Digital nomads
Costa Rica
07 Aug 2023
New Zealand citizenship
Visa Visa-free
Useful information
Currency Costa Rican colon (CRC)
Language Spanish
Phone code
Phone code +506
Covid There are no COVID restrictions
Health Yellow fever vaccination certificate is required
Insurance policy Insurance policy recommended

Do you need a visa to study in Costa Rica?

Every foreign citizen who wants to study in Costa Rica must obtain a Costa Rican student visa, regardless of their citizenship.

In addition, you must also already be accepted to an educational institution in Costa Rica.

Anyone who wants to stay in Costa Rica for more than 90 days must obtain a residence permit. Residence permits in Costa Rica are divided according to the purpose for which you want to stay in Costa Rica.

The type of residence permit in Costa Rica that you need to study in Costa Rica is a student permit that falls under the "special category" of immigration along with work permits. You can get a student's permit from Dirección General de Migración y Extranjería (Costa Rican immigration department).

What are the requirements for a student visa to Costa Rica?

Documents required for obtaining a student visa to Costa Rica include:

When applying for a temporary visa

  • A letter of request for a temporary visa of a special category, certified by a notary or signed by the consul. The email must contain the following information:

  • Your full name, date of birth, place of birth and citizenship

  • A passport number

  • The place of residence

  • Occupation / profession

  • Exact address where you will be staying in Costa Rica

  • Contact information

  • Date and your signature

  • Acceptance letter from your school

  • Your birth certificate

  • A certificate of non-criminal record

  • Your valid passport and copies of all passport pages. The passport must be valid for another 6 months from the date of entry

  • The confirmation of the availability of sufficient financial resources

When applying for a student permit

Documents that you must submit to the Immigration Department to obtain a student permit in Costa Rica include:

  • The completed and signed application form

  • A letter sent to the Immigration Department indicating the reason why you are requesting a "special category" residence permit (student permit). The letter must be signed either in the eyes of the Immigration Service, or certified by a lawyer. It should contain the following information:

  • Your full name and citizenship

  • Your age

  • Your profession

  • Exact address in Costa Rica

  • Contact information

  • A certificate issued by your educational institution confirming your registration. The document must be signed by the legal representative or head of the institution.

  • An application payment receipt

  • The last two passport-sized photos

  • Fingerprint registration confirmation issued by the Ministry of Public Security

  • The confirmation of your registration at the Costa Rican consulate

  • Birth certificate

  • The confirmation of financial capabilities:

  • Through a certificate of the authorized accountant on solvency indicating the origin of the money; or

  • By confirming the scholarship, if you are a scholarship student.

  • Photocopies of all pages of your passport, certified by a public notary in Costa Rica


  • Get all the necessary documents before traveling to Costa Rica.

  • All documents that you submit must be translated into Spanish by an official translator. You must have notarized translations.

  • All documents that you submit from your country must be legalized. You can legalize them at the Costa Rican consulate or with an apostille stamp if you are from a country that is part of the Apostille Convention.

  • The consulate and Immigration Department of Costa Rica have the right to request any additional documents as they see fit.

How do I apply for a student visa to Costa Rica?

The process of obtaining a Costa Rican student visa consists of two parts: a temporary student visa and a student permit.

Before you can apply for a student permit from the Immigration Department, you need to obtain a permit to enter the country as a student – that is. A temporary student visa that you can get at the Costa Rican consulate in your country.

Costa Rica Education for New Zealanders