📅 Published at 09 December, 2022 & Last updated at 16 December, 2022

How to apply for the Digital Nomad Visa for Costa Rica

Authored by Andrea Villegas

How to apply for the Digital Nomad Visa for Costa Rica

Table of Contents:

One of the new Digital Nomad Visa options that were legalized in 2022 was Costa Rica’s Permit. Nicole, one of our verified lawyers for Costa Rica, and Danish, visadb’s CEO, discussed all the features of the permit in the session “How to apply for the Digital Nomad Visa for Costa Rica”. 

What are the top reasons digital nomads move to Costa Rica?

Costa Rica has a high quality of life. You have beautiful beaches, sunsets all year round, high life expectancy, and you live where you vacation.

What are visa alternatives from Costa Rica Digital Nomad Visa?

Before the Costa Rica Digital Nomad Visa was accepted, foreigners used to enter under the normal Tourist Visa, which is granted for 90 days, and do visa runs. 

Another option is the “Rentista Visa”: a residency category that will grant you a temporary residency for two years. After the third year, you can change for permanent residency, and after five or seven years of being a legal resident in Costa Rica, you can apply for citizenship. You have to show an income of $2500 USD monthly. With this visa, you have to pay for the national healthcare insurance which is 300 USD per month. 

When was the Costa Rica Digital Nomad Visa approved?

The law was approved in June 2021, but it did not start to become effective because there was a ruling that was missing. It was not until July 2022 that the ruling was finalized and the applications started running. 

What are the requirements for the Costa Rica Digital Nomad Visa?

The first thing you have to consider is whether you qualify as a digital nomad under Costa Rica’s law. A digital nomad is a foreigner who provides remunerated services abroad through a person or through a legal company using telecommunication or any other means. The most important thing is that you work remotely either in a subordinate manner (for a company) or not (as a freelancer) and you receive an income from abroad.

The second requirement is that you have to prove that you have a solid permanent stable monthly income for the past year of 3,000 USD, and if you are applying with a family group, you need to show that you have an income of 4,000 USD per month for the past year. 

The third requirement is that you show birth certificates and marriage certificates if you are applying with your family. The law indicates that the family group is considered the spouse or the partner through proving that there is a legal union. The children must be under 25 years old. 

Note: You also have to pay a filing fee of $100 USD.

What evidence do I have to show to prove the required income for the Costa Rica Nomad Visa? 

The law indicates that you have to provide the following documents:

  1.  Bank statements for the last year that prove your income 
  2.  A sworn statement indicating that you swear that you did receive this income for the past year 
  3.  It is also convenient to add a certification issued by a public accountant or a public notary that got access to your bank statements and that gave faith that you have had that income and that you can continue to receive it for the next year 
  4. If your documents are granted abroad the certification has to be duly authenticated with an apostille or with the ministry of foreign affairs or Costa Rican consulate in case the country does not have an apostille.

How long does it take to get the Digital Nomad Visa for Costa Rica? 

The procedure is done through the digital platform of immigration, and once you submit the process, immigration has five business days to say whether something is missing in the application or not.

If there is something missing in the application, you have eight working days to satisfy that document. After that, immigration has fifteen natural days to resolve the application, but they can as well take longer. 

Do I need to show a criminal record for the Digital Nomad Visa for Costa Rica? 

The government is not asking for a criminal background check but they will check internally.

Do I have to pay taxes to the Costa Rican government with the Digital Nomad Visa?

You do not have to pay taxes because you are not considered a person that makes an income in the country. You also do not have to pay import taxes for the equipment that you need to bring to be able to do your remote work.

Is it possible to show a company's bank statement instead of a personal one to prove income?

Yes, if you can prove that you are directly linked to the account. If you are the owner, the process can get more complicated as they might ask you for articles of incorporation, company certification of proof of existence, and all the documents must be authenticated and translated to Spanish.

Can I apply for a Costa Rica Digital Nomad Visa if I own property in the country?

Yes, but it is better that you apply for the Investor Visa. You just need to show that you have an investment of 150,000 USD in Costa Rica.

We hope this was a great kickstarter for you if you are considering relocating to Costa Rica as a Digital Nomad! We also invite you to watch the video session in the link below. 

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