Overview of living as a digital nomad in Costa Rica
As a tropical paradise with stunning natural landscapes and rich biodiversity, Costa Rica has been a top destination for travelers looking for adventure, eco-tourism, and relaxation. However, in recent years, the country has also become increasingly popular among digital nomads, remote workers, and location-independent entrepreneurs. Here are some key factors that make Costa Rica an appealing destination for digital nomads:
1. Affordable cost of living: With a relatively low cost of living compared to the US or Europe, Costa Rica offers digital nomads the opportunity to live comfortably while working remotely. Accommodation is affordable, and food and transportation prices are reasonable.
2. High-quality internet and infrastructure: Costa Rica has invested in modern infrastructure, including high-speed internet, making it one of the most connected countries in Central America. This allows digital nomads to work effectively and efficiently from almost anywhere.
3. Natural beauty and outdoor activities: From the lush rainforests to stunning beaches and crystal-clear waterfalls, Costa Rica is a nature lover’s paradise. There are ample opportunities for outdoor activities, such as hiking, surfing, and wildlife spotting.
4. Friendly and welcoming culture: Costa Ricans, or Ticos as they are affectionately known, are known for their warm and friendly culture, making it easy for digital nomads to feel at home and make new friends.
5. Stable political and economic environment: Costa Rica has a stable democracy, a sound educational system, and one of the highest literacy rates in the region. This, combined with a strong economy and relatively low crime rate, makes it a safe and stable country to work and live in.
Overall, Costa Rica’s combination of natural beauty, modern infrastructure, affordable cost of living, and welcoming culture make it an increasingly appealing destination for digital nomads seeking a change of pace from their usual work environment.
What to Expect When Working Remotely in Costa Rica
Adjusting to a new culture
Working remotely in Costa Rica means working in a new cultural environment, which may take some time to get used to. Costa Rican culture values family, socializing, and taking time to relax, so expect to encounter a work culture that is less intense and more laid back than what you may be used to. Be prepared to adapt and respect local customs, such as greeting others with a smile and a handshake, being punctual, and paying attention to dress codes.
Establishing a routine
Working remotely can make it easy to fall into the trap of working too much or too little. Establishing a routine that works for you is crucial to maintain your productivity and well-being. Plan your daily tasks, set your work hours and take regular breaks to stay focused and avoid burnout.
Finding a place to work
As a remote worker, you’ll need a quiet and reliable workspace to be productive. Ensure that you have access to a stable internet connection, and consider working from a coworking space or a coffee shop that offers free wifi if you don’t have access to a dedicated workspace. Make sure to research your options before you arrive in Costa Rica.
Dealing with language barriers
While many Costa Ricans speak English, it’s still helpful to learn some Spanish to communicate effectively with locals. Consider taking a Spanish language course before or during your stay in Costa Rica. You can also use translation apps or hire a local translator to help you with any language barriers you may face.
Practical Considerations for Digital Nomads in Costa Rica
What are the Costa Rica Digital Nomad Visa requirements?
To obtain a remote work visa in Costa Rica, there are certain requirements that applicants must meet. These requirements are designed to ensure that individuals who are granted the visa are able to work remotely and contribute to the local economy. Here are the key requirements for the Costa Rica Remote Work Visa:
- Proof of employment: Applicants must provide documentation to prove that they are currently employed by a company or are self-employed and have a steady source of income.
- Minimum income requirement: There is a minimum income requirement that applicants must meet in order to be eligible for the remote work visa. The exact amount may vary, but it is typically around $3,000 per month.
- Health insurance coverage: Applicants must have valid health insurance coverage that is either provided by their employer or obtained through a private insurance provider. The insurance must cover medical expenses in Costa Rica.
- Criminal background check: Applicants must provide a criminal background check from their home country or any other country where they have lived for the past three years. The background check must be issued by a recognized authority and show that the applicant has no criminal record.
- Proof of accommodation: Applicants must provide proof of accommodation in Costa Rica, such as a rental agreement or hotel reservation. This is to ensure that applicants have a place to stay during their time in the country.
- Proof of travel insurance: Applicants must have travel insurance that covers emergency medical expenses and repatriation. This is in addition to the health insurance coverage mentioned earlier.
- Valid passport: Applicants must have a valid passport with at least six months of validity remaining.
- Application fee: There is an application fee that must be paid when applying for the remote work visa. The exact amount may vary, so it is important to check the current fee before submitting the application.
Important Challenges When Applying For a Digital Nomad Visa In Costa Rica
- Language Barrier: The application process is mostly in Spanish. Even if you choose the English option online, there are still parts that are in Spanish. The in-person appointment is also done in Spanish, which can be tough for those who don’t speak Spanish.
- Differences in Processing: Everyone’s application process can be different. Some parts of the process may be enforced differently for different people, which can lead to varying processing times and results.
- Naming Convention: In Latin American countries, it’s normal to have two surnames – one from the father and one from the mother. The application form asks for both surnames, even if you don’t have one from your mother. You can’t just leave that field blank.
- Government Application Fee Payments for the Digital Nomad Visa. Don’t forget to show proof that you paid the $100 fee when you submit your application. But listen up – since the start of June, you can’t pay online anymore. You gotta go to Banco CR in person and get a stamped receipt with your name and passport number on it.
- Visa For Family members: If you’re planning on applying for your family members, you better have recent marriage certificates and birth certificates that are apostilled. It’s a bit of a pain, but gotta do what you gotta do.
- Sequencing: Oh, and one more thing. Don’t expect to have all your family’s applications processed at the same time as yours. The timing of your main application getting approved and reviewed can vary big time and could mess up when you can submit your family members’ applications.
Step-by-Step Process to Acquiring Your Costa Rica Digital Nomad Visa
Step 1: Determine Eligibility The Digital Nomad Visa in Costa Rica is intended for remote employees, business owners, and freelancers who want to stay in the country for a longer period of time than a tourist visa allows. To be eligible, you must work for a foreign company, operate a foreign business, or work as a freelancer with clients from foreign countries.
Step 2: Gather Necessary Documents Before coming to Costa Rica, gather the necessary documents while still in your country of origin. This includes bank statements showing a monthly income of at least $3000 US dollars (USD) for individuals and $4000 US dollars for a family, and a copy of the photo page of your valid passport.
Step 3: Start the Application Process You can start filling out the forms on the Tramite Ya website prior to entering Costa Rica. However, for two of the steps in the process, you will need to show entry stamps on your passport and make payments at the local bank to the immigration account, and will therefore need to enter Costa Rica to complete your application.
Step 4: Submit the Application Whether applying digitally or in person, complete the registration process on the digital platform (Tramite Ya). If applying in person, make an appointment through the DGME’s Web Appointments Portal using the option of Stay (Estancia) for Digital Nomads.
Step 5: Await Approval The Foreign Nationals Administration or the respective regional coordinating body will have a period of 15 calendar days from the date on which the application is submitted to issue a resolution in writing to the application.
Step 6: Obtain the Immigration Document Once a notification has been sent regarding the resolution granting the ability to remain legally in Costa Rica under the immigration sub-category of Stay (Estancia) for Remote Workers and Service Providers, you will have a period of three months to process your immigration accreditation document.
Step 7: Renewal For renewals under this immigration category, applicants must demonstrate that they have been present in the territory of Costa Rica for a minimum period of 180 days of their first year under this category of visa.
The Best Places To Stay In Costa Rica As a Digital Nomad
Once you’ve obtained your Remote Work Visa, you’ll need to decide on the best place to stay in Costa Rica as a digital nomad. Luckily, the country offers a wide range of options to suit different preferences and budgets. From beach towns to mountain retreats, here are some of the top places to consider:
- Tamarindo: Located on the Pacific coast, Tamarindo is a popular destination for surfers and beach lovers. It offers a vibrant expat community, with plenty of coworking spaces and cafes to work from.
- Santa Teresa: If you’re looking for a more laid-back and bohemian vibe, Santa Teresa is the place to be. This small beach town is known for its stunning sunsets, yoga retreats, and organic food options.
- San José: As the capital city of Costa Rica, San José offers a bustling urban environment with all the amenities you’ll need. It has a growing coworking scene and is a great base for exploring the rest of the country.
- Puerto Viejo: Puerto Viejo is a popular destination for digital nomads in Costa Rica due to its idyllic beaches, lush rainforests, and laid-back atmosphere. This small fishing village turned tourist town is located on the Caribbean coast and is known for its reggae music, Afro-Caribbean culture, and delicious food.
- Nosara: Known for its pristine beaches and yoga retreats, Nosara is a peaceful and wellness-focused destination for digital nomads.
- Jaco: Located on the Central Pacific coast, Jaco is a lively beach town with a vibrant nightlife and a variety of outdoor activities.
- Manuel Antonio: Home to a stunning national park, Manuel Antonio offers a unique blend of rainforest and beach landscapes, perfect for nature lovers.
- Montezuma: This bohemian beach town is known for its waterfalls, alternative lifestyle, and artistic community.
- La Fortuna: Situated near the Arenal Volcano, La Fortuna is a popular destination for adventure seekers, with activities such as hiking, ziplining, and hot springs.
- Dominical: Surrounded by lush rainforest and beautiful beaches, Dominical is a laid-back surf town with a relaxed vibe.
Other Worthy Mentions
- Playa Flamingo: With its white sandy beaches and crystal-clear waters, Playa Flamingo is a luxurious and upscale destination for digital nomads.
- Monteverde: Famous for its cloud forests and diverse wildlife, Monteverde is a nature lover’s paradise and offers a tranquil setting for remote work.
- Puerto Jimenez: Located on the Osa Peninsula, Puerto Jimenez is a gateway to the stunning Corcovado National Park, offering incredible biodiversity and eco-tourism opportunities.
- Samara: Known for its calm waters and family-friendly atmosphere, Samara is a great choice for digital nomads looking for a relaxed beach town experience.
- Uvita: Home to Marino Ballena National Park, Uvita is a hidden gem with beautiful beaches and the famous Whale’s Tail formation.
- Playa Hermosa: Just a short drive from the capital city, Playa Hermosa is a tranquil beach town known for its surfing and stunning sunsets.
- Guanacaste: Located in the northwest region of Costa Rica, Guanacaste offers a mix of beautiful beaches
Connectivity and Workspaces
As a digital nomad, you know that a reliable internet connection is as essential as your passport. In Costa Rica, the digital landscape is as lush and diverse as its rainforests. High-speed internet and fiber optic connections are sprouting up across the country, making it a digital nomad’s paradise.
Choosing Your Digital Lifeline Costa Rica boasts a variety of internet providers. The government-run Kolbi (ICE) leads the pack, but Liberty, Tigo, Cable Tica, and Claro are also vying for your attention, making the market competitive and prices more affordable.
Renting and Staying Connected When you rent a place in Costa Rica, you might find yourself playing the role of an internet installer. If your rental comes with internet, it’s likely to be at a tortoise’s pace. Fear not! You can negotiate with your host to upgrade the speed, a cost you’ll cover.
Weathering the Storms In Costa Rica, the rainy season can sometimes play havoc with your electricity supply. To ensure you stay connected during these tropical downpours, consider investing in a battery backup/surge protector for your modem and router. Power outages are usually brief, but even minor surges can harm your equipment.
Co-Working Spaces and Public Wi-Fi The co-working scene in Costa Rica is blossoming. From WeWork in San Jose to trendy beachside spaces in Tamarindo and Santa Teresa, you’ll find a spot that suits your working style. Some condo towers in San Jose even offer dedicated co-working and meeting rooms. Selina hostel has morphed into a digital nomad-friendly space, providing both accommodation and co-working facilities.
The country’s co-working spaces offer a perfect blend of comfort, connectivity, and community. Here’s a tour of the best co-working spaces in Costa Rica:
Jaco: Surfing the Digital and Oceanic Waves Jaco, a Pacific coast town, is a haven for surfers and digital nomads alike. Amidst the vibrant nightlife and thriving ex-pat community, you’ll find two standout co-working spaces: Selina Jaco Cowork and Resonance Costa Rica. Selina, a renowned hostel chain, offers a co-working space with hot desks, free coffee, and high-speed WiFi. Resonance, on the other hand, provides a holistic work environment right off the beach, surrounded by Costa Rica’s famous jungle.
Manuel Antonio: Work Amidst Wildlife Manuel Antonio, a popular tourist spot, is home to the Selina Manuel Antonio Cowork. Nestled in a hillside hostel with stunning views, this co-working space offers hot desks, great WiFi, and complimentary tea and coffee. It’s an ideal place to work after a day of exploring the Manuel Antonio National Park or lounging on the beach.
San Jose: The Capital of Connectivity In Costa Rica’s bustling capital, San Jose, you’ll find Selina CoWork and Gracias Cowork. Selina offers a pet-friendly environment with ergonomic chairs and standing desks. Gracias Cowork, on the other hand, provides a community experience with an on-site cafeteria, studio, and gallery.
Tamarindo: Co-Working in the Shade In Guanacaste’s Tamarindo, you’ll find In the Shade, a premier co-working spot. With 300Mb fiber optic internet and plenty of backups, you can work worry-free. Plus, it’s just five minutes from the beach!
Puerto Viejo: Caribbean Co-Working In Puerto Viejo, the jewel of Costa Rica’s Caribbean coast, you’ll find Puerto & Co. This co-working space and vegan cafe offer fiber optic internet, private rooms, and shared spaces to work. With stunning jungle views and proximity to the beach, it’s a hard place to beat.
However, if you’re looking for a café to work from, you might be disappointed. The café culture in Costa Rica is still budding, and most local cafés prefer a quick turnover of customers. Starbucks is one of the few places where you’ll see laptops open.
Staying Mobile with SIM Cards Getting a SIM card in Costa Rica is as easy as ordering a cup of Costa Rican coffee. Pre-paid SIM cards are the go-to choice for digital nomads. You can get a chip for as little as $2 and top-up as you go. While 4G is available, coverage can be patchy, so don’t expect lightning-fast speeds everywhere.
Remember to ask your host which provider works best in your area. Coverage can vary significantly from place to place. Whether you’re in Golfito, Bajos del Toro, or Playas del Coco, the right provider can make all the difference.
Getting To And Getting Around Costa Rica
So, if you’re planning a trip to Costa Rica, there are a few ways to get there. Most people fly into one of two international airports – either near San José or in Liberia. But if you’re feeling adventurous, you could always take a bus instead!
Once you’re in Costa Rica, the best way to get around is by bus. The public bus system is really great – it’s cheap, reliable, and even goes to some pretty remote areas. But if you’re in a hurry or don’t want to deal with the crowds, you could also take a shuttle bus or a taxi.
Renting a car is an option, but it can be pretty pricey. And it’s not for the faint of heart – the roads can be pretty rough, and there are some seriously scary drops in the highlands. Plus, distances can be deceiving on a map.
One other option is to take a domestic flight. This is one of the fastest ways to get around Costa Rica, and it can actually be pretty affordable if you book with one of the main domestic airlines.
Finding Housing Options and Rentals In Costa Rica
Short-Term Stays: Less Than 3 Weeks If you’re in Costa Rica for a quick workation, consider hostels, couch surfing, or apartment rentals. Planning ahead could even land you a house-sitting gig, although be prepared for some competition – house sitting in Costa Rica is as coveted as a perfect wave for surfers.
Hostels in Costa Rica are generally clean, offering shared kitchens and communal areas. For digital nomads, Selina Hostel stands out with its co-working space, making it an ideal choice for those who like to mix work with socializing.
Mid-Term Stays: 1-5 Months & Long-Term Stays: 6+ Months For longer stays, Airbnb and local listings are your best bet. Real estate offices can also help, but they often list more upscale properties and include agent commissions, making them a pricier option.
If you stumble upon an Airbnb property that feels like home, don’t hesitate to contact the owner directly. They might be open to negotiating a long-term contract, turning your temporary stay into a semi-permanent arrangement.
Your New Best Friend: Facebook Facebook isn’t just for keeping up with friends and family. It’s also a treasure trove of local real estate and rental groups. Each touristic destination, from Tamarindo to Puerto Viejo, has its own group where you can post your requirements and browse available listings.
Here are the most popular Facebook groups to help you find Rentals easily:
Must-See Places in Costa Rica for Digital Nomads:
Explore the vibrant capital city of San Jose with its cultural attractions and bustling markets.
San Jose, the capital city of Costa Rica, is a perfect destination for digital nomads looking to immerse themselves in the rich culture and vibrant atmosphere of Central America. This bustling city offers a wide range of attractions that will captivate any visitor.
One must-see place in San Jose is the National Theater, a stunning architectural masterpiece that showcases the country’s cultural heritage. Take a guided tour inside and marvel at the intricate details of the building while learning about its history. Afterward, head to one of the nearby cafes or restaurants to enjoy some delicious local cuisine.
If you’re interested in exploring local markets, make sure to visit Mercado Central. This lively market is a hub of activity where you can find everything from fresh produce to handicrafts and souvenirs. Stroll through the aisles, interact with friendly vendors, and soak up the vibrant atmosphere as you shop for unique treasures.
For those seeking a dose of nature within the city limits, Parque Metropolitano La Sabana is an ideal spot. This urban park offers lush green spaces where you can relax, have a picnic, or even join locals for a game of soccer. It’s a great place to escape from the hustle and bustle of city life while still being conveniently located.
Enjoy surfing and beach life in popular coastal towns like Tamarindo or Santa Teresa.
Costa Rica is renowned for its stunning beaches and world-class surf breaks, making it an irresistible destination for digital nomads who love sun, sand, and waves. Two must-visit coastal towns on your list should be Tamarindo and Santa Teresa.
Tamarindo is known as one of Costa Rica’s most popular surf spots due to its consistent waves suitable for all skill levels. Whether you’re a seasoned pro or a beginner looking to catch your first wave, Tamarindo offers surf schools and board rentals to help you get started. After a day in the water, explore the town’s vibrant nightlife scene with its array of restaurants, bars, and live music venues.
Santa Teresa is another coastal gem that has become increasingly popular among digital nomads seeking a laid-back beach lifestyle. This bohemian town boasts pristine beaches with crystal-clear waters and stunning sunsets. Spend your days lounging on the sand, practicing yoga at one of the many studios, or indulging in healthy organic cuisine at local cafes. Santa Teresa truly embodies the pura vida spirit that Costa Rica is famous for.
Immerse yourself in nature by visiting national parks such as Manuel Antonio or Arenal Volcano National Park.
Costa Rica is renowned for its breathtaking natural beauty and diverse ecosystems. As a digital nomad, you have the opportunity to explore some of the country’s most spectacular national parks, including Manuel Antonio and Arenal Volcano National Park.
Manuel Antonio National Park is a must-see destination for nature lovers. This protected area encompasses lush rainforests teeming with wildlife and pristine beaches perfect for swimming and snorkeling. Take a guided hike through the park’s trails to spot monkeys, sloths, colorful birds, and other fascinating creatures that call this tropical paradise home.
Arenal Volcano National Park offers a unique opportunity to witness one of Costa Rica’s most iconic landmarks – Arenal Volcano. Hike through lava fields and dense forests as you make your way towards this majestic volcano. If you’re up for an adventure, try your hand at zip-lining or take a dip in natural hot springs nearby. The awe-inspiring views of the volcano coupled with thrilling outdoor activities make this park an unforgettable experience.
Take advantage of eco-tourism opportunities like zip-lining, hiking, and wildlife spotting in Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve.
For digital nomads seeking an adrenaline rush and a chance to connect with nature, the Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve is a must-visit destination. This pristine cloud forest is known for its incredible biodiversity and offers a range of eco-tourism activities.
One of the most popular activities in Monteverde is zip-lining through the treetops. Soar above the canopy and enjoy breathtaking views of the forest below as you glide along exhilarating zip lines. It’s an experience that will get your heart racing while providing a unique perspective on the lush surroundings.
Safety Considerations for Digital Nomads in Costa Rica
Be cautious about petty theft and keep personal belongings secure while traveling around tourist areas.
It’s important to be aware of potential risks and take precautions to ensure your safety. Petty theft can be a concern, especially in crowded tourist areas where pickpockets may try to take advantage of distracted individuals. To avoid falling victim to theft, it’s crucial to keep your personal belongings secure at all times.
One way to protect your valuables is by using a money belt or a hidden pouch that can be worn discreetly under your clothing. This will make it more difficult for thieves to access your cash, credit cards, or passport. Consider investing in a small lock for your backpack or luggage when you’re out exploring the sights. By taking these simple steps, you can greatly reduce the risk of becoming a target for opportunistic thieves.
Stay informed about current safety conditions through reliable sources such as local authorities or embassies
As a digital nomad in Costa Rica, staying informed about the current safety conditions is essential. It’s always wise to rely on reliable sources of information such as local authorities or embassies for updates on any potential risks or security concerns.
Before venturing into unfamiliar areas or engaging in activities like hiking through dense jungles or visiting remote locations, do thorough research and check with local authorities regarding any recent incidents or warnings. These resources can provide valuable insights into any potential dangers you should be aware of and help you make informed decisions about where and when to travel within Costa Rica.
Avoid isolated areas during nighttime and use reputable transportation options when moving around unfamiliar places
While exploring Costa Rica as a digital nomad, it’s important to prioritize personal safety by avoiding isolated areas during nighttime. Although Costa Rica is generally considered safe for tourists and digital nomads alike, exercising caution is always recommended, especially after dark.
Stick to well-lit and populated areas when venturing out at night. If you need to travel between locations during nighttime, it’s advisable to use reputable transportation options such as registered taxis or rideshare services like Uber. These services provide an extra layer of security and can help ensure a safer journey.
Take necessary precautions against mosquito-borne diseases like dengue or Zika by using repellents and wearing protective clothing.
Costa Rica’s lush tropical environment is home to various insects, including mosquitoes that may carry diseases such as dengue or Zika. As a digital nomad in Costa Rica, it’s crucial to take necessary precautions to protect yourself from these mosquito-borne illnesses.
To minimize the risk of mosquito bites, make sure to apply insect repellent containing DEET or other effective ingredients. It’s also advisable to wear long-sleeved shirts, long pants, and closed-toe shoes when spending time outdoors in areas where mosquitoes are prevalent. Consider staying in accommodations with screens on windows and doors for added protection against mosquitoes entering your living space.
By following these preventive measures, you can enjoy your digital nomad experience in Costa Rica while minimizing the chances of contracting any mosquito-borne diseases.
Tax Obligations for Digital Nomads in Costa Rica
Welcome to the Tax-Free Tropical Paradise!
Costa Rica has taken a significant policy-oriented leap to attract remote workers and service providers of international character, also known as “digital nomads”.
No Income Tax – Yes, You Heard It Right! One of the most enticing benefits of being a digital nomad in Costa Rica is that you are exempt from income tax. Yes, you read that right! As a holder of the digital nomad visa, you are not required to pay income tax on the earnings from your foreign-based work.
Additional Perks and Benefits But the benefits don’t stop there. The digital nomad law in Costa Rica also provides other advantages such as:
- Exemption from import taxes on equipment necessary for remote work.
- Ease of obtaining driver’s licenses.
- Facility to open bank accounts in the national banking system.
The Catch – No Local Work Allowed However, there’s a catch. While you are allowed to stay as an international worker or service provider, you cannot perform paid work within the Costa Rican territory. In other words, you cannot sell your services in Costa Rica. If you wish to engage in activities different from those allowed by the regulations, you must fulfill the corresponding tax obligations, interests, and penalties.
Eligibility and Requirements To be eligible for this tax-free digital nomad life, you must comply with certain requirements:
- Proof of receiving a stable monthly remuneration, fixed income, or an average monthly income, during the last year, for an amount equal to or greater than $3,000 for individuals or $4,000 for families.
- Obtain a policy that covers your medical expenses and those of any family members included in your application.
- Make a one-time payment for the non-resident visa to be granted.
Including Family Members If you wish to include family members in your application, you must provide additional documents such as passport photos, birth certificates, and make a one-time payment for the granting of the visa for each member.
Transitioning from Rentista Visa to Permanent Residence:
Living in Costa Rica under the digital nomad visa can be an exciting and fulfilling experience. However, for those who wish to make Costa Rica their long-term home, transitioning from the digital nomad visa to permanent residence is a viable option. One pathway to achieve this transition is through the Rentista category.
Proof of Income and Financial Requirements
To apply for permanent residence through the Rentista visa, individuals must provide proof of a monthly income derived from investments or pensions. This requirement ensures that applicants have a stable financial foundation to support themselves while residing in Costa Rica indefinitely.
The immigration authorities have set specific financial requirements that applicants must meet. These requirements may vary depending on factors such as age and family size. It is crucial to consult with the immigration office or seek professional advice regarding the current financial thresholds.
The Benefits of Permanent Residence
Obtaining permanent residence in Costa Rica opens up numerous opportunities for individuals seeking stability and a sense of belonging. With a residency permit, digital nomads can live and work in Costa Rica without any time restrictions. They no longer need to worry about renewing their visa periodically or facing potential limitations associated with tourist visas.
Moreover, permanent residents enjoy various benefits such as access to healthcare services provided by the Caja Costarricense de Seguro Social (CCSS). This comprehensive healthcare system ensures that residents receive quality medical care when needed.
Applying for Permanent Residence
Transitioning from the digital nomad visa to permanent residence involves submitting a new visa application under the Rentista category. Here are some essential steps to follow:
- Gather Required Documents: Prepare all necessary documents, including a valid passport, proof of income, bank statements, and any other supporting documentation required by the immigration authorities.
- Consult with Immigration Office: Schedule an appointment with the local immigration office to discuss your intention to transition from the digital nomad visa to permanent residence. They will guide you through the specific requirements and procedures.
- Submit Application: Complete the visa application form accurately, ensuring that all required information is provided. Attach the necessary supporting documents and submit them to the immigration office.
- Await Approval: The immigration authorities will review your application and make a decision based on the provided documentation. This process may take some time, so it is essential to be patient during this period.
- Follow Up: If additional information or clarification is required, promptly provide the requested documents to expedite the processing of your application.
- Obtain Permanent Residence: Once your application is approved, you will receive a residence permit, granting you permanent residency in Costa Rica.
Making Costa Rica Your Home
Costa Rica’s President Carlos Alvarado has expressed his commitment to welcoming foreign nationals who contribute positively to the country’s economy and culture. As a digital nomad transitioning from the Rentista visa to permanent residence, you have an opportunity to become an integral part of Costa Rica’s vibrant community.
Learning Spanish can enhance your experience as it allows for better integration into local society and facilitates communication in various aspects of daily life. Embracing the local culture, participating in community activities, and building connections with both expatriates and locals can help create a true sense of home in Costa Rica.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I bring my family with me on the Costa Rica Digital Nomad Visa?
Yes, you can bring your family with you under this visa category. They will also need to meet certain requirements and follow the application process.
Is it possible to work for a company based outside of Costa Rica while on this visa?
Yes, as long as your employment is remote and not physically carried out within Costa Rican territory, you can work for companies located anywhere in the world.
What type of health insurance coverage do I need?
You are required to have health insurance that covers medical expenses in Costa Rica for at least one year. It should provide a minimum coverage of $50,000 for medical treatment and $2,000 for quarantine lodging expenses related to COVID-19.
Are there any limitations on how long I can stay in Costa Rica under this visa?
The initial validity period of the Digital Nomad Visa is one year. However, it can be renewed for up to two additional periods of one year each, allowing you to stay in Costa Rica for a maximum of three years.
Can I travel outside of Costa Rica while on this visa?
Yes, you are allowed to travel outside of Costa Rica and return within the validity period of your visa. However, keep in mind that leaving the country for an extended period may affect your ability to renew the visa or transition to permanent residence.
What is the cost of living in Costa Rica?
The cost of living in Costa Rica is relatively low when compared to other countries in the region. The cost of living varies depending on the city you choose to reside in and your lifestyle. On average, you can expect to spend about $1,500 per month to live comfortably in Costa Rica.
What are some of the best places to live as a digital nomad in Costa Rica?
There are many places to live as a digital nomad in Costa Rica, including San Jose, Tamarindo, Dominical, Manuel Antonio, and Jaco Beach. These places offer excellent living conditions, including internet connectivity, co-working spaces, and a supportive community of digital nomads.
What is Banco de Costa Rica?
Banco de Costa Rica is a state-owned bank and one of the largest financial institutions in Costa Rica. The bank offers various banking services, including savings accounts, debit and credit cards, loans, and other financial services.