On the 4th of July, the president of Costa Rica signed the law to “Attract Remote Workers and Service Providers of International Character”, better known as “Law of Digital Nomads“. The regulation was approved to to attract digital nomads to the country, and to open the possibility for them to settle anywhere they like.
This bill was approved since July 2021, by the previous Legislative Assembly, which processed an authentic interpretation of the law to clarify the meaning of the rule and allow the administration to facilitate the processing of this migratory category. This authentic interpretation project was approved until April 21. According to Euronews, there will be a $100 (€97) government fee, $90 (€88) processing fee, and an additional fee (yet unknown) for the visa once everything is approved.
The law allows foreign workers to offer digital services remotely and settle in the country with a visa for a period of one year. One of the benefits approved is not to pay income tax, nor the tax on the import of equipment necessary for their work.
The world is competing for these talents, so Costa Rica should be among the first.Rodrigo Chaves, President of Costa Rica
“I think it is an important event in the modernization of the country and in attracting Foreign Direct Investment (FDI), foreign exchange and making Costa Rica become a country of high added value,” said Rodrigo Chaves, president of the republic.
Individuals must have a minimum income of US$3,000 if they travel alone and US$4,000 if they travel with their families, the rules specify. As these regulations are approved, said the President, other institutions and procedures will also have to be modernized so that bureaucratic processes do not scare away workers.
Officials stressed that Costa Rica represents an ideal destination for digital nomads because it has a relatively lower cost of living than many developed countries that also open their doors for these employees and has a fiber optic network system, high air connectivity and a convenient time zone.
According to the Costa Rican presidency, the 32 Tourism Development Centers in the country have conditions to receive and serve digital nomads who can establish their “remote office” on the beaches, mountains, volcanoes and a variety of ecosystems.
“The world has changed and now it is known that 27% -30% of high value-added international workers can work from home or from anywhere in the world,” the president said. Data indicate that these people, the “Digital Nomads”, leave about 15 million Costa Rican colones (US$21,793.92) to the Costa Rican economy per semester.
For Chaves, this legislation opens the door for more construction, more work centers, more collaborative buildings and other economic activities that will be reactivated with these employees.
Requirements to be considered a Digital Nomad:
- US$3,000 per month income for one person, and US$4,000 per month for the family group.
- Medical insurance. The policy must cover the beneficiary and the family group during the entire stay.
- Telecommuting. Must be self-employed, or work for a company established outside of Costa Rica.
- No paid work or professional services within Costa Rican national territory.
- Driver’s license. The driver’s license issued in the beneficiary’s country of origin that is in force will be applicable for the purpose of driving in Costa Rica.
- Bank accounts. The digital nomad may open a savings account in the national banking system.
- Pay the corresponding application fees.
This new law obliges the Costa Rican General Directorate of Migration and Aliens to establish a digital platform to apply for the visa category as a digital nomad, in order to facilitate the process 100% online. “It will be fast. I expect about 22 days”, said the president.