What type of visa do I need?

You do not need a visa to enter Cosa Rica. You will enter as a tourist and then apply for a Student Residence Permit after your arrival. There are important documents for the Residence Permit (listed below), that you will need to collect and send to AFS-USA before departing to Costa Rica.

How do I apply for the Residence Permit?

You are required to mail documents to AFS-USA prior to departure. With these documents, AFS Costa Rica will begin the Residence Permit process. Once you arrive in Costa Rica, AFS staff will help you complete the process and obtain your residence permit card.

What documents will I need to collect and send to AFS-USA?

  • A listed of required documents will be sent to you by your Visa and Compliance Specialist.
    *You will also need to contact your consulate for a finalized list of requirements.

When do I apply for the Residence Permit?

You will be asked to ship your documents to our office about a month before your departure. Once you arrive in Costa Rica with your passport,  you will complete the process.

How much will the Residence Permit cost?

The residence permit fee is $500. This fee is already included in your on your AFS-USA invoice, as we have already prepaid this for you.

Are there any other expected costs?

Please budget funds for obtaining, apostilling and mailing documents.

Can I travel before the start of my program?

Although you must be in your home community for the Pre-Departure Orientation, obtaining the Residence Permit will not place any limitations on your travel.

Fees and requirements are determined by immigration authorities and are subject to change at any time.