Students can only obtain their visas, which are called Student Temporary Permits, from Costa Rican Immigration after they have arrived in Costa Rica. If youâ€™re going to be studying for less than 90 days and youâ€™re a citizen of the USA, Panama, Japan, Israel, Canada, Argentina and most western European countries, all you need to do is show your passport upon entering the country. If youâ€™re studies will last longer than 90 days, the temporary student permit is necessary, and youâ€™ll have to be registered in one of the public or private schools recognized by the national government.
Application Process: The university or school that youâ€™ll be attending should provide you with detailed instructions. Here is a list of the documents that you will need, all of which must be translated into Spanish:
- Notarized letter of acceptance from the University
- Original Birth Certificate
- Copy of Passport, valid for at least six months after the date of your arrival
- Notarized letter of no records from the local police, issued within 6 months of the date you apply for the visa
- Request letter from the student stating his/her name, civil status, nationality, passport number, place of residence, occupation, address in Costa Rica, and the name of the school
- Completed application form (formulario de filiaciĂłn), available in the office and on their website (travel.state.gov/travel/cis_pa_tw/cis/cis_1093.html )
- 4 recent passport photos
You will also need to get your fingerprints taken at the Costa Rican Police Archive under the Ministry of Public Security.
The permit has to be renewed every time register for a new set of classes. The cost is usually between $175 and $200.