U.S. Visas

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U.S. Visa: Reciprocity and Civil Documents by Country

Costa Rica

Costa Rica
Republic of Costa Rica

Reciprocity Schedule

Select a visa category below to find the visa issuance fee, number of entries, and validity period for visas issued to applicants from this country*/area of authority.

Explanation of Terms

Visa Classification: The type of nonimmigrant visa you are applying for.

Fee: The reciprocity fee, also known as the visa issuance fee, you must pay. This fee is in addition to the nonimmigrant visa application fee (MRV fee).

Number of Entries: The number of times you may seek entry into the United States with that visa. "M" means multiple times. If there is a number, such as "One", you may apply for entry one time with that visa.

Validity Period: This generally means the visa is valid, or can be used, from the date it is issued until the date it expires, for travel with that visa. If your Validity Period is 60 months, your visa will be valid for 60 months from the date it is issued.

Visa Classifications
A
B
C
D
E
F
G
H
I
J
K
L
M
N
O
P
Q
R
S
T
U
V
 
Visa
Classification
Fee Number
of Entries
Validity
Period
A-1 None Multiple 48 Months
A-2 None Multiple 48 Months
A-3 1 None Multiple 12 Months
B-1 None Multiple 120 Months
B-2 None Multiple 120 Months
B-1/B-2 None Multiple 120 Months
C-1 None Multiple 60 Months
C-1/D None Multiple 60 Months
C-2 None Multiple 12 Months
C-3 None Multiple 60 Months
CW-1 11 None Multiple 12 Months
CW-2 11 None Multiple 12 Months
D None Multiple 60 Months
E-1 2 None Multiple 60 Months
E-2 2 None Multiple 60 Months
E-2C 12 None Multiple 24 Months
F-1 None Multiple 60 Months
F-2 None Multiple 60 Months
G-1 None Multiple 48 Months
G-2 None Multiple 48 Months
G-3 None Multiple 48 Months
G-4 None Multiple 48 Months
G-5 1 None Multiple 12 Months
H-1B None Multiple 60 Months 3
H-1C None Multiple 60 Months 3
H-2A None Multiple 60 Months 3
H-2B None Multiple 60 Months 3
H-2R None Multiple 60 Months 3
H-3 None Multiple 60 Months 3
H-4 None Multiple 60 Months 3
I None Multiple 60 Months
J-1 4 None Multiple 60 Months
J-2 4 None Multiple 60 Months
K-1 None One 6 Months
K-2 None One 6 Months
K-3 None Multiple 24 Months
K-4 None Multiple 24 Months
L-1 None Multiple 60 Months
L-2 None Multiple 60 Months
M-1 None Multiple 60 Months
M-2 None Multiple 60 Months
N-8 None Multiple 48 Months
N-9 None Multiple 48 Months
NATO 1-7 N/A N/A N/A
O-1 None Multiple 60 Months 3
O-2 None Multiple 60 Months 3
O-3 None Multiple 60 Months 3
P-1 None Multiple 60 Months 3
P-2 None Multiple 60 Months 3
P-3 None Multiple 60 Months 3
P-4 None Multiple 60 Months 3
Q-1 6 None Multiple 15 Months 3
R-1 None Multiple 60 Months
R-2 None Multiple 60 Months
S-5 7 None One 1 Month
S-6 7 None One 1 Month
S-7 7 None One 1 Month
T-1 9 N/A N/A N/A
T-2 None One 6 Months
T-3 None One 6 Months
T-4 None One 6 Months
T-5 None One 6 Months
T-6 None One 6 Months
TD 5 N/A N/A N/A
U-1 None Multiple 48 Months
U-2 None Multiple 48 Months
U-3 None Multiple 48 Months
U-4 None Multiple 48 Months
U-5 None Multiple 48 Months
V-1 None Multiple 120 Months
V-2 None Multiple 120 Months 8
V-3 None Multiple 120 Months 8
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Country Specific Footnotes

Although care has been taken to ensure the accuracy, completeness and reliability of the information provided, please contact the U.S. Embassy or Consulate where you plan to apply if you believe this information is in error or if you have further questions.

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Visa Category Footnotes
  1. The validity of A-3, G-5, and NATO 7 visas may not exceed the validity of the visa issued to the person who is employing the applicant. The "employer" would have one of the following visa classifications:

    • A-1
    • A-2
    • G-1 through G-4
    • NATO 1 through NATO 6

  2. An E-1 and E-2 visa may be issued only to a principal alien who is a national of a country having a treaty, or its equivalent, with the United States. E-1 and E-2 visas may not be issued to a principal alien if he/she is a stateless resident. The spouse and children of an E-1 or E-2 principal alien are accorded derivative E-1 or E-2 status following the reciprocity schedule, including any reciprocity fees, of the principle alien’s country of nationality.  

    Example: John Doe is a national of the country of Z that has an E-1/E-2 treaty with the U.S. His wife and child are nationals of the country of Y which has no treaty with the U.S. The wife and child would, therefore, be entitled to derivative status and receive the same reciprocity as Mr. Doe, the principal visa holder.  

  3. The validity of H-1 through H-3, O-1 and O-2, P-1 through P-3, and Q visas may not exceed the period of validity of the approved petition or the number of months shown, whichever is less.

    Under 8 CFR §214.2, H-2A and H-2B petitions may generally only be approved for nationals of countries that the Secretary of Homeland Security has designated as participating countries. The current list of eligible countries is available on USCIS's website for both H-2A and H-2B visas. Nationals of countries not on this list may be the beneficiary of an approved H-2A or H2-B petition in limited circumstances at the discretion of the Department of Homeland Security if specifically named on the petition.  

    Derivative H-4, L-2, O-3, and P-4 visas, issued to accompanying or following-to-join spouses and children, may not exceed the validity of the visa issued to the principal alien.

  4. There is no reciprocity fee for the issuance of a J visa if the alien is a United States Government grantee or a participant in an exchange program sponsored by the United States Government.

    Also, there is no reciprocity fee for visa issuance to an accompanying or following-to-join spouse or child (J-2) of an exchange visitor grantee or participant.

    In addition, an applicant is eligible for an exemption from the MRV fee if he or she is participating in a State Department, USAID, or other federally funded educational and cultural exchange program (program serial numbers G-1, G-2, G-3 and G-7).

    However, all other applicants with U.S. Government sponsorships, including other J-visa applicants, are subject to the MRV processing fee.

  5. Under the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), Canadian and Mexican nationals coming to engage in certain types of professional employment in the United States may be admitted in a special nonimmigrant category known as the "trade NAFTA" or "TN" category. Their dependents (spouse and children) accompanying or following to join them may be admitted in the "trade dependent" or "TD" category whether or not they possess Canadian or Mexican nationality. Except as noted below, the number of entries, fees and validity for non-Canadian or non-Mexican family members of a TN status holder seeking TD visas should be based on the reciprocity schedule of the TN principal alien.

    Canadian Nationals

    Since Canadian nationals generally are exempt from visa requirement, a Canadian "TN' or "TD" alien does not require a visa to enter the United States. However, the non-Canadian national dependent of a Canadian "TN", unless otherwise exempt from the visa requirement, must obtain a "TD" visa before attempting to enter the United States. The standard reciprocity fee and validity period for all non-Canadian "TD"s is no fee, issued for multiple entries for a period of 36 months, or for the duration of the principal alien's visa and/or authorized period of stay, whichever is less. See 'NOTE' under Canadian reciprocity schedule regarding applicants of Iranian, Iraqi or Libyan nationality.

    Mexican Nationals

    Mexican nationals are not visa-exempt. Therefore, all Mexican "TN"s and both Mexican and non-Mexican national "TD"s accompanying or following to join them who are not otherwise exempt from the visa requirement (e.g., the Canadian spouse of a Mexican national "TN") must obtain nonimmigrant visas.

    Applicants of Iranian, Iraqi or Libyan nationality, who have a permanent resident or refugee status in Canada/Mexico, may not be accorded Canadian/Mexican reciprocity, even when applying in Canada/Mexico. The reciprocity fee and period for "TD" applicants from Libya is $10.00 for one entry over a period of 3 months. The Iranian and Iraqi "TD" is no fee with one entry over a period of 3 months.

  6. Q-2 (principal) and Q-3 (dependent) visa categories are in existence as a result of the 'Irish Peace Process Cultural and Training Program Act of 1998'. However, because the Department anticipates that virtually all applicants for this special program will be either Irish or U.K. nationals, the Q-2 and Q-3 categories have been placed only in the reciprocity schedules for those two countries. Q-2 and Q-3 visas are available only at the Embassy in Dublin and the Consulate General in Belfast.

  7. No S visa may be issued without first obtaining the Department's authorization.

  8. V-2 and V-3 status is limited to persons who have not yet attained their 21st birthday. Accordingly, the period of validity of a V-2 or V-3 visa must be limited to expire on or before the applicant's twenty-first birthday.

  9. Posts may not issue a T-1 visa. A T-1 applicant must be physically present in the United States, American Samoa, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands or a U.S. port of entry, where he/she will apply for an adjustment of status to that of a T-1. The following dependents of a T-1 visa holder, however, may be issued a T visa at a U.S. consular office abroad:

    • T-2 (spouse)
    • T-3 (child)
    • T-4 (parent)
  10. The validity of NATO-5 visas may not exceed the period of validity of the employment contract or 12 months, whichever is less.

  11. The validity of CW-1 and CW-2 visas shall not exceed the maximum initial period of admission allowed by DHS (12 months) or the duration of the transition period ending December 31, 2014, whichever is shortest.

  12. The validity of E-2C visas shall not exceed the maximum initial period of admission allowed by DHS (24 months) or the duration of the transition period ending December 31, 2014, whichever is shortest.

 

 

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General Documents

General Document Information: There is no general information.

Birth, Death, Burial Certificates

Birth Certificates

Available

Fees:  There may be a fee for this service.

Document Name:  Birth Certificate

Issuing Authority: Registro Civil

Special Seal(s) / Color / Format: The documents must have stamps from the Civil Registry.

Issuing Authority Personnel Title:  Various levels of public servants can sign the document, however, the minimum level for birth certificates is “Certificador/a”.

Registration Criteria: There are no registration criteria

Procedure for Obtaining: Applicants must go in person to the Civil Registry to request a birth certificate.

Certified Copies Available: Certified copies are available.

Alternate Documents:  Births prior to January 01, 1888 may be evidenced by a baptismal certificate (Fe de Bautismo) issued by an ecclesiastical authority of the Roman Catholic Church.

Exceptions: If a birth subsequent to that date is found not to be recorded in the Civil Registry, it may usually be recorded therein on the basis of a certification from the civil or ecclesiastical authorities of the place of birth.

This certificate, consisting of a full copy of the entry in the registry, is typed on fiscal paper, headed by the name and title of the issuing official, and bears a revenue stamp.  Also valid is a certified copy of the microfilmed entry in the Civil Registry, as long as the Civil Registrar's official stamp is placed on the back.

Comments:  Birth records are routinely changed in the case of adoptions to read in the names of the adoptive parents. A birth certificate of an adopted child cannot be distinguished from that of a natural child.

A literal birth certificate (certificado de nacimiento 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 literal birth certificate shows the registration of the date of the birth, change of names, and acknowledgement of the child by his/her parent(s). The literal birth certificate is issued by the Civil Registry in San Jose. At the time they request this document, applicants must inform to the Civil Registry that they require the literal birth certificate.

 

Death Certificates

Available

Fees: A fee may be charged for this service.

Document Name:  Death Certificate

Issuing Authority: Registro Civil

Issuing Authority Personnel Title:  Various levels of public servants can sign the document, however, the minimum level for birth certificates is “Certificador/a”.

Registration Criteria: There are no registration criteria

Procedure for Obtaining: Applicants needing copies of death certificates must go in person to the Civil Registry to request the document.

Certified Copies Available: Certified copies are available.

Alternate Documents: Abbreviated forms of death certificates (Constancia de Defuncion) are also available.

Exceptions: None

Comments: None

Marriage, Divorce Certificates

Marriage Certificates

Available

Fees: A fee may be charged for this service.

Document Name:  Marriage Certificate

Issuing Authority: Registro Civil

Special Seal(s) / Color / Format: The documents must have stamps from the Civil Registry.

Issuing Authority Personnel Title: Various levels of public servants can sign the document, however, the minimum level for birth certificates is “Certificador/a”.

Registration Criteria: There are no registration criteria

Procedure for Obtaining:  Applicants must go in person to the Civil Registry to request their  marriage certificate

Certified Copies Available: Certified copies are available.

Alternate Documents: There are no alternate documents.

Exceptions:  None

Comments: The document “Declaración de Matrimonio”, as well as marriage documents from a notary are not acceptable.

 

Divorce Certificates

Available

Fees: A fee may be charged for this service.

Document Name:  Divorce Certificate

Issuing Authority: Registro Civil

Special Seal(s) / Color / Format: The documents must have the stamps from the Civil Registry.

Issuing Authority Personnel Title: Various levels of public servants can sign the document, however, the minimum level for birth certificates is “Certificador/a”.

Registration Criteria: There are no registration criteria

Procedure for Obtaining:  Applicants must go in person to the Civil Registry to request the divorce certificate.

Certified Copies Available: Certified copies are available.

Alternate Documents: There are no alternate documents.

Exceptions: None

Comments: Please note that divorce decrees from the Juzgado (court) or from a notary are not acceptable.

Adoption Certificates

Available

Fees:  A fee may be charged for this service.

Document Name:  Adoption Decree

Issuing Authority: Judicial, Family Court

Special Seal(s) / Color / Format: The adoption decree must have the stamp of the Court on each page of the document.

Issuing Authority Personnel Title: There is no issuing authority personnel title.

Registration Criteria: There are no registration criteria

Procedure for Obtaining:  Applicants must go in person to the Court to request the adoption decree.

Certified Copies Available: Certified copies are available.

Alternate Documents: There are no alternate documents.

Exceptions: None

Comments: None

Identity Card

National ID Cards

Available

Fees:  A fee may be charged for this service.

Document Name:  Cedula (for nationals); Dimex (for third country nationals)

Issuing Authority: Registro Civil

Special Seal(s) / Color / Format: There is no special seal(s)/color/format

Issuing Authority Personnel Title: There is no issuing authority personnel title.

Registration Criteria: There are no registration criteria

Procedure for Obtaining:  Applicants must go in person to the Civil Registry to request their identity card.

Certified Copies Available: Certified copies are not available.

Alternate Documents: Foreigners can temporarily use their valid passport as a valid identification document.

Exceptions: None

Comments: Temporary residents will be issued a Dimex from the General Directorate of Migration and Immigration. The process must be filed in person with the Migration central offices.

Police, Court, Prison Records

Police Certificates

Available

Fees:  A fee may be charged for this service.

Document Name:  Certificado de antecedentes penales para trámites internacionales

Issuing Authority: Judicial Registry in San José

Special Seal(s) / Color / Format:  The document must have the raised seal from the Judicial Registry.

Issuing Authority Personnel Title: There is no issuing authority personnel title.

Registration Criteria: The Costa Rican police certificate is issued to applicants who are 18 years of age or older.

Procedure for Obtaining:  The document may only be requested by the applicant. The address of the Judicial Registry is the following: Edificio Anexo A, Poder Judicial, primer piso, avenida 6, calle 19, costado norte del OIJ. Days and hours of operation: Monday through Friday from 7:30a.m. to 12:00p.m. and from 1:00p.m. to 4:30p.m.

Certified Copies Available:  Certified copies are available.

Alternate Documents: There are no alternate documents.

Exceptions:  None

Comments:  The Costa Rican police certificate will show formal criminal convictions, but will not show current investigations or other encounters with law enforcement.  Individuals may request records from the Ministerio de Seguridad for history on police interactions, and information from the Ministerio de Justicia y Paz for records from the prison system.  There are no established standard procedures to obtain certification or copies; it is subject to the Ministerial Authority placed by the current government.  The “Certificacion de Antecedentes” is generally issued the same day it is requested and has a validity of three months.  Applicants residing abroad should contact the nearest Costa Rican Consulate to request a police certificate.

 

Court/Prison Records

Please refer to the Police Certificates section for more information.

Military Records

Unavailable

Passports & Other Travel Documents

Types Available (Regular, Diplomatic, Official, etc.):  Costa Rica has regular, diplomatic, and official passports available.

Fees:  

  • Regular: $56 USD plus 250 Colones (subject to change without notice)
  • Diplomatic: There may be a fee for this service.
  • Official: There may be a fee for this service.

Document Name:  Pasaporte

Issuing Government Authority: General Directorate of Migration and Immigration (DGME)

Procedure for Obtaining: 

  • Regular passports: In person with the DGME; must first make appointment online at: migracion.go.cr
  • Diplomatic: There is no procedure for obtaining
  • Official: There is no procedure for obtaining

Exceptions: None

Comments: None

Other Documents Available:  None

Other Records

Legitimation Certificates

Available from the Civil Registry. A fee may be charged for this service.

Records regarding "Recognition."

Available from the Civil Registry. A fee may be charged for this service. Under Costa Rican law, "recognition" of a natural child, while not constituting legitimation, confers most rights of legitimation, such as name, support, and inheritance. 

Certificate of Naturalization

Certificates showing that an individual has opted for Costa Rican citizenship and certificates of naturalization (Carta de Naturalizacion) are available from Registro Civil, Seccion de Opciones y Naturalizaciones. There may be a fee for this service. Replacement naturalization certificates cannot be obtained. If it is lost, a certificate will be issued verifying the naturalization. There may be a fee for this service.
Visa Issuing Posts

Post Title: San Jose, Costa Rica (Embassy)

Address:

Consular Section
Unit 2501
APO AA 34020

Visa Services:  All visa categories for Costa Rica

Comments / Additional Information: None

Visa Services

All visa categories for all of Costa Rica.

Additional Information for Reciprocity

Although care has been taken to ensure the accuracy, completeness and reliability of the information provided, please contact the U.S. Embassy or Consulate where you plan to apply if you believe this information is in error or if you have further questions.