Costa Rica Digital Nomad Visa: The Ultimate Guide

Article Breakdown

In Costa Rica, working remotely from the beach has always been an option, but with the official introduction of the digital nomad visa it is more practical now. In the past, you were allowed to stay in Costa Rica for as long as your finances allowed you to AND as long as you made border runs to renew your tourist visa at least every 90 days.

President Rodrigo Chaves signed the measure on July 4, 2022, after it had been on hold for a protracted period of time after its introduction in July 2021. The new law includes some changes that speed up and simplify the visa application process.

Among the 45 nations with similar visas in place, the Digital Nomad visa is one of the simplest to apply for a longer term stay in the country thanks to the new standards. Now, digital nomads from all over the world can reside and work in Costa Rica.

How does the Costa Rica digital nomad visa work?

A person or tourist who works remotely while living a nomadic lifestyle outside of their home country is known as a digital nomad. These remote employees or freelancers can lawfully stay and work from another nation with a Digital Nomad Visa. This kind of visa permits a lengthier stay than a tourist visa does.

What then are the guidelines and specifications for a Costa Rican digital nomad visa? Let’s begin with them.

What rules and requirements apply to Costa Rican digital nomad visas?

Submitting an application

You must log in to the Costa Rica government portal to start the procedure and complete an application. Basic personal information and a few supporting documents are requested on this form.

Authorities will have two weeks to accept or reject your application after you submit the form.

Processing period for immigration accreditation documents

You can enter Costa Rica if your application has been accepted. Please be aware that you will have three months from the time you arrive in the country to receive the migration accreditation paperwork.

For this, you will have to schedule a face-to-face meeting with an immigration department representative. The official will take your biometrics and photos during your appointment, and you will have to produce the necessary legal documentation.

Minimum income required

If the applicant is coming alone, they must provide proof of a solid income of at least $3,000; if they are bringing a family member, they must provide proof of a stable income of at least $4,000 (USD).

Original bank statements must be provided as verification, coupled with a signed affidavit.

A statement of health insurance

For the duration of the stay, you must show proof of health insurance.

Professional Document Translation

Spanish-language documentation is necessary for the application process. Any language other than Spanish must be translated either by a Costa Rican notary public or by an authorized translator from the applicant’s native country, Costa Rica.

No employment allowed in Costa Rica

You cannot participate in the local labor market or compete with residents for jobs. As a result, you are unable to work for a Costa Rican business. You must be employed by an organization based offshore.

What advantages come with a digital nomad visa for Costa Rica?

The elimination of the “border runs” that were previously necessary to preserve everlasting tourist status is the principal advantage of the new visa. The law now explicitly states that you can bring your computer and other work instruments duty-free, open a bank account, and that your overseas income will not be subject to local income tax, among other privileges that were previously only available informally.

As long as the visa holder has spent at least 180 days of the initial year in Costa Rica, the visa may be renewed for a second year. Other advantages include:

No Income Tax

If the income came from outside of Costa Rica, it is completely exempt from income tax.

Visa Extension

Digital nomads will initially be granted a visa for 12 months. This can further be extended by 12 months, provided the applicant gives proof of stay in Costa Rica for a minimum of 180 days.

No Import Tax

Exemption from import taxes on the import of personal computers or any other equipment needed to fulfill the job like tablets, cameras, phones, etc. A person can also bring up to 2 vehicles without any import tax.

Conclusion

These remote workers will bring in a lot of additional revenue to Costa Rica, which is a country that primarily depends on tourism. Consequently, these visas will also stimulate growth in the local economy and travel sector. Additionally, the information and resources that these remote workers bring with them can spark innovation, lead to new ideas, and new projects.
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