Costa Rica Visa for Indians

Costa Rica visa for Indians

We visited Costa Rica between 24th January and 10th February 2012. Costa Rica requires Indian citizens to be in possession of a valid visa when they arrive.

However, people of ANY nationality holding valid US, Canada, Japan, South Korea or Schengen visas do not need a prior visa. The only conditions being that the visa must be valid for 3 months and should be stamped in your passport.

Since I have a tourist visa to the US that is valid until 2018, I was able to use the above provision and entered Costa Rica without needing a visa.

Thus, if you hold an Indian passport and have a valid visa to any of the above regions that is valid for 3 months from your date of arrival – you do NOT need a prior visa for Costa Rica. (Source)

We arrived at San Jose International Airport and the immigration official simply checked my passport for the US visa, and stamped me in for 30 days. Zara however was given a 90 day stamp on her Portuguese passport. We did not have to pay for the stamp.


Two caveats:

- Before we boarded the flight from Cuba to Costa Rica, the airlines (TACA, in our case) INSISTED that we show proof of our flight out of Costa Rica. (we were flying from there to Brazil and luckily had already booked tickets). They said that this was necessary for us to be granted visas on arrival in Costa Rica. The immigration official in San Jose never asked us for anything.

- When you leave Costa Rica you need to pay a departure tax of USD 26 per person, there are ATMs all over this area so it shouldn’t be a problem. You can also use a credit/debit card to pay the tax.

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  • I predict this blog will become a go-to place for people travelling in south america. the practical info is always really good and clear. nice work, guys.

  • Ashray Says

    Thanks Anita :) I try to write a lot of stuff for Indians because we never know about visas and stuff with our passports :P People at immigration always look at me as if I dropped out of the sky, haha!

  • fatima Says

    ur article is too much of a help cuz i visited Costa Rica 3 yrs back and i entered on u.s visa but now as im traveling again in June 2012 some body told me if they have changed the rules now im really relieved after reading your article thank you so much

    • Ashray Says

      Glad to be of help Fatima. Yeah as far as I’m aware, Costa Rica offers visa on arrival to anyone with a valid US visa. (regardless of nationality)

      • Abdul Haque Says

        Hi, We Are an IT software development and consulting company based in Mumbai – India
        Company’s one sr. Executive had planned to Attend the “Costa Rica Technology Insight 2012″
        (CRTI) being organized by the Foreign Trade Corporation of Costa Rica
        (PROCOMER) and the Costa Rican Chamber of Information and Communication Technologies (CAMTIC) during June 19-20, 2012 at San Jose, Costa Rica.
        Already he have the Valid USA visa on his Passport, So we just want to know whether ha can travel on that visa or does he need to get sepearate visa for this,

        Do let us know as soon as possible so that we can go ahead for this,

        • Zara Says

          Hi Abdul!

          Yes, I do believe that Costa Rica still offers visa free entry to Indians with a valid US tourist visa. You’ll find updated information at the following website:

          It says over there that:
          Citizens of other nationalities do not need a tourist visa to enter Costa Rica if they have a United States, a European Union country or a Canadian tourist visa, a visa for crew or a business visa (multiple entry). Note: Such visa must be stamped in the passport and be valid for at least three months.

          So I guess you’re all set! :)

  • vasundhara vats Says

    I have a student visa valid till 2015. So do i need visa for South American Countries. And my friend has a H1B, so does this apply to it also?

  • Zara Says

    Each South American country has different visa requirements, you’d have to check individually. For Costa Rica, any American visa should do!

  • going to CR Says

    thank you for your valuable article

    iam an egyptian citizen
    and i want to ask
    can i have visa on arrival to CR ?
    there is no costa rican embassy in Egypt

    can u plz tell me

    • Zara Says

      Hi! Unfortunately we do not know about Egyptian passport holders… You should contact the embassy even in a different country if there is none in Egypt and they should be able to inform you better!

    • amarjit singh Says

      i am indian i want go to cost rica how to get visa

      • Ashray Says


        You should contact the consulate of Costa Rica in New Delhi for visas:

        Costa Rican General Honorary Consulate in New Delhi, India
        General Honorary Consulate of Costa Rica in India
        D- 388 Defence Colony
        New Delhi 110024, India
        Tel.: 00 (911) 1-233 1 0212/ 00 (911) 1-233 1 4934
        Fax: 00 (911) 1-23327231/00 (911) 1- 23357473

        • Satish Says

          I am Indian and currently leaving in San Jose Costa Rica with valid Work permit Visa for next 2 years. I am plannig to bring my parents in Costa Rica. I have follwing Queries with respect to their entry in Costa Rica:
          1. They have Valid USA turist visa stamped on passport (valid till 2015), but they have not used it yet (haven’t visited USA yet). Can they directly enter to Costa Rica with this valid but unused USA Visa?
          2. If yes, they are planning to stey in Costa Rica for 70-80 days. So is it OK to carry return journey ticket considering 70/80 days of travel plan at the time of entry in Costa Rica as they provide only 30 days visa at the time of entry?

          Or my parents should produce return journey ticket which should have travel plan of only 30 days after entry date. And once they reach in Costa Rica, they should extend the return journey date from airlines upon extension of Visa validity?

          Sorry to be more complicated.


          • Ashray Says

            Hi Satish

            Regarding your question, I don’t know about extension of the tourist visa on arrival. You will have to check that with the immigration authorities.

            However, your parents can definitely enter with a valid but unused US visa. My US visa was unused when I entered Costa Rica and it was no problem.

            About the return ticket, it’s best to have a return ticket within 30 days but again, I don’t really know if a visa extension is possible. Hope this helps.


          • vivek Says

            hi can you help me with something i want to go costa rica i can speak spanish can suggest me that what i can do there plzz i crazy for costa rica what kind of work i can do please suggest me thanks

        • manikandan Says

          i am a indian. i want to go costa rica. past 4 years i am working in saudi arabia. now , i want to go tourist for CR. can you help me , how to i get tourist visa.

      • mayur patel Says


        you need to apply from india or you have to be a resident of south american countries

        contact for visa

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  • Ash Says


    I am in US on a H 4 visa, can I travel to costa rica without a visa?

    • Ashray Says

      Should be fine as long as the visa is stamped in your passport and you’re only visiting for less than 30 days..

  • mayur patel Says

    hi vivek if you speak a spanish than it is good to go

  • Harsha Says


    I am Indian national with a Green Card from US, Do i need a VISA ?

    • Zara Says

      Hi Harsha,
      As the article mentions “people of ANY nationality holding valid US, Canada, Japan, South Korea or Schengen visas do not need a prior visa”.

  • Shamsher singh Says

    Hey my name shamsher singh my age 25 i done mechanical engg I want go to Costa Rica plz give suggest how to possiable get for costa rica visa Indian no 0091987221419

  • Saurabh Says

    This blog was really helpful. Just for clarification, I got a EU residency living in NL with an Indian passport. I also got a valid US visa on an expired passport that I use for my travels to the US with my other valid passport. Can I still use the US visa for entering Costa Rica?

  • Ray Says


    Great going guys. Amazing bit of information on this blog. I have a simple one. I have a few expired US visas and stamps on my passport. However, I have an Advance Parole (viz like an entry visa for people whose green card application is under process) and an Employment Authorization Card which are both valid. Do you know if i’ll be ok to pass through the CR immigration?

    Thanks in advance.
    Ray HC

  • shihab Says

    i am Indian nationality leaving in muscat i would like to know how can get visit visa Costa rica

  • Pranav Says

    i am on H1. mY visa is stamped but expired Oct 2013.

    is that fine to enter COstaRica ? Thanks

  • Deep Says


    I am an Indian citizen currently residing in US on H1B visa. I have my visa stamped in the passport and expires on April 15, 2014. I am planning to visit Costa Rica during Dec 30 2013 – Jan 04 2014. But I was told that my US visa should be valid atleast for 6 months from the day of my arrival in Costa Rica. If it is true, do I have to apply for a tourist visa?


    • Deep Says

      This is what I found on Costa Rican Embassy Website:

      3. If the foreigner has permanent residence, a student visa, a work visa in the United States and/or any country of the European Union and Canada, he/she does not need a visa to enter Costa Rica. In addition, he/she must have a passport valid for at least six months from the date of entry into the country and a round trip ticket. Note 1: This type of visa must be stamped in the passport, and must be valid for at least six months.

      • Ashray Says

        Well, if it says that then you would probably need a visa. I haven’t found the immigration in Costa Rica to be fussy at all however. Try calling the consulate and asking. Always better to be sure.

      • Thu Says

        Hi Deep,

        Did you end up getting a Costa Rican visa for your trip?

        I am also on an H1B visa here in the US. My visa stamp expires on March 5, 2015. I plan to go to Costa Rica on October 23, so my US visa stamp will expire in slightly less than 6 months from the day I arrive in CR. It is tricky.

        • NAVYA Says

          Hi, I am planning to travel to Costa rica on 30th June 2016. I have an Indian passport which is valid till 5th December 2016 (which is little less than 6 months validity). I am currently in USA and have a valid H1B Visa valid till 2017 October. Will i be able to enter Costa rica? i have all my flights booked and dont want to cancel it. Please help!

          • Muthu Says

            Hi Navya, I have the same situation as you….what did you end up doing it? Did you travel to Costa Rica or no? Request your kind response ASAP as I need to cancel my flight shortly….


        • Muthu Says

          Hi Thu, I have the same situation as you….what did you end up doing it? Did you travel to Costa Rica or no? Request your kind response ASAP as I need to cancel my flight shortly….


      • Muthu Says

        Hi Deep, I have the same situation as you….what did you end up doing it? Did you travel to Costa Rica or no? Request your kind response ASAP as I need to cancel my flight shortly….


  • Suraj Says

    Hi Ashray And Zara,

    very helpful article. Just one query.

    My valid US visa is stamped on my expired passport which is attached to my new passport mentioning the old passport number. My US visa is ununsed. From previous comments i have seen that Ashray’s US visa was unused and he had no problem.

    Will the Valid US Visa stamped on my expired passport cause any problem ?

    • Ashray Says

      Hi Suraj

      It shouldn’t be a problem. I entered the exact same way, valid US visa stamped on an expired passport – the US visa was also unused. Unless the Costa Rica immigration requirements have changed, you should be fine. Countries that require that the visa should have been used usually specify this in their guidelines.

      Enjoy your trip, Costa Rica is awesome :)

  • manish Says

    Hi , you say that a h1b visa which is stamped on the passport and is valid for atleat three months should be fine to enter costa rica .
    {Thus, if you hold an Indian passport and have a valid visa to any of the above regions that is valid for 3 months from your date of arrival – you do NOT need a prior visa for Costa Rica. (Source)}
    The source that you have given is what I believe is true which says one with H1b visa needs 6 months validity of the visa to travel to Costa.

    PLease correct me if I am wrong.


  • Hemchandra Says

    I don’t have any of the visas you mentioned above in the article. However, we have to go to Costa Rica in order to genetic engineering related research projects. we have Indian passports . should we need visa on arrival?

    • Ashray Says

      You will most likely need to arrange visas through the Costa Rica embassy in New Delhi. Visa on arrival is only for touristic purposes as far as I know.

  • justin raphael Says

    hi , i would like to know more about annuitant visa , is it obtained in costa rica while our travel or can be obtained through any agencies in india ?…Also is that visa can be made permanant ? a reply would be vert much helpful

    • Ashray Says

      I have no idea about any visa other than tourist. Please ask the immigration authorities of Costa Rica directly for the best and most up to date answer.

  • labh singh Says

    i am 28 year old indian guy and i have need a driectly costa rica visa. How is possible and what is the prosessor. Please contact or sms to me at +919463890412

  • Shajin Balan Says

    I am an Indian citizen residing in Qatar.I am planning to make a business trip to Costarica ,just waiting to get the invitation from there.What is the procedures and what are the required documents to produce before the embassy?
    which will become better, do it in CR embassy in Qatar or New Delhi?

  • Ram Patel Says

    I was working with Semi State government Institute as Class-II Officer and i have voluntarily retired last year. After retirement i have visited Australia and New Zealand in last March.i am getting my pension + bank fixed deposit interest.

    Now i m working on cotract base. Not as regularised job. but i have enough funf to travel
    Now i want to visit Costa Rica for 15 days as tourist. Invitation lettel may be get from my chat friends

    VISA is possible for me?

    • Ashray Says

      Please ask the Costa Rica consulate for more information on this. I’m sure you can get a visa if you want to visit, it shouldn’t be a problem. If you have a US visa you can avoid applying for a visa however.

  • PK Says

    Can Indian Citizen living in US with Advance Parole is eligible to enter Costa Ria with out visa?

  • Krishna Says

    Hi I plan to visit Costa Rica on 22nd October this month. Could you please share places to visit. I have valid stamped US visa. I plan to stay there for 5 days then move to Mexico.
    Regards, Krishna

  • Messiah Says

    Hello, i am planning to go to costa Rica in 2 and a 1/2 months time, can it be too late for me to apply for visa? i have US transit C1 Visa too.

    • Bigred87xo Says

      Hi Messiah,

      Were u required a sponsorship form to come to Costa Rica? How r u going about this? My friend plans to come here next month, we both r somewhat lost. Can u pls help us?

      Thank you


  • Bigred87xo Says


    Can anyone please tell me where to obtain a sponsorship form or how do I go about this? My Indian friend wants to come to Costa Rica. And he said he needs a sponsorship from me.

    Thanks in advance

  • Kumar Says


    Planning to move to Costa Rica and applied for Business visa.
    Got an interview scheduled with Embassy.
    So, What does visa interview of CR stand for? Do they ask about purpose of travel? How will be the interview and what all can be asked ?

  • Shital Says

    My parents are in US on tourist visa for two months.They want to visit Costa Rica for 4-5 days. From your article I understand that they can but will they be able to come back to US?

  • Murthy Says

    Hi, I have a valid H1B VISA to work in USA which is valid for one year. Can I work in Costa Rica as non immigrant worker …?

  • karun Says

    hey friends.. i need information about Costa Rica country.. I’m going to marry with Costa Rica girl , so can it’s easy i get PR from there in Costa Rica. if can how long process ,i get id from Costa Rica country. thanks
    I’m living in Hong kong know .. thanks best regard. ..

  • Bhuwan Says


    Does an Indian Citizen on L2 visa require a visa to visit Costa Rica as a tourist? L2 visa is not a work visa (it is a dependent visa for the spouses of L1 visa holders). I am sure L1 visa holder wouldn’t need the visa but not sure about L2 visa holder. Any inputs you may have would be helpful.

    Many thanks!

    • Ashray Says

      Costa Rica visa exemption covers you as long as your L2 visa is valid for another 6 months on the date that you arrive.

      Passengers with a visa issued by the USA (except for ”B1”, ”B2”, ”C1” and ”D” visas) if valid for at least 6 months from date of arrival for a maximum stay of 30 days.

      • Faraaz Says

        Are both L1 and L2 visa holders exempted? L2 is not a tourist or work visa right. I hAve 2 years validity left.

        • Ashray Says

          It doesn’t matter whether it’s an L1 or L2 visa. It should be valid for 6 months at least though.

  • rohit Says

    Hi my name is rohit I am Indian how can apply visa..please help for Costa Rica

  • Malli Says

    Hi my name is Malli, i need to apply business Visa for Costa Rica,
    Please help me what are the Required documents for visa processing.
    Thanks in advance.

  • Mallikarjunreddy Says

    HI ,

    I have valid work permit in Costa rica and now im planning to take my dependent.But she has H4 valid visa and she did not visited to usa from the visa question can she travel to Costa rica with that H4 visa.

    please do the need full

  • Devang Dave Says

    I was recently in Costa Rica, June 2017. I entered in San Jose, Costa Rica with my USA visa (Indian Passport) and granted 30 days stay, and immigration officer did not ask anything. As you mentioned regarding departure tax, but i did not have to pay any departure tax. I was flying to Ecuador from San Jose with Avianca airlines. They did not put any exit stamp as well on my passport.

  • Ankit Choraria Says

    Hi, this is Ankit here. Can I know what is the maximum period a student can stay in Costa Rica (1-2 months). And how long the it takes for getting approval for VISA from India. In the invitation letter it’s written I can visit between Aug and October. So, it is that only during those months I should plan my visit.

  • Yogi Says

    Hi Ashray,

    always love how you guys land a helping hand to the lost details which we travellers fumble with.
    my querry is, being an indian passport holder, having a valid US tourist visa for 10 years. does it allow one to hop in and out of Costa Rica every month, if one wishes to be there for a year or two.

    Thanks in Advnace

  • Avishek Says

    Hi Zara/Ashray,

    I have few doubts upon getting the Costarica Visa …..i am travelling outside India for the first time and i am travelling in Bussiness Visa.
    My question is we have two transits right from Delhi to Sanjose
    So for how many countries Visa is required?
    It will be of great help if you assist me.
    Your cooperation is highly Solicited

    • Ashray Says

      It depends on your route. You should check transit visa requirements for each country and if you’re only staying airside you may not need a transit visa.

  • Avishek Says

    Thanks for the reply how to find the transit?….any website

  • Ketan Goyal Says

    i am an indian citizen studying in canada on student visa. do i need a visa enter costa rica?

  • S.Gopal Says

    Hello, My husband and I are Indians who live in Europe (in the Netherlands) and have schengan visas, but the visa is not in the passport but in the form of a residence card. We also have US visas stamped in the passport but my husband’s US visa is only valid until May 2019 (while our trip is planned for April 2019). Do we have a way to go there ?

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