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Costa Rica extends tourist visas for foreigners in country

April 23, 2020

Costa Rica’s Immigration Administration will provide foreigners with extra flexibility as countries restrict travel due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Foreigners who entered Costa Rica on a tourist visa after December 17, 2019, can legally remain in Costa Rica until May 17, 2020, according to a release from the agency.

Their statement reads as follows:

AUTHORIZED LEGAL PERMANENCE UNDER THE TOURISM SUBCATGEGORY: The period of legal permanence authorized for foreign persons under the migratory subcategory of Tourism who entered the country after December 17, is extended until May 17, 2020. 

The Immigration Administration will also limit in-person operations through May 17 in an effort to slow the spread of COVID-19.

It will not receive new residency applications until May 17 and has suspended many scheduled appointments through that date. Documents that would have expired during that period will remain valid until July 17.

Read the full release from the Immigration Administration here.

The Costa Rican Immigration Administration recently enacted a $100 fine for each month foreigners overstay their visa.

If the person does not pay the penalty fee, he or she will be denied reentry to Costa Rica for a term equivalent to three times the period of time he or she spent in the country without a legal permit.

Alberto Barquero, Deputy Director of Traffic for the Public Works and Transport Ministry (MOPT), told The Tico Times that the law has not changed regarding foreign driver’s licenses. Visitors can legally drive in Costa Rica using a foreign license for 90 days after their arrival to the country.

Costa Rica will deny entry to foreigners and non-residents starting at 11:59 p.m. on Wednesday, March 18. The restriction applies to the country’s ports of entry via land, air or sea and will last until at least April 12.

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