U.S. Embassy San Jose, Costa Rica - SNJ

Please follow the steps below before your immigrant visa interview at the U.S. Embassy in San Jose, Costa Rica.

Step 1: Register your appointment online

You need to register your appointment online with Correos de Costa Rica prior to your appointment. Registering your appointment provides us with the information we need to return your passport to you after your interview. Registration is free. Click the “Register” button below to register.

If you want to cancel or reschedule your appointment, you will be able to do so after you register your appointment.


Register >>

Medical Exam Instructions >>
Medical Exam Instructions >>

Step 2: Get a medical exam in San Jose

As soon as you receive your appointment date, you must schedule a medical exam in San Jose. Click the “Medical Exam Instructions” button below for a list of designated doctors’ offices in San Jose. Please schedule and attend a medical exam with one of these doctors before your interview.

Medical Exam Instructions >>

Step 3: Complete your pre-interview checklist

It is important that you bring all required original documents to your interview. We’ve created a checklist that will tell you what to bring. Please print the checklist below and bring it to your interview along with the listed documents.


Pre-Interview Checklist >>

Step 4: Review interview guidelines

Read our interview guidelines to learn about any special actions that you need to take before your visa interview.


Interview Guidelines >>

Medical Exam Instructions

All immigrant visa applicants, regardless of age, require a medical examination prior to the issuance of a visa. Only a physician accredited by the U.S. Embassy can perform this exam. It is your responsibility to schedule a medical exam with an approved embassy doctor and/or clinic before your visa interview appointment at the U.S. Embassy. Medical examination results from other physicians will not be accepted.

Applicants may need as many as four (4) appointments to complete the medical exam process, so please begin scheduling your medical appointments right away by following the instructions below.

During the medical exam

The full examination includes a medical history review, physical examination, and chest X-ray, gonorrhea test, and blood tests (for applicants 15 years of age or older). The United States also requires tuberculosis (TB) testing for all applicants two years of age and older. Be prepared to discuss your medical history, medications you are taking, and current treatments you are undergoing. More information on general medical requirements for U.S. immigrants is available here.

U.S. immigration law requires immigrant visa applicants to obtain certain vaccinations prior to the issuance of a visa. Currentvaccination requirements are available online. You can also read Frequently Asked Questions about our medical examination requirements online.


You must pay all medical examination fees, including x-ray and blood test fees, directly to the examining physician or clinic. The blood test fee is USD $11.00, the urine test for gonorrhea is USD $60.00, the X-ray fee is USD $20.00, and the physical exam fee is USD $100.00. Please note, however, that any required vaccinations, additional tests, or follow-up appointments will be charged separately. Vaccination fees can be as much as USD $400.00.

STEP 1: Have a blood test and a urine test for gonorrhea conducted at an approved lab

Applicants 15 years of age and older should schedule a blood test at one of the following laboratories:

Laboratorio Labin – Clinical Laboratories
Clinica Burstin
(In front of Clinica Biblica)
Tel: 2222-1987
Hours: 7:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m

Clinica Orlich – Clinical Laboratories
(In front of Hospital San Juan de Dios)
San Jose
Tel: 2222-5585
Hours: 7:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m.

The test is called VDRL. The laboratory will send your test results to the doctor you choose in Step 4 below. Please let the clinic know which doctor you have selected for your physical exam. You should bring the following items to your laboratory appointment:

  • Your visa interview appointment letter with case number,
  • Your passport or national identification card, and
  • One (1) recently taken color photograph sized 2x2 inches.

Fees: USD $11 per person.

STEP 2: Have a urine test for gonorrhea conducted at an approved lab

Applicants 15 years of age and older should schedule a urine test for gonorrhea:

Laboratorio Labin – Clinical Laboratories
Clinica Burstin
(In front of Clinica Biblica)
Tel: 2222-1987
Hours: 7:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m.

Clinica Orlich – Clinical Laboratories
(In front of Hospital San Juan de Dios)
San Jose
Tel: 2222-5585
Hours: 7:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m.

The test is called Neisseria gonorrhoeae (NG). The laboratory will send your test results to the doctor you choose in Step 4 below. Please let the clinic know which doctor you have selected for your physical exam. Please note that the result of the urine test could take several days to be delivered to the physician, depending on the test type that the applicant selects (see option 1 and 2 below). The physician must have received your test results by the time of your physical examination.

You should bring the following items to your laboratory appointment:

  • Your visa interview appointment letter with case number,
  • Your passport or national identification card, and
  • One (1) recently taken color photograph sized 2x2 inches.

Fees: USD $60 per person.

STEP 3: Have a chest (lung) X-ray taken at an approved clinic

Applicants 15 years of age and older should schedule a chest X-ray with one of the approved physicians below:

Clinica Biblica - Radiologist
San Jose
Tel: 2522-1000
Hours: 8:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.

The clinic will give you the results of your chest X-ray. You should bring the following items to your X-ray appointment:

  • Your visa interview appointment letter with case number,
  • Your passport or national identification card, and
  • One (1) recently taken color photograph sized 2x2 inches.

Fees: USD $20 per person.

IMPORTANT: In rare cases, IGRA testing could be required for applicants under the age of 15. The doctor you choose for the physical examination in step 4 will determine if this test is necessary.

The cost of IGRA testing is $280. If this test is requested, the doctor will give you information on the approved lab facilities where the test can be done. It takes 10 days to get results of an IGRA test.

STEP 4: Schedule an appointment for a physical examination

All immigrant visa applicants, including children, must schedule and attend a physical exam with one of the approved doctors below after completing steps 1-3 (when required) above:

Clínica Americana
Calle 1 Ave. 14, 4to piso
San Jose
Tel: 22586868
Hours: 9:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. and 2:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Clinica Americana
Calle 1 Ave. 14, 2do piso
Next to Clinica Biblica
San Jose
Tel: 22586868
Hours: 9:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. and 2:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday

Clínica de Medicina Interna
50 meters north of Clinica Biblica
San Jose
Tel: 2248-0000 and 8812-2040
Hours: 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. Tuesday through Friday, and 3:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. Monday through Friday

Bring the following items to the medical exam:

  • Your visa interview appointment letter,
  • Your passport or national identification card,
  • Four (4) recently taken color photograph sized 2x2 inches,
  • The chest X-ray results given to you by the doctor in Step 3 above, and
  • A copy of your vaccination records.

Fees: USD $100 per person.

Please note: If you do not present proof at your physical exam appointment that you have all the required vaccinations, you will need another appointment and will have to pay an additional exam fee of USD $75 for your second appointment.

back to top

After the medical exam

When your examination is completed, the doctor will provide you with exam results in a sealed envelope. DO NOT OPEN THIS ENVELOPE. Instead, bring it to your visa interview.

You DO NOT need to bring your chest X-rays to your visa interview unless you suffer from tuberculosis (TB). However, you must carry the X-rays with you when you travel to the United States for the first time. The medical report must be less than six (6) months old when you enter the United States as an immigrant.

back to top

Pre-Interview checklist

Please use the list below to determine the items that every applicant must bring to the immigrant visa interview. Any documents that are not in English or Spanish must be accompanied by a certified English translation:

  • A copy of your NVC interview letter (does not apply to Diversity Visa, fiancé(e), adoptive, or asylee/refugee applicants).
  • Unexpired passport valid for six one (1) year beyond your intended date of entry to the United States and a photocopy of the biographic page(where your name and photo are located).
  • Two (2) color photographs of each person applying for a visa (5 cm x 5 cm, or 2 inch x 2 inch).  Please review our online photo requirements.
  • Confirmation page from the Form DS-260 Application for an Immigrant Visa you submitted online at ceac.state.gov/iv.

  • Confirmation page from your online registration of a passport delivery address with Correos de Costa Rice (see Step 1).

  • Your original birth certificate, and a photocopy. NOTE: A digital or literal birth certificate (certificado de nacimiento digitalizado o literal) is required for applicants who are beneficiaries of petitions based on a parental relationship or sibling relationship, and for any derivative child. For example, if a child in the United States petitioned for his parents to immigrate, and vice versa. The digital birth certificate shows the registration of the date of the birth, change of names, and acknowledgement of the child by his/her parent(s). You can obtain a digital/literal birth certificate at the Civil Registry in San Jose.

  • Medical examination results in a sealed envelope (if the physician gives you these results).

  • Original or certified copies of birth certificates for all children of the principal applicant (even if he or she is not accompanying).

Applicants who fall into any category below should bring these additional documents

For family-based visa applicants:

  • The appropriate Form I-864 Affidavit of Support for each financial sponsor along with a photocopy of the sponsor’s IRS transcript or most recent U.S. federal income tax return, and any relevant W-2s. 
  • Proof of your U.S. petitioner’s status and domicile in the United States (photocopy of a U.S. passport, naturalization certificate, or lawful permanent resident card).

  • Evidence of the relationship between the petitioner and visa applicant(such as photographs, letters, or emails).

If you are married:  Your original marriage certificate, and a photocopy.

If you were previously married:  Your original divorce or spouse’s death certificate, and a photocopy.

If you are single (unmarried) and 14 years of age or older: An original single status certificate (certificado de soltería), which can be obtained at the Civil Registry in San Jose. The certificate is only valid for three months.

If you are older than 18 years of age:  The original police certificate from your country of current residence and countries of previous residence. Please note that Costa Rican police certificates are only valid for three (3) months. If you previously submitted a police certificate to NVC, it is more than three months old, and you still live in Costa Rica, you must obtain and bring a more recent police certificate to your visa interview.

For employment-based visa applications: A letter from your U.S. employer dated less than one month ago.

If you have ever been convicted of a crime: Court and criminal records, and a photocopy.

If you have served in any country’s military: Military records, and a photocopy.

If you are adopted:  Adoption papers or custody documents, and a photocopy.

If you are the petitioner’s stepchild: The original marriage certificate of the petitioner and your biological parent, English translation, and a photocopy along with divorce records for any previous marriages of either parent.

back to top

Interview Guidelines

Sending documents to the U.S. Embassy in San Jose

If you need to send us any documents, please DO NOT mail them to us directly. Instead, email support-costarica@ustraveldocs.com and ask for information on courier services. Please do not send any original documents to us; only send photocopies via courier or mail. You may bring original documents (plus a photocopy for the embassy’s files) to your visa interview.

Rescheduling or cancelling your interview

If you are unable to attend your appointment, please inform the Consular Section by email at support-costarica@ustraveldocs.com as soon as possible. There may be a significant wait before the next available appointment, so please attempt to attend the date already assigned. For some family-based and employment preference visa categories, a visa became available within the month you have been scheduled by NVC. DV applicants should be aware that visas are numerically limited and must be issued by September 30 of the program year. There is no guarantee that a visa will still be available on the date of your rescheduled interview. Please carefully consult the Visa Bulletin before you decide to reschedule your interview.

Please note: You need to register your original NVC/KCC appointment online before you can reschedule it. Rescheduling is only possible on a date after your assigned appointment.

Security screening procedures

All visitors to the U.S. Embassy in San Jose must follow certain security procedures. Any visitor who declines to be screened by U.S. Embassy security personnel will be unable to enter the embassy. To avoid delaying your entry and that of those in line behind you, please bring only what is required for your interview. Electronic devices of any type are not allowed, and there are no storage facilities at the embassy.

Accompanying persons

Attorneys are not permitted to accompany clients into the waiting room or to their interview. Only the following persons may accompany a visa applicant to their interview:

  • Interpreter: Applicants may bring ONE interpreter if they do not speak English or Spanish well enough to participate in an interview.
  • Special Needs Visitors: Applicants may bring ONE person to help if they are elderly, disabled, or a minor child.

Immigrant visa fees

If you have not paid all required fees to either the National Visa Center or via the appointment website, please be prepared to pay these fees on the day of your interview. All fees may be paid in U.S. dollars. We accept cash and credit cards only. Please note that if you are found ineligible to receive a visa, the application fee cannot be refunded. A complete list of fees can be found here.

Do not make travel plans outside of Costa Rica

If your visa is approved, we will keep your passport at the embassy while we prepare your immigration packet and print a visa for your passport. We will return your passport to you later via courier services only. If you have to travel within Costa Rica while your passport is still with us, please make sure you have a valid picture ID other than your passport.

back to top

After Your Visa Interview

A consular officer can make a decision on a visa application only after reviewing the formal application and interviewing the applicant. There is no guarantee that you will receive a visa. Do not sell your house, car or property, resign from your job or make non-refundable flight or other travel arrangements until you have received your immigrant visa.

If more information is needed

Sometimes a consular officer is unable to make a decision on a visa application because he/she needs to review additional documents or the case requires further administrative processing. When additional documents are requested, the consular officer will give you a refusal letter that asks you to submit additional documents. The letter will include instructions on how to send those documents to the Embassy.

Administrative processing takes additional time after the interview. Most administrative processing is resolved within 60 days. However, the timing varies based on the circumstances of each case. Before inquiring about the status of administrative processing, please wait at least 60 days after your interview.

What happens after visa approval

Passport, Visa, and Sealed Immigrant Packet – We will place your immigrant visa on a page in your passport. Please review your visa to make sure there are no spelling errors. We will also give you a sealed envelope containing documents that you must give to U.S. immigration authorities when you arrive in the United States for the first time. Do not open this envelope. You must carry it with you; do not put it in your checked luggage. If you receive X-rays during your medical examination, carry those with you and give them to the U.S. immigration authorities.

USCIS Immigrant Fee – All individuals who are issued immigrant visas overseas must pay an Immigrant Fee to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) prior to traveling to the United States. This fee is for processing your residency status and printing your Permanent Resident Card. The only people exempt from paying this fee are: children entering the United States under the Hague Process, returning residents, and people traveling on a K visa.

When You Should Travel – You must enter the United States before the expiration date on your visa, which is usually six months from the date of printing. Your visa cannot be extended and all fees are nonrefundable. The principal applicant must enter before or at the same time as other family members with visas. Unless they are eligible for benefits under the Child Status Protection Act, children who are issued a visa before turning 21 years of age must enter the United States before their 21st birthday to avoid losing their immigrant status.

Getting a Green Card – Your Form I-551 Permanent Resident Card, also known as a green card, will be automatically mailed to the address in the United States that you write in your visa application form. This is a very important document that proves you have permission to reside in the United States. If you plan to travel outside the U.S. before your green card arrives: Please consult USCIS’s and CBP’s websites for rules about what documents you need to re-enter the country. We also recommend you check with the airline to ensure you are in compliance with their rules. Once your card is issued, you should not stay outside of the United States for more than one year. If you do, you will lose your status as a Lawful Permanent Resident.

Children’s Issues – In the United States, children are required to have certain vaccinations before they can enroll in school. We recommend that you bring your child’s complete vaccination records with you to the United States. If your child is adopted, you have full custody as a result of a divorce, or you share custody with another parent, you should bring a copy of all applicable adoption or custodial papers from the authoritative court in your home country. You will need these papers (translated into English) for issues such as school enrollment, medical care, and eventual citizenship.

Information for New Immigrants – Please visit the USCIS web page for helpful information on moving to the United States. You can read their publication “ Welcome to the United States: A Guide for New Immigrants” online.

back to top

Diversity Visa - Additional Information

If you are interviewing for a Diversity Visa (DV), all of the above instructions apply to you. Please schedule and attend a medical examination prior to your visa interview; enroll in the required courier service; and gather the required documents.

Below are additional instructions that apply only to DV applicants.

Bring to your interview

In addition to the documents listed on the Pre-Interview Checklist in this package, DV applicants should also bring the following items to your visa interview:

  • Appointment information printed from the “Entrant Status Check” on the E-DV website.
  • Documents showing that you have either a qualifying high school education OR have two (2) years of qualifying work experience in the last five (5) years immediately prior to application (for the principal applicant only; more information is available online).
  • Diversity Visa Application Fee for each applicant.

Review your DV Lottery entry

Prior to your visa interview, we recommend that you review the data on your initial E-DV entry. On your initial E-DV application, you must have correctly entered your marital status. If you are legally married you must have listed your spouse, even if you are currently separated from him/her (unless your spouse is a U.S. citizen or Lawful Permanent Resident).

Additionally, you must have listed ALL of your living children who are unmarried and under 21 years old. This includes your natural children, your spouse’s children, or children you have formally adopted in accordance with the laws of your country.

Failure to have listed an existing spouse or children at the time of your entry in the Diversity Visa lottery will result in the denial of your visa and visas for your family. Any fees paid to the U.S. government in support of your visa application(s) are nonrefundable. If you failed to include a child who had already been born, or a spouse to whom you were married when you entered the lottery, you should not proceed with the visa application. You can review the eligibility requirements online.

back to top


Last Updated: 5/20/2019

Contact Information

U.S. Embassy San Jose

Calle 98 Via 104,
Pavas, San Jose
Costa Rica