The Costa Rica Digital Nomad Visa is finally available!
You could stay in the country for 90 days on a Costa Rican tourist visa. But with the remote work visa for Costa Rica, you can start working remotely there for one year.
And you can renew the visa for another year after spending at least 180 days in the Central American country.
Costa Rican president Carlos Alvarado signed the law to allow travelers to move to the country for an extended time.
This guide will help you learn about the Costa Rica remote work visa application process, requirements, costs, taxes, etc. Sounds exciting?
Let’s start with the basics first.
What is a Remote Work Visa?
A digital nomad visa or remote work visa is a type of visa that allows people to work remotely from a foreign country. The visa is usually for one year, with an option to renew.
This type of visa is ideal for people who want to travel and work simultaneously or move to a new country and work there. Wanna know more?
Costa Rica is the first country in Central America to welcome digital nomads & remote workers with a visa officially.
Who Can Apply For The Costa Rica Digital Nomad Visa?
Anyone can apply for the Costa Rican remote work visa if they meet the requirements given in the next section.
The visa is officially called the immigration sub-category of Stay (Estancia) for Remote Workers and Service Providers.
It’s a perfect opportunity for freelancers, YouTubers, bloggers, and remote workers who want to live and work in Costa Rica for a year (or more).
Have a look at quick details about Costa Rican digital nomad visa.
|Maximum Stay||12 Months|
|Benefits||Live like a resident.|
Costa Rica one year remote work visa is great for digital nomads who want to explore Costa Rica and other countries in Central America.
Top Benefits of the Remote Work Visa for Costa Rica
There are many advantages to getting a digital nomadic visa for Costa Rica. Let me share some of the top benefits now.
All these pros make Costa Rica an excellent place to consider for your digital nomad journey in 2023. Let’s learn how to apply for the Costa Rican digital nomad visa.
How to Get Costa Rica One-Year Remote Work Visa in 2023
The Costa Rican government has made applying for the digital nomad visa easily. The visa process will take about 15 days only.
Let me share the steps to apply for the visa.
1/ Understand Costa Rica Digital Nomad Visa Requirements
Like a business, you or any other legal entity can apply for a Costa Rican visa for remote workers and digital service providers.
The basic requirements include:
Note that all the visas are subject to a security review by DGME. But don’t worry, Costa Rica is friendly to remote workers like you.
2/ Follow the Application Process for the Remote Work Visa for Costa Rica
Now that you know the requirements, it’s time to follow the application process.
If you have fulfilled all the requirements, getting the visa will take 15 days. You may need to pay an additional fee after the approval.
To apply for the visa in person, you must make an appointment through the DGME’s web appointments portal.
Also, you must appear at the Foreign Nationals Administration Service Platform (Plataforma de Servicios de la Gestión de Extranjería) with all the required documents.
Otherwise, applying for the visa online is fine!
3/ Get Your Costa Rican Residency Card
After the approval of your digital nomad visa, you need to get a residency card. The card is also called Carnet de Extranjería in Costa Rica.
It’s a must if you want to live in the country for more than 90 days.
You must carry it while traveling within the country. The cost of the residency card is around $250, with $50 for the residence permit and an additional $200 to convert your visa to residency.
4/ Start Working Remotely in Costa Rica
Now that you have Costa Rica remote work visa and residency card, it’s time to start working remotely in Costa Rica. You can work from anywhere in the country as long as you have a good internet connection.
Read on to know about digital nomadic life in Costa Rica.
Remote Work & Digital Nomadic Life in Costa Rica
Costa Rica is a popular destination for digital nomads and remote workers because of its beautiful beaches and nature, stable democracy, and friendly people.
The country has been working towards attracting digital nomads in recent years. And that’s why it launched its digital nomad program.
The program allows tourists to extend their 90-day visa to a year. Best of all, you can renew it for yet another year.
Now leave Costa Rica’s remote work visa aside; let’s talk about what’s it like actually to live the digital nomadic life in Costa Rica.
Costa Rica Quick Facts
|Government Type||Democratic Republic|
|Major Languages||Spanish, English, Creole|
|Average Climate||Tropical Warm|
|Places to Work From||Many|
|Educational Standards||Highest in Latin America|
|Safety and Security||Good in Popular Cities|
Pros and Cons of Living in Costa Rica as a Digital Nomad
According to the Speedtest global internet speed index, Costa Rica is in 80th place regarding fixed broadband internet. This means Costa Rica’s internet speeds are far behind Panama but about the same as Mexico’s.
But it’s good to get your work done in 3-7 Mbps.
Also, Costa Rica has a relaxed and laid-back vibe, making it perfect for people who want to live a slow life. The country is a paradise for animal lovers and nature enthusiasts.
Look at the pros and cons of living in Costa Rica as a remote worker!
Don’t let the cons discourage you; Costa Rica is still an excellent choice for digital nomads and travelers. All you need is to take precautions and be aware of your surroundings.
Cost of Living in Costa Rica for Digital Nomads in 2023
Costa Rica is extremely affordable, with a cost of living that is 60% cheaper than in the US or Europe.
Most single remote workers can live comfortably on around $1500 per month. And a family of four can expect to live on $3000 per month.
One-bedroom apartment rentals in Costa Rica start at around $400 per month. And monthly utilities will cost you around $100.
A meal at a mid-range restaurant will cost you around $5-$10, and a cup of coffee will set you back $2 or less. That means you can live on as little as $1000 a month.
Of course, your cost of living will depend on your lifestyle and where you choose to live in Costa Rica. For example, living in San Jose will be more expensive than living in a smaller town.
Interested in moving to Costa Rica?
Let’s find out coworking spaces and nomad-friendly cafes for you now.
Digital Nomad Cafes and Coworking Spaces in Costa Rica
Its beautiful scenery and relaxed atmosphere make it the perfect place to start working remotely in Costa Rica. The country has many great cafes and coworking spaces that are perfect for digital nomads.
Let me share some cafes and coworking spaces in Costa Rica:
Coworking Spaces in San Jose
- Common Grounds: 18 S 2nd St, Downtown San Jose, CA 95113
- WeWork Office Space & Coworking: 75 E Santa Clara St, San Jose.
- Pacific Workplaces: 111 N Market St #300, San Jose, CA 95113
- Impact Hub San José: Av. 9, Barrio Escalante, San José, San Pedro, 10101
Coworking Spaces in Manuel Antonio
- Selina: National Road Manuel Antonio, Provincia de Puntarenas, Quepos.
- El Patio de Café Milagro: Provincia de Puntarenas, Quepos.
- El Wagon Pizza Cafe: El Wagon, 618, Provincia de Puntarenas, Quepos.
Coworking Spaces in Other Cities:
- Locoworking Space: 2do Piso, Calle Principal, Guanacaste, Sámara.
- Coworking Place and Health | C. 18 11, Provincia de Cartago, Cartago
- Casa Real | JHG7+CF7, C. Central Rafael Iglesias, Guanacaste, Liberia.
- Puerto And Co | Second floor, in the shopping mall next to Cafe Viejo.
- GuanaWork | Solarium, Liberia, Costa Rica
If you have decided to go for Costa Rica digital nomad visa, you’d not want to spend all day working remotely. That’s the beauty of digital nomadism!
Top Things to Do and Attractions to Visit in Costa Rica
Costa Rica has many activities and places to see, and enjoy your time here. Let me show you some of them right now.
1. Playa Hermosa: This black sand beach is located in Guanacaste Province on the Nicoya Peninsula. It’s a great place to surf, sunbathe, and relax.
2. Rincon de la Vieja National Park: This national park is located in Guanacaste Province and is known for its hot springs, waterfalls, and hiking trails.
3. Volcán Arenal: This active volcano is one of Costa Rica’s most popular tourist attractions. It’s located in the north-central part of the country and is surrounded by rainforests.
4. Tortuguero National Park: It is located on Costa Rica’s Caribbean coast and is known for its turtles, canals, and rainforests.
5. Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve: This reserve is located in the north-central part of Costa Rica and is known for its bird watching, hiking, and zip-lining.
And the top cities to explore in Costa Rica are: San Jose, Cartago, Liberia, Limon, Alajuela, Puntarenas, Heredia, Puerto Caldera, San Isidro, and more.
Whether you are looking for a place to work remotely or enjoy the beauty of Costa Rica, this country has something for everyone.
FAQs for Costa Rican Digital Nomad Visa (2023)
Costa Rica’s digital nomad visa scheme is still in its infancy, and there are bound to be a few wrinkles to iron out. Let me answer some of the most frequently asked questions.
When will Costa Rica digital nomad visa be available?
Finally, a digital nomad visa for Costa Rica is now available. You can apply if you work remotely in the country, make a minimum of $3000/month, present the required documents, and meet the visa requirements.
Is Costa Rica good for digital nomads?
Costa Rica is one of the most popular destinations for digital nomads. It has a great climate, beautiful beaches, friendly locals, and a relatively low cost of living. The country also offers good infrastructure and internet connectivity.
Do I need a visa to work remotely in Costa Rica?
Yes, you need a visa officially called the immigration sub-category of Stay (Estancia) for Remote Workers and Service Providers to work remotely in Central America, Costa Rica. That’s also called a digital nomad visa.
How long does it take to process a Costa Rica digital nomad visa?
The process for applying for a Costa Rican visa is online. And it takes roughly 15 working days to finalize your visa using the Trámite Ya platform.
Is Costa Rica safe?
Yes, Costa Rica is considered to be a safe country. The crime rate is relatively low, and Costa Ricans are generally friendly and welcoming to foreigners.
However, you must be aware of pickpockets in busy areas and take precautions against petty crime.
What are the alternatives to Costa Rica?
Belize, Nicaragua, Panama, Mexico, El Salvador, and Spain are great alternative destinations. Find out more about places like Costa Rica here.
Let me know if you love this guide to getting Costa Rica remote work visa.