Requirements for being a Digital Nomad in Costa Rica

Written by Tamarindo News

As a solution to economic reactivation, on August 11th, the “Law to attract workers and remote service providers of an international nature” (No. 10,008) was approved, with the aim that tourists can telecommute from anywhere in the world. In order to enjoy the benefits granted by the law, “digital nomads” must meet a series of requirements to obtain a residence permit.

Ludovica Jarquín, associate lawyer at Nassar Abogados, explained that “the law establishes the possibility of requesting an authorization to stay in the country, under the subcategory of stay, for 1 year to foreigners who work remotely for a natural or legal person who is abroad and with a minimum income from abroad of USD $ 3,000. If coming with a family group the income must be equal to or greater than USD $ 4,000. The beneficiary of this new immigration regime must remain in the country for a minimum of 180 days during the first year and may be extended for another year, for a total of 2 years.

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Those who wish to remain in the country as direct beneficiaries of this category must comply with the provisions of Article 10 of Law No. 10.008:

a) Proof that you receive a stable monthly salary, fixed income or an average monthly income, during the last year for an amount equal to or greater than USD $ 3000, in the case of bringing your family group of USD $ 4000.

b) Obtain a medical services policy that covers the applicant for the entire duration of their stay in the country.

c) Make a one-time payment for the granting of a non-resident visa, as a Worker or Remote Service Provider. The amount will be determined through the regulations issued by the Directorate.

d) The other requirements that derive from the General Law of Migration and Foreigners.

“According to article 7 of the Law, all the requirements established by the regulations must be presented at the” TRAMITE YA “digital window. Once the request is received, the immigration authority has a period of 5 business days to review it, if the request is incomplete or with defective documentation, a period of 8 business days will be granted to comply with the request. Once the documentation has been completed and the defects corrected, said institution has a period of 15 calendar days to approve” explained Jarquín.


→ Family group coverage, understood as your spouse or common-law partner, sons or daughters under 25 years of age, sons or daughters of any age with a disability or older adults.

→ Total exemption from income tax defined in Title I of the Income Tax Law, only in favor of the direct beneficiary, not their family group.

→ They will not be considered habitual residents for tax purposes.

→ The income they receive from abroad is not considered from a Costa Rican source.

→ Exemption from the payment of all taxes on the importation of basic personal computer, computer, telecommunications or similar equipment to carry out their tasks, complying with the proportionality criteria established by the General Customs Directorate.

→ They can use their foreign driver’s license in Costa Rica during the term of the stay.

→ They can open savings accounts.

Likewise, companies that do not have an operation in Costa Rica, but require transferring their executives to the country, will be able to do so without the need going to outsourcing payroll services and with the possibility of bringing the family group of their employees.

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