As if being able to move more easily across borders wasn't enough, Costa Rica has taken a huge policy-oriented leap into further driving incentives. Notably, this includes no income tax for digital nomad visa holders.
Costa Rica Digital Nomads Law, Income tax, and easy opening of bank accounts
The law to attract remote workers and service providers of international character (also known as the "law of digital nomads"), provides great benefits for those who move to Costa Rica as a digital nomad visa holder.
This new regulation establishes certain tax and immigration benefits related to the condition of "digital nomad" foreigners in Costa Rica. Among the most important benefits of these conditions are:
- Benefits related to the tax on profits.
- Benefits related to the importation of equipment for the provision of remote services.
- Ease of obtaining driver's licenses.
- Facility to open bank accounts in the national banking system.
Foreigners who work remotely under the condition of "digital nomads" in Costa Rica may opt for a work visa that will be valid for a period of one year and may be extended for up to one more year.
People who are covered by this regulation cannot perform paid work in the national territory since they are allowed to stay as an international worker or service provider. In case the beneficiary wants to develop activities different from those allowed by the regulations, he/she must cancel the obligations, interests and tax penalties corresponding to such activities. In other words, he/she will not be able to sell his/her services in Costa Rica.
For foreigners interested in entering the country and remaining through the migratory category of non-resident subcategory of stay, Worker or Remote Service Provider, they must comply with the following 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 three thousand dollars. If this person wishes to enter with his or her family group or spouse, he or she must have an income of at least $4,000 per month. This income must be received, even if the person is not in his/her country of origin. This can be proven by means of bank statements or whatever is indicated by the regulations.
- Obtain a policy that covers your medical expenses and in case you include a family member or several family members, they must also have a policy. The parameters of this policy will be determined by the General Law of Migration and Foreigners
- Make the payment for the non-resident visa to be granted, this must be done only once and the cost to be paid will be issued by the Directorate based on objective parameters and service at cost.
- Any other requirement derived from the law 8764, general law of Migration and Foreigners.
In the event that family members are included, all the information and requirements mentioned below must be provided:
- To present passport photos of the members of the family group.
- Copy of birth certificate or proof of birth, in the case of sons or daughters.
- Make a one-time payment for the granting of the visa for each member, amount to be determined by regulations issued by the Directorate.
- Provide any other information or document required by the Directorate to prove the relationship between the applicant and the members of the family group.
- Any other requirement derived from Law 8764, General Law of Migration and Foreigners, of August 19, 2009.
Pablo Gonzalez is an international tax-advisor based in Costa Rica and maintains over twelve years experience advising individuals, start-ups and entrepreneurs with regards to cross-border matters.
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