On August 31st, 2023, an Executive Decree regarding changes in tourist visa and immigration regulations was published in the official newspaper “LA GACETA”. The Executive Decree comes into effect eight calendar days after its publication, so it will be from today, September 8th, 2023.
The change in article 7 of the “General Regulations for Entry and Stay Visas for Non-Residents” establishes a new maximum legal stay period (tourist visa), for foreign individuals belonging to the “first group” of specific countries, of up to 180 days counted from their entry date. The exact number of days approved for each person will be determined by the officer of the General Directorate competent to carry out the control of entry to the country.
This first group which is referred includes: GERMANY, ANDORRA, ARGENTINA, AUSTRALIA, AUSTRIA, BAHAMAS, BARBADOS, BELGIUM, BRAZIL, BULGARY, CANADA, CROATIA, CHILE, CHIPRE, DENMARK, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES, SLOVAKIA, SLOVENIA, SPAIN, QATAR, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, ESTONIA, FINLAND, FRANCE, HUNGARY, IRELAND, ICELAND, ISRAEL, ITALY, JAPAN, LETONIA, LIECHTENSTEIN, LITUANIA, LUXEMBURG, MALTA, MEXICO, MONTENEGRO, NORWAY, NEW ZEALAND, NETHERLANDS, PANAMÁ, PARAGUAY, POLAND, PORTUGAL, MONACO, SAN MARINO, PERÚ, PUERTO RICO, SERBIA, SOUTH AFRICA, UNITED KINGDOM, KOREA (SOUTH OF KOREA), GREECE, RUMANIA, SANTA SEDE (VATICAN), SINGAPUR, SWEDEN, SWITZERLAND, TRINIDAD & TOBAGO, UKRAINE, URUGUAY
Article 8 of the mentioned Regulations has been amended to read as follows: “Article 8—Foreign individuals considered as ‘Non-Residents” are those to whom the General Directorate grants authorization for entry and stay in the country, for a stay that shall not exceed 180 natural days for nationals of countries in the first entry group and up to 30 natural days, for the nationals of countries in the remaining three groups. These groupings are established in the General Guidelines for Entry and Stay Visas for Non-Residents in the country, issued by the General Directorate of Immigration in compliance with Articles 47 and 48 of this Regulation.”
Additionally, Article 156 of the Immigration Regulation (“Reglamento de Extranjeria”) has been modified, and it states that “foreigners who entered the country as tourists and were initially granted less than 90 days of stay, can request a one-time extension up to 90 days. However, those who were initially granted 90 days or more cannot extend their stay”.
These changes represent updates in the rules governing tourist visas and immigration in the country.
Note: This publication’s goal is to provide basic information about changes to immigration laws in Costa Rica; it is not meant to be legal advice in the traditional sense. Please contact Cordero & Cordero Abogados at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit our website at www.corderoabogados.com if more detailed information is needed on these subjects.