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Costa Rica tourism extension: Clarifications and details

The Immigration Administration (DGME) has issued the decree formalizing the extension of tourism visas until June 1 for visitors who arrived in Costa Rica after December 17, 2019.

Importantly, the extension is not automatic but applies to tourists who entered Costa Rica at any time after December 17, 2019. This is confirmed both by the decree and from a DGME spokesperson, responding to clarification from The Tico Times.

Previously: Tourist visa extensions were automatic and only applied to people who arrived before December 1, 2020. Tourists who entered after November 30, 2020 and wanted an extension had to file a request and pay $100 for the legal process.

Now, for tourists who entered at any time after December 17, 2019: In order to receive the extension until June 1, tourists must email with a copy of their insurance policy. This can be any policy offered by INS or Sagicor. Or, it can be an international policy that covers:

  • Guaranteed coverage of medical expenses in the event of becoming ill with COVID-19 while in Costa Rica, for at least $50,000 USD.
  • Minimum coverage of $2,000 USD for lodging expenses issued as a result of the pandemic.

Anyone who overstays their tourist visa (as stamped in their passport) and does not request the extension via the method outlined above will have an irregular immigration status.

Having an irregular immigration status carries various legal penalties.

DGME is not in charge of driving laws. As such, the decree does not include any additional extensions to driving permissions for tourists who have been in Costa Rica longer than three months.

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