Remote Work in Paradise: Costa Rica’s Long-Term Tourist Visa for Digital Nomads
Costa Rica has made headlines for introducing a digital nomad visa, which is attracting remote workers from all over the world. With the ability to live and work in the country for up to two years, it’s an excellent opportunity to explore the stunning landscapes and welcoming culture of this Central American nation. In this post, we’ll discuss why Costa Rica is an ideal destination for digital nomads and how you can get started.
What makes Costa Rica great for digital nomads?
Costa Rica is known for its stunning landscapes, including pristine beaches, lush rainforests, and active volcanoes. This eco-friendly and biodiverse country offers a warm and welcoming culture that attracts digital nomads seeking a balance between work and leisure. The digital nomad community thrives in Costa Rica, with plenty of resources, such as coworking spaces, networking events, and online groups for support and collaboration.
What does the digital nomad visa consist of?
This initiative grants digital nomads an extension of their 90-day tourist visa for up to a year, with the possibility to renew for another year. This means you could already be in the country on a tourist visa before you apply for the digital nomad one.
Digital nomads receive perks such as exemption from income tax, the opportunity to establish a national bank account in Costa Rica, and recognition of their foreign driver’s license. Moreover, digital nomads may avoid paying customs fees on certain telecommunication and electronic equipment required for their remote work.
Here’s what you can enjoy with this visa
- 12 month visa (with a possibility to extend it for another 12 months)
- Makes it possible to open up bank accounts in Costa Rica
- Digital nomads are exempt from having to pay a Costa Rican income tax on income earned during their digital nomad stay
- Can drive a vehicle in Costa Rica with their original driver’s license, regardless of country of origin
Basic requirements for the Costa Rican digital nomad visa
- Fill out the application form and submit it online or in person.
- Pay a fee of $100 to the government.
- Provide a copy of the photo page of a valid passport.
- Show evidence of income through bank statements and an affidavit (at least $3000 per month or $4,000.00 if you’re requesting that your family group be granted permission to legally stay in Costa Rica as well.
- Purchase travel insurance for your stay in Costa Rica.
Check out the official government site for more detailed requirements.
How can digital nomads prepare for living and working in Costa Rica?
Before making the move to Costa Rica, it’s essential to research the visa requirements and apply for the new digital nomad visa. There are various accommodation options available, ranging from short-term rentals to long-term stays. Once you’ve arrived, take the time to get settled in, explore your surroundings, and make connections within the digital nomad community.
Although the cost of living in Costa Rica is relatively affordable, it’s still important to plan and budget your expenses according to your preferences and location.
Check out our ultimate packing list for preparing for your time in Costa Rica.
What are the main challenges faced by digital nomads in Costa Rica?
While living and working in Costa Rica can be a dream come true, there are still challenges to overcome, such as language barriers and cultural differences. To make the most of your time in Costa Rica, consider taking Spanish lessons and immerse yourself in the local culture by participating in community events and social gatherings.
What are the best regions for digital nomads in Costa Rica?
Costa Rica offers a variety of locations to suit the preferences of digital nomads, from bustling cities like San Jose to laid-back beach towns like Tamarindo. Regardless of where you choose to stay, there are plenty of coworking spaces and cafes available, offering amenities like high-speed internet, comfortable workspaces, and fun activities to experience while you’re here.
Here’s an article we wrote with a guide to each of the main regions in Costa Rica.
If you decide to spend some time in San Jose, you’ll want to make sure you eat the best we have to offer! Here’s our guide to where to eat in San Jose.
Here are some of the most ideal places to set up your virtual office in Costa Rica:
- San Jose (not the most exciting destination, but the best internet and infrastructure, as well as being very central in the country.)
- Tamarindo, Guanacaste (good infrastructure and a strong community)
- La Fortuna, San Carlos (good infrastructure and lots of things to do in the area)
- Nosara, Guanacaste (a strong community of digital nomads and expats, but difficult to travel in and out from)
Costa Rica has become a top destination for digital nomads thanks to its beautiful scenery, welcoming culture, and growing digital nomad community. With the new digital nomad visa, it’s now easier than ever to move to Costa Rica and embrace the pura vida lifestyle. If you’re considering becoming a digital nomad in Costa Rica, we hope this blog post has provided valuable insights and encouragement to take the leap and embark on a life-changing advent,