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Costa Rica Digital Nomad Visa

Costa Rica Rating from Citizen Remote

Overall Star rating: 44.0

Internet Infrastructure Star rating: 44.0

Country Stability Star rating: 44.0

Cost of Living Star rating: 33.0

Ease of Obtaining Visa Star rating: 55.0

Taxes Star rating: 44.0

Quick Visa Facts

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Quick facts about Costa Rica

Costa Rica is located in Central America, nestled between Nicaragua and Panama. The country has been a popular vacation destination with its beautiful landscape and diverse flora and fauna ranging from rainforests, waterfalls, and volcanoes to the howler monkeys and toucans.

All this makes Costa Rica the perfect destination for digital nomads to get their next visa.

Capital San José

Form of Government Democracy

Population 5,163,000

Climate Tropical

Language Spanish

Currency Costa Rican colón (₡)

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Living in Costa Rica as a digital nomad

The Happy Planet Index chose the small Central American nation as the happiest country in the world in 2012, and Costa Rica was number one again in a National Geographic Magazine vote in 2017.

This ranking is the most convincing evidence to see that Costa Rica is a country filled with smiles and positivity, which also may be an excellent place for you to work remotely. However, there are many factors involving these rankings that may interest you.

Costa Rica has one of the most stable and democratic governments among all the Central American countries.

This country also believes that education is the key, so the government offers free education for all, with basic education being mandatory.

Although Spanish is the official language, English is commonly spoken along with Bribri, Creole Mekatelyu, and Mandarin Chinese.

This and many more reasons make Costa Rica an excellent place for digital nomads and remote workers!

Attractions and best places to visit

Costa Rica has been attracting tourists as a popular gateway destination because of its breathtaking natural landscape and biodiversity. Part of the reason is that Costa Rica is committed to preserving its most significant asset. More than 25 percent of the country’s land is a dedication to conservation, which means over a quarter of the land in Costa Rica is protected.

Costa Rica is rich in biodiversity. More than five percent of the entire world’s biodiversity is in this country. The Central American nation is confirmed to be home to more than 500,000 different species, while its Corcovado National Park is the most biologically intense location on the planet.

Manuel Antonio National Park

Another fantastic place to explore Costa Rica’s wildlife is the Manuel Antonio National Park. Here you’ll get the chance to see howler monkeys, squirrel monkeys, sloths, white-nosed coatimundis, and the famous capuchins. You’ll also see butterflies of every color and a myriad of colorful birds flying above you.


If you’re looking to enjoy the beautiful beaches Costa Rica offers, we recommend you head towards Dominical. This is every backpacker’s idea of paradise. This town has the perfect bohemian vibe, with plenty of beautiful beaches, open-air restaurants, and cheap accommodations.

Tortuguero National Park

You might also be interested in visiting the Tortuguero National Park on the Caribbean Coast. This park is an important breeding ground for the green sea turtle, which means the main attraction here is turtle watching. You can also take one of the many hiking trails and catch sight of unique flora and fauna.

Costa Rica Immigration Lawyer

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Digital Nomad Hotspots

San José is the most popular place for digital nomads. As the capital city of Costa Rica, San José has all the amenities you’ll need. You’ll find comfortable accommodations, plenty of restaurants and cafes, beautiful shops, and many historical places. San José is conveniently placed, and you can easily reach popular destinations a short drive away.

If you want to live close to the beach, the most popular place among digital nomads is Puerto Viejo de Talamanca. Even though it is a small town, it is the perfect destination. Situated near the Caribbean Sea, Puerto Viejo de Talamanca offers lovely beaches, wildlife, and exciting nightlife.

Cost of Living

Costa Rica’s official currency is the Costa Rican colón, but USD is accepted in most local stores, making it easier for digital nomads to integrate into life here quickly.

Sadly, Costa Rica isn’t the cheapest country in Central America, but it is still relatively affordable.


Furnished studio apartment for $640/month

Larger furnished apartment for $780/month


Meal at an inexpensive place $11

Combo meal at a fast food restaurant $7


One-Rice ticket $0.90 – $18 (depending on the distance)

When it comes to public transport, most people use the bus. Buses are the cheapest form of transportation in Costa Rica. Unfortunately, buses aren’t the most comfortable or effective form of transportation. Most people decide to rent a car instead or use other services like Taxis and Uber.

Costa Rica has three main mobile internet providers: Movistar, Claro, and Kolbi. These providers do not offer e-sim cards, but you can easily purchase one online.

Here’s a list of the prices:

$9 1 GB data for 7 days

$24 3 GB data for 30 days

$30 5 GB data for 30 days

Digital Nomad Essentials


Internet speed is one of the most critical aspects for any digital nomad. You’ll have peace of mind as it is one of the advantages of Costa Rica. The internet there is high efficiency, with an average internet speed of 43.32 Mbps downloads.

SIM Cards

We recommend purchasing eSim in our Digital Nomad App. However, we must tell you about other options.

Costa Rica has three primary mobile internet providers: Movistar, Claro, and Kolbi. You can purchase a SIM card from them at the airport or in the different shops around the city.

Unfortunately, these providers do not offer E-SIM cards, but you can easily purchase one online.

Here’s a list of the prices:

$9 1 GB data for 7 days

$24 3 GB data for 30 days

$30 5 GB data for 30 days

Is Costa Rica safe?

Costa Rica suffers from the same problems many Latin American countries do. You’ve probably heard some scary stories online about drug trafficking and poverty.


However, Costa Rica is pretty safe for visitors. Everyone should be cautious of the more violent neighbors, but the popular towns are safe.

Always watch for petty theft, especially pickpocketing in the most tourist-heavy places. Also, be careful at night since violent crimes like muggings are not uncommon.

Costa Rica Immigration Lawyer

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Visa Overview

In September 2020, the proposed law for a digital nomad visa first appeared. Since then, it has been going through various steps to become law, passing the first congressional debate at the end of June 2021 and quickly passing the second debate in July.

Now, after months of being placed on hold, Costa Rica has finally launched its Digital Nomad Visa.

Costa Rica’s Digital Nomad Visa is one of the most accessible visas. The application process is super easy and quick.

The Costa Rica Digital Nomad Visa will allow remote workers, business owners, and freelancers to stay in the country for longer than a tourist visa. This visa is different from the Costa Rica Work Visa. Even though it allows you to work while visiting, you must work for a foreign company.

Current travel restrictions

Costa Rica no longer requires travelers to show a negative COVID-19 viral test or documentation of recovery from COVID-19 before they board their flight.

However, it is essential to be up to date with your COVID-19 vaccines before traveling to Costa Rica.

Stay up to date with the current travel requirements on this website!

Costa Rica Immigration Lawyer

Need help applying?

Jose - Costa Rica Immigration Lawyer

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Who Can Apply for the Digital Nomad Visa for Costa Rica


The visa is open to anyone who meets the requirements listed below.

Here are the details that those who wish to apply must have:

  • You must work for a foreign company, own a business, or work as a freelancer with companies outside Costa Rica.

  • Have a monthly income of at least $3,000.

  • If you’re applying for a family, you must have a monthly income of at least $4,000.

  • Have health insurance that covers you and your family if necessary.

How to Apply for the Costa Rica Digital Nomad Visa

You can apply for your Costa Rica digital nomad visa either online, at a Costa Rican embassy, or using Citizen Remote’s visa services.

Regardless of your choice, the first step is to gather all the documents you’ll need for your application. Then, we will detail each one below.

Documents required to apply for the digital nomad visa in Costa Rica

  • Valid passport

  • Travel insurance

  • Visa application form

  • Proof of accommodation for the duration of your stay

  • An employment contract

  • A declaration letter stating that you will be working remotely in Costa Rica

  • Bank account statements that prove substantial financial means

  • Proof of payments

Keep in mind that every foreign document provided must have an official translation into Spanish, made by a Notary Public or official Costa Rican translator.

How much does it cost?

With your application, you must make two payments—one for $100 in favor of the Costa Rican government. The second one is $90 for the issuance of the immigration document.

Costa Rica Immigration Lawyer

Need help applying?

Jose - Costa Rica Immigration Lawyer

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Timeline for Applying

The application period will depend on how you apply. Applying online will almost always bring a faster response to your application when compared to applying at an embassy. Applications will typically be processed within two weeks when made online, but sometimes additional time is needed for specific applications.

Taxes for Costa Rica digital nomad visa

One of the best things about the digital nomad visa in Costa Rica is that all digital nomads will have tax benefits. They will have an exemption from paying import taxes on personal computer equipment. They’ll even be exempt from tax on utilities related to the income they receive from abroad.

Costa Rica is the perfect destination for digital nomads! So don’t miss out on the opportunity to make this beautiful country your home.

FAQs About the Costa Rica Digital Nomad Visa

What Is the Length of Stay for the Costa Rica Digital Nomad Visa?

The Costa Rica digital nomad visa lets you stay in the country for one year in the first instance, and it is renewable for a further year if you still meet the requirements. However, remember that if you intend to stay for a second year, you must prove that you spent at least 80 days in Costa Rica during the first year.

Prior to the introduction of this visa, those who wished to stay in Costa Rica for extended periods often entered on a tourist visa, which allows you to stay for 90 days. You must usually prove that you have a flight out of Costa Rica booked within those 90 days. Those wanting to stay longer would then conduct border runs every 90 days, crossing into a neighboring country and then returning after a few hours, days, or weeks. However, this is a risky process as there is no guarantee that you will be granted a visa for the neighboring country or granted a new visa for Costa Rica when you try to return.

What Are Digital Nomad Visa Financial Requirements?

The minimum income requirement to acquire a Costa Rica digital nomad visa is $3,000 per month. You must also demonstrate that your income is steady. For example, if you claim that you earn $5,000 per month, it must be every month; you cannot earn $4,000 one month and $6,000 the next. If you are a freelancer, you may want to consider forming a limited company and paying yourself a stable monthly income.

If you are traveling as a family, the income requirements increase to $4,000 per month, but the individual incomes of both partners can contribute towards that final figure.

What Are the Costa Rican Digital Nomad Visa Fees?

The application fee for the Costa Rican digital nomad visa is $100, which must be paid to the Banco de Costa Rica before you submit your application. All documents must be translated into Spanish, which incurs an additional cost, and there is a $90 fee payable as part of your application to register your documents officially. Once your application has been approved, you must submit a security deposit valued at 75% of a flight to your country, as determined by the visa-granting body.

Once you are in the country, there is another $50 fee to obtain your residency permit, plus a $3.75 fee per page of documentation submitted as part of the residency permit application process (to cover the cost of legally registering the documents).

Also, bear in mind that you are also required to provide proof of medical insurance, with a minimum coverage value of $50,000 for the duration of your intended stay in Costa Rica.

What Are the Benefits of a Costa Rican Digital Nomad Visa?

The Costa Rican digital nomad visa lets you legally live in Costa Rica for one year in the first instance, renewable for a second year. While a resident, you are exempt from paying tax on your foreign income. You will also not be taxed on essential equipment, such as laptops and other telecommunication devices, that you bring into the country. Conditions of the visa include that you are eligible to drive in Costa Rica on your home country driver’s license and that you can open a local bank account.

Do I Have to Get a Resident Permit for the Costa Rican Digital Nomad Visa?

Once your Costa Rican digital nomad visa has been granted, which usually takes 15 days, and you have entered the country, you have three months to secure a residency permit from the local immigration office, or your visa may become void.

The first thing you should do is register your biometrics at the Ministerio Seguridad Pública in San Jose. You should then gather the following documentation:

  • A request letter, in Spanish, with your details and explaining the basis for your request for a residence permit. It should be signed by an immigration officer or public notary.

  • Two passport photos.

  • Photocopy of all passport pages certified by a public notary.

  • Birth certificate (with Apostille).

  • A consular registration is issued by your country’s consulate in Costa Rica (if they have one).

  • Proof of clean criminal record from the countries you have been living in for the past three years (with Apostille).

All documents issued by foreign governments should be apostilled and accompanied by official Spanish transitions.

You must then deposit a fee of $50 for your application and $3.75 per page of documentation submitted as part of your residency request to the Banco de Costa Rica. You can then make an appointment at the Dirección General de Migración y Extranjería using their online portal. You will also be given an application form to complete at the appointment in Spanish.

Do You Have to Pay US Taxes If You Live in Costa Rica?

U.S. citizens living in Costa Rica must file their U.S. tax returns as normal; this is a requirement for U.S. citizens living anywhere in the world. However, you will not need to pay tax in Costa Rica on income earned in other countries, including the United States.

Is It Hard to Get a Digital Nomad Visa in Costa Rica?

The eligibility requirements for getting a digital nomad visa for Costa Rica are relatively easy, even if the minimum income requirement is slightly higher than in some other countries (e.g., Croatia and Portugal). However, the visa application process and the steps for getting the required residency permit are quite onerous. This is mainly because all documents must be verified by an Apostille, translated into Spanish by an officially recognized translator, and then registered with the Costa Rican authorities. This is an expensive and time-consuming process.

Where Can I Apply for the Costa Rican Digital Nomad Visa?

It is possible to apply for the Costa Rican digital nomad visa from anywhere in the world using their online portal accessible at: You should make sure that all of your documents are digitized before starting the application process, and remember that you will need to take the original documents with you to Costa Rica to obtain your residency permit.

You can also make an application at your closest Costa Rican Embassy or Consulate. You will need to make an appointment via their website. If you are in Costa Rica, you should make your appointment with the Dirección General de Migración y Extranjería using this website:

What Additional Forms Do I Need to Fill Out When Applying Online for the Costa Rica Digital Nomad Visa?

In addition to the documentation already described, there are several forms that must be completed and submitted when making your online application. Bear in mind that all the forms must be completed in Spanish. The documents should be printed, completed, and uploaded as PDFs.

You will be required to submit the following:

What Additional Forms Do I Need to Fill Out When Submitting an Application in Person for the Costa Rica Digital Nomad Visa?

In addition to the documentation already described, there are several forms that must be completed and submitted when making your application in person. Bear in mind that all the forms must be completed in Spanish.

You will be required to submit the following:

While these forms are very similar to the additional documents submitted when making an online application, the forms are different as they cover information submitted elsewhere as part of an online application.


Nadia Dardón is a freelance writer from Guatemala. In early 2022 she embarked as a digital nomad, traveling through Europe, focusing mostly on the literary history of each country. She has worked fully remotely for the past four years as a reader, writer, and content creator with experience creating pieces for different industries. She also has a personal blog where she writes about her cultural and literary travels.