On August 11, Costa Rican government approved a law that will create a new remote worker visa which will grant temporary residence to those eligible foreign nationals who are employed outside Costa Rica or who provide services to people or entities outside Costa Rica, to live and work remotely from Costa Rica for up to one year, without local employer sponsorship. The visa does not allow foreign nationals to perform local remunerated work in Costa Rica.
The Costa Rican government created this new visa category to attract remote workers, often called “digital nomads”, and increase foreign investment and local economic activity. Currently, digital nomads enter Costa Rica as tourists and must leave the country within 90 days of their arrival, but this new visa offers more opportunities.
Requirements and Benefits
- The visa is valid for one year, with a one-time extension of one additional year. In order to renew the visa for one additional year, visa holders must have remained in Costa Rica for at least 180 days during the initial one-year period.
- Applicants must prove they have a stable average monthly income of at least USD $3,000 (or USD $4,000 if accompanied by dependents) for the past year through bank statements.
- Applicants and their families must hold private medical insurance valid for the entire duration of their stay in Costa Rica.
- The law offers tax benefits for the principal visa holder, including exemptions from income tax and importing technological work equipment. It also offers visa holders the ability to use their foreign driver’s license to drive in Costa Rica and open savings accounts in national banks.
The law will go into effect when published in the Official Gazette, expected in the next few weeks.
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Report prepared by Rebecca Ayales