Before you depart for Costa Rica, you'll need to see whether or not you need a visa. Lucky for you, their visa policy is pretty lenient, but it does contain restrictions for some nationalities, namely citizens from Africa, the Middle East, and Asia often need to have their visa approved by the Commission of Restricted Visas. However, many countries in the world are visa exempt and their nationals can stay in Costa Rica for up to 90 days.
According to the immigration department of Costa Rica, there are 4 different groups of international countries that have 4 different visa requirements for their citizens to enter, visit and stay in Costa Rica. Citizens of the first and second group of countries do not require a Costa Rica visa. They will receive a visa on arrival and obtain an entry stamp in their passport.
The First Group. Citizens of the first group of countries don't require a Costa Rica visa. They must have a valid passport and arrive in Costa Rica with a return ticket proving they will leave the country within the tourist visa period, usually granted for 90 days upon arrival in Costa Rica.
The First Group of Countries are:
Andorra, Argentina, Australia, Austria, Bahamas, Barbados, Belgium, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, Croatia, Czech Republic, Chile, Cyprus, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Ireland, Iceland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Mexico, Monaco, Montenegro, The Netherlands, Northern Ireland, Norway, New Zealand, Panama, Paraguay, Poland, Portugal, Puerto Rico, Republic of South Korea, San Marino, Serbia, South Africa, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, the UK, the USA.
The Second Group. Citizens of the second group of countries don't require a visa. They must have a valid passport with at least three months left and arrive in Costa Rica with a return ticket proving they will leave the country within the provided length of time in the visa. The length of the tourist visa granted is at the discretion of the immigration officials at the point of entry to Costa Rica, but is usually granted for a stay of 90 days.
The Second Group of Countries:
Antigua, Barbados, Belize, Bolivia, El Salvador, Fiji, Granada, Guatemala, Guyana, Honduras, Mariana Islands, Marshall Islands, Solomon Islands, Kiribati, Maldives, Mauricio, Micronesia, Nauru, Palau, Philippines, the Kingdom of Tonga, Russia, Samoa, Saint Kitts and Nevis, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, St. Lucia, Sao Tome, Seychelles, Surinam, Tuvalu, Turkey, Vanuatu.
The Third Group. Citizens of the third group of countries require a visa. The request for a restricted Costa Rica Visa must be addressed to the Commission of Restricted Visas. The application must be admitted by the applicant and their relative residing in Costa Rica or indeed their attorney. The relationship to the applicant as well as the qualifications have to be stated. The documentation has to be authenticated by an attorney accredited for said purposes. The length of the tourist visa granted is at the discretion of the immigration official granting the visa entry to Costa Rica, but is usually granted for a stay of 30 days but can be up to 90 days.
Citizens of the third groups must consult with a Costa Rican consulate before traveling to Costa Rica.
The Third Group of Countries:
Albania, Angola, Saudi Arabia, Algeria, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Benin, Belarus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Botswana, Brunei-Darussalam, Burkina Faso (Upper Volta), Burundi, Bhutan, Cape Verde, Cambodia, Cameroon, Colombia, Ivory Coast, Comoros, Chad, Ecuador, Egypt, United Arab Emirates, Gabon, Gambia, Georgia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissao, Malaysia, Equatorial Guinea, India, Indonesia, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kirguizistan, Kosovo, Kuwait, Lesotho, Liberia, Libia, Lebanon, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Morocco, Mauritania, Moldova, Mongolia, Mozambique, Namibia, Nepal, Nicaragua, Niger, Nigeria, Oman, Pakistan, Parua New Guinea, Peru, Qatar, Arab Republic Saharaui (Sahara Western), Central African Republic, China, Republic of Macedonia, Republic of Congo, Democratic Republic of Congo, Democratic People’s Laos, Dominican Republic, Rwanda, Senegal, Sierra Leone, North Sudan, South Sudan, Swaziland, Thailand, Taiwan, Tanzania, Tajikistan, East Timor, Togo, Tunisia, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, Uganda, Uzbekistan, Vietnam, Yemen, Djibouti, Zambia, Zimbabwe.
The Fourth Group. Citizens of the fourth group of countries must obtain a visa from a Costa Rican consulate before traveling to Costa Rica. Visas will rarely be granted unless for a minor or major with a disability or spouse or parents for family reunification. The request for a restricted Visa must be addressed to the Commission of Restricted Visas, by the applicant and his relative residing in Costa Rica or his attorney, stating their qualities and the relationship to the applicant, and include the following information and documentation authenticated by an attorney duly accredited for said purposes.
The Fourth Group of Countries:
Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Cuba, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Haiti, Iran, Iraq, Jamaica, Myanmar (Burma), Palestine, Syria, North Korea, Somalia, Sri Lanka.
Depending on where you’re from, visa requirements may be different.
Costa Rican visa costs 30,000 CRC (53 USD), and the process of application might take around 90 days.