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Extended period of tourist visa now available

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Published on Wednesday, September 13, 2023
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Tourists from one of the 60 preferred nations will automatically be granted a 180-day stay in the country, according to the Ministry of Economy via Presidential Decree. 

This doubles the time allowed before the resolution, which was 90 days.

When a visitor enters through any migration checkpoint, they will receive the 180-day benefit. Those who have their tourist visa length set at the old standard of 90 days are eligible for an automatic extension when they re-enter the country.

The decree amended Costa Rica's Regulations for the Granting of Entry Visas, establishing that: "The General Guidelines for Entry and Permanent Resident Visas for Non-Costa Rican Residents in the Country will classify the world's countries into four groups."

"The first group will comprise nations whose citizens will be able to enter without a visa. The maximum term of legal stay for foreign nationals belonging to this group shall be 180 days from the date of admission."

The United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia, France, Germany, Spain, and Italy are among the countries featured in the first group.

Visa restrictions will apply to the remaining three groups of nations. As a result, no citizens of certain nations will be eligible for automatic visa extensions. The maximum period of stay in the country is maintained in these circumstances at 30 to 90 days.

The full list of nations and their categories may be seen on the General Directorate of Migration's website.

This application of days of stay in Costa Rica for people from the first group of nations is related to the government's goal of "improving the business climate, generating competitiveness, and promoting economic activity," according to the ministry.

The extension has already taken effect, following its publication in the official government daily La Gaceta.

What have you heard from expats on a tourist visa who are having difficulty extending their stay in Costa Rica? We would like to know your thoughts on this story. Send your comments to news@amcostarica.com