2020 and beyond marked a massive shift toward remote work, with the possibility to completely relocate without having to apply for a new job in your destination country. Many countries have jumped on the digital nomad and remote worker bandwagon and have made it an option for foreigners to live and work there as long as they meet some residency requirements—the visa is for remote employees or providers of remote services.
Costa Rica has recently joined the growing list of countries that offer digital nomads temporary residency. The new law grants visas to digital nomads and remote workers, allowing them to stay for one year with the option to extend their stay for another year.
The government of Costa Rica estimates that digital nomads will contribute about $24,000 per year to the country’s economy. The move aims to refresh the economy and provide more jobs within its borders.
“The digital nomad utilizes services, consumes food, makes purchases, utilizes transportation and hires people. All of this generates more employment and growth in the country,” President Carlos Alvarado said in a statement.
Costa Rica’s digital nomad visa started processing in 2022. The requirements and benefits are outlined below, but it’s expected that the government will add more benefits to attract more remote workers and remote employers.
What Are the Benefits of Costa Rica’s Digital Nomad Visa?
The Costa Rica digital nomad visa allows you to work and live in Costa Rica for one year, which you can extend to two years (as long as you’ve stayed in the country for at least 180 days). You’ll also be able to drive around the country using your own country’s driver’s license.
Further benefits include income tax exemption during your stay, exemption of import taxes for computers or other items needed to carry out your job while you’re in Costa Rica, and the ability to open a savings account in the country. You can also bring your family, including a spouse, children under 25 (or any age if they have disabilities), and seniors who live with you.
How Do I Get a Digital Nomad Visa for Costa Rica?
The digital nomad visa is available for foreign nationals who are remote workers or service providers that provide remote work—the work you do must be for a company or person outside of Costa Rica, meaning that you can be employed by a company in the US and work remotely in Costa Rica, you can own a company legally based outside of Costa Rica (and do all of your work online), and you can even be a freelancer with clients based outside of the country.
You must provide proof of no less than $3,000 monthly income for the past year, with continued employment going forward. If you’re traveling with your family, the combined income must be at least $4,000 per month. This must be a steady and predictable income.
You must have proof of private health insurance for you (and your family, if they’re coming with you) for the entire length of stay in Costa Rica. You also must pay for the visa application as a non-resident remote worker or service provider.
To apply, you will need:
- The application form, which you can submit through the Tramite Ya platform
- Payment of $100
- Copy of the photo page of your passport
- Bank statements showing proof of income not less than $3,000 per month (or $4,000 per month if traveling with your family)
Costa Rica Digital Nomad Visa Taxes
Holders of the new digital nomad visa are exempt from Costa Rican income tax. Any imported equipment you need to get your work done in Costa Rica is also exempted from import tax.
Learn more about the application process here.
Featured image by Fabio Fistarol on Unsplash