On June 8th, 2021, the Costa Rican Assembly approved in first debate the Bill of Law N. 22156 in advantage of Investors, Rentors (“Rentistas”) and Retirees. This Bill of Law brings new benefits for foreigners interested in Temporary Residencies in Costa Rica, and the purpose is to reactivate the economy, while encouraging more foreigners to move to Costa Rica.

Here a recap of the main aspects of the Bill of Law:

  • Application: The Bill applies to those foreigners who are granted a temporary residency as Investors, Rentistas, or Retirees (hereinafter, the “Beneficiary” or “Beneficiaries”).
  • Duty-Free Import Benefits:
    • Household items: The Beneficiary will benefit from an exemption from the payment of any import taxes with regards to the import of household items. This applies only for the first import, after which the Beneficiary will be required to pay the import tax for any posterior import.
    • Vehicles: Beneficiaries will be able to import up to two vehicles for their personal/family use under a Duty-Free Import regime.
  • Income Tax Exemption: The amounts declared as incomes to qualify for the benefits of this law will be exempt from income tax. However, the income obtained in the national territory, resulting from the investments made in the country, will be taxed by Income Tax.
  • Transfer Tax Exemption: Shall the Beneficiary buy a property at his/her own name, he/she will benefit from an exemption of 20% of the total transfer tax applicable to the purchase.
  • Instruments and material for professional use: these will be excepted from taxes, as long as it is demonstrated before the Tax Administration (“Ministerio de Hacienda”) that the digital nomad needs these instruments/ materials for professional use.
  • Lowered threshold for Investors: The Bill lowers the threshold required to be eligible as Investor to US$150,000. oo(from US$200,000.oo).
  • Dedicated Platform before Immigration Authorities: Immigration Authorities shall create a special Platform fully dedicated to Investors, Rentistas and Retirees to expedite the resolution time of residency applications under said categories.
  • Term: The benefits established under the Bill may only be requested within the first five years after the new Law will be published and, once granted, will be valid only for ten years.
  • On the approval process of the Bill of Law: the bill of law was approved in first debate; the Bill will be discussed in Second Debate within the following two days for final approval and publication once signed by the President. The Regulation of Immigration Authorities for the pending details shall be published within two months from the passing of the Law.

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