The President has finally signed the Regulations to implement the new Visa
Good news for Digital Nomads in Costa Rica wishing to apply for the new Estancia Visa. As you may know from our past articles on our website, the Bill of Law was voted in Second Debate at the Legislative Assembly, with a positive outcome of it being approved in August 2021. We have been waiting ever since then for it to be implemented.
Finally, the President of Costa Rica during the morning press conference signed the Regulations to implement the Law, which are now to be published in “La Gaceta” and will become in force and effective from their publication. Thus, we can now officially confirm that Digital Nomads can get ready to obtain their visa in Costa Rica.
As a reminder, the law gives access to a special permit of one year to those tourists who follow under the new category of Estancia Visa as Remote Worker or Provider of Remote Services. Here a recap of the conditions for this type of visa:
- Who will be eligible under the new category: A foreign person who provides remunerated services remotely, subordinate or not, using computer, telecommunications or similar means, in favor of a foreign natural or legal person (located abroad), for which he/she receives a payment or remuneration from abroad (“Digital Nomad”.)
- Family members: The new category can also be requested for spouses or common-law partners, children under the age of twenty-five or who have a disability, as well as older adults who live with the Digital Nomad.
- Threshold / Required Income: To be eligible as Digital Nomad, the person shall provide proof that he/she has been receiving, in the last twelve months, a stable monthly salary, fixed income, or an average monthly income, for an amount equal to or greater than three thousand dollars (US$3,000) legal currency of the United States of America or its equivalent. If the applicant chooses to request the benefits also for his/her family group, the aforementioned amount of income to be demonstrated may be validly integrated with the income of the spouse or any of the other members and must in that case, reach the threshold per month of four thousand dollars (US$4,000) legal currency of the United States of America. In either case, it must be income that can continue to be received even if the person is not in their country of origin.
- How to prove the required income: The income may be demonstrated by filing bank statements or through other means of proof yet to be indicated in the regulation to be issued by Immigration Authorities once the law passes.
- Private Insurance Coverage: One of the requirements will be obtaining a private insurance for medical services that covers the applicant for the entire duration of his/her stay in the country. Likewise, all members of the family group must be covered if they choose to request their inclusion as beneficiaries.
- No CAJA obligations: The Bill does not foresee any obligation for the Digital Nomad and his/her family to register before the Costa Rican Social Security Fund (the so called “Caja”) and pay the social charges or contributions related to any Costa Rican social security scheme.
- Digital Platform and Fast Resolution Process before Immigration Authorities: Immigration Authorities shall implement a digital platform for Digital Nomad Visa Application and will have 15 calendar days to review the case and notify the final resolution. Within five (5) days from the application, they shall verify the requirements and, shall clarifications or additional documents be necessary, request them giving the applicant eight (8) days to complete the case file. This preliminary resolution will suspend the final resolution term, which will continue to run after the above-mentioned eight days term expires.
- Tax Benefits: Total exemption on income tax and tax on remittances abroad; Exemption from the payment of taxes on the import of equipment, instruments, tools or computer, telecommunications or similar means, necessary to carry out the tasks or the provision of the services of the Digital Nomad.
- Driving privileges: The foreign driver’s license of the beneficiary will be valid for the purposes of driving in Costa Rica for the entire length of the condition.
- Bank Account Opening: The beneficiaries may open savings accounts in the banks of the Costa Rican banking system.
- Length: The immigration benefit will be granted for one year, extendable for a period of one additional year. All the above-mentioned benefits and privileges shall have the same length.
- 180 days of minimum stay in Costa Rica to renew the condition: People with the status of beneficiaries under this category may renew it for an additional year upon the condition of having stayed in Costa Rica for at least 180 days during the first year.
We will be translating the official regulations, so in case you want to receive them, make sure to sign up to our newsletter through the form below in this page and we will gladly send them to you ASAP.
You can also reach out to us to learn more on the new regulations and book your appointment to start the process via e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org