Traveling with US citizen children born in Costa Rica

In an effort to prevent the international abduction of minors, many governments have initiated special procedures for minors at international entry and exit ports.  These procedures include requiring proof of the relationship between adult and the minor and a travel permit from the parents or legal representative.

Persons with dual U.S.-Costa Rican citizenship (or U.S. Citizens with legal residence in Costa Rica) must also comply with exit and entry laws.  This means that every minor U.S. citizen that also has Costa Rican citizenship or residency must comply with the Costa Rican exit and entry requirements even if they normally travel only with their U.S. passport.

Parents of U.S. citizen minors who have obtained Costa Rican citizenship or residency should know that their children can only leave Costa Rican if they present an exit permit (Permiso de Salida) for the Immigration Headquarters (la Dirreccion General de Migracion y Extranjeria).  Both parents must be present at Immigration to sign the exit permit.  (If, because of emergency, the parents are in the U.S. and the child is in Costa Rica, the parents must go to the nearest Costa Rican Consulate).  Costa Rican Immigration closes occasionally during holiday weeks for vacation.  Therefore, if traveling with a minor, you should prepare for your trip well in advance.

The U.S. Embassy cannot exempt your from these requirements.

We recommend that parents of minors with dual nationality (or legal residents of Costa Rica) check with the Costa Rican Embassy (or nearest Consulate) in the U.S. regarding exit and entry requirements BEFORE traveling to Costa Rica.  You can find information about Costa Rican immigration at their website:

For more information visit the following:

1.  The consular section of the Costa Rican Embassy in the U.S.:  

2114 S Street N.W. Washington, DC 20008

Phone: (202) 499 2991

Fax: (202) 265-4795


2.  Any Costa Rican Consulate.  To check the location of the closest Costa Rican Consulate, visit the Costa Rican Foreign Affairs website: