Currently, the longest a tourist can stay in Costa Rica is 90 days. This results in tedious "border runs" for perpetual tourists or digital nomads. However, a new digital nomad visa could make border runs a thing of the past.
Additionally, is it difficult for tourists to open a local bank account.
In 2021, Costa Rica signed a digital nomad visa into law.
The digital nomad visa would make it easier to:
- Open local bank accounts
- Stay in Costa Rica for up to one year. No more border runs every three months!
- Be exempt from local taxes
- Drive in Costa Rica with their existing licenses
- A digital nomad with a fixed or average income of $3,000 USD/month. It must be demonstrated that this income would be received even when the nomad is not in their country of origin.
- A person with medical insurance that would cover their stay in Costa Rica.
- A one-time payment.
- Other conditions to follow.
In 2020, the 90-day rules were temporarily waived for tourists as COVID-19 restrictions closed borders in Costa Rica. Discussion regarding a digital nomad visa for longer stays for employed foreigners in Costa Rica began around this time.
The digital nomad visa is thought to potentially boost the Costa Rican economy by allowing foreigners to live and spend their incomes within the country. Foreigners can currently enter Costa Rica by filling out a health form, purchasing health insurance and/or uploading proof of COVID-19 vaccination.
Foreigners can also apply for provisional visas, permanent residence, and temporary residence.
Details on applying for the digital nomad visa are forthcoming.