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Costa Rica Digital Nomad Visa: Requirements & How to Apply

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.

Eligibility & Criteria to Apply

How to Apply for the Costa Rica Digital Nomad Visa?

  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.
Costa Rica Digital Nomad Visa - Volcano

Image credit: Unsplash

What Documents Are Required for the Application?

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.

Additional Information

Financial Requirements: Monthly proof of income ($3,000 for individuals, $4,000 for families) through bank statements from prior year.

Health Insurance and Medical Requirements: Comprehensive health insurance for the duration of your stay in Costa Rica.

Other Requirements: Applicants may need to provide additional documents such as proof of criminal background check, Costa Rican accommodation, or onward ticket.

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. See below for more information. 

Costa Rica Digital Nomad Visa - Beach sunset

Image credit: Unsplash

Costa Rica Digital Nomad Visa Alternatives

For those exploring alternatives to Costa Rica’s Digital Nomad Visa, consider these options:

Tourist Visa: Perfect for visitors wishing to explore or work remotely for up to 90 days. It’s easy to obtain and ideal for short-term stays.

Rentista Visa: Requires proving a stable income of $2,500 per month for at least two years or making a $60,000 deposit in a Costa Rican bank, suitable for individuals or families planning a longer stay without working locally. 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.

Pensionado Program: Tailored for retirees with a minimum monthly pension of $1,000, offering a serene lifestyle amidst Costa Rica’s natural beauty.

Investor Visa: Designed for those investing a minimum of $200,000 in Costa Rican property, projects, or businesses, facilitating economic contributions and offering a potential path to residency.

Are You Ready To Apply For The Costa Rica Digital Nomad Visa?

Costa Rica’s Digital Nomad Visa offers a fantastic opportunity for remote workers to immerse themselves in the country’s unparalleled natural beauty and vibrant culture while continuing their professional endeavors. With its clear guidelines and benefits tailored specifically to digital nomads, Costa Rica stands out as a top destination for those seeking to combine work and travel in a supportive environment. 

Ready to live the Pura Vida life? Check out our favorite places in Costa Rica for digital nomads. It’s time to pack your bagsbook your flight, and get your visa sorted.

Pura Vida!

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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