Travel to Costa Rica for 4-6 months research stay


Good day!

My name is Monday Usman, a Nigerian and a PhD student. I have been selected for a CLIFF-GRADS Scholarship to travel to University of Costa Rica for 4-6 months research stay.

There is no Embassy of Costa Rica in Nigeria, please advise me on the easiest way to obtain visa.


If you enter Costa Rica as a "tourist" on a valid passport, you will automatically be given a 90-day visa by Costa Rican Immigration at the airport. There is no cost or delay. The Immigration officer at the airport will stamp your passport which you should then carry all the time to prove that you are legally in the country.

At the end of those first 90 days, you have a couple of options. You can take the least expensive trip outside Costa Rica (typically by bus) to either Nicaragua or Panama, then turn right around and re-enter Costa Rica (same day) and be given another 90-day tourist visa. This is done all the time.

Or, you could simply ignore the expiration of your 90-day tourist visa and stay until your research mission is completed. While you would run some risk of being apprehended by Costa Rican Customs police, that risk is probably very small. Were you to be apprehended, however, you would probably be deported immediately with no opportunity to collect your personal belongings, finish your research, etc.

You might also pose this question to your sponsor at the University of Costa Rica. They have surely faced this issue before and may have another alternative that would suit your needs better.

There is no need to involve either the Costa Rican or the Nigerian diplomatic bureaucracies in what you need to accomplish.

A word of warning, the 90 days is not guaranteed!  I have seen stamps of seven days.

Hello everyone and welcome on board @ Monday !

Please note that I have created a new thread from your post on the Costa Rica forum so that you may better interact with members.

Have you contacted your university in regards to the above ?

All the best


A word of warning, the 90 days is not guaranteed! I have seen stamps of seven days.

You're absolutely correct, but I think I understand that granting shorter visas is always left to serial border crossers (can you say, "perpetual tourists"?). And even they get a lot of consideration.

NOTE: I am NOT advocating perpetual tourism but only reflecting on the fact that it does exist.

Hi Monday!

I am an immigration lawyer in Canada.  Many foreign nationals require visas to Costa Rica, this is a legal requirement that is not in place for Canadians, Americans, many Europeans, etc.   A "visa" is different from the visitor status one acquires upon one's entry into a country.

Please obtain your visa to Costa Rica prior to entering Costa Rica, then once you enter with your visa, you will be issued a certain amount of time to remain in Costa Rica, typically 90 days.

This requirement is in place for citizens of Nigerians seeking entry into Canada, as well.   Please check which Costa Rican embassy or consulate is designated for Nigerians.  For Canada, for instance, Mexico is responsible for issuing visas to citizens of Costa Rica.

Hope this helps!!


Hi Adele,

I have friend, born in Peru, resident of Costa Rica and has a 10-year USA visa. She now wants a Canada 10-year visa. Speaks perfect English. I looked up the paperwork for a 10-year Canada visa and does not look like it will be easy for her to do herself. Can you recommend someone that can help her with the required paperwork?

My law firm is a full-service law firm, dedicated to representing people wishing to obtain legal status as permanent residents, students, foreign workers, investors, refugees, etc. in Canada.

I do not want to be seen as advertising on this site, so I will ask that you or her please message me directly and I will be happy to help or a lawyer from my firm will.