On September 1, 2021, Law 10.008 entered into force. This law allows foreigners who provide remotely remunerated services for a legal entity abroad (“Digital Nomads”) to remain in Costa Rica for one year, with the possibility of extending their stay for one more year, by creating a new category of immigration called Remote employee or remote service provider.
The regulations for this law are expected to be released in about sixty working days, which should include pending details of this new visa and how to apply for it.
The law stipulates that, to be eligible for the Digital Nomad Visa, the foreign natural person must comply with the following specific requirements:
- Prove that they have received, during the last twelve months, a stable monthly salary, a fixed income or an average monthly income, during the last year, of an amount equal to or greater than US $ 3,000.00, or its equivalent in foreign currency. If the applicant chooses to apply for the visa also for his family (spouse or life partner, children under twenty-five or disabled children, as well as any elderly person living with the applicant), the monthly income to be justified will be US $ 4,000.00, which amount can be included in the income of the spouse or one of the other family members. In either case, this income must be received continuously even if the applicant is not in his country of origin.
- Have private insurance for medical services that covers the applicant for the duration of their stay in Costa Rica. Likewise, all family members must be covered by this insurance if they are also visa beneficiaries.
- Comply with the payment of the visa, the amount of which will be established by the regulations of this law.
The following incentives have been approved by this law for digital nomads:
- Legal residence in Costa Rica for one year, with the possibility of requesting a one-year extension, provided that you have stayed in Costa Rica for a minimum of 180 days during the first year.
- Income tax exemption for amounts they declare as income. This benefit will not apply to the beneficiary’s family.
- Exemption from all taxes on the importation of basic personal computers, technologies, telecommunications or similar equipment necessary for the beneficiary to carry out his work in the country.
- The recipient’s foreign driving license will be valid for driving in Costa Rica.
- Opening of a savings account in the national banks of Costa Rica.
With respect to tax residency, Digital Nomads will not automatically be considered tax residents, in accordance with specific local laws applicable to the subject.
The Digital Nomad benefiting from these advantages will benefit from them for the duration of the visa.