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DIGITAL NOMADS WILL BE ABLE TO WORK AND LIVE IN COSTA RICA

On December 2, 2020, the Costa Rican Commission for Tourism has given its favorable opinion on the Bill of Law N. 22.215, filed on September 21, 2020, “Law to attract remote workers and providers of international remote services”.

Overcome this stage, the bill is now in the final phases of the process to be passed. Its passing will represent an important opportunity for foreign digital nomads that choose to live in Costa Rica, granting them a series of benefits, including a dedicated brand-new immigration category: an Estancia Visa as Remote Worker or Provider of Remote Services. At the same time, the initiative aims to relaunch the Costa Rican economy, bringing to the country the funds and resources of foreign digital nomads and their family members.

At CRIBO, we fully support this bill and trust it will soon be passed. While we still must wait for Immigration Regulations to specify certain details regarding the new category, the main aspects of the proposed Law are as follows:

  • The new law will apply to foreign persons who provide remunerated services remotely (“digital nomads”), subordinate or not, and as long as the services are received outside of Costa Rica.
  • Digital nomads will be eligible for a one-year estancia visa, renewable for additional six months. It is important to recall, that the estancia visa category differs from a temporary residency and, no matter how long the person have lived in Costa Rica under the status of the estancia, it cannot be converted into a permanent residency.
  • It must also be noted that, while usually estancia visas are not applicable to family members of the principal applicant, in this case the law states that the legal status can also be requested for the entire family group, including spouses, children, and even other family members.
  • To be eligible for the estancia visa, the person or the family group shall demonstrate that they receive an income sufficient to comply with the threshold established in the law.
  • Approval of the applications filed under the new category will benefit of an expedite process, which also represents an important plus considering the awfully long standard resolution times of Costa Rican Immigration Authorities.
  • Another important benefit for digital nomads will be the total exemption from the payment of income tax in Costa Rica.
  • Last but not least, the new category will allow driving privileges.

To learn more about this new category and receive updates on the approval of the bill, please feel free to reach out to us: contact@cribo.cr