Saturday, 4 July 2020

“Regular” Visitor Allowed Only 15 Day Stay in Costa Rica!

Costa Rica has long been a favourite destination for single men looking for some R&R. And entering the country has never been a hassle. A cursory, what is the purpose of your visit? where will you be staying? how long will you be staying? and the 90 day stay stamp.


But that may be changing. We cannot ascertain if only single men are being targeted or it is also affecting couples, families and single women, as immigration officials are issuing stays of less than the usual 90 days.

One case in point is that of Danny, a frequent visitor to Costa Rica for the last six years. Danny is not a “perpetual tourist”, he does not live in Costa Rica, leaves every 90 days and immediately returns for another 90 day visitor stay.
Danny has been visiting Costa Rica once or twice a year, staying one or two weeks each time. His latest arrival was on Thursday when, for the first time, he was given only a “15 day” stay and not the usual 90.

- paying the bills -

The shorter stay does not inconvenience Danny, he has to return to the US next week. However, what if Danny wants to change plans and stay longer? And, although the Q has not been able to confirm other such cases, we have heard of several in the last couple of months.

“They are targeting the single male traveller with frequent visits to Costa Rica. I was prepared with my return ticket, as I had read on several forums/boards of people being asked, but a rude awakening on the 15 days. I was always given 90”, Danny told

The requirements to enter Costa Rica depend on your country of nationality. Generally, citizens of the United States, Canada and the European Union countries do not require a visa to enter Costa Rica. Those citizens can enter Costa Rica with their valid passport and remain in the country for up to a maximum of 90 days.

But the length of the stay is at the discretion of the immigration official at the point of entry. There is no appeal and the decision is strictly at the discretion of the “interviewer”.

What is disturbing here is that visits are being cut short and for no apparent reason.  The official Costa Rica tourism site  by the Instituto Costarricense de Turismo (ICT) does not mention the possibility that an immigration official may issue a shorter stay.

- paying the bills -

And for the most part it really isn’t a problem, tourists usually arrive in Costa Rica with a predetermined number of days/weeks stay and the leave.

In cases like Danny where his stay is limited to only 15 days and decides to stay in the country longer, there is hassle of having to visit the immigration office in San José and apply for an extension.

In the case of  Danny, in the interview with the Q there were no “unusual” circumstances leading to Danny’s stay being cut short of the usual 90 days.

In Danny’s case he can be called a “regular” visitor. He spends money on hotels, meals, entertainment, transportation, etc, like a good tourist, while visiting.

The difference between him and the ‘average” visitor is that he keeps coming back to Costa Rica. Isn’t that a good thing?

“If they (the immigration official) see many entry stamps in your passport they will cut your visit short”, speculates Danny.

- paying the bills --

In addition, Danny was asked – for the very first time – to present his return ticket out of Costa Rica. Most tickets are now “e-tickets”, which means that if you did not print out the e-ticket before leaving, it may mean a trip to the airline counter at the airport to get a copy to satisfy the immigration service.


"Rico" is the crazy mind behind the Q media websites, a series of online magazines where everything is Q! In these times of new normal, stay at home. Stay safe. Stay healthy.

Related Articles

Cuba Plane Crash: Company ‘Had Safety Complaints’

Solidarity and investigations after the accident. Cuban authorities are investigating the...

The Volcanos Of Central America (By Country)

Among the things most loved by travelers to Central America is...


COVID-19 Costa Rica: 310 new cases Saturday, country reaches 4,621 infections

(QCOSTARICA) The Minister of Health, Daniel Salas, reported Saturday, July 4, 310 new cases of the COVID-19 in the last 24 hours, the singled...

Costa Rican woman died of COVID-19 without knowing that she had it, 17th death

(QCOSTARICA) Costa Rica registered Wednesday afternoon death number 17 of a COVID-19 patient, a 71-year-old Costa Rican woman, a resident of Alajuela.   The woman died...

The iPhone 12 arrives in September but without headphones or charger

(QCOSTARICA) Apple's new flagship, the Phone 12, is expected to arrive in September as usual, despite the Covid-19 pandemic. But it will not include EarPods...

Minister’s scarf casues online shitstorm. Don’t we have more important issues at the moment?

Rico's TICO BULL - Now this is worrisome. In six days when we've had 1,187 new cases of the COVID-19, and six deaths. It...

Health admits community transmission in the Greater Metropolitan Area

(QCOSTARICA) The explosion of COVID-19 infections forced in the last couple of weeks, in particular, the last two days with 294 new cases on...

Legislators bury possibilty of posponing VAT on basic basket

The bill presented on June 11 by the government to postpone the Value Added Tax (VAT) on basic basked items is still under consideration,...

Let's Keep This Going!

To be updated with all the latest news and information about Costa Rica and Latin America.