Nonimmigrant Visas

All nonimmigrant visa application fee payments (also known as the MRV fee) made on or after October 1, 2022, are valid for 365 days from the date a receipt is issued for payment of the MRV fee. Applicants must schedule an interview appointment or submit an interview waiver application during this 365-day period. Please note applicants must only schedule their interview or submit their waiver application within the 365-day period. There is no requirement the interview must occur during the 365-day period. All receipts for payment of MRV fees issued before October 1, 2022, were extended until September 30, 2023, and remain valid until this date.

The Consular Section of the U.S. Embassy in San Jose is responsible for providing visa services to those seeking to enter the United States for a temporary period and for those wishing to take up indefinite or permanent residence in the United States.

Please visit our Global Support Services (GSS) website for complete information on applying for a nonimmigrant U.S. visa, including a directory of nonimmigrant visa categories. Certain travelers may also qualify for an:

To learn more about the Summer Work Travel program please visit this link.

To contact a customer service representative, please visit the GSS Contact Us page for full information or use contact information below:

  • Email: To reach a customer service representative via email, please write to
  • Telephone: Please contact a customer service representative using one of these telephone numbers:
    • Callers in Costa Rica: Call +506-4000-1976.
    • Callers in the United States: Call 1 703-745-5475.

    Skype: To use Skype to speak to a customer service representative during regular hours of operation, add a new contact to your Skype account with the Skype name ustraveldocs_centralamerica.

Items not permitted

For security reasons, the following items are not permitted on Embassy grounds. This list is not exhaustive and other items may be prohibited at the discretion of security staff.

  • Cellular phones
  • Bags, luggage, backpacks, purses
  • Any type of electronic devices (including laptops, cellphones, iPads, iPods, MP3 players, cameras, memory sticks, CDs, smart watches, etc.)
  • Weapons of any kind, explosive materials, tools of any size
  • Drinks, food
  • Strollers

The U.S. Embassy does not have a storage facility for any other items. We strongly recommend all visitors to the Embassy make alternate arrangements for storage of any of the above personal effects before arrival.

Failure to abide by security requirements can result in significant delays or even a missed appointment. Please ensure you have a hard copy of your appointment confirmation alongside any supporting documentation required for your appointment.

Due to security and space limitations, there is no information window for routine walk-in visitors at the Embassy. Only clients with scheduled appointments will be admitted. U.S. citizens with emergencies are admitted on a case-by-case basis — advance notice to is appreciated.

The Embassy does not provide applicant parking. Vehicles that drop applicants at the Embassy for their appointments must quickly depart. No other vehicle stopping, standing, idling, waiting, or holding is allowed.