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How to apply for the Costa Rica Digital Nomad Visa

Have you ever wanted a real sloth for a coworker? Want to chat with toucans on your coffee break (with coffee straight from the cloud forest out your window)?  Your chance has arrived. The Costa Rica digital nomad visa was signed into law at the start of July, 2022. So let’s explore some of its features and how to apply for Costa Rica’s digital nomad visa.

What's good about Costa Rica's digital nomad visa?

There’s a preliminary application you can get approved before gathering all of the documentation. Many visas require a significant amount of documentation upfront. With Costa Rica’s, you submit an online application and then hear back in two weeks if you’re approved to continue with the process.

You don’t have to get your documents apostilled. That does make it easier to apply for the visa from Costa Rica, or wherever you are in the world.  However, you will need to get some documents translated to Spanish.

There is no income tax on foreign income. You do have to sign an affidavit that your income is solely sourced from outside of the country.

A sloth busy doing nothing in a tree in Costa Rica
Sloths aren't the most productive coworkers, but they really contribute to the office atmosphere. Photo by Bennet Robin Fabian on Unsplash.

Application requirements for the Costa Rica digital nomad visa

You register and then submit the initial application here: https://tramiteya.go.cr/dgme/ It is in Spanish, so you’ll get some great language practice in. It asks for a local address but you can select NO INDICA. It also only allows an 8-digit phone number. I just added the first eight numbers and that didn’t prevent account creation.

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BUT it looks like the actual application is not yet posted on the DGME website. It lists the old rentista and pensionado visa applications. The digital nomad application isn’t up there yet. It was signed into law at the start of July. We’ll post as soon as it’s up.

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You’ll need original bank statements that show $3000 USD in regular income. Because the US dollar has increased in value so much recently, keep an eye on making sure you meet that requirement if you get paid in other currencies. 

After approval, you need to setup a meeting with Costa Rica immigration within 3 months. You’ll need to provide all of the requested documents, your signed affidavit, and it’ll be when you get photos and fingerprints taken.

You need to show you have health insurance for the entire time you’re there. That is going to involve an upfront cost on your part to cover 12 months of health insurance.

A digital nomad in Costa Rica commuting to work across a bridge in a misty rain forest.
This could be your new commute to the office. Photo by Selina Bubendorfer on Unsplash.

How long is the Costa Rica digital nomad visa for and can you renew it?

The visa is for 12 months. That’s already better than several other digital nomad visas in the world. 

You can renew the visa for another 12 months IF you stayed in Costa Rica for 180 days or more during that first year of having the visa. 

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  1. Pingback: Countries with Digital Nomad Visas - Updated: Nov 2021 • The Mindful Field Guide

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