Approved! Foreign “digital nomads” with a legal framework to use Costa Rica as their workplace

August 11th 2021

The President of the Republic, Carlos Alvarado, and the Minister in charge of the Tourism sector, Gustavo Segura, this morning signed the Law to attract workers and remote service providers of an international nature (No. 22215), popularly known as “digital nomads”. The law was previously signed by the heads of the Treasury and the Interior, Elian Villegas and Michael Soto, respectively.

The event, held at the Costa Rica Convention Center, was also attended by deputy Carlos Ricardo Benavides, promoter of the project in the Legislative Assembly.

With this new legislation, the country already has a regulatory framework capable of attracting so-called “digital nomads”, which reinforces our tourist competitiveness and provides legal security and encourages remote workers who choose Costa Rica as their headquarters.

«This is a project that has the words employment and well-being written across all its pages throughout the national territory, because it makes it easier for people from different parts of the world to be in Costa Rica for work and that this attracts all the investments and contributions that Can bring. The digital nomad consumes services, food, makes purchases, uses transportation, hires people … All of this generates more employment in the country, and everything comes to generate growth, “said President Alvarado.

The objective of the law is “to promote long-stay visitation in Costa Rica and increase the expenditure of resources of foreign origin in the country.” The regulations establish the non-resident immigration category for beneficiaries as well as total exemption from income tax.

For his part, Minister Segura pointed out that “the law gives hope for the tourism sector, for the economic reactivation of our sector and with it the country in general. Costa Rica can compete by guaranteeing legal security to this target audience and taking advantage of the differentiation advantages that we have as a tourist destination ”.

For his part, Deputy Benavides pointed out that “we are moving towards economic reactivation with the signing of this law. Costa Rica has in this pioneering legislation in the area, from the point of view of its solidity, a great tool to empower the country as a favorite destination.

This law will allow any foreign person, with an income greater than $ 3,000 per month, to stay for up to one year in the country with a visa that can be extended for an additional year.

If you travel with your family, the income must be $ 4,000. Likewise, the importation of basic personal computer equipment, information technology, telecommunications or similar, necessary to fulfill your tasks or the provision of your services, will be exempt from the payment of all taxes as long as they meet the proportionality criteria that will be dictated by the National Customs Directorate of the Ministry of Finance.

The beneficiaries will have total exemption from the income tax, defined in Title I of Law 7092, Income Tax Law. This exemption also does not apply to the beneficiary’s family group.

The driver’s license granted in the beneficiary’s country of origin and that is valid will be valid for the purposes of driving in Costa Rica.

All these benefits are governed by the terms of the immigration permit, except if the loss of legal status is determined.

With the validity of this law, it is projected that digital nomads contribute to tourist recovery in the different regions through accommodation, food, vehicle rental, tours, medical services, beauty salons and even educational services.

The 32 Tourism Development Centers in the country have conditions to receive and serve digital nomads. The “digital nomad” can establish his “office” on the beaches, mountains, volcanoes and a variety of ecosystems in Costa Rica.

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