to gain entry into Costa Rica.

Group one (Visa exempt)

Citizens belonging to this group are not required to obtain a Visa to enter. This category encompasses the majority of tourists, and if you’re reading this, chances are you’re from one of these countries.

Upon arrival, citizens of Group One will receive an entry stamp in their passport, allowing them to stay for up to 180 days without needing a visa application.

Some group one countries include:

  • Australia
  • Austria
  • Belgium
  • Canada
  • Croatia
  • Cyprus
  • Czech Republic
  • Denmark
  • Estonia
  • Finland
  • France
  • Germany
  • Greece
  • Vatican
  • Hungary
  • Ireland
  • Italy
  • Latvia
  • Lithuania
  • Luxembourg
  • Malta
  • Netherlands
  • New Zealand
  • Poland
  • Portugal
  • Romania
  • Slovakia
  • Slovenia
  • Spain
  • Sweden
  • Switzerland
  • United Kingdom
  • United States of America

Group two (Visa exempt, shorter stay)

Citizens from this group are not required to obtain a Restricted Visa to enter. Individuals from group two can stay for up to 30 days and will be granted an entry stamp reflecting this duration upon arrival.

Some group two countries include:

  • Antigua and Barbuda
  • Belize
  • Dominica
  • Federated States of Micronesia
  • Fiji
  • Grenada
  • Guyana
  • Kiribati
  • Marshall Islands
  • Nauru
  • Northern Mariana Islands
  • Palau
  • Saint Kitts and Nevis
  • Saint Lucia
  • Saint Vicent and the Grenadines
  • Samoa
  • Tuvalu
  • Vanuatu

Group three (Visa required)

Citizens from this group must obtain a Visa before entering the country. This involves applying at the Costa Rican Embassy or consulate in their country of residence.

Upon obtaining the visa, travelers have a window of up to 60 days to enter the country, commencing from the date of visa approval.

Initially, this visa permits a maximum stay of 30 days, with the option of extending it for a total duration of up to 90 days.

Some group three countries include:

  • Angola
  • Botswana
  • Gambia
  • Ghana
  • Kenya
  • Lesotho
  • Liberia
  • Nigeria
  • Namibia
  • Tanzania
  • Uganda
  • Zimbabwe

Group four (Visa required with restrictions)

Citizens from this group are required to obtain a Visa to enter the country. This entails applying at the nearest Costa Rican Embassy/Consulate and obtaining approval from the Costa Rican Directorate of Immigration.

Initially, this visa allows for a maximum stay of 30 days, with the possibility of extension for a total duration of up to 90 days.

Some group four countries include:

  • Azerbaijan
  • Bangladesh
  • Cuba
  • Eritrea
  • Ethiopia
  • Haiti
  • Iran
  • Iraq
  • Jamaica
  • Kazakhstan
  • Kyrgyzstan
  • Myanmar
  • North Korea
  • Palestine
  • Somalia
  • Sri Lanka
  • Syrian Arab Republic
  • Tajikistan
  • Turkmenistan
  • Uzbekistan

Maximum stay in Costa Rica

The immigration agent will determine the maximum legal stay for foreign nationals upon entering the country.

  • Countries in group one: up to 180 calendar days, non-extendable
  • Countries in group two: up to 30 calendar days
  • Countries in group three: up to 30 calendar days, extendable
  • Countries in group four: up to 30 calendar days, extendable

Additional information

Local authorities permit tourist stays of up to 180 days without the need for a tourist visa, although this is subject to their discretion. To avoid any complications, it’s essential to adhere to your scheduled departure date.

Overstaying your permitted duration may incur fines imposed by immigration authorities. Even a brief overstay can lead to substantial delays, deportation, and potential denial of entry into Costa Rica on subsequent visits.

Health and Vaccination Requirements for Entering Costa Rica


As of April 1, 2022, Costa Rica will no longer require any COVID-19 entry requirements: no negative test, no QR code, no “Pase de Salud,” and no restrictions.

Tourists, non-residents, and resident travelers are exempt from filling out the health pass or being vaccinated to enter the country. Additionally, the Costa Rican government has waived the obligation for non-vaccinated visitors to purchase travel insurance, although it remains strongly recommended for all travelers.

It’s important to note that, while vaccination may not be required for entry into the country, some businesses may still enforce their own vaccination policies.

Furthermore, if you don’t have personal insurance, you might need to pay out-of-pocket for medical treatment for COVID-19 in Costa Rica.

Non-vaccinated guests should confirm with booking agents any establishments that may request vaccination for entry. Additionally, certain COVID-19 safety measures, such as mandatory mask-wearing in crowded and public spaces, as well as hand hygiene protocols, will continue to be upheld. 

Do you want to know more? Take a look at other up-to-date travel entry requirements for Costa Rica.

Yellow fever

According to the Costa Rican authorities, if you’re traveling to Costa Rica from the following countries, you will require a yellow fever vaccination certificate endorsed by the World Health Organization (WHO):

  • Angola
  • Benin
  • Burkina Faso
  • Cameroon
  • The Democratic Republic of Congo
  • Gabon
  • The Gambia
  • Guinea
  • Liberia
  • Nigeria
  • Sierra Leone
  • Sudan
  • Bolivia
  • Venezuela
  • Brazil
  • Peru
  • Colombia
  • Ecuador
  • The Republic of Guyana

Connect with Us for Expert Assistance

Navigating the entry requirements for Costa Rica can seem daunting, but our comprehensive guide provides all the essential information to ensure a smooth and hassle-free journey.

If you have any further questions or need personalized assistance regarding more Costa Rica entry requirements, don’t hesitate to reach out to us.

Contact our team at Bill Beard’s Costa Rica now to start your Costa Rican adventure with confidence.

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