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Do I require a visa to enter the country if I have been granted Costa Rican citizenship?

Certain foreigners require a visa to enter Costa Rica. For example, people from Nicaragua and China need to process their visa. However, if the foreigner has applied for naturalization and he/she is notified of the approval of their application while they are outside of Costa Rica: do they need to process a visa? In this blog we analyze this issue.

Our Constitutional Court has ruled that it is irrational and disproportionate to require a visa for a foreigner who intends to enter the country for the sole purpose of obtaining his/her naturalization letter and been officially sworn in as Costa Rican.

In judgment 16438-2021, the Chamber heard the case of a Chinese citizen who was notified, while he was abroad, that his naturalization application had been granted. The Supreme Electoral Tribunal had summoned him to obtain his letter and swear in as Costa Rican. His lawyer, present in Costa Rica, tried to process the visa application with the Immigration Authorities. However, his request was summarily dismissed. The lawyer filed an habeas corpus before the Constitutional Chamber, which upheld the habeas corpus and ordered that the naturalized person be allowed to enter immediately.

At CELIG we provide specialized services to the LGBTQI+ community. If you want more information or make an appointment with us, call us at 2253-0256 or write to us at

We are located in San José, Barrio Escalante.

M.Sc. Ana Isabel Sibaja Rojas

CELIG – Center for Equal Litigation