Costa Rica Digital Nomad Visa: The Passage to Pura Vida Living

The Costa Rica Digital Nomad Visa opens up a world of possibilities for those seeking to escape the daily grind and embrace a life of tropical backdrops paired with connectivity. With countries rolling out the red carpet for remote workers, Costa Rica is no exception, offering more than just idyllic landscapes but also a legal framework for you to work from its serene shores.

Whether you’re a seasoned digital nomad or considering taking the plunge into remote work, our guide will navigate you through Costa Rica’s digital nomad visa process. Ready to mix business with pleasure in a land where ‘Pura Vida’ isn’t just a saying but a way of life? Let’s set the scene for your next adventure.

Costa Rica Digital Nomad Visa: Overview

  • Visa Name: Costa Rica Digital Nomad Visa
  • Visa Duration: Valid for one year, with the possibility to renew for an additional year.
  • Visa Benefits:
    • Allows remote workers to legally reside in Costa Rica while working for non-Costa Rican companies.
    • Eliminates the need for frequent border runs to renew tourist visa status.
    • Spouses and dependents can be included under certain conditions.
    • Access to local services such as banking.
    • Income earned outside of Costa Rica is not subject to local income tax.

Who Can Apply for the Costa Rica Digital Nomad Visa?

The Costa Rica Digital Nomad Visa is open to any remote worker who meets the following criteria:

  • Income Requirements: Must earn at least $3,000 per month from a foreign source, or $4,000 per month if including family members.
  • Proof of Income: Bank statements from the previous year are required to substantiate the income claims.
  • Health Insurance: Applicants must have health insurance coverage for the duration of their stay in Costa Rica.
Costa Rica Digital Nomad Visa - Volcano

How to Apply for the Costa Rica Digital Nomad Visa?

Applying for the Costa Rica Digital Nomad Visa involves a few steps:

  1. Gather documents. Ensure you have all the required documents ready when applying, as you will need to upload these during the application process​. See complete list below.
  2. Submit your application online. You can apply for the Costa Rica digital nomad visa on the Costa Rican immigration website, at a Costa Rican embassy, or using one of the visa services listed later in the article. Note that the website is in Spanish, as are the application forms. It may be best to find a translator or visa agent (listed below) to help ensure the process is completed accurately.
  3. Pay the application fees. A $100 payment to the Costa Rican government and a $90 fee for the issuance of the immigration document. You may be required to submit a security deposit valued at 75% of a flight to your country as well as a $50 fee to obtain your residency permit (plus a $3.75 fee per page of documentation submitted as part of the residency permit application process.
  4. Wait for processing. The processing timeline varies, so check with the Costa Rican immigration authorities for the current waiting period (approx. 14 days).
  5. Apply for resident permit. You will have 3 months after the approval of the digital nomad visa to obtain your residence permit.

What Documents Are Required for the Costa Rica Digital Nomad Visa Application?

For the Costa Rica Digital Nomad Visa, you will need to submit the following:

  • Valid passport with remaining validity of at least six months.
  • Proof of a monthly income of at least $3,000 for individuals or $4,000 for families, from a foreign source. You may need an employment contract or declaration letter stating that you will be working remotely in Costa Rica.
  • Bank statements from the previous year to verify the income.
  • Health insurance policy covering the duration of the stay in Costa Rica.
  • Application forms duly filled out.
  • Receipts of payment for the application fee and immigration document issuance.

Ensure all documents are up to date and comply with the requirements set by the Costa Rican immigration authorities. Also keep in mind that every foreign document provided must have an official translation into Spanish, made by a Notary Public or official Costa Rican translator.

Need Help? Our Recommended Visa Agents

Navigating the visa application process can be overwhelming at times. If you need assistance, visa agents are invaluable for their expertise and support. Here are a few of our favorites:

  • iVisa: iVisa is known for their efficiency and the ability to handle complex visa applications, providing peace of mind for applicants.
  • RushMyTravelVisa: For those in need of quick service, RushMyTravelVisa offers expedited processing to meet tight deadlines.
Costa Rica Digital Nomad Visa - Sunset at beach

Are There Any Other Costa Rica Digital Nomad Visa Requirements I Should Know About?

  • Financial Requirements:
    • Monthly proof of income ($3,000 for individuals, $4,000 for families).
    • Bank statements from the previous year.
  • Health Insurance and Medical Requirements:
  • Other Requirements:
    • You may need to provide a criminal background check.
    • Some form of address or accommodation details in Costa Rica may be required.
    • Proof of return or onward travel may also be requested.

More Information About the Costa Rica Digital Nomad Visa:

  • Family Inclusion: Family members can be included if the main applicant’s income is at least $4,000 per month. The primary applicant can sponsor their spouse, children under 25, children of any age with disabilities, and seniors who live with them.
  • Tax Implications: Income earned from foreign sources while on the digital nomad visa is not subject to local income tax in Costa Rica. According to the General Law on Immigration and immigration law No 8764, digital nomads aren’t required to pay income tax.
  • Eligibility for Permanent Residency and Citizenship: The digital nomad visa does not directly lead to permanent residency or citizenship. However, paths to these may be available through other visa programs after extended periods of residence. An example of this is the Costa Rica Rentista Visa. This visa is suitable for individuals who can prove a steady income of $2,500 per month or make a deposit of $60,000 in a Costa Rican bank. It grants temporary residence for two years and can be renewed. After three years on this visa, you may apply for permanent residency, offering a more extended path to living in Costa Rica and potential citizenship​​​​.

Ready to live the Pura Vida life? Check out our favorite places in Costa Rica for digital nomads.

Not sure if Costa Rica is right for you? Weigh the factors that make a destination perfect for your digital nomad lifestyle.

Already sold? Pack your bags, book your flight, and get your visa sorted.

Pura Vida!

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Max Pankow

Max Pankow

Max quit her corporate job in 2013 to take a chance building businesses online while traveling the world. Armed with an adventurous spirit and a can-do attitude, Max has traveled to more than 50 countries, embracing slow travel as a digital nomad and long-term living in places such as Thailand, India, Nepal, and Indonesia. Max currently resides in Bali where she oversees content creation for DNG as our resident travel aficionado.

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