Photo Credit: Blue Bird
Costa Rica's New Visa Program Aims To Attract Digital Nomads
Costa Rica is the latest country looking to welcome digital nomads long term. According to Matador Network, the Central American tropical paradise recently passed a law allowing remote workers to live in the country for up to two years.
Under normal tourist visas, visitors can only stay for a maximum of 90 days.
To obtain a visa under the program, individuals must qualify by meeting certain criteria. They must be able to show that they earn a stable income of $3,000 or more per month as an individual, or $4,000 or more if applying with a family member. They will also be required to have health insurance coverage for the entirety of their stay.
Gustavo Segura, Costa Rica’s Tourism Minister, believes digital nomads will be instrumental in the country’s tourism industry rebound, according to Tico Times.
“Tourists who stay for longer periods of time redistribute their money in the value chains generated by tourism,” said Segura.
“They make more local purchases, rent a car for several weeks or months, use services such as the beauty salon, the supermarket, restaurant, soda, laundry, greengrocer, medical services, among other businesses in the community, hence the importance of becoming an option for remote workers.”
The Costa Rican Tourism Board predicts that foreign digital nomads will contribute around 15 million colones ($24,100) yearly into the local economy, and lead to the generation of jobs for locals, according to Lonely Planet.
Foreigners living in the country under the digital nomad visa will be able to open a Costa Rican bank account and will be exempt from paying taxes. They will also be able to drive using their driver’s license issued by their home country.
The visa will be good for one year, with the option of renewing for a second year.
While specifics of the visa application and process have not yet been determined, it is estimated that this information will be available in under two months.