Requirements to be a digital nomad in Costa Rica

As an economic stimulus solution, on August 11, the “Law to Attract Workers and International Distance Service Providers” (No. 10,008) was approved, with the aim that tourists could telecommute from anywhere. Where in the world. In order to benefit from the advantages granted by law, “digital nomads” must meet a series of conditions to obtain a residence permit.

Ludovica Jarquín, associate lawyer at Nassar Abogados, explained that “the law provides for the possibility of requesting a residence permit in the country, in the sub-category of stay, for 1 year to foreigners who work remotely for a natural person or morality that is abroad. and with a minimum income from abroad of 3,000 USD. If you are coming with a family group, the income must be equal to or greater than $ 4,000. The beneficiary of this new immigration regime must stay in the country for a minimum of 180 days during the first year and can be extended for another year, for a total of 2 years.

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Terms & Conditions

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 are receiving a stable monthly salary, fixed income, or average monthly income, in the past year for an amount equal to or greater than $ 3000, in the case of bringing your family group of $ 4000.

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

c) Make a one-off payment for the granting of a non-resident visa, as a worker or a remote service provider. The amount will be determined by regulations issued by the Directorate.

d) Other requirements arising from the General Law on Migration and Foreigners.

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


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

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

→ They will not be considered as usual residents for tax purposes.

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

→ Exemption from the payment of all taxes on the importation of personal computers, computers, telecommunications or similar basic equipment for the performance of their tasks, respecting the criteria of proportionality established by the General Directorate of Customs.

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

→ They can open savings accounts.

Likewise, companies which do not have a presence in Costa Rica, but which require the transfer of their executives to the country, will be able to do so without the need to outsource payroll services and with the possibility of bringing in the family group of their employees.

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About Yvonne Lozier

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