Virginia, US

Dec 13 2018

Holiday Travel Recommendations

Costa Rica

The situation

Foreign nationals or Costa Rican nationals planning to travel to or from Costa Rica during the upcoming holiday season must comply with specific travel requirements and obtain any necessary documentation from the government before holiday closures.

Reminder on exit requirements for minors

  • Costa Rican or foreign minors under the age of 18 must present either of the following types of travel permits when leaving Costa Rica:
    • Temporary permit valid for 30 days from the date it is granted; or
    • 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.

Reminder on 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 based on nationality; the list of nationalities and related rules can be found on the Costa Rican immigration authorities’ website.
  • Identification card requirement. Temporary and permanent Costa Rican residents and foreign nationals holding other special category permits whose cédula (identification card) is being processed or renewed and whose old cédula will expire 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. Foreign nationals should be aware 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.


Government closures

Foreign nationals should also be aware that government office closures between December 21, 2018 and January 7, 2019 may impact their ability to obtain these documents during these dates. Extended closures during this time of the year is customary in many countries in the region.

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 [email protected].