Just as the rest of the countries, Costa Rica reserves itself the right to apply different migratory controls to visitors arriving from abroad and although not much is said about the subject, there are dozens of nations from which the country requests some type of visa. The countries, in fact, are divided into several groups, each with special procedures. Such levels are:
Entry without a visa 1- Prior permission is not required and a stay of up to 90 days is allowed.
Entry without a visa 2- Although a visa is not requested, the stay allowed is 30 days, extendable.
Consular Visa- The interested party processes it in the diplomatic offices abroad. A certificate of criminal record and economic means must be provided. This visa allows a single entry into the country for a period of 30 days.
Restricted Visa- Applications are seen by a special commission. Proof of criminal record and other requirements are also requested.
Once the visa is received, people have 60 days to use it. It should be noted that citizens who need a consular or restricted visa can have the requirement lifted if they already have a visa from the United States or Canada, and also if they have residence in the United Kingdom, Iceland, Norway, Switzerland or the European Union.
Airport visa and other details
Besides giving the general lists of visas, Costa Rica has other peculiarities for specific countries. For example, for Nicaraguans, Colombians and Venezuelans special plans apply. In addition, the policy for foreigners in transit has recently been updated.
People of the following nationalities must have an “airport visa” even if they are only making a layover:
The case of the Human Rights Congress
In the last few hours, the issue of visas to enter Costa Rica became relevant after an international organization claimed that dozens of people who would come to a Human Rights meeting (known as RightsCon) did not receive the endorsement.
However, the authorities detailed that the problem was that the interested parties had pending requirements. “The General Directorate of Migration and Aliens has not issued any resolution rejecting the application for a visa to enter Costa Rica for the people participating in the RightsCon Congress,” they pointed out. “The institution received the visa application documentation for 320 people who would participate in the event. The DGME did issue a prevention resolution regarding the absence of minimum and basic requirements such as passports or criminal records that were missing in the applications submitted” , they added.
Migration also argued that “the organization of the event is the one who assesses whether it chooses to continue with the process, providing the missing requirements, or else, withdraws the application, thus preventing these people from attending the event.”