The British embassy in San Jose represents the UK government in Costa Rica (and also in Nicaragua), playing an active role in improving political and trade links between them and the UK.

Our work also includes providing consular assistance.

Our services

Travel advice

Visit our travel advice for Costa Rica for information, news and updates, to ensure you stay safe, avoid problems, and make informed decisions when living or travelling abroad.

Passport renewals and replacements

How to renew or replace your British passport if you are outside the UK and information on getting replacement travel documents if your passport is lost or stolen.

Emergency travel documents

We may be able to provide an emergency travel document if you can’t get a new or replacement passport in time to travel. If you are due to travel in the next 24 hours, you should contact your nearest consulate as soon as possible.

For all other applications, please check what you must bring with you and then make an appointment at your nearest consulate using the links below. Please call your nearest consulate for advice before making an appointment if:

  • you have never applied for a British passport before
  • you are applying on behalf of a child

An emergency travel document does not guarantee entry to every country. Read what an emergency travel document does.

Book an appointment for an emergency travel document here

Visas

This Embassy does not deal with visa matters. For information on whether you need a visa to travel to the United Kingdom and how to apply, please see the UK Visas & Immigration website.

Births, deaths and marriages

From 11 December 2014, UK birth registrations and death registrations in Costa Rica and Nicaragua were transferred from the British Embassy San Jose to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) in the UK.

There are no changes to the entitlement to register a birth or death. The processing time will remain the same. However, you will now need to allow extra time for the documents to be sent to and from the UK. See how to register a birth abroad or register a death for further information.

Information on legal documents for couples marrying or entering into civil partnerships abroad can be found here.

Legalisation service

Visit the Legalisation Office website for information on how to get official confirmation that your UK public documentation is genuine, so it can be accepted by foreign authorities. The UK does not require any documents to be legalised for use within the UK.

Some locally produced documents may be legalised for use in Commonwealth Countries. To discuss, please contact us directly.

Notarial and documentary services

Information about the notarial and documentary services available at the British Consulate in Costa Rica. UK law says we have to charge for some services. See our list of consular fees.

List of lawyers and interpreters

This is a list of English speaking lawyers who may be able to help you with official transactions in Costa Rica. Please note that inclusion in this list does not constitute official endorsement by the British Embassy or the UK government.

Here, you can find a list of official translators who are registered with the Costa Rican Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Prisoner pack

Explanation of the prison system in Costa Rica for British nationals.

Guides we produce

We also produce guides for British nationals who need information about services that are not provided by our Consulate, but that may be useful in specific circumstances.

  • Living in Costa Rica provides a general set of information and links for British nationals residing in Costa Rica.

How else we can help

In addition to the services listed above we can also:

  • provide information about transferring funds
  • provide appropriate help if you have suffered rape or serious assault, are a victim of other crime, or are in hospital
  • help people with mental illness
  • provide details of local lawyers, interpreters, doctors and funeral directors
  • do all we properly can to contact you within 24 hours of being told that you have been detained
  • offer support and help in a range of other cases, such as child abductions, death of relatives overseas, missing people and kidnapping
  • contact family or friends for you if you want
  • make special arrangements in cases of terrorism, civil disturbances or natural disasters

What our consulate cannot do for you

Although we try to help British nationals in a wide range of situations, we cannot:

  • get you out of prison, prevent the local authorities from deporting you after your prison sentence, or interfere in criminal or civil court proceedings
  • help you enter a country, for example, if you do not have a visa or your passport is not valid, as we cannot interfere in another country’s immigration policy or procedures
  • give you legal advice, investigate crimes or carry out searches for missing people, although we can give you details of people who may be able to help you in these cases, such as English-speaking lawyers
  • get you better treatment in hospital or prison than is given to local people
  • pay any bills or give you money (in very exceptional circumstances we may lend you some money from public funds, which you will have to pay back)
  • make travel arrangements for you, or find you work or accommodation
  • make business arrangements on your behalf

Our people

Sharon Campbell

Sharon Campbell

British Ambassador to Costa Rica

    Contact us

    British Embassy

    Edificio Centro Colón,
    Paseo Colón and Streets 38 and 40

    San Jose
    Apartado 815 - 1007
    San Jose
    Costa Rica

    Access and opening times

    Corporate information