UPDATE ON DIGITAL NOMADS VISA

On January 18, 2021, a new version of the Bill of Law N. 22.215 (“Law to attract remote workers and providers of international remote services”) has been published, which will be discussed in First Debate during the course of the week. After the article we published on December 4, 2020, we received many requests for information on this Bill, so please find below updated information thereto:

  • A new migratory category: The Bill of Law creates the new category of Estancia Visa as Remote Worker or Provider of Remote Services.
  • 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, since the last year, a stable monthly salary, fixed income, or an average monthly income, for an amount equal to or greater than three thousand dollars (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 one of the spouse, or any of the other members, and must in that case reach the threshold of four thousand dollars (currency of the United States of America) per month. 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 proof of the income may be carried out by filing bank statements that support the necessary income, or through other means of proof that will be indicated by regulation of the General Directorate of Migration and Foreign Affairs (see below).
  • 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: In light of the above, the Digital Nomad and his/her family will not be subject to the payment of social charges or contributions related to any Costa Rican social security scheme.
  • Fast Resolution Process before Immigration Authorities: Immigration Authorities shall have 15 calendar days to review the case and notify the final resolution. Within five days from the application, they shall verify the requirements and, shall clarifications or additional documents be necessary, request them giving the applicant eight 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.
  • No minimum days of stay in Costa Rica: People with the status of beneficiaries under this category will not have to stay in the country a minimum of days to preserve the category.
  • On the approval process of the Bill of Law: If approved in first debate, the Bill of Law 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.

We are confident that this Bill will soon be approved, so we recommend starting to collect the requirements. CRIBO may help you preparing your application: contact@cribo.cr.

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