9 Sep 2021
The term “digital nomad”, coined back in 1997, has been gaining traction over the last several years. More and more individuals and families are choosing jobs and lifestyles that allow them to travel and work, independent of location, and use technology to perform their job and Costa Rica is no stranger to this concept.
While these remote workers have always been welcomed in Costa Rica, the drastic change in the traditional workplace environment, over the last year, has opened the door for thousands of employees to become digital nomads. Costa Rica has always been a popular destination for digital nomads, but some of the tourist visa laws have made it difficult to stay for any extended period of time. Well, good news! That has all changed.
New Law Signed Allowing Digital Nomads to Stay for Up to Two Years
As of a few weeks ago, Costa Rica President Carlos Alvarado and Tourism Minister Gustavo Segura signed into legislation the “Digital Nomads Law” (Law No. 22215) with the goal of attracting foreign remote workers and their families to reside in Costa Rica for a term of up to two years.
Currently, digital nomads enter Costa Rica as tourists and must leave the country in the 90 days typically granted to visitors. Also covered under this law are partners and children under the age of 25, to any eligible applicants.
Remote workers can obtain a permit to stay for one year in Costa Rica, extendable for one additional year. They will also be exempted from local income taxes, will be able to open local bank accounts and can drive in Costa Rica using their country’s license, among other benefits.
For those looking to establish themselves here for a long period of time, a key benefit included in this new law is the exemption of import taxes for the importation of computers and other technical equipment needed to perform the digital nomad visa holder’s job, as well as on up to two land, sea, or air vehicles. While this may not seem like much, anyone who has ever tried to import cars or have equipment shipped can attest to the fact that these items can often be huge hurdles.
Interested in Applying? What You Need to Know
The requirements to qualify for Costa Rica’s proposed digital nomad visa are as follows:
- Proof of a stable monthly salary, fixed income or a average monthly income, during the last year, for an amount equal to or greater than $3,000. If the applicant chooses to request benefits also for their family group, the income may be combined with a spouse or one of the other family members and must in that case reach the sum of $4,000. In either case, it must be income that can be continue to be received even if the person is not in their country of origin.
- Obtain a medical insurance policy that covers the applicant throughout their stay in Costa Rica. The General Directorate of Migration and Foreigners will determine the conditions or minimum coverage that this policy must have.
- Make a one-time payment for the granting of a non-resident visa, as a Worker or Remote Service Provider. The amount has yet to be determined.
- Any other requirement derived from the General Migration Law and
Immigration Law No 8764.
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