What is the change? FBI clearance is now required for Americans staying in Costa Rica for more than six months.

What does the change mean? American nationals must acquire an FBI clearance certificate before applying for a visa that allows them to stay more than six months in Costa Rica.

  • Implementation timeframe: Immediately.
  • Visas/permits affected: Stays longer than six months.
  • Who is affected: American nationals.
  • Impact on processing times: FBI clearance requires five to six weeks to process.
  • Business impact: No business impact.
  • Next steps: Make sure to obtain FBI clearance in advance for American employees required to travel to Costa Rica.

Background: Previously, American nationals were only required to submit police clearance certificates for stays longer than six months. Police clearance certificates do not require as long to process.

BAL analysis: Clients are advised to obtain FBI clearance in advance for American nationals who may be assigned to Costa Rica.

This alert has been provided by the BAL Global Practice group and our network provider located in Costa Rica. For additional information, please contact

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