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Digital Nomad Visa in Costa Rica

Digital Nomad Visa in Costa Rica

Towards the end of 2021, the Costa Rican government enabled the digital nomad visa program for people all over the world who want to live and work remotely from here. There are several countries that have such visas, so if you are a digital nomad, you can add this state to your travel and work list.

In order to become a Costa Rican digital nomad, you need to comply with several requirements. They are explained below by our immigration specialists. We can also help you open a company in Costa Rica if you are an entrepreneur.

The Costa Rican digital nomad visa for foreign citizens

Until 2021, the visitor visa was the only way to enter and stay in Costa Rica for a limited duration of time (90 days) and also work from here. At the end of 2021, however, the government created a special program dedicated to:

  • remote workers;
  • freelancers;
  • self-employed persons;
  • business owners.

As it encourages working from other parts of the world, this is also called the Costa Rican remote worker visa. If you want to apply for such a visa, or even move here through the citizenship by investment program in Costa Rica, our immigration lawyers in Costa Rica are at your service.

The Costa Rican freelance visa is currently one of the best ways to get an impression on what it is to live here and decide whether you would want to relocate permanently. Then, you can apply for a residence permit with the help of our immigration lawyers.

How to qualify for a digital nomad visa in Costa Rica

Compared to the tourist visa, the Costa Rican remote worker visa implies specific requirements and can be accessed by the categories of applicants mentioned above. Apart from this, it also requires:

  • for the applicant to work or own a business in another country;
  • the visa can be obtained for a whole year;
  • specific proof of monthly income is required and the minimum amount is 3,000 USD per month.

Among the documents that need to be prepared for obtaining a Costa Rican digital nomad visa, the following are required:

  1. proof of remote working (employment contract, proof of business ownership abroad);
  2. proof of the minimum income presented above;
  3. health insurance covering the stay in Costa Rica for the minimum duration of the visa.

You should note that as a remote worker in Costa Rica you will not be allowed to take employment with a local company.

If you are interested in becoming a digital nomad in Costa Rica, the procedure to obtain is still underway, as the program has just been launched. In the meantime, you can rely on our immigration lawyers in Costa Rica if you are interested in residency in Costa Rica through the usual path.

If you want to apply for a freelance visa in Costa Rica, you can rely on our local agents.

We are also at your disposal if you are interested in company formation in Costa Rica.

Obtaining a Costa Rican remote worker visa and moving here with the family

The program also contains specific directions on the possibility of immigration to Costa Rica with the closest family. This can include the spouse and minor children. However, in this case, the minimum monthly income is established at 4,000 USD.

Another important aspect to consider is that a specific fee for obtaining a Costa Rican digital nomad visa will be imposed. However, no decision has been made with respect to the amount until now.

If you are interested in becoming a digital nomad in Costa Rica, get in touch with our immigration specialists for support.

Obtaining a freelance visa in Costa Rica under the Rentsita Visa

Anyone who can show they have a fixed income of $2,500 per month, including independent contractors, freelancers, and self-employed people, is eligible to receive a rentista visa. If you obtain this type of visa, you can start a business or work as a freelancer in Costa Rica but not as an employee. A Costa Rican work visa is required if you wish to work for a business or organization as a salaried employee.

The 2-year residency permit obtained through the Costa Rican rentista visa can be extended as long as you continue to meet the requirements. You can apply for permanent residency in Costa Rica after being there for at least three years with a residence permit.

Obtaining a Costa Rican freelance visa is not complicated compared to a work permit for which more complicated procedures are involved. These usually have to do with the government’s approval of foreign workers.

We are also at your service if you want to open a company in Costa Rica and need business registration services.

Sponsoring family members to join you in Costa Rica

One of the main advantages of the digital nomad visa for Costa Rica is that you can move or sponsor your family to come join you at a later date. The freelance visa holder may sponsor the spouse, children under the age of 25, children with disabilities of any age, and parents and parents-in-law who reside with them.

The same minimum income of USD 4000 per month applies when bringing family members. Additionally, you will need to submit supporting paperwork, such as:

  • if you are the spouse’s sponsor, you must present a marriage license that was just granted within the last six months;
  • another document proving your relationship with your life partner (the document cannot be older than 6 months);
  • birth certificates for the children;
  • for a person with disability, documentation of their medical condition;
  • parents and in-laws need to prove their relationship or familial ties with the main applicant.

 Feel free to address our immigration lawyers if you need assistance in filing for a freelance visa in Costa Rica and bringing your family here.

How long does it take to obtain a Costa Rican freelance visa?

After submitting your application, it will take about 15 days for it to be processed. If accepted, the immigration office will give you a list of the necessary paperwork, which you must submit within 8 days of receiving it.

You will get the final answer in the next 15 days after submitting the extra paperwork. Finally, you have 3 months to obtain your residence permit following the application’s approval. Consequently, it can take up to 2 months to process your full application and get your residence permit.

In terms of fees, there are three to consider First, USD 100 for the initial application. Then, a fee to the Special Social Immigration Fund of USD90 for the documentation must be paid. Finally, if your visa application is approved, the final fee will be communicated to you. Please mind that these amounts can change, which is why we recommend getting in touch with us for updated information before applying for a Costa Rican freelance visa.

Do not hesitate to send us your questions on this new visa program adapted to the needs of digital nomads.

Benefits of the digital nomad visa in Costa Rica

According to the Department of Migration, there are more than 488,000 residents already living in the country. With the introduction of the Costa Rican digital nomad visa, their number is expected to increase, thanks to the benefits of the program.

Among these advantages, we mention the following:

  • the 3,000 USD monthly income will allow for a good quality of life here;
  • provided that remote worker stays in Costa Rica for 180 days in a calendar year, the visa can be extended for another year;

If you want to apply for a Costa Rican remote worker visa or in immigration to Costa Rica, please contact our local specialists for assistance.