Costa Rica's digital nomad visa is now open for applications: Here's everything you need to know

The new digital visa allows you to work from this naturally beautiful country for one year.
The new digital visa allows you to work from this naturally beautiful country for one year. Copyright swissmediavision via Getty
Copyright swissmediavision via Getty
By Jack Pole
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After an unexpected delay, travellers can now stay and work in this Central American country for up to a year.


If you’ve always dreamed of living in one of the most beautiful countries in the world, now’s your chance. Applications for Costa Rica’s digital nomad programme have just opened.

The digital nomad visa was signed into law last August by president Carlos Alvardo. It was expected that details would be released soon after that.

But, after an unexpected delay, it has taken until 4 July this year to finalise the rules.

Costa Rica is a top destination for solo travellers right now, with a quarter of its territory covered by tropical jungle. Now applications have opened allowing tourists to spend longer in the country and work remotely in these beautiful natural surroundings.

Costa Rica is home to some incredible landscapes like Irazú volcano.Unsplash

President Alvardo said when signing the bill into law that he hopes the country will benefit from the money nomads spend in Costa Rica. It makes the country one of a limited few on the American continent offering this kind of opportunity.

The application is much simpler than expected without many of the hurdles that usually prevent digital nomads from applying.

How can you apply for a digital nomad visa for Costa Rica?

To apply for Costa Rica’s digital nomad scheme there are a few requirements and rules you need to follow.

To start, you’ll need to fill in an online form with your personal information and a few supporting documents, like proof of income. There’s a $100 (€97) government fee, $90 (€88) processing fee and an additional fee to pay for the visa once you are approved. How much this will be hasn’t yet been announced.

Surfing is a popular activity for travellers in Costa Rica.Unsplash

How long does it take to process a Costa Rica digital nomad visa?

It will only take a couple of weeks, officially up to 15 days, for your digital nomad visa application to be approved or denied.

Who qualifies for a Costa Rica digital nomad visa?

To qualify, you’ll need to be working for a foreign company, not a Costa Rican one, and be able to do your job remotely.

Applicants have to earn a minimum of $3,000 (€2,925) per month or $5,000 (€4,873) if they want to bring their family with them.

If you meet these requirements then you will be eligible to live and work in Costa Rica for one year. You can apply to extend this for another year if you can prove you’ve stayed in the country for at least 180 days.

You won’t pay any tax on your income or import fees on items you buy for work and can import up to two cars to get around while you are there.

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