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Reminder: Extended Costa Rica tourist visas expire in March

February 4, 2021

Foreigners whose Costa Rica tourist visas have been extended due to the coronavirus pandemic will see that grace period end in March, in accordance with current legislation.

The Immigration Administration (DGME) explains that tourists who entered the country between December 18, 2019 and November 30, 2020, have had their visas extended until March 2, 2021:

AUTHORIZED LEGAL PERMANENCE UNDER TOURISM SUBCATGEGORY: The period of legal permanence authorized for foreigners under the Tourism immigration subcategory who entered the country after December 17, is extended until March 2, 2021. The extension is automatic. 

DGME says that it will no longer extend entry stamps for tourists who entered prior to December 2020. While this could theoretically change due to the new travel restrictions imposed by the United States, Canada and others, we have heard nothing official on the matter.

Tourists who entered Costa Rica since December 1, 2020, and whose visa was issued for fewer than 90 days, can request an extension as we detailed here.

While the Immigration Administration will not enforce a monetary fine if a tourist overstays their visa, authorities may impose other penalties, such as forbidding the tourist from re-entering for three times as long as the overstayed period.

Tourists can leave Costa Rica via land, air or sea. However, as of this publication, tourists cannot legally enter the country via land borders.

The land borders are restricted for non-citizens and non-residents until at least March 1, 2021. This may be extended. (The measure has consistently been prolonged one month at a time since March 2020.)

This means perpetual tourists who want to renew their visas via a “border run” may need to book a flight into Costa Rica and follow the other entry requirements for tourists.

In addition to entering via air or sea, arriving tourists must purchase health insurance that covers Covid-19 in Costa Rica and complete a digital epidemiological form. Click here to read the official entry requirements for tourists.

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