Costa Rica’s President, Rodrigo Chaves Robles has finalized the regulations for the Digital Nomads Law (Law No.10,008). Digital nomad visas (DNV) allow remote workers and freelancers access to stay in a foreign country longer than a tourist visa. In fact, Costa Rica’s visa allows for a residency term of up to one year, with an extra year if renewed. President Chaves Robles approved the regulations that create a new sub-migratory category, in which there will be a maximum of 15 days to resolve application requests. President Alvardo hopes Costa Rica will benefit from the money nomads will spend during their stay. Costa Rica is one of a limited few on the American continent offering this kind of opportunity.

Costa Rica's DNV rules:

Costa Rica’s DNV will exempt foreign workers from paying income tax or import tax on equipment necessary for their work.  According to the General Law on Immigration and immigration law No 8764, digital nomads aren’t required to pay income tax. Additionally, the visa allows holders to have access to local banking and can use their country of origin driver’s license.

As for the requirements, anyone who works outside of as a freelancer doing remote work can apply for this visa.

Lawyer Gorge Montero wrote in his Op-ed for Tico Times “There is the question as to whether the status applies for individuals that provide remote services for themselves, for example, investors. In my opinion, it does apply because the law only requires you to prove your income, not your employer.” When Travel Noire asked our source if individuals need to have an LLC, the General Directorate of Migration and Foreigners (DGME) of Costa Rica, confirmed “LLCs are not a requirement for applicants.” However, applicants must prove to have a minimum income of $3,000 USD per month if they’re traveling alone, or $4,000 if they will be traveling with their families.

Remote workers interested in the opportunity can learn more about Costa Rica’s immigration site. Electronic applications can be submitted through Tramite Ya!, the online portal accepting visa requests. Once submitted, Costa Rica will make a decision within 15 days.

Documents Needed:

If the visa request is approved, applicants have three months to set up a visa appointment and provide the necessary documentation. To make an appointment, applicants can call the back of Costa Rica at 800-227-2482.

Applicants should be prepared to present the following documents to prove their remote worker status:

  • Valid passport
  • Proof of Income – bank or financial statements
  • Proof of medical insurance for the duration of your stay in Costa Rica
  • $100.00 USD government fee, an additional $90.00 government processing fee, and an additional fee that will be indicated upon approval
  • Additional documents required by the General Law of Migration and Foreigners

Related: Your Passport Application Process Cheat Sheet

For a more detailed process, applicants can refer to the Digital Nomad Electronic Application Process provided by Costa Rica’s immigration office.

NOTE:  Documentation is only submitted after the application is approved.

Why Costa Rica?

Why not, Costa Rica? In 2021 the Happy Planet Index ranked Costa Rica as the #1 most efficient country in the World. The index looks at which countries are best at using minimal ‘inputs’ of natural resources to create the maximum possible  ‘outputs’ of long, happy lives – thus delivering truly “sustainable wellbeing.”  Costa Rica outperforms the USA (#122) in each category of life expectancy, well-being, and environmental sustainability. Although Costa Rica’s GDP per capita is less than half that of the USA, Costa Ricans have higher well-being, and on average live longer. Not to mention, Costa Rica’s per capita Ecological Footprint is just one-third of the size of the USA’s. Countries that rank highly on the Happy Planet Index show that it is possible to live long, happy lives with a much smaller ecological footprint than found in the highest-consuming nations.

Moreover, Costa Rica offers experiences for every type of traveler — solo travelers, families, adventurers, wellness seekers, luxury aficionados, and more. Costa Rica enjoys 12 different tropical microclimates and pleasant weather throughout the year, with temperatures typically ranging from 70 to 81 degrees Fahrenheit. The country’s unique topography allows for a wide array of thrilling experiences, like ziplining and waterfall rappelling, or “softer” experiences, such as bird-watching and forest bathing. Costa Rica is absolutely stunning and what better way to experience it than as a remote worker living the Pura Vida lifestyle.

Related: Costa Rica’s First Black-Owned Tour Agency Adds Puerto Viejo To Experience Afro-Costa Rican Culture