Costa Rica Digital Nomad Visa: Remote Work Visa For Costa Rica

Aug 23, 2022

14 min read

Are you looking to work and travel at the same time? Then I have the perfect solution for you. The Costa Rica Digital Nomad Visa. With this new visa, you can work and enjoy the Pura Vida lifestyle in the Central American country of Costa Rica.

Although Spain is now getting into the digital nomadic world, countries such as Croatia, Estonia, Greece, and Portugal are getting excellent feedback from the nomad communities worldwide. There are also rumors of a new Panama Digital Nomad Visa.

So without wasting any time, let's learn all about the Costa Rica Digital Nomad Visa:

Is The Costa Rica Digital Nomad Visa Now Available?

The Costa Rica Digital Nomads Visa (DNV) was delayed a bit; however, there is some good news.

The Costa Rica Digital Nomad Visa has finally been approved. YES!! Finally, President Carlos Alvarado has officially approved the Costa Rica DNV. The Costa Rica Digital Nomad Visa is now available to all who wish to live a nomadic lifestyle in Costa Rica.

The Costa Rica DNV was announced in October of 2021, and after months of waiting, it was legalized, and the country started processing the visa in July 2022.

However, suppose you can't wait to go to Costa Rica and want to go as soon as possible. In that case, I suggest you apply for the Costa Rica Tourist Visa. Although you can't work with a Costa Rica Tourist Visa, nothing is said about working remotely.

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Key Points Of The Costa Rica Digital Nomad Visa?

Finally, after a long wait, Costa Rican President Carlos Alvarado signed the law which allows foreign travelers to apply for a Costa Rican Digital Nomad Visa. Here's everything you need to know about the new and official 2022 Costa Rican Digital Nomad Visa:

What Is The Costa Rica Digital Nomad Visa?

A Digital Nomads Visa is designed for remote workers, business owners, and freelancers who want to stay in a foreign country longer than a tourist visa. These visas are essentially more residence permits that allow digital nomads to enjoy long-stay visits to Costa Rica. The Costa Rica DNV is also a way to boost the tourism industry and has its benefits for the world economies.

If you want to be eligible for a digital nomad visa, there are certain things you need to know. First and most important, you must either work for a foreign company, not in your home country, own a business, or work as a freelancer with clients from other companies.

The Costa Rica DNV is ideal for digital nomads who want to settle without worrying about crossing borders or overstaying their tourist visas. However, you must have a steady income. For example, you must earn $5000 each month, not $4000 one month and the next $6000. This can prove problematic for those who get paid based on the projects.

Remember that the Costa Rica DNV differs from a Costa Rica Work Visa. The difference is that the Costa Rica DNV requires you to work for a foreign company. At the same time, the Costa Rica Work Visa allows you to work for a Costa Rican-owned company.

For How Long Is The Costa Rica Digital Nomad Visa Valid?

The Costa Rica DNV allows digital nomads to stay in Costa Rica for up to 1 year. But there's more. You can apply for an additional year as soon as your 1 year is up.

I know that is great because instead of only staying 90 days in Costa Rica with your tourist visa, you can now enjoy 2 years. In addition, this means you don't have to go through the hassles of applying for a Permanent Resident Visa or a Rentista Temporary Resident Visa.

Before applying for the additional year, you must prove that you have stayed in Costa Rica for 80 days.

What Are The Financial Requirements For The Costa Rica Digital Nomad Visa?

Before getting too excited about the Costa Rica DNV, you must first meet the financial income requirements. For example, if you plan on going to Costa Rica alone, you must have at least a stable monthly income of 3,000 USD. On the other hand, if you plan to apply for the Costa Rica DNV with your family members, you must prove that you have at least a stable income of 4,000 USD per month.

So if you want to provide evidence of your Proof of income, remember that the 4,000 USD can be made up by combining your and your spouse's income. This must be done by providing evidence of your previous bank statements for the prior year.

And as I mentioned earlier, the income must be stable, meaning you must earn the eligible set amount each month. This means you cannot earn USD 8k for the month, and the next month you make USD 6k.

Who Can Apply For The Costa Rica Digital Nomad Visa?

The short answer is basically anyone that works as a freelancer doing remote work in Costa Rica. The main requirement is that you do not work for a Costa Rican company. It doesn't matter what your country of origin is. As long as you do not receive payment from a Costa Rican company, you are good to go.

What Are The Costa Rica Digital Nomad Visa Requirements?

Now that the Costa Rica DNV is available, you can check out some existing basic requirements. However, it is essential to note that additional documents are requested depending on individual visa applications. Here's what you need to know about the basic requirements:

  • Valid Passport

Your passport must be valid and in good condition at the time of visa application. You must also submit a photocopy of your passport's photograph and bio data page. If you are already in Costa Rica, you will need to attach copies of the entry stamp or the visa page.

  • Proof of stable monthly income:

As I have mentioned earlier, you must meet the financial requirements. The financial requirements for a single person are 3,000 USD per month. Remember that you must meet a 4,000 USD monthly income when applying with your family.

  • You must have Proof of health insurance:

Your health and medical insurance must cover you or your family members for the duration of your stay in Costa Rica. This means the health insurance must be paid and valid for an entire year.

  • A Consular or Restricted Visa

To apply for the Costa Rica DNV, you must have a consular or restricted visa to enter the country. You will also need to submit a copy of the visa online or when submitting it in person. This will allow you to enter the country to submit the necessary documents or to complete the procedure to get the residence permit.

  • Make your Costa Rica DNV payment:

You must make a payment for the granting of your Costa Rica DNV. This payment is required because you are a remote worker or service provider. Three payments must be made for the Costa Rica DNV, three payments when applying.

  • General Law of Migration and Foreigner's additional requirements:

You may be required to submit additional documents according to the General Law of Migration and Foreigners No 8764.

Can I Sponsor My Family On Costa Rican Digital Nomad Visa?

YES! The great thing about the Costa Rica Digital Nomad Visa is that the primary applicant can sponsor their spouse, children under 25, children of any age with disabilities, and seniors who live with them.

To sponsor the family members, you must make a minimum of $4000 per month and submit additional information when submitting the visa application. You will also need to provide additional documentation such as:

  • If you sponsor your spouse, you must provide a marriage certificate issued in the last six months.
  • A letter from a competent authority declaring or recognizing the civil union, issued in the last six months.
  • Child’s birth certificate.
  • Proof of medical condition for a person with disabilities.
  • Senior must establish the family tie or relation with the main applicant and an affidavit stating the same.

What Are The Costa Rican Digital Nomad Visa Fees?

Three separate visa fees are involved when applying for the Costa Rica DNV. First, before submitting your initial application, you must pay $100 to account no. 242480-0 of the Banco de Costa Rica. Second to the Special Social Immigration Fund, $90 for certification of your legal stay documents. And lastly, an additional amount will be indicated upon the approval of your visa application.

How To Apply For The Costa Rican Digital Nomad Visa?

The Costa Rica DNV is now available, and the visa application can be made online or in person at the nearest immigration office. So let us see what is required and how you can apply for the Costa Rican DNV:

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Gather The Required Documents

The first thing you would need to do is gather the required documents. Remember that you may be required to submit additional documentation.

  • You can find the visa application form online or at the immigration offices
  • Proof of payment for the visa fees
  • Bank statements proving you earn the minimum amount
  • Copies of your passport’s first and last page
  • Copy of your consular or restricted visa for Costa Rica
  • Required documents for the dependents, if applicable
  • OR Power of attorney for the representative in Costa Rica

Additionally, there are a few forms you must complete and attach to your application, whether submitted in person or online. The forms are in Spanish, meaning if you can't read Spanish, you must get help to fill out the forms correctly. The forms required when submitting your application online are:

The forms required when submitting your application in person are:

A translation in Spanish must accompany any documents in a different language.

Complete The Visa Application

As I mentioned, you can complete the visa application online on the Tramite Ya platform. OR, you can visit one of the Service Platform of the Foreign Nationals Administration to apply in person.

To apply online on the Tramite Ya platform, you must first:

  • Create an account and confirm your email address.
  • Once you have logged in, click on the ‘Dirección General de Migración y Extranjería’ under institutional sites.
  • Then click on ‘New Procedures,’ ‘Immigration Procedures,’ ‘Stays,’ ‘Digital Nomad Stays,’ and lastly on ‘Remote Woror Service Providers.’
  • You can submit the visa application online once you click on ‘Start Procedure.’
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However, remember the online platform is in Spanish when creating the account, and so are the forms that must be uploaded. So the best option is to find someone to assist you when filing the visa application and the required documents.

Submit The Costa Rican DNV Application

After you have completed the application form online, you must submit the visa application form. However, to apply in person, you must make an appointment through the DGME's Web Appointments Portal.

On the date of your application, you must be present with all the required documents and proof of payment.

Processing Of The Costa Rican DNV Application

Once you have submitted your application online, you will receive an email after 15 days stating whether your application was successful. If the application is approved, the immigration office will provide you with a list of required documents you must submit within 8 days of receiving it.

After you have submitted the additional documents, you will receive a definite answer in the next 15 days. Lastly, you will have 3 months after the approval of the DNV application to get your residence permit. Meaning that the entire application can take close to 2 months to receive your resident permit.

Getting The Resident Permit

After receiving the approval of your Costa Rica DNV, you must process your residence permit within 3 months. If you fail to do so, the immigration office will revoke your application. You must have the following documents to get your residence permit:

  • Proof of payment of $90 for issuing your permit
  • Proof of payment of fees indicated in your approval
  • Proof of deposit required for non-residents
  • Passport and its copies
  • Medical insurance valid for your entire stay

Once you have successfully completed all the required steps, you can now enjoy beautiful Costa Rica.

Do I Need To Pay Income Taxes When Working In Costa Rica On A Digital Nomad Visa?

Obviously, you became a digital nomad for a reason, and who really wants to pay taxes? Well, if you are looking at the Costa Rica DNV, you've just hit the jackpot. According to the General Law on Immigration and immigration law No 8764, digital nomads aren't required to pay income tax.

What Are The Benefits Of Having A Costa Rica Digital Nomad Visa?

I know the Costa Rica DNV sounds great, but believe it or not, there's more. As you already know, digital nomads are exempt from paying income taxes. This is already a big deal, but digital nomads are also offered exemptions to pay taxes on all imported essential tools you must use for work. This includes your personal computer, telecommunications devices, or any necessary equipment you might need to fulfill your tasks.

Another benefit that you can enjoy is driving. I know that sounds basic, but you can use your country of origin driver's license in Costa Rica. Guess what? That's not all. Digital nomads can open savings bank accounts through any of the Costa Rica national banks. I know, right? You probably didn't expect that at all. Now you don't have to struggle with banking your hard-earned money and withdrawing it. Digital Nomad banking has never been easier.

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Overview Of The Costa Rica Digital Nomad Visa

I know the Costa Rica DNV might seem confusing, but there is nothing to worry about. Just check out the following key points that I mentioned above, and you'll be set for your adventure:

  • The new Costa Rica Digital Nomad Visa was implemented under the General Law of Immigration No 8764. Before you are granted the DNV, you must prove that you are a remote worker and meet the financial requirements.
  • Although you work in Costa Rica, remember that you may not work for a company registered in Costa Rica.
  • Your Costa Rica DNV will be valid for 1 year and can be extended for an additional. However, remember that you must provide Proof of an 80-day consecutive stay within your first year.
  • The minimum monthly financial requirements are 3,000 USD for a single person and 4,000 USD for a family.
  • You are exempt from paying income tax. In addition, you do not have to pay tax on imported goods such as your computer or telecommunications devices.
  • You can use your country of origin driver's license and open a savings bank account at a Costa Rican national bank.

So I hope that you have received all the answers to your questions regarding the Costa Rica Digital Nomad Visa. You are now ready to apply for the DNV and enjoy the work-life balance in gorgeous Costa Rica.

Happy Traveling!

Written By: Armando Du Preez
Fact Checked By: Richard Nathan

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I Renew My Costa Rica Digital Nomad Visa?

Yes. You can renew your Costa Rica DNV if you have stayed in the country for a minimum of 80 consecutive days. You must meet the same requirements and apply for the renewal of the visa with the same documents.

Can you get good Internet in Costa Rica?

Costa Rica ranks 80th in the world in fixed broadband internet speeds, with 43.32 Mbps downloads, according to Speedtest. Costa Rica is well behind the United States (12th, 179 Mbps) and Panama (36th, 111 Mbps) but on par with Mexico (77th, 45 Mbps).

Where do digital nomads stay in Costa Rica?

Here are the most popular cities digital nomads like to stay in. These cities are based on the monthly rental of a house/villa/apartment, a few other English-speaking residents, and plenty of surrounding attractions for those glorious days away from the web.

  • San Jose, Central Valley
  • Santa Teresa, Guanacaste
  • Playa Hermosa, Guanacaste
  • Playa Samara, Guanacaste
  • Puerto Viejo, Limon

You can also check out the 7 best places to visit in Costa Rica.

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