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Costa Rica Opens the Door to Digital Nomads with New Visa

Costa Rica has long been a favored location for remote workers. The country’s natural beauty, welcoming climate, outdoor activities, and way of life are second to none. There is a nationwide priority on technology, education, and quality of life. Infrastructure — especially Costa Rica’s internet connectivity — is among the best in Central America.

And now, with the passing of bill 22215, the “Law to Attract Remote Workers and Providers of International Remote Services”, Costa Rica will officially open the door for digital nomads and distance workers from around the world to get temporary residency of up to 18 months. 

The new law, recently approved by the National Legislative Assembly’s Commission for Tourism, provides an official alternative to the ‘perpetual tourism’ practiced by many remote workers, and is part of a country-wide initiative to help reinvigorate the Costa Rican economy.

The New “Remote Worker” Visa

The main effect of bill 22215 is to create a new, expedited immigration category, and operates under the following regulations:

How to Qualify

  • Applicants must be foreign nationals who provide paid services remotely. As long as those services are received outside of Costa Rica, applicants qualify.
  • Applicants are eligible for a one year resident visa, renewable for an additional six months.
    Note: This visa is an ‘estancia visa’, which is not the same as a temporary residency. No matter how long an applicant lives in Costa Rica under this status, they cannot be converted to permanent residency.
  • Applicants can apply for this visa for themselves, as well as for their entire family including spouses, children, and other family members, though this is subject to approval “as appropriate”
  • Applicants much demonstrate that they receive an income of at least $5000 US per month, as well as maintain a health insurance policy to cover the duration of their stay

Additional Benefits of the New Visa

  • Applicants will receive an expedited application and approval process (listed by some sources as less than 15 days)
  • Residents under this new visa will be entirely exempt from paying income tax in Costa Rica
  • Residents will also be granted driver’s license privileges, provided they have a driver’s license from their home country

A Foot in the Door

As we end a year when many people have begun to experience the freedom of working from home or working remotely, this new visa presents an opportunity to ‘test drive’ life in Costa Rica with an expedited, simple, and low-hassle visa.

Now, this visa doesn’t transition into permanent residency as some other forms do, but for people considering a long-term future in Costa Rica, this shouldn’t be a problem. 

Costa Rica grants residency to any individual who invests more than $200,000 US in the country (including homes and apartments), making for an easy transition if you decide that life in Costa Rica is right for you. 
To learn more about Costa Rica, Senderos, and how this step could be a foot in the door to a new life in Costa Rica, you can reach out to our team at info@senderos-cr.com.