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Costa Rica Passport and Visa Information


To study abroad, you must have a signed, valid passport from your country of citizenship that will not expire for a minimum of six months after your planned return date. If you do not have a passport, or it's about to expire, make sure you apply or renew as soon as possible! U.S. Citizens can refer to the U.S. Department of State’s website for more information about passports and processing time.


A student visa is official permission by a foreign government to live and study in that country. U.S. citizens will receive a 90-day tourist visa at customs upon arrival in Costa Rica. During on-site orientation, the USAC staff will explain how to extend the 90-day tourist visa to an “estancia” or “permission to stay” for the full length of your program.

Further information will be posted to your USAC Student Gateway account in the Visa Guide, which you will receive after you have been accepted into your USAC program (about four months prior to departure). Program Advisors in the Central Office are also available to answer any visa questions you may have.

All costs related to obtaining a visa, including travel, are your responsibility.

Non-U.S. Citizens

Check with your home country consulate, as well as the embassy of the country in which you plan to study, regarding visa requirements. Permanent Residents of the U.S. should check with U.S. Immigration as leaving the country for more than one year may jeopardize permanent resident status. Tax clearance and re-entry forms may also be necessary in these cases.