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Digital Nomad Visa in Costa Rica: How to apply?

Read all you need to know about the Digital Nomad Visa for Costa Rica in this article. Find all the information about its requisites, benefits, and so much more.

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December 6, 2023

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With remote work becoming more important, having access to a Digital Nomad Visa in Costa Rica is a great option for travelers. In case you are looking for different places to travel, having access to this type of Visa allows you to work and live without worrying about how long you will stay in the country.

Therefore, for people who want to visit Costa Rica and travel there while working, it’s important to know how to apply for a Digital Nomad Visa. So, keep reading to find out all about the application process!

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Who is this Visa aimed at?

The Digital Nomad Visa for Costa Rica is designed for those remote workers who want to work in a tropical country and enjoy the beach and nature of this country. The Digital Nomad visa is perfect for digital nomads, freelancers, entrepreneurs, and anyone who can work remotely.

Also, this initiative of the Costa Rican government would like to attract high-quality workers and attract foreign investment, so it is also an opportunity for those who seek to establish their company in a growing business environment.

When did Costa Rica establish the Digital Nomad Visa?

Costa Rica Digital Nomad Visa was established in 2022. The idea to create this Visa came with the fact that at least 7% of people traveling to the country was considered as a Digital Nomad.

People need to note this Visa is available for people who are not linked with any local company. Only people working remotely can apply for this.

How does the Digital Nomad Visa work?

It is a special permission that lets digital nomads work and live legally in the country for a year. It is important to notice that this visa is different from the tourist visa because the tourist visa only lets you stay in the country for a maximum period of 90 days.

To apply for the Digital Nomad Visa, you need to get some documents like a valid passport, proof of income, and other documents that we will mention later. Applicants also have to prove that they can work remotely and that they are willing to respect the laws and regulations of the Costa Rican government.

Once you apply, the process can last up to 30 days.

Advantages of the Digital Nomad Visa in Costa Rica

  • It lets digital nomads legally work in Costa Rica for one year.
  • It offers the possibility of importing work equipment without having to pay taxes.
  • It allows access to business support and networking services in the country.
  • It offers the possibility of working in a tropical and calm environment, with access to nature and Costa Rican culture.
  • It can be an opportunity to establish a business in a growing business environment.
  • Increased productivity.
  • Expand your communication skills.

Disadvantages of the Digital Nomad Visa in Costa Rica

  • The application process can be a little bit complicated and requires submitting a series of documents.
  • The visa can only be extended if you have been in the country for at least 180 days.
  • You will have to pay an authorized translator if you don’t have your documents in Spanish.

Who can apply for this visa?

  • Digital nomads who want to work remotely in a calm, tropical environment.
  • Freelancers, entrepreneurs, and anyone who can work remotely.
  • Hard-working entrepreneurs looking to establish a business in a growing business environment.
  • Anyone looking for a more flexible way of life and work-life experience abroad.

Requirements to apply for the new Digital Nomad Visa

You have two options to get your visa. The first one is to apply in person through a Costa Rican consulate in your country. And the second is by filling out the online registration form that appears on the official website of the Costa Rican Foreign Ministry.

If you want to do this procedure virtually, the first thing you should do is set up an appointment online on the web appointment portal and meet the following requirements:

  • Application form mentioned above.
  • Proof of payment of the visa for 100 USD.
  • Scan or photo of the biometric page of the current passport.
  • Proof of valid medical insurance during the time of your stay.
  • Document that supports that you are currently working in a foreign company or that you own a company under your name.
  • Statement of bank accounts with deposits or stating that you have received at least $3,000 per month or, if you are traveling with your family, $4,000.

How long does the Costa Rica Digital Nomad Visa last?

Even though the duration of the Costa Rica Digital Nomad Visa is not very long, its validity is 1 year, which is a pretty good time to get to know a great part of all that Costa Rica has to offer.

Nonetheless, if you want to extend this time for another year, you can do so as long as you have been in this country for at least 180 days in a row. Then, the full-time of this visa can be up to 2 years in a row.

Why is Costa Rica such a great destination for Digital Nomads?

Costa Rica
Costa Rica, one of the best destinations for Digital Nomads.

There are many reasons why Costa Rica is such a great destination for Digital Nomads. It does not only have great tropical weather but also offers a strong telecommunication infrastructure, an educated culture, plenty of spaces to share work, and a great community of entrepreneurs. Also, Costa Rica is known for being a safe and stable destination with a great culture and incredible biodiversity.

Other advantages of the Digital Nomad visa for Costa Rica are the following:

Low cost of living with high benefits

One of the best advantages of living in Costa Rica with a Digital Nomad Visa is the affordable cost of living. If you compare Costa Rica to other popular destinations for remote workers, such as the United States or Europe, you will notice that Costa Rica offers a lower cost of living, which means that digital nomads can save money while enjoying the beauty and culture of the country.

Natural and calm environment

As we told you before, another of the advantages of being a digital nomad in Costa Rica is the natural and calm environment of the country. Costa Rica is known for its biodiversity and natural beauty, which means that digital nomads can enjoy pristine beaches, national parks, and a wide variety of fauna and flora.

The calm and relaxed atmosphere of Costa Rica also offers an excellent opportunity for digital nomads to find a balance between work and personal life. With a natural and calm environment, e-workers can find inspiration and motivation to be more productive and creative in their off-site work.

How do Digital Nomads connect to the internet in Costa Rica?

A Digital Nomad needs to have a great and stable connection to the internet during their stay. Fortunately, there are many ways to connect to the internet abroad, such as the eSIM card with cellular data, local SIM cards, or Pocket WiFi. Each of them with its advantages and benefits.

eSIM card with mobile data for Costa Rica

eSIM card Costa Rica
eSIM card for Costa Rica with unlimited data. Source: Holafly.

The eSIM card has become a very popular option among travelers. Using an eSIM you can have a fast and stable connection anywhere you are, without having to change your SIM card or look for free hotspots. It is also very easy to install on compatible devices, and it offers a more stable connection if you compare it with other options because the Holafly eSIM card connects to the network of Telefonica de Costa Rica TC, one of the best cellular operators in the country.

eSIM coverage in Costa Rica
eSIM coverage in Costa Rica. Source: GSMA

Holafly offers the best prices for eSIM cards for Costa Rica, with varied data plans for your needs. The installation is easy and fast, so you can start working in minutes! It is also ideal for all types of professions as it has unlimited data and data sharing, so you do not worry about the consumption you have.

SIM card to have the internet in Costa Rica

Digital Nomads can also use a local SIM card to get internet during their stay in Costa Rica. This option is easy to use, but you will have to change your SIM card every time you travel to a new destination. It is possible that local SIM cards do not offer the same quality of connection as the eSIM.

Pocket WiFi to have the internet in Costa Rica

Pocket Wifi
Pocket WiFi example. Source: Alcatel.

It is another option to connect to the internet. The Pocket WiFi will let you and other devices of your choice connect to a private network created by the Pocket WiFi. It is a very reliable option for those who are traveling with a large group of people. 

If you are traveling alone, it is not the best option for you because it can be very expensive.

Other countries that offer the Digital Nomad Visa

The list of countries that offer this Visa is growing day by day. With different terms and requirements, the other countries that offer this visa are the following:

  • Germany
  • Old and bearded
  • Aruba
  • Barbados
  • Bermuda
  • Brazil
  • Cape Verde
  • Cyprus
  • Colombia
  • Costa Rica
  • Croatia
  • Curacao
  • Dominica
  • Dubai
  • Ecuador
  • Arab Emirates
  • Spain
  • Estonia
  • Norway
  • Georgia
  • Grenade
  • Greece
  • Hungary
  • Indonesia
  • Iceland
  • Cayman Islands
  • Italy
  • Latvia
  • Malaysia
  • Malt
  • Mauricio
  • Mexico
  • Panama
  • Portugal
  • Czech Republic
  • Romania
  • Thailand