by: Robelyn M. Yambao
Welcome to my personal website. Today, I am going to share how you can get your visa in Nicaragua as a Filipino. I've been to Nicaragua few times so I already got like 6 visa stamps in my passport. Yesterday, we went to cross the border of Costa Rica-Nicaragua for stamping or renewal of our stay here in Costa Rica. There are two ways to renew our stamp: Apply for the extension in San Jose Immigration office, they need you to submit a lot of papers and you can get only 30 days of extension or Exit the country by land going to Panama or Nicaragua. this will be the easiest way to do for me because I don't like preparing paper works plus it can take out a lot of my time. Besides, you can get a 90-day stamping in exiting the country. Now, being a Filipino is different story since I will need a visa to enter Nicaragua or Panama compared with other tourists that don't need a visa to enter those countries. I didn't try Panama yet because when I research online about getting a visa to enter the country, they require a lot of paper works for me to submit before I can get a visa and again I don't like it. So, I preferred to go to Nicaragua because I can get a visa without paper works.
How can you get a visa upon arrival?
There are two borders to choose when entering Nicaragua from Costa Rica. I tried 3 times in Penas Blancas 5 years ago and that time there was no other border yet. The second border was newly opened 3 years ago and this is located at Las Tablillas, Los Chiles.
Yesterday, we went to Las Tablillas border. This is still part of Alajuela province and since we are staying in Palmares, this route is only 3 hours drive away from San Ramon.
This border is also not crowded like Penas Blancas. We like this border better because less hassle and we can come back to Costa Rica after half an hour. It took us one hour only for the processing in both sides. At Nicaragua border, they required foreigners to wait at least 20 minutes before they go to departure stamping area to go back to Costa Rica. So, the processing time depends on the number of travelers in the line up.
Visa at Penas Blancas
In my first experience way back 2014, that was my first ever experience, I gave my passport to the officer at the window and they asked personal questions like how long am gonna stay in Nicaragua, where am gonna stay and what am gonna do. Then, the officer told me to xerox my front page of my passport and the stamp that shows the date of my arrival in Costa Rica. After that, since I was the only one who needs visa they told me to stay aside and wait for awhile. While they were preparing my visa they continued entertaining the rest of the travelers in line who were mostly not required of a visa to enter their country. I paid $50 when they gave my visa stamp. So, when I visited the next renewal of my stay in Costa Rica, I was prepared already by taking with me a xerox copy of my passport before facing the officer. They have a small building for xerox copier on the right side as soon as you enter the Nicaraguan border area.
Visa at Las Tablillas, Los Chiles
In my experience in Las Tablillas last 2017 and this year 2018, quiet different. At the border of Costa Rica, they have a copier machine where people paid the exit tax. After I got my exit stamp from the CR officer, I would go there to xerox my passport so I can take with me in Nicaragua border. I renewed my stamps 3 times already in this border. The third time which was yesterday April 6, 2018 the lady said they don't have copier machine anymore. So, I crossed the border and showed my passport to the Nicaraguan officer without the xerox. They didn't ask me to provide a xerox, they did it anyway. They collected as usual $50 for my visa.
WATCH OUR VIDEO IN CROSSING THE BORDER HERE!
How much is the total amount to prepare in crossing Nicaragua?
At Penas Blancas year 2014, you will pay $8 for the Costa Rican Exit Tax. When entering Nicaragua, you will pay Municipality tax of $1 it was a small stub from a small stall at the door of arrival area. Then, at the officer window you gonna pay $10 for the tourist card and $2 for the Arrival tax. When you exit the country, another $1 municipality tax at the stall before going in line to the officer and $2 exit tax at the officer window. Then, those who needs visa you gonna pay $50 for it. So, you will need the total of $24 USD for those who doesn't need visa and $74 USD with visa.
At Las Tablillas year 2018, you gonna pay $8 for the Exit stamp in Costa Rica. Then, $10 for tourist card in Nicaragua plus $2 arrival tax. Then, another $2 when you exit the border. For the visa you gonna pay $50. The total cost will be $22 USD for non-visa travelers while $72 USD with Visa.
Watch my video HERE!
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A licensed teacher in the Philippines who shifted her career into another direction to follow her passion to be a blogger. Her blogs are related in traveling and simple living as an expat in a foreign land.