I am planning a semester stay in Costa Rica with my family for language school and volunteer work. I think I'm fairly informed about the residency statuses and the mechanics of the 90-day tourist visa (extended by the 72-hour shuffle to Nicaragua or Panama), and I was hoping to get student visas for my wife and myself so that we could avoid the logistic hassle of that shuffle.

However, what I haven't yet been able to find a clear answer about is whether all my children also need student visas, or if a parent's visa is good enough for them to enter. What will be required for my children aside from valid passports, if anything?

My family and I are US citizens.

  • What is your country of citizenship? Jun 27, 2014 at 5:32
  • 1
    Haha. So you work at SE. Your profile suggests that you are a US citizen. I'll just add that in. Jun 27, 2014 at 5:33

1 Answer 1


I suppose I could have done this before posting, but maybe the answer here will be helpful to someone else. I called the consulate of Costa Rica in Houston, Tx and asked this question. Their answer was that "yes, they have to all have visas or else they would be illegal."

I got a little chuckle out of the phrase, "they would be illegal", but there it is: children also have to have visas for entry.

  • I have been researching this all this afternoon, all other kinds of temporary residence visas automatically include all dependents. I think this is the only residence visa excepted from this... Jun 27, 2014 at 16:56
  • I accept as a distinct possibility that the lady who I was speaking with at the consulate and I weren't communicating very well. I plan to go, and if reality turns out differently than what I've presented here, I'll update. Jun 27, 2014 at 17:17

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