Visa Requirements for Citizens of Costa Rica

Browse the visa requirements for Costa Rican citizens to discover if you need a travel document for your destination.

Visa Requirements for Costa Rican Citizens

Visa requirements for citizens of Costa Rica are administrative entry restrictions placed on nationals of the Central American country by the authorities of other countries and territories worldwide.

Costa Rican passport holders are granted visa-free entry or access with a visa on arrival to up to 110 destinations. Consequently, the Henley Passport Index ranks the Costan Rican passport 29th in terms of travel freedom among the passports of the world, tied with that of Trinidad and Tobago.

Travelers from Costa Rica are granted visa exemption to up to 85 countries around the world for stays that vary from 14 days up to 1 year depending on the destination. To gain visa-fee entry to these territories, it is only necessary to present a valid Costa Rican passport on arrival at an immigration checkpoint.

To visit roughly 35 countries for short-term stays, an Electronic Travel Visa Authorization program for Costa Rican citizens is available. These simplified application protocols allow visitors from Costa Rica to easily obtain an eVisa or visa waiver exclusively online. They remove the need to wait in long border queues to apply for a visa on arrival or to visit an embassy in person to submit supporting documents.

To travel to these same destinations for long-term stays or purposes other than tourism, business or trade activities, or transit, it is usually necessary to apply for a visa from an embassy of the country the Costa Rican national wishes to visit. Additionally, an embassy visa for citizens of Costa Rica is required to visit roughly 100 countries no matter the travel purpose or duration of intended stay.

Find a more detailed breakdown of the different visa requirements for Costa Ricans below.

List of Visa Countries for Costa Rican Passport Holders in 2021

As there are over 160 countries that require visitors from Costa Rica to have an approved visa or travel authorization to enter their territory, it is important to check what the visa requirements for Costa Rican citizens are before planning to visit any new international destination.

Depending on the country or territory, the period of intended stay, and the motives for the visit, this may be either an eVisa or electronic visa waiver, a visa on arrival, or an embassy visa obtained from a diplomatic government office of the destination.

Online visa waivers and eVisas for Costa Ricans are issued through simplified Electronic Travel Visa Authorization applications and are available for short-term stays in around 35 countries and territories.

Once approved, they are often electronically linked to the traveler’s Costa Rican passport, eliminating the need to print a paper document. They also allow expedited entry to the destination at border checkpoints, removing the need to endure long lines to submit a visa on arrival application.

For longer stays in these same countries, an embassy visa for nationals of Costa Rica will be required.

These different types of visas for Costa Rican passport holders are explored in more detail below.

Electronic Travel Visa Authorization

The visa policies of approximately 35 countries state that an Electronic Travel Visa Authorization program for Costa Ricans is now available. The governments of these territories have introduced these simplified application protocols to expedite the process of obtaining a visa or visa waiver, as well as to facilitate entry upon arrival at border controls.

Electronic visa waivers and eVisas for citizens of Costa Rica allow a stay of between 28 and 120 days and grant either a single entry or multiple entries depending on the destination. They are most often issued for tourism, transit, or business purposes, as well as for medical treatment in some cases.

To apply for an Electronic Travel Visa Authorization from Costa Rica, the traveler is simply required to complete an online form with basic personal, passport, and travel data. Any supporting documents requested can be uploaded in a digital format, and the processing fee can be paid using a debit or credit card through a secure electronic system.

Most eVisas and electronic travel authorizations for nationals of Costa Rica are quickly processed. Once approved, they are either sent to the traveler via email or digitally linked to their Costa Rican passport.

Find a complete list of countries that have Electronic Travel Visa Authorizations for Costa Ricans below.

ETIAS for Costa Rican Citizens

Citizens of Costa Rica do not need a visa to visit any of the European countries that have signed the Schengen Agreement for passport-free travel, including France, Germany, Greece, Italy, and Spain. However, by the end of 2022, they will be required to obtain an ETIAS visa waiver to travel to these same destinations.

ETIAS stands for European Travel Information and Authorization System. This electronic travel authorization program is being implemented to pre-screen all visa waiver citizens for the Schengen Area, including Costa Rican passport holders, in order to strengthen European borders.

To apply for an ETIAS from Costa Rica, travelers can complete a simple online form that will only take a few minutes to fill out. They will also need to answer a few questions related to health and security matters and to pay a processing fee before they can submit their application.

Once approved, usually within a few business days, an ETIAS for Costa Rican citizens is electronically linked to the traveler’s passport. It permits multiple entries for stays of 90 days per entry to any of the Schengen countries, or purposes of tourism, business, transit, or medical treatment. An ETIAS authorization is valid for a total of 3 years from issue, or until the associated Costa Rican passport expires.

Visa On Arrival

Visas on arrival for Costa Rican passport holders are a type of entry permit, usually granted for a single entry to the destination, issued directly to travelers from Costa Rica at border checkpoints of around 25 countries and territories around the world.

A visa on arrival for citizens of Costa Rica is usually granted for purposes of tourism or business and allows a stay of between 7 and 120 days depending on the country of issue.

The protocol of applying for a visa on arrival from Costa Rica requires the traveler to go directly to immigration control in the destination and wait in a border queue to be handed an application by visa authorities. The individual will then need to fill out this form with a variety of personal information, passport data, and travel details.

Applicants will also need to supply border officials with a range of supporting documents in paper form and pay a visa on arrival fee for Costa Rican citizens before the request can be processed. This payment is often requested in local cash currency.

Discover a complete list of visa on arrival countries for Costa Rican nationals below.

Visa On Arrival: Country list

Click on the links below to find out more about each country
  • Angola
  • Bangladesh
  • Comoros
  • Egypt
  • Guinea-Bissau
  • Iran
  • Lebanon
  • Macau
  • Maldives
  • Marshall Islands
  • Mauritania
  • Mauritius
  • Mozambique
  • Nepal
  • Pakistan
  • Palau
  • Samoa
  • Senegal
  • Somalia
  • Timor-Leste
  • Togo
  • Tuvalu
  • Zambia
  • Zimbabwe

Embassy Visa Required

The visa policy of up to 100 countries around the globe states that a consular or embassy visa is required for citizens of Costa Rica no matter the duration of intended stay in the destination or the reason for the visit.

Embassy visas for Costa Rica may be issued for a variety of periods of permitted stay and validity, and as either a tourist visa, business visa, transit visa, work visa, student visa, or other visa type depending on the needs of the individual. They may be granted for either a single entry or multiple entries.

To apply for a visa from an embassy, the traveler is first required to make an appointment at the nearest diplomatic government office of the destination in Costa Rica. It will then be necessary to complete an embassy visa application to bring long to the confirmed consular interview. A range of varying supporting documents depending on the Costa Rican individual’s travel purpose will also need to be supplied to consular officials.

Finally, the applicant will also need to pay a mandatory fee before the application can be submitted for processing, which may take several weeks. Therefore, it is advisable to begin the application protocol well in advance of your expected departure date from Costa Rica.

Find out if you need an embassy visa for Costa Rican citizens for your destination by browsing the list below.

Embassy Visa Required: Country list

Click on the links below to find out more about each country
  • Afghanistan
  • Aland Islands
  • Algeria
  • American Samoa
  • Anguilla
  • Antarctica
  • Aruba
  • Australia
  • Bahrain
  • Belarus
  • Bermuda
  • Bhutan
  • Bonaire
  • British Indian Ocean Territory
  • British Virgin Islands
  • Burkina Faso
  • Burundi
  • Cameroon
  • Canada
  • Cayman Islands
  • Central African Republic
  • Chad
  • China
  • Christmas Island
  • Cocos Islands
  • Congo
  • Cook Islands
  • Cuba
  • Curacao
  • Democratic Republic of the Congo
  • Equatorial Guinea
  • Eritrea
  • Falkland Islands
  • Faroe Islands
  • Fiji
  • French Guiana
  • French Polynesia
  • Gambia
  • Ghana
  • Gibraltar
  • Greenland
  • Guadeloupe
  • Guam
  • Guernsey
  • Guinea
  • Iraq
  • Isle of Man
  • Jersey
  • Kiribati
  • Liberia
  • Libya
  • Mali
  • Martinique
  • Mayotte
  • Montserrat
  • Morocco
  • Namibia
  • Nauru
  • New Caledonia
  • Niger
  • Niue
  • Norfolk Island
  • North Korea
  • Northern Mariana Islands
  • Papua New Guinea
  • Pitcairn Islands
  • Puerto Rico
  • Reunion
  • Russian Federation
  • Saint Barthelemy
  • Saint Helena
  • Saint Martin
  • Saint Pierre and Miquelon
  • Saudi Arabia
  • Seychelles
  • Sint Maarten
  • Solomon Islands
  • South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands
  • South Sudan
  • Sudan
  • Suriname
  • Svalbard and Jan Mayen
  • Swaziland
  • Syrian Arab Republic
  • Taiwan
  • Thailand
  • Tokelau
  • Tonga
  • Turkmenistan
  • Turks and Caicos Islands
  • United States
  • United States Virgin Islands
  • Vanuatu
  • Vietnam
  • Wallis and Futuna
  • Yemen

Visa Not Required

At present, a visa is not required for citizens of Costa Rica to visit approximately 85 countries worldwide. These include a number of destinations in Central and South America, Europe, Southern Africa, and Southeast Asia.

Visa exemption for Costa Ricans is granted for a stay that varies from 14 days up to 1 year depending on the country of destination. Visa-free visits are most often permitted for purposes of either tourism, transit, or business and trade activities.

To gain entry to a visa-exempt country, Costa Rican citizens are simply required to present a valid passport to immigration authorities on arrival. In some cases, it is necessary for the passport to contain between 1-2 blank pages to receive entry and exit stamps at the border.

Additionally, the minimum validity required on the Costa Rican passport depends on the destination. It is important to check this requirement before departure and renew the document if necessary in order to enter your destination without any problems.

To visit these countries for long-term stays or for purposes such as to undertake employment, it will be necessary to apply for an embassy visa for nationals of Costa Rica for the destination.

Browse the list below to discover all of the visa-free countries for Costa Rican passport holders.

Visa Not Required: Country list

Click on the links below to find out more about each country
  • Albania
  • Andorra
  • Argentina
  • Austria
  • Barbados
  • Belgium
  • Belize
  • Bolivia
  • Bosnia and Herzegovina
  • Botswana
  • Brazil
  • Brunei Darussalam
  • Bulgaria
  • Chile
  • Colombia
  • Croatia
  • Czech Republic
  • Denmark
  • Dominica
  • Dominican Republic
  • Ecuador
  • El Salvador
  • Estonia
  • Federated States of Micronesia
  • Finland
  • France
  • Georgia
  • Germany
  • Greece
  • Grenada
  • Guatemala
  • Guyana
  • Haiti
  • Honduras
  • Hong Kong
  • Hungary
  • Iceland
  • Indonesia
  • Ireland
  • Israel
  • Italy
  • Jamaica
  • Japan
  • Latvia
  • Liechtenstein
  • Lithuania
  • Luxembourg
  • Macedonia
  • Malaysia
  • Malta
  • Moldova
  • Monaco
  • Montenegro
  • Netherlands
  • Nicaragua
  • Norway
  • Palestinian Territory
  • Panama
  • Paraguay
  • Peru
  • Philippines
  • Poland
  • Portugal
  • Republic of Cyprus
  • Romania
  • Saint Kitts and Nevis
  • Saint Lucia
  • Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
  • San Marino
  • Serbia
  • Slovakia
  • Slovenia
  • South Africa
  • South Korea
  • Spain
  • Sweden
  • Switzerland
  • Trinidad and Tobago
  • Tunisia
  • Turkey
  • United Kingdom
  • Uruguay
  • Vatican City
  • Venezuela

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