The Costa Rica digital nomad visa is aimed at those looking for an exotic destination for their next move. This comprehensive guide caters to digital nomads looking to embrace the pura vida lifestyle.
Learn everything you need to know about the visa application process and how to meet the essential prerequisites.
We will also share some tips to secure your spot in this tropical paradise.
Costa Rica Digital Nomad Visa – Key Points Explained
The Costa Rica remote work visa is a temporary residence permit for remote workers that provides the perfect solution for location-independent professionals seeking a change of scenery.
This visa allows you to live and work in Costa Rica for up to one year, with the possibility of renewal as long as you stay in the country for at least 180 days.
To qualify for this visa, you must show proof of stable monthly income ($3000 for individuals (2750 €) or $4000 (3700 €) for families) and a valid health insurance coverage.
You will also have to undergo a criminal background check and provide a notarized declaration of income.
The application process can be initiated through the Costa Rican embassy or directly online.
Is It Hard To Get Costa Rica Digital Nomad Visa ?
Wondering if it’s challenging to secure a digital nomad visa for Costa Rica ?
Fear not ! Look into how to apply for digital nomad visa Costa Rica and, with the proper preparation and adherence to the requirements, the process can be smooth and hassle-free.
Stay motivated and keep on reading to explore how to apply for a Costa Rica DNV.
Types Of Digital Nomad Visa Costa Rica
There are two types of digital nomad visas in Costa Rica :
- The Costa Rica work visa for individuals : this visa caters to individual remote workers and digital nomads implies you earn a minimum monthly income of $3000 (2750 €). You will then be allowed to live and work in Costa Rica for up to one year, with extension possibilities.
- The Costa Rica digital nomad visa for families : designed for digital nomads with dependents, this visa requires a minimum monthly income of $4000 (3700 €). It covers the applicant and their family members and is great to allow the whole family to embrace the Costa Rican chill lifestyle together.
Both visa types require similar documentation and requirements (except for the minimum income amount).
Eligibility & Costa Rica Digital Nomad Visa Requirements
To be eligible for a Costa Rica digital nomad visa, you must fulfill specific requirements.
You will find below a comprehensive breakdown of the essential criteria to guide you through the Costa Rica digital nomad visa application process :
- Income : you must demonstrate a stable monthly income of at least $3000 (2750 €) if you’re traveling alone or $4000 (3700 €) if you’re traveling with a family member (spouse or kids). This requirement has to come through a notarized declaration of income or official documents such as bank statements.
- Valid health insurance that covers you throughout your stay in Costa Rica.
- Criminal background check conducted by the relevant authorities in your country of residence or citizenship.
- Passport : a valid passport with an expiration date at least six months beyond the intended stay in Costa Rica is necessary.
- Proof of departure : you should present a return ticket or proof of onward travel, proving your intent to leave Costa Rica once the visa expires.
- Consular registration : you must register your respective consulate in Costa Rica.
Digital Nomad Visa Costa Rica Income Requirements
To ensure that you can financially support yourself while living and working in the country, the Costa Rican government has set up a minimum income you need to earn in order to live comfortably in the country.
This amount must be stable and of at least $3000 (2750 €) if your plan is to apply for Costa Rica digital nomad visa for yourself only.
If you wish to apply with dependents or spouses, then the required minimum income increases to $4000 (3700 €). This income must absolutely be generated from sources outside Costa Rica and can be derived from remote work, freelancing or other location-independent activities.
Digital nomads working remotely in Costa Rica for a Costa Rican company won’t be accepted.
Digital Nomad Visa For Costa Rica Documents
Here is a detailed checklist of the required documentation to apply for a Costa Rica remote worker visa :
- Proof of income : provide official documents (bank statements for example) or a notarized declaration confirming your stable monthly income of at least $3,000 for individuals or $4,000 for families, coming from a foreign company or foreign clients.
- Valid health insurance : subscribe to a policy from an international or Costa Rican insurance provider that covers the entire duration of your stay.
- Criminal background check : request a clean criminal record from relevant authorities in your country of residence or citizenship. This document must be apostilled or legalized.
- Visa application form online or at the embassy : complete and submit the official visa application form to the Costa Rican consulate or through their official website.
- Passport : make sure your passport is valid for at least six months beyond your intended stay.
- Passport-sized photos : provide two recent passport-sized photos for the application.
- Proof of departure : present a return ticket or proof of onward travel, indicating your intent to leave Costa Rica after the visa expires.
Digital Nomad Visa Costa Rica Application
Here is a guide to apply to the Costa Rican digital nomad, step by step :
- Gather all the required documents : start by compiling all the required documents and make sure all of them are accurate and up-to-date.
- Complete the visa application form : any incomplete or incorrect information may result in the denial or delay of your application.
- Submit your application online or directly at the embassy, providing the same documents for all applicants if you apply for your family.
- Pay the visa fee. You will have to pay $100 (90 €) of processing fee when you submit your application.
- Await approval : after submitting your application, you will have to wait a few days for the answer. Stay patient and be prepared to provide additional documentation if requested. Processing time is usually around 15 days, so it’s pretty quick compared to other countries.
- Obtain DIMEX card : once your digital nomad visa is approved, you’ll receive a special DIMEX card. This card will serve you as proof of your visa status and will allow you to live and work in Costa Rica without the need for a separate work permit.
- Register with your consulate in Costa Rica upon arrival in Costa Rica to keep your home country informed of your whereabouts.
Costa Rica Digital Nomad Visa Renewal Process
The Costa Rica DNV is valid for one year initially, with the option to renew for an additional year.
To renew it, you must provide updated documentation (proof of income, medical insurance, etc.) and pay the renewal fees (similar to the initial application fees).
Remember to ask for your new visa a few weeks before the initial one expires !
How Long Is A Costa Rica Digital Nomad Visa Valid For ?
The Costa Rica digital nomad visa is initially valid for one year, but you will be able to renew it for another year, which means it is valid for a total of two years.
You will be able to apply for renewal before the expiration of your current visa to ensure an uninterrupted legal status in the country.
After two years, you may explore other residency options and apply for another resident permit.
Costa Rica Digital Nomad Visa Cost & Fees
Good news : Costa Rica offers one of the cheapest digital nomad visas in the world !
You will have to pay $100 (90 €) of processing fee to the Banco de Costa Rica when submitting your application.
These fees can vary depending on your nationality so make sure to contact foreign nationals administration before you apply.
Upon approval, you will also need to pay for your DIMEX card, which costs approximately $100 (90 €).
Costa Rica Digital Nomad Visa Taxes To Expect
Digital nomads with a temporary residence permit for remote workers in Costa Rica are exempt from paying local income tax on their foreign-sourced income.
However, you may still be subject to taxes in your home country.
What you can do in order to avoid any confusion is to consult a tax professional to understand your tax obligations and ensure you comply with both Costa Rican and home country tax regulations.
Additionally, you should be prepared to pay sales tax (13%) on goods and services purchased within Costa Rica.
How Long You Wait To Get Costa Rica Digital Nomad Visa
The processing time to obtain your legal stay documents can vary depending on the accuracy and completeness of your application.
As long as your application is complete, then it shouldn’t be longer than 15 days before you receive an answer, whether it’s positive or negative.
But the process might also be a little shorter or longer depending on your nationality and consulate workload.
Make sure to send all the legal documents as well as a complete application form to obtain your visa as soon as possible.
Can You Bring Family With You ?
Costa Rica’s Digital Nomad Visa is designed to accommodate not only individuals but also families.
If you work remotely and wish to visit Costa Rica and live there with dependents, it’s perfectly possible.
Costa Rican foreign affairs offices allow you to bring your spouse and children along for your adventure.
To qualify for this remote work visa Costa Rica, you must demonstrate a minimum monthly income of $4000 (3700 €) to ensure you can financially support your family throughout your stay.
You will also have to show a marriage certificate or proof of civil union issued in your home country.
Digital Nomad Costa Rica Life (Is It Expensive)
The cost of living in Costa Rica can be relatively affordable for digital nomads, depending on your lifestyle choices and location.
Popular tourist destinations and upscale neighborhoods are obviously more expensive, but many regions offer more budget-friendly options.
Here are some concrete examples of what you can expect to pay while living in Costa Rica :
|Rent||300 to 800 € / $330 to $870|
|Buy||35000 to 150000 € / $40000 to $162000|
|Hotels||30 to 150 € / $33 to $165|
|Bnb||25 to 100 € / $27 to $110|
|Restaurant||8 to 25 € / $9 to $27|
|Groceries||150 to 200 € / $158 to $215 /month/pers|
|Fast Food||4 to 8 € / $4 to $9|
|Train||Around 10 € / $11 per 100km|
|Bus||0,5 to 1,5 € / $0,55 to $1,65 per trip|
|Taxi||1 to 2 € / $1.05 to $2.10 per km|
|Car rental||30 to 50 € / $33 to $54 per day|
|Airplane||80 to 150 € / $86 to $158 per national trip|
|Day excursion||15 to 100 € / $16 to $108|
|Nightlife||5 to 50 € / $5 to $55|
|Museum / attractions||5 to 10 € / $5 to $11|
|Outdoor activities||10 to 80 € / $11 to $87|
You can also check the Cost of Living in Costa Rica here.
Is There Digital Banking In Costa Rica ?
Costa Rica offers several digital banking options through its well-established local banks.
Major banks, such as Banco Nacional de Costa Rica, Banco de Costa Rica, and BAC Credomatic, provide online banking services that will allow you to manage your accounts, make transfers, and pay bills from the comfort of your homes or workspaces.
These digital banking options will help you ensure you can easily access and manage your finances while abroad.
Popular Hotspots & Best Places For Digital Nomads In Costa Rica
Costa Rica is a great place to live and work in, but you will have to choose a place that really suits you to make sure this experience will be positive.
Here is a list of our favorite hotspots for digital nomads.
San Jose is Costa Rica’s capital and largest city. It offers digital nomads a vibrant urban experience with loads of coworking spaces, cafes, and cultural attractions. There you will enjoy well-developed infrastructure with reliable internet and access to modern amenities.
Located on the Pacific coast, Tamarindo is a popular beach town with a lively expat and digital nomad community. If you like surfing, nightlife and outdoor activities, you will find a perfect balance of work and leisure in this seaside town.
This laid-back beach town on the Nicoya Peninsula attracts digital nomads with its stunning beaches, vibrant food scene and relaxed atmosphere. It’s a great place to take care of yourself while working abroad, thanks to its numerous yoga studios.
Nestled on the Caribbean coast, Puerto Viejo offers a unique blend of Costa Rican and Afro-Caribbean culture. This charming town is an ideal destination if you’re seeking a slower pace of life in the wild.
Located on the Nicoya Peninsula, Nosara is a tranquil beach town that has become a wellness and remote work hotspot. A great choice if you want to focus on health, yoga, and sustainability !
Are There Coworking Communities In Costa Rica ?
Some hotspots are especially renowned for their coworking communities.
Amongst the best places to meet remote workers, you’ll find :
- San José : with its thriving coworking scene and tons of shared office spaces like OnePiece Works, Impact Hub, and CoWork Café. Their high-speed internet Costa Rica, meeting rooms and networking opportunities will help you enjoy a collaborative and creative environment !
- Santa Teresa is welcoming more and more digital nomads thanks to coworking spaces like The GreenHouse and Coworking Space at SkyLoft. It’s a great place to live and work in a relaxed beach town atmosphere.
- Tamarindo : with great coworking spaces like Sand and Surf Coworking and Tamarindo Coworking, Tamarindo is a very good choice if you want to meet entrepreneurs from all around the world while enjoying surfing and hiking during your time off.
Final Pros & Benefits
Costa Rica’s appeal as a digital nomad destination is based on different factors.
- The country’s stunning landscapes, biodiversity, welcoming atmosphere, beautiful beaches and outdoor activities create an unparalleled environment to work and unwind.
- There you will also enjoy a well-established expat and digital nomad community and a good choice of coworking spaces.
- Another great point is the fact that the digital nomad visa program simplifies the residency process.
- The country’s affordable cost of living will allow a comfortable lifestyle for most remote workers.
Few Drawbacks To Have In Mind
It’s true, Costa Rica offers numerous benefits for digital nomads.
But there also are a few drawbacks to have in mind:
- The country’s infrastructure, for example, may not be as advanced as in other locations, like in most European countries for example. And this can lead to occasional power outages and internet instability.
- The average speed for Costa Rica high-speed internet is 57.73 Mbps. In the USA, it is 119 Mbps.
- Public transportation can also be limited, especially in rural areas.
- Finally, adjusting to the slower-paced lifestyle, also known as “Tico time,” may be challenging for some people accustomed to a more fast-paced environment.
3 Alternative Countries With Similar Requirements We Recommend
Are you looking for another foreign country providing a digital nomad just like Costa Rica ?
Here are a few other ideas you might want to consider.
The Greek digital nomad visa allows you to live and work in the picturesque Mediterranean nation as long as you meet all the requirements (which are quite similar to the Costa Rican visa). Greece is an alluring destination thanks to its low cost of living and its growing digital nomad community.
Argentina’s Temporary Residence Visa is another option to consider. The capital, Buenos Aires, is a popular choice with its rich cultural scene and abundance of coworking spaces. It is also a great destination for outdoor activities lovers with the Andes Mountains, Patagonia, and Iguazu Falls within reach.
Croatia’s digital nomad visa will give you the chance to live and work in a beautiful Mediterranean setting. The country provides an attractive environment if you’re looking for a European destination.
FAQ Costa Rica DNV
How long can I stay with Costa Rica digital nomad visa ?
The Costa Rica Digital Nomad Visa allows a stay of up to one year, with a possible one-year extension, totaling a maximum of two years.
Where do I pay taxes when working in Costa Rica as a digital nomad ?
Digital nomads with a Costa Rican digital nomad visa are exempt from paying income taxes in Costa Rica but they’re responsible for taxes in their home country.
Is Costa Rica A Safe Country for Digital Nomads ?
Costa Rica is considered as one of the safest countries for digital nomads in Central America, but you will have to exercise caution and avoid high-crime areas.
When will Costa Rica digital nomad visa be available ?
The Costa Rican Digital Nomad Visa is already available. It has been introduced in August 2021.
Costa Rica’s Digital Nomad Visa provides an excellent opportunity for you to experience the country’s vibrant culture.
We like its relatively affordable cost of living, its growing coworking scene, its zen lifestyle and its growing expat community.
All in all, it is an attractive destination for digital nomads even if its infrastructures are not yet very developed.