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Moving to Costa Rica: New Law Targets Digital Nomads


A new law offers a renewable 1-year visa and generous tax incentives to encourage digital nomads to move to Costa Rica.

A BLH infographic of a map of Costa Rica and some of its main cities. Digital nomads are encouraged to consider moving to Costa Rica by a recently passed law.
A map of Costa Rica with some of its major cities

Officially named the ‘Law to Attract Workers and Remote Providers of International Services,’ the measure was signed into law by President Carlos Alvarado on August 11The original approval of the Costa Rican Legislative Assembly was in mid-July.

Costa Rica’s digital nomad law creates a new migratory classification which allows eligible applicants to receive a non-resident visa that also covers a partner and children under the age of 25. This includes same-sex couples, after Costa Rica became the first Central American nation to recognise same-sex marriage2020

Anyone who successfully applies for a ‘remote services provider’ visa will receive permission to remain in Costa Rica for an initial one-year period, which can be extended by a further year as long as that person has spent at least 180 days of the first year inside the country.

The visa comes with full income tax exemption — albeit only for the holder, not for their partner or dependents. Holders will be able open a Costa Rican bank account.

The visa also includes exemption of import taxes for the importation of computers and other technical equipment needed to perform the digital nomad visa holder’s job, as well as on up to two land, sea, or air vehicles. These vehicles can be used by the visa holder, their spouse or dependents. 

SEE ALSO Key Requirements for Starting a Business in Costa Rica 

A digital nomad visa holder will be able, once they have moved to Costa Rica, to legally drive in the country with a valid driving licence from their home country for the duration of their visa.

Costa Rica’s latest move to encourage people to move there

The new law is just the latest effort to encourage people into moving to Costa Rica, which the government hopes will bolster the country’s recovery from the turmoil of the global pandemic. 

An image of a remote worker, like those the Costa Rican government wishes to attract into moving to Costa Rica
Costa Rica wants to attract remote workers

Alvarado’s signing of the digital nomad law comes just weeks after he signed a law lowering the minimum financial thresholdForeign investors can apply for residency. This includes generous tax incentives.

Prior to the pandemic foreign investment accounted for 7.8% of gross national product (GDP) but by mid-2021 it had fallen to 3.5%.

Many more people are being forced to work from home due to the global pandemic. a study published by Harvard University2020 estimates that at most 16% of workers will remain isolated after the end the global health emergency. 

This is in line with a rising trend of remote working. Before the pandemic, there were an estimated 7.3 millions who worked remotely in the US. This number is astonishing. grew to 10.9 million by August 2020Costa Rica is currently trying to tap into this growing community of mobile workers.

The country’s stable economy and low violent crime levelsCosta Rica has attracted many people for years. 

Witnessing impressive growthCosta Rica has been one of the most successful countries in Latin America and Caribbean since the 1980s. It offers a high quality life for foreigners as well as one of the lowest rates of poverty in the region.

Costa Rica has become a popular destination for foreign investments due to its safety and prosperity. more than $2.5 billion in foreign direct investment (FDI) entering the country in 2019

While the country is trying to heal the economic damage from the COVID-19 Pandemic, it recently reported improved forecast for growthThis year, the expected increase is 3.9% by 2021.

A BLH infographic of a snapshot of the market in Costa Rica. Digital nomads are encouraged to consider moving to Costa Rica by a recently passed law.
A snapshot of Costa Rica’s market

Biz Latin Hub is here to help you move to Costa Rica

Biz Latin Hub has all the resources and expertise you need to help you move to Costa Rica. We can help you get started in this vibrant market by being your single point of contact, whether you’re looking to start a local business or set up your own venture. That’s because we offer a full portfolio of back-office and relocation support services, including company formationLegal, accounting, visa processing, recruitment.

We are also present on 17 other Latin American and Caribbean markets and specialize in multi-market entry.

Contact us todayWe would love to help you.

Read more our team and expert authors.

Key services offered by BLH including legal services, accounting & taxation, hiring & PEO, due diligence, tax advisory, and visa processing
Biz Latin Hub offers key services

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