Overview and Deadlines

You will enter Costa Rica under a tourist status. In order to live and study in Costa Rica you are required to exend your tourist status into a student resident status after your arrival. AFS-Costa Rica will assist you with this process. Please read the instructions below and begin to follow the steps required to apply for your Residence Permit. These documents need to be sent to the AFS office as soon as possible.

List of Required Documents

  1. United States Passport + one copy of picture/signature page
  • There must be at least two blank pages for the visa in your passport. The visa is a stamp which the Consulate will affix to one of the free pages in your passport.
  • Your passport must be signed in the space provided (Signature of Bearer) and valid for at least six months beyond the end of your program.

2. Photocopy Of Your Round Trip Travel Itinerary

  • Please carry and keep secure an extra print-out of your AFS International Travel itinerary. This will be necessary to extend your visa after a few months in Costa Rica.

3 . $250 In US Cash For Mid-Stay/Visa Extension Trip

  • In order to extend your tourist visa status and be permitted to stay in Costa Rica for the entire length of your program, you will need to provide AFS Costa Rica staff with $250 in US cash.
  • This fee will be collected at your arrival orientation and used toward the cost of your visa extension process. Please have it in an envelope labeled with your name.  Make sure to keep this secure while you travel.
  • There will be a weekend trip planned to Nicaragua and your Costa Rican visa will be renewed upon re-entry into Nicaragua.
  • AFS Costa Rica staff and volunteers will arrange and coordinate travel and logistics for this trip.
  • Please be advised that visa extension fees are subject to change.

4. $29 Airport Tax

  • This tax is required of all US citizens.
  • Personal checks, traveler’s checks, and money orders will not be accepted.