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Costa Rica extends tourist visas until November 18

July 8, 2020

Costa Rica’s Immigration Administration is offering foreigners extra flexibility as countries continue to 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 November 18, 2020, according to the agency.

The extension is applied automatically; tourists do not have to contact the Immigration Administration to request it. Previously, the automatic extension for tourists was only valid through mid-August.

The Immigration Administration has also said it will not enforce monetary penalties for people who have an irregular immigration status because of the coronavirus crisis. That means tourists and others who overstay their visas will not be fined when they next try to exit Costa Rica.

To better accommodate tourists in Costa Rica, the Public Works and Transport Ministry (MOPT) is allowing visitors who entered the country after December 17, 2019 to drive with a valid foreign driver’s license until August 18.

Costa Rica typically issues tourist visas for a maximum stay of 90 days, but border restrictions and grounded airlines have made international travel difficult.

In response to the coronavirus pandemic, Costa Rica has denied entry to non-resident foreigners since March 19. That ban will continue until August 1, though tourists will only be allowed from select countries that have yet to be announced.

The Immigration Administration is not accepting new residency applications until September 18.

Read the full decree (PDF download) by clicking here. Outlier Legal has a detailed breakdown here.

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