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Since 2014, Costa Rica has put additional limitations in place for tourists who overstay their visas; if this is you, you should be ready to pay fines.
How much do I have to pay for overstaying in Costa Rica?
Foreigners overstaying their assigned visas will have to pay a fine of $100 USD for each month they remain in the country after the expiration of their visas.
Are there consequences for overstaying in Costa Rica?
Yes, you can be barred from re-entering Costa Rica for a period of 3 times the length of the time they overstayed.
For example, a foreigner who overstays his 90-day tourist visa by 4 months can be barred from re-entering the country for 1 year and will be required to pay a fine of $400 USD. Just imagine the problems that would cause if you own property or have family living here!
How to pay my fine for overstaying in Costa Rica?
Your fine will have to be paid 48 hours before departing Costa Rica. You’ll be able to pay your fine at any branch of Banco de Costa Rica.
How to avoid the problem of my visa being expired?
The easiest way to deal with this problem is to leave Costa Rica before your visa expires to get your new passport entry stamp. Normally, they permit stays of up to 90 days, but be aware that it can be less. Always double check your passport visa entry stamp and calculate the day accurately. Note that 90 days period is NOT 3 months! Do not put yourself in trouble for miscalculating those days.
You may even want to take this opportunity to go back to your home country and get your paperwork done to apply for residency as soon as you get back because border runs (perpetual tourism) are frowned upon by Immigration.
The good news is once you apply for residency and your application is filed, you will have a receipt in hand (the Golden Ticket) from Costa Rica Immigration, allowing you to stay in the country while the application is being processed. Therefore, you will not be required to leave the country to renew the visitor visa (the only exception is if you are driving in Costa Rica – in this case you will still need to do your border run, as Driving rules have nothing in common with the Immigration rules).
At Costa Rica Immigration Experts, we’d love to be able to help you file the first time correctly and enjoy your residency as quickly as possible.