A competitive advantage: Costa Rica approves new visa for digital nomads
It will soon be signed into law by President Carlos Alvarado.
Costa Rican lawmakers have approved a project that will create a “digital nomad” visa for foreign remote workers.
The bill passed a second debate in the Legislative Assembly on Tuesday. It will soon be signed into law by President Carlos Alvarado, after which it may take up to two months for it to go into effect.
“The approval of this law is a breath of hope for the tourism sector,” said Gustavo Segura, Tourism Minister. “This is a project for the economic reactivation of our sector and with it of the country in general.”
Details: Costa Rica’s digital nomad visa
Here are the basic requirements and benefits outlined by Costa Rica’s digital nomad visa:
Who qualifies to be a digital nomad?
The person in question must meet the following requirements:
Show proof of an average monthly income, during the last year, equal to or greater than $3,000. If the applicant chooses to request visa benefits for their family, a combined income of $4,000 would qualify. In either case, income should continue even if the person is not in their country of origin.
Obtain medical insurance that covers the applicant (and their family, if applicable) throughout their stay in Costa Rica. Minimum coverage requirements have not yet been determined.
Pay a to-be-determined amount for the visa application and processing fee.
What are the benefits to the visa?
The benefits of the digital nomad visa include the following:
The visa is valid for one year. It is extendable for an additional year if the individual has remained in Costa Rica for at least 180 days of the first year.
Family (e.g. a spouse, children) of the individual could also receive the digital nomad visa and take advantage of its extended-stay benefits.
The individual will not be taxed in Costa Rica for income earned from their remote job. In addition, the individual can import to Costa Rica, tax-free, the equipment necessary for their job.
The individual can drive in Costa Rica using their foreign license (as long as said license remains valid). They can also open a bank account in Costa Rica.
You can read the full text of the project (in Spanish) by clicking here.
Summary: Costa Rica’s digital nomad visa
The digital nomad visa gives Costa Rica a competitive advantage over similar nations that are eyeing a post-pandemic tourism rebound in the coming months and years.
Travel demand is already growing, and thousands of people work jobs that will stay remote even once the pandemic ends. Costa Rica is now perfectly positioned to take advantage.
Once it clears the remaining legal hurdles, the visa will help attract more wealthy foreigners to Costa Rica. They will have the tranquility of two years of legal stay, and their wealth will be fed into the local economy.
Now that’s Pura Vida!
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Given this late-breaking news, we’ll be back on Thursday!
What are the “extended stay” benefits?
Seems like basically, we just spend another $1200/ year in insurance + visa cost and time, so we don’t have to do a cheap visa run?
We can already drive with our licenses without this visa.
We can already bring our computers tax free. I’ll remain as a “tourist” and leave every 3 months.
Don’t see an advantage in paying for a visa.