Many of us have heard of digital nomads who travel while working remotely for a company that allows them to travel, or as freelancers. The concept was bolstered by the changes many businesses around the world experienced during the pandemic during lockdown and the remote work options that were allowed.
Costa Rica, whose tourism industry is important to the national economy, has benefited from the explosion of digital nomads. Last September, the country approved the Law to attract international workers and distance service providers, creating a new immigration classification with the aim of reactivating foreign tourism and encouraging long stays thanks to digital nomadic visas.
Now that Costa Rica has officially approved this law, foreigners with an income above USD 3,000 per month are allowed to stay in the country for one year with the benefit of an additional year extension as long as they meet the criteria. If they wish to travel with their family, their income must be $ 5,000 per month. In addition, digital nomads with a valid driver’s license issued in their home country can legally drive in Costa Rica. The advantages granted by this law undoubtedly encourage foreigners to settle in Costa Rica and will help to promote the recovery of the country whose economy has been damaged by the pandemic.
The introduction of this visa offers the following advantages:
(1) Foreign workers. They now have the freedom to choose to be Digital Nomads in Costa Rica,
(2) Foreign companies. They see it as an opportunity to promote the option of becoming a digital nomad as part of their business benefits.
(3) Employers. They realized that their spending had been cut due to massive cuts in subsidies for utilities, food and transportation. Needless to say, the digital nomad lifestyle also puts pressure on some employers when they see that employees are interested in this way of working.
(4) Local economic reactivation. This new visa opens many doors to attract digital nomads and the consumption of local services such as accommodation, food, transport, tutoring, rural tourism and others.
Another aspect worth mentioning is that digital nomads are not seen as local employees; therefore, they will not be considered tax residents and applicants will be exempt from taxes on the importation of equipment necessary for their work, including computers and telecommunications equipment that meet the criteria of proportionality.
Foreigners with an income above USD 3,000 per month are allowed to stay in the country for one year with the benefit of an extension for an additional year as long as they meet the criteria.
Many digital nomads have jobs in the e-commerce industry, selling products online, virtual assistants, social media managers, native speaker teachers, copywriters, content creators or other similar roles. Internet speed therefore becomes one of the most important aspects for any digital nomad and one of the advantages that Costa Rica offers is its Internet efficiency and the fact that the network interoperability conforms to the global standards of telecommunications. Monthly costs are accessible and connectivity is supported by fiber optic data transmission systems.
This new model of remote working has evolved into a whole new trend as an innovative technological proposition for employees or freelancers eager to adapt. The fact that Costa Rica has approved this law allows us to be at the forefront of this change, alongside other countries that also offer visas for digital nomads like Thailand, Singapore, Brazil, Greece, l ‘Spain, Taiwan, Norway and others.
Most Costa Ricans have a great understanding of the English language, which greatly facilitates communication with non-Spanish speakers, and this proves to be a great support tool for digital nomads as well as for locals trying to manage a life. business. For foreign workers who live outside their country of residence as nomads and are currently looking for low-cost locations around the world to settle, the country is a great choice.
In recent weeks, Costa Rica has eased travel restrictions as the Covid-19 curve flattens. This is due to the fact that a large number of citizens are fully vaccinated, and some even receive their third dose.
While regulation of the law is still pending, Costa Rica’s digital nomadic visa, allowing visitors to have legal migratory status in a democratic and stable country, will surely be an attractive option.