Home Costa Rica Forum Costa Rica Guide Moving to Costa Rica Real Estate Healthcare in Costa Rica
Costa Rica
Resources
City Guides
JoinSign In
Cigna International Health Insurance

Costa Rica Visa & Residency > Costa Rica Immigration FAQ > Do I need a return ticket?

Do I need a return ticket?

By Betsy Burlingame

Last updated on: Feb 05, 2020

One member asked, "We are planning to move to Costa Rica in October of this year. We’ve been reading about entering the country, however we’ve read where it says you need a return ticket. Does this have to do with visas or other documentation? Can you apply for residency before you actually move there?"

"Yes, a return flight is required by the airlines. Without one, chances are that you will not be allowed to board the plane. The return flight must be for less than 90 days. You can apply for residency before you actually move but it won't help you to get around this rule and you can expect your application to take up to a year or even more," said one expat.

"You can still do this, but when flying in, you need a return flight or at least a ticket out within 90 days...although traveling to Panama has more 'rules and requirements' ' than going to Nicaragua. Until you are a legal resident with a cedula 'in hand' , and you wish to continue driving, you are required to renew your 'drivers license, every 90 days, so you must exit the country," added another member.

"It is my understanding that although you need a return ticket, if you apply ahead of being here, or even not, once you have your "Expediente" which is proof of application for residency, you do NOT have to take border runs. We didn't. And received our cedula 8-1/2 months later. I did end up using my return ticket as had some banking issues that could not be solved from here. But my husband never did. Also, a one way ticket usually costs more than a round trip. Our travel agent recommended as it was about 3 times more otherwise. But like said, you need round trip until you have cedula. But some people we know bought a returnable round trip ticket which is really expensive, but then cancelled the return ticket and were refunded. But takes a month or so to get it," recounted one member.

Expats living in Costa Rica interested in expat health insurance should take a minute to get a quote from our trusted expat health insurance partner, CIGNA. Get a Quote

Expats living in Costa Rica interested in expat health insurance should take a minute to get a quote from our trusted expat health insurance partner, CIGNA.

Join our Costa Rica Expat Forum

Visit our Costa Rica Forum and talk with other expats who can offer you insight and tips about living in Costa Rica.

Read Next

10-Tips-for-Living-in-Costa-Rica10 Tips for Living in Costa Rica

Should you wear jeans and a t-shirt in San Jose? Did you know that one place may have twice the rain and be windy compared to another place 10km away? Read our 10 Tips for Living in Costa Rica for insights from expats who have been there and done that.

Best-Places-to-Live-in-Costa-Rica7 Best Places to Live in Costa Rica

Costa Rica is a relatively safe, eco-friendly, expat-friendly destination with gorgeous beaches and friendly locals. Many expats say that housing and food prices in Costa Rica are high. We've gathered information submitted by expats about Tamarindo, Dominical, Ojochal, Atenas, Escazu, Grecia and others popular towns.

5-Tips-For-Living-in-San-Jose,-Costa-Rica5 Tips For Living in San Jose, Costa Rica

The majority of expats in San Jose, actually choose to live not in the city, but outside of it. There are great options in the surrounding area, including places that are closer to the coast than San Jose.

8-Things-to-Know-Before-Moving-to-Costa-RicaMoving to Costa Rica: 8 Things to Know Before Moving to Costa Rica

Moving to Costa Rica has become more popular among expats. Making this choice requires a lot of research to ensure the expat experience you hope for will be realized. Expats that live there stress that it should start with a trip there before any major decisions are made.

About the Author

Betsy Burlingame Betsy Burlingame is the Founder of Expat Exchange. She launched Expat Exchange in 1997 as her Master's thesis project at NYU. Some of Betsy's more popular articles include 6 Best Places to Live in Costa Rica, 12 Things to Know Before Moving to The Dominican Republic and 7 Tips for Obtaining Residence in Italy. Betsy loves to travel and spend time with her family. Connect with Betsy on LinkedIn.

Cigna International Health Insurance

Write a Comment about this Article

Sign In to post a comment.
addacomment

Updated On: Feb 05, 2020

First Published: Feb 05, 2020

Cigna Expat Health InsuranceExpatriate Health Insurance

Get a quote for expat health insurance in Costa Rica from our partner, Cigna Global Health.
Get a Quote

Costa-Rica-ResidencyCosta Rica Residency

Applying for residency in Costa Rica can be a daunting process. Which type of residency is right for me? Do I need an attorney? Do I have to leave the country every 90 days? What is a cedula? This article answers these and many other questions.

Applying for residency in Costa Rica can be a daunting process. Which type of residency is right for me? Do I need an attorney? Do I have to leave the country every 90 days? What is a cedula? This...

8-Things-to-Know-Before-Moving-to-Costa-RicaMoving to Costa Rica: 8 Things to Know Before Moving to Costa Rica

Moving to Costa Rica has become more popular among expats. Making this choice requires a lot of research to ensure the expat experience you hope for will be realized. Expats that live there stress that it should start with a trip there before any major decisions are made.

Moving to Costa Rica has become more popular among expats. Making this choice requires a lot of research to ensure the expat experience you hope for will be realized. Expats that live there stress t...

Cost-of-Living-in-Costa-RicaCost of Living in Costa Rica

If you're moving to Costa Rica, you'll want to understand the cost of living in Costa Rica. Lifestyle, location and health insurance are part of the formula. Expats talk about real estate prices, rents, international school tuition, travel expenses and the fun stuff - travel, dining out and more.

If you're moving to Costa Rica, you'll want to understand the cost of living in Costa Rica. Lifestyle, location and health insurance are part of the formula. Expats talk about real estate prices, re...

Moving-To-Costa-RicaExpats Talk about What it's Like Moving to Costa Rica

Already living abroad? Write a report about moving overseas to help people preparing to move abroad.

13-Best-Places-for-Families-to-Live-in-Costa-Rica13 Best Places for Families to Live in Costa Rica

Expats in Costa Rica talk about the best places for families to live in Costa Rica. From the cool climate of the Central Valley to the beautiful beach towns in Gaunacaste and Costa Ballena, proximity to international and bilingual schools, safety and lifestyle are all taken into consideration.

Expats in Costa Rica talk about the best places for families to live in Costa Rica. From the cool climate of the Central Valley to the beautiful beach towns in Gaunacaste and Costa Ballena, proximity...

Best-Places-to-Live-in-Costa-Rica7 Best Places to Live in Costa Rica

Costa Rica is a relatively safe, eco-friendly, expat-friendly destination with gorgeous beaches and friendly locals. Many expats say that housing and food prices in Costa Rica are high. We've gathered information submitted by expats about Tamarindo, Dominical, Ojochal, Atenas, Escazu, Grecia and others popular towns.

Costa Rica is a relatively safe, eco-friendly, expat-friendly destination with gorgeous beaches and friendly locals. Many expats say that housing and food prices in Costa Rica are high. We've gathere...

Costa Rica Guide
Other Links
Our Story Our Team Contact Us Submit an Article Advertising Travel Warnings

Copyright 1997-2020 Burlingame Interactive, Inc.

Privacy Policy Legal