This page reflects the UK government’s understanding of current rules for people travelling on a full ‘British Citizen’ passport, for the most common types of travel.
The authorities in Costa Rica set and enforce entry rules. For further information contact the embassy, high commission or consulate of the country or territory you’re travelling to. You should also consider checking with your transport provider or travel company to make sure your passport and other travel documents meet their requirements.
Entry rules in response to coronavirus
On 16 March 2020 the Costa Rican government announced a state of emergency and changes to Migratory Regulations.
Entry to Costa Rica
From 1 November 2020, all travellers proceeding from any country will be admitted into Costa Rica as long as they comply with the requirements below.
Check the requirements for entry. From 1 August 2021 visitors under 18 years, and visitors over 18 years who have been double-vaccinated with an approved vaccine more than 14 days previously, may enter without mandatory insurance. All others will need to buy insurance with specific cover requirements. All travellers must complete an advance epidemiological information form. These requirements are likely to be strictly enforced. If you have questions about these requirements you should consult your airline.
Transiting Costa Rica
The authorities are permitting same-day airside transit with a confirmed onward booking.
Costa Rican Nationals and Legal Residents who enter the country may be required to self-isolate for 14-days. They should complete the epidemiological information form which will specify the exact actions to be taken. Tourists entering from 1 August, under the amended restrictions stated above, will not be required to self-isolate.
Regular entry requirements
British nationals do not need a visa to enter Costa Rica. You may stay as a visitor for up to 90 days under a tourist visa waiver, although the exact period is at the discretion of the immigration officer on arrival. If you plan to work, or stay for a longer period, then multiple exit and entry is not an approved alternative to obtaining the relevant visa for your circumstances. You should check the requirements with the Costa Rican authorities.
The immigration authorities are strict about foreigners who have overstayed. Fines of $100 per month of overstay and restrictions on return can be applied under local law.
Your passport should have at least one day’s validity from the date you are leaving Costa Rica. If you hold a passport other than a British Citizen passport, different regulations may apply.
Evidence of onward travel
Entry to Costa Rica may be refused if you are unable to produce evidence of return or onward travel (for example a return air ticket).
UK Emergency Travel Documents
UK Emergency Travel Documents (ETDs) are accepted for entry, airside transit and exit from Costa Rica.
There’s a departure tax of $29 when leaving the country by air. Most airlines include this in ticket prices; a few have still not done so. Check with your airline or travel company whether you need to pay this separately. If so you can pay by cash or credit/debit card in dollars or local colones.
Yellow fever certificate requirements
Check whether you need a yellow fever certificate by visiting the National Travel Health Network and Centre’s TravelHealthPro website.
Travelling with children
Under Costa Rican law, children under the age of 18 born in Costa Rica are automatically considered to be Costa Rican citizens, even if travelling on a British passport. Either notarised written consent from both parents or a Costa Rican passport is required in order for the child to leave Costa Rica. Contact the Costa Rican Embassy or Consulate for further information on laws regarding the international travel of Costa Rican children.