Extended Tourist Stay in Costa Rica: 180-Day Visits Now Possible* - Expat Community

Extended Tourist Stay in Costa Rica: 180-Day Visits Now Possible*

Sep 14, 2023 | Costa Rica, Costa Rica, Knowledge Base, News & Articles | 0 comments

Have you been dreaming about an extended stay in Costa Rica, while getting lost in nature, recharging their batteries in the middle of nowhere, or living the thrill of adventure sports?

Well, it’s now going to be possible. In this article we’ll discuss the country’s newest reforms and its implications. We’ll even get insights from an experienced immigration lawyer, Andres Gomez Tristan.


The announcement

Costa Rica’s Migration Directorate recently announced that tourists can now enjoy an extended stay in this wonderful Central American nation. Instead of the standard 90 days, visitors can now immerse in the Pura Vida lifestyle for up to 180 days.

Surely, with this update, many tourists will want to pack their bags and leave for an amazing vacation in this Central American Jewel.

Thanks to a reform in the Regulation for the Granting of Entry Visas to Costa Rica, this extended stay was made possible.

However, it’s worth noting that is exclusive to certain countries. The lucky travelers are enumerated in this list:

  • Germany
  • United States
  • Lithuania
  • Andorra
  • Luxembourg
  • Argentina
  • Malta
  • Australia
  • Mexico
  • Austria
  • Montenegro
  • Bahamas
  • Norway
  • Barbados
  • New Zealand
  • Belgium
  • Netherlands
  • Brazil
  • Panama
  • Bulgaria
  • Paraguay
  • Canada
  • Poland
  • Croatia
  • Portugal
  • Chile
  • Principality of Monaco


The expert’s opinion: Andres Gomez weighs in

Are these changes positive for the expat community? Will they benefit tourism? Is it good for Costa Rica? Are there any cons?

To address this matter correctly, it was only fair to ask an expert in the field. Andres Gomez Tristan is an experienced Costa Rican immigration lawyer. He has been working in this legal area for over 10 years at the Gomez & Tristan firm.

It’s very clear that this new change it gifts tourists the time to explore Costa Rica more profoundly. Yet it also presents its own set of challenges.

As explained by lawyer Andres Gomez, a key part of this new change is ensuring that visitors genuinely intend to embrace the tourist status and don’t misuse the extended stay, risking issues related to immigration statuses.

“The decision may raise questions about the intention behind such extended stays. While the move intends to boost tourism, it’s crucial to remember that there are checks and balances in place to ensure visitors have genuine intent,” he said.

The potential risk of misuse is something to be mindful of, particularly in ensuring that the visitors’ backgrounds are verified. The aim is to strike a balance between welcoming tourists with open arms and ensuring the nation’s safety and integrity.

Given the current migratory flow, further controls will also be needed, to ensure people who come to Costa Rica don’t have any legal issues pending in their home country.

The Digital Nomad Law previously approved allowed foreigners to have an extended stay in the country, by granting a Digital Nomad Visa, after ensuring petitioners complied with a series of requirements. Now, this initiative might lose its shine in comparison to this extended tourist stay.

While the extended stay offers a more immersive experience of Costa Rica, it also underscores the importance of responsible and mindful tourism. Come, embrace the Pura Vida spirit, but also respect the essence of this paradise.

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