Have you heard about Costa Rica? It is a small yet beautiful country in Central America. One-fifth of this country is entirely covered in forests. It is dedicated to conserving its biodiversity and is a treat if you want to look at exotic animals. The culture is vibrant, and the Costa Ricans believe in living life king size. To get a visa to this country, you need to be aware of the requirements. Visas are issued in Costa Rica based on your nationality. The Visa Granting Regulation of Costa Rica has divided the nationalities into four groups. Let’s have a look at them.
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The First Group
The nationalities included in the first group enjoy leverage when it comes to getting an entry into Costa Rica. These nationalities do not require any visas to visit the country. All they need is a valid passport that proves that verifies that they fall under ‘First Group’ nationalities. If you fall under this group, you might have to show extra documents such as round- trip ticket. But that is not always necessary.
The minimum requirement for the passport is that it should be valid for at least a day. Even though the immigration officer is responsible for deciding the duration of their stay in the country, it cannot exceed 90 days. Fifty-nine nationalities are eligible to come to Costa Rica without a visa. Some of them are Mexico, New Zealand, Singapore, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Japan, Malta, and Norway. Out of these 59 countries, the ones with a passport from New Zealand, Netherlands, Norway, Denmark, France, Northern Ireland, and the USA receive another advantage. The dependencies of the people from these nationalities will also receive a similar kind of treatment. Moreover, the United Kingdom of Great Britain is also present in the list. It includes England, Scotland, and Wales.
The second group
The nationalities included in the Second Group consist of those who are allowed to visit the country without a visa. But they can only stay in the country for 30 days without one. The duration is lesser than the ones who are in the first group. If they decide to stay for more than 30 days, they would have to apply for a visa. There are 32 countries on this list. Some of them are Dominica, Fiji, Turkey, Venezuela, Palau, Guatemala, and the Maldives.
The third group
This group enjoys the least amount of advantages when it comes to gaining entry into Costa Rica. These nationalities need to apply for a consular visa in their home country before visiting Costa Rica. Moreover, they need to have a six months valid passport to enter the country. Only then will they be allowed to stay for 30 days. There are about 90 countries on this list. Some of them are India, Pakistan, Columbia, Egypt, Togo, Peru, Qatar, Kenya, Malaysia, Zambia, Nepal, and Nigeria.
However, a few exceptions can allow these nationalities to gain easier access to Costa Rica.
People with a passport from the countries listed in the third list need to have an entry visa to South Korea, Japan, USA, European Union Countries, and Canada to enter Costa Rica. The entry visa should have a validity of about three months. Entry visas can include crew visa, business visa, or tourist visa. They will enjoy similar benefits that the nationals enjoy in the first group and can stay in the country for 90 days. They would have to, however, show valid passports and proof of residence. The period of validity will depend on their nationality.
There are a few other exceptions as well. Suppose you havepermanency in the other first group countries ( the ones that were not included in the previous assumption) and have a national of any third-group countries. In that case, you are eligible to apply for a consular visa. The visa needs to be requested in your country of legal residence. The legal residency should be for at least six months. It can be a work permit or student visa, or residency permit. You have to present an identity document that proves the permanency before the respective Costa Rica consulate. The consulate will check with the immigration authorities in that particular country.
Suppose you have a legal residency in Canada, USA or any other European Union Countries, but you are a national of any third-group country. In that case, you can enter Costa Rica without a consular visa. You will be enjoying the benefits that are enjoyed by the nationals in the first group. However, the legal residency must be valid for at least six months. If it is less than that, you have to apply for a consular visa in that country. It will be checked by the Costa Rica Consul and only then approved if things are right. You will have to produce documents proving your legal residency. Apart from that, the ones who are permanent residents in Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, or Nicaragua for at least six months and are nationals of the third group countries can also apply for a consular visa respective country.
No other permanent residents of any other country other and are nationals of the third group country can apply for a consular visa in any other country. They have to use in their own country to the Costa Rica consulate for a visa. In case of an emergency, a request could be sent to the General Director of Costa Rica’s Immigration through fax. All the decisions will be made according to the existing laws.
The Fourth group
The nationalities that are enlisted in this group have restricted entry into the country and enjoy the least amount of benefits when getting a visa in Costa Rica. They may be allowed to stay for 30 days in the country after consultation with the General Director of Immigration of Costa Rica. However, they need to have a minimum of 6 months valid passport to apply for a consular visa. The Committee will approve Their visas of Restricted Visas in Costa Rica. There are about 13 countries on this list. Some of them are Bangladesh, Cuba, Haiti, and Iran.
However, they may enjoy a few exceptions if:
- They have an entry visa to Canada, Japan USA, South Korea, South Korea, or EU countries
- They have legal permanency in any of the other first group countries
- Legal residents of USA, Canada or Eu countries
- Hong Kong Nationalities for all the British passport who are overseas citizens in force
- A letter from CCPTI or diplomatic passports or service passports for nationals of China
These are some major key points that you need to remember if you plan to go on a vacation to Costa Rica. While some of you may need a visa, others need just a valid passport.