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Arrest Notification: If you are arrested or detained, ask police or prison officials to notify the U. Judicial Process: Due to case backlogs, judicial processes can take years to complete, and civil suits on average take over five years to resolve. Faith-Based Travelers: See the Department of State’s International Religious Freedom Report.LGBTI Travelers: There are no legal restrictions on same-sex sexual relations or the organization of LGBTI events in Costa Rica.Verify requirements with the nearest Costa Rican embassy or consulate and with your airline. Coastal land within 50 meters of the high tide line is open to the public and therefore closed to development.Real Estate: Be extremely cautious when making real estate purchases or investments, consult with reputable legal counsel, and thoroughly review the contract. The next 150 meters inland (“Maritime Zone”) cannot be owned by foreign nationals.Prostitution/Sex Tourism: Although legal, local law forbids promoting or facilitating the prostitution of another person.Local laws regarding human trafficking and child exploitation carry extremely harsh penalties, including large fines and significant jail time.Land in this zone is administered by the local municipality. Property owners are encouraged to maintain security and access controls on any private property.Expropriation of private land by the Costa Rican government without compensation considered adequate or prompt has hurt some U. Organized squatter groups have invaded properties, taking advantage of legal provisions that allow people without land to gain title to unused property.
In more remote areas, basic medical equipment may not be available. Most prescription and over-the-counter medications are available; however, some U. citizens travel regularly to the United States to fill prescriptions that are unavailable locally. Costa Rican immigration authorities reserve the right to prevent departure of those international travelers with unpaid or disputed medical bills. The following diseases are found in Costa Rica: Vaccinations: Proof of yellow fever vaccination must be presented upon arrival for all passengers coming from certain countries in South America or Africa. Medical Tourism: Confirm that: For clinics offering alternative medical treatments , thoroughly research these clinics and their providers.
This includes unsettled injury claims from vehicular accidents and unpaid medical bills U. citizens owing child support may be required to pay 13 months of support in advance before being allowed to leave Costa Rica. Department of State is unaware of any HIV/AIDS entry restrictions for visitors to or foreign residents of Costa Rica. Check with airlines regarding their rebooking policies.
Documentation Requirements: Carry copies of identification and immigration status at all times. citizens until their identity and immigration status have been verified. Find information on dual nationality, prevention of international child abduction, and Customs Information on our websites. To file police reports: Contact the Investigative Police Unit (Organismo de Investigación Judicial , OIJ) at 800-800-3000.
Petty theft is the most common crime targeting tourists. Students and Volunteers: Violent assaults, rapes, and deaths have occurred involving students and volunteers. Local authorities are responsible for investigating and prosecuting crimes that occur in Costa Rica. Beach Conditions: Many beaches have dangerous currents or rip tides with neither lifeguards nor warning signs.
Be mindful of your surroundings and keep valuables out of sight in cars. Ensure that your organization provides safety and security information on the area where you will stay. Exercise extreme caution when swimming in the ocean.
If you violate local laws, even unknowingly, you may be expelled, arrested, or imprisoned. Alcohol/Drugs: Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs could land you immediately in jail.