Virginia, US

Dec 01 2017

Holiday Travel Recommendations

Costa Rica

Executive Summary

Foreign nationals and Costa Rican nationals traveling to or from Costa Rica for the holidays should comply with the following travel guidance, as applicable: 

  • Ensure their passport is valid for the proper amount of time past their entry date;
  • Ensure they obtain a yellow fever vaccination certificate, if applicable; and
  • Ensure their minor children obtain a travel permit prior to exit, if applicable.

Foreign nationals or Costa Rican nationals planning to travel to or from Costa Rica during the upcoming holidays are reminded that they must comply with specific travel requirements.

Exit requirements for minors

  • Costa Rican or foreign minors under the age of 18 are required to present a travel permit when leaving Costa Rica. The following two types of permits are accepted: 
    • Temporary permits, valid for 30 days from the date it is granted; and
    • Permanent permit, with indefinite validity.
  • Foreign minors’ parents must obtain such permits in Costa Rica. The process of obtaining the permit depends on the parents’ and minor’s situation.

Re-entry requirements

The following are reminders of key re-entry requirements:

  • Passport validity. Foreign nationals entering Costa Rica must have a passport that is valid for a certain amount of time past their entry date. The amount of time varies depending on their nationality; the list of nationalities and their related rules can be found on the Costa Rican immigration authorities’ website.
  • Identification card requirement. Temporary and permanent Costa Rican residents, and other special category permits whose cédula (identification card) is being processed or renewed and whose old cédula has expired  while they travel internationally, should carry a return or outbound ticket and copy of their filing receipt in case immigration officers or airline personnel request such documents upon re-entry. Note that immigration authorities may still impose a fine when the foreign national seeks to exit Costa Rica without a valid cédula, even if the foreign national presents the above documents. Additionally, an entry visa may be requested upon re-entry for those whose visa is expired or those who are awaiting their visa renewal, depending on their nationality.
  • Yellow fever vaccination. Foreign residents and tourists, as well as citizens of Costa Rica travelling to or arriving from a country considered to be at risk for yellow fever must present a valid yellow fever vaccination certificate issued at least 10 days prior to travel.  Some exceptions may apply.


This alert is for informational purposes only. If you have any questions, please contact the global immigration professional with whom you work at Fragomen or send an email to