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Visa for stays over 90 days

Campbell River...
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Visa for stays over 90 days

Hello again..... still trying to plan our several month stay in Costa Rica and need to clarify an issue regarding stays over 90 days. Has anyone been in this situation? Is it really necessary for Canadians and/or Americans to apply for a visa if staying in the country for 4 or 5 months? I did read something about having to leave the country for 72 hours and then re entering. Any suggestions?

Thanks in advance for your help.

Costa Rica
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1. Re: Visa for stays over 90 days

You have a 90-day tourist visa. Period. To renew your visa - for a stay over 90 days - you will need to leave the country and return. This "restarts" your 90 - day visa. You can go to Nicaragua or Panama - the easiest, obviously, and there are various ways to do that.

If you are planning on visiting the southern Caribbean area, a trip to Bocas del Toro, Panama would be good.

No - the 72-hour thing is only to restart your customs exemption. You can go across the border, have lunch and return. But many people use it to have a mini-vacation of a few days in another country.

Bermuda
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2. Re: Visa for stays over 90 days

If you go to Panama, you have to stay in Panama for at least 8 hours before you can leave. Some officers enforce this while others don't.

Costa Rica
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3. Re: Visa for stays over 90 days

It seems like with Panama, it's a big "unknown." Some border agents require you to stay a certain amount of time....... others don't. Some agents ask for all kinds of paperwork and airline tickets...... and others don't. It's really a "crap shoot" these days!

nebraska
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4. Re: Visa for stays over 90 days

There have been quite a few people experiencing arbitrary limits on number of days stamped on their Visas when entering CR. Some think it's to cut down on the number of perpetual tourists but I don't know why they want to do that. Be sure to check after getting stamped. I've always gotten 90-day and this last time down it was only 30. We made a quick trip to Panama during our stay and upon coming back in was given 90. Go figure. But, it is another country that can set it's own rules so you just have to follow them.

Campbell River...
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5. Re: Visa for stays over 90 days

Another BIG thank you Hattie.I don't know where I read that it had to be 72 hours but I'm happy that it doesn't have to be. We've been looking at side trips/tours to Nicaragua but just today I was checking out Bocas del Toro..

joyceh when you say check after being stamped, are the number of days that you can stay in the country stamped in your passport or where? Sorry for my naivety my husband and I have never left Canada for such a length of time before just retiring this past year.

Costa Rica
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6. Re: Visa for stays over 90 days

When you arrive Costa Rica, you first go through passport control and your passport is stamped and the number of days of your visa is written on it by the agent. Pretty much all air arrivals get 90 days. When you cross the border and return in order to renew your tourist visa, your passport is stamped again and the number of days written on it. (Your passport is stamped when you leave Costa Rica and when you arrive back in Costa Rica.) In 9 cases out of 10, it will be 90 days - but there have been cases of 30 days or some other number of days, the reasoning for this held closely in the brain of the border agent and not for us mere mortals to know.

Winnipeg, Canada
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7. Re: Visa for stays over 90 days

Perhaps the majority of arrivals do get 90 days, but one can't bank on it. I like Joyce have at least one entrance where I was only given 30 days. The one was October 2012. Since that time I have had several that are 90 days. So as Hattie says, the number of days and the reason is something we really can't know.

hopefully and probably you will get at least one of your entries - since you will have to come and go - for 90 days and you will also get to do a bit of tracelling and see interesting things in a different country.

Costa Rica
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8. Re: Visa for stays over 90 days

As far as I know, it is extremely rare for anyone who has never been to Costa Rica to be given less than 90 days. Frequent or return travelers .... it happens. But it is very rare.

nebraska
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9. Re: Visa for stays over 90 days

It is becoming more common Hattie. Just on this post 2 out of the 3 of us have had it happen. I don't know about Raquel but my airline ticket had a return date of about 60 days that time and they knew it. I'm just saying to the OP to check and not assume it was stamped at 90 like I did. I just happened to catch it when I was taking a picture of the date stamp with my phone (I use that instead of carrying my passport when out & about).

Costa Rica
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10. Re: Visa for stays over 90 days

joyceh: It didn't happen on your first entry to Costa Rica, did it? I don't really think that using the statistics from people on this thread is a valid indicator of who gets what. Of the more than 2 million tourists that arrive each year, I seriously doubt that this happens that frequently.

But yes, it's always a good idea to look at the number of days put on the stamp. That will help avoid any ugly surprises.