Costa Rica’s Tourism Board Helps Visitors Become Digital Nomads

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Key Takeaways

  • Offers extended stays, tax breaks, bank access, and import allowances for digital nomads.
  • Targets the US market, demands $3000 monthly income ($4000 with family), health insurance, and Spanish visa applications.
  • President Alvarado welcomes nomads, foreseeing gains in tourism, employment, and regional investments.

Costa Rica’s Digital Nomad Program Initiation

San Jose–Costa Rica, has joined the list of countries actively curating programs designed to convince short-term tourists to stay longer, to return to work remotely, or, in other words, to become digital nomads. 

Starting in July, the Tourism Board began to offer a program under which short-term tourists would learn about various aspects of being a digital nomad in Costa Rica. These “lessons” aim to help aspiring nomads find their financial footing and convince them to stay in the country. 

Under the program, short-term tourists can stay for three months (extendable to two years), open a bank account, be exempt from income and import (for work-related purchases) taxes, and import two vehicles.

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“According to our reports, 50 percent of digital nomads worldwide are from the USA, where we have a strong relationship, proximity, similar time zones, and good air connectivity,” Carolina Trejos, the marketing director for the Costa Rica Tourism Board, told Travel + Leisure, adding that the tropical country had many opportunities for digital nomads. 

Trejos stated that the first phase was communicating the benefits of this new law in the United States.

“We welcome digital nomads to Costa Rica,” said Costa Rican President Carlos Alvarado, speaking to The Tico Times. “This is an incentive for tourism, employment, and investment by digital nomads in the country’s various regions.”

Digital Nomad Visa and Eligibility Criteria

The Caribbean nation launched a digital nomad visa in July this year, joining a growing number of countries worldwide.

To be eligible to apply for the visa, applicants must have a monthly income of $3000 ($4000 if accompanied by family) and show proof of health insurance that will cover their stay. They also do not have to be working for a Costa Rican company. 

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What We Think

Costa Rica’s proactive approach to embracing digital nomads aligns with a global trend among countries seeking to attract remote workers.

The incentives, tailored visa requirements, and government support showcase a strategic effort to leverage the country’s appeal for a growing demographic of location-independent professionals.

However, ensuring streamlined processes, including language barriers for visa applications, may require further consideration to attract a broader range of international talent. This initiative holds promise for both the country’s economy and the nomadic community seeking vibrant new workspaces.

The Costa Rican Embassy requires that visa application forms be submitted in Spanish.

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Aqil K
Aqil K
Aqil writes about travel, tourism, and covers the many aspects of the digital nomad lifestyle.

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