New Law to Attract Digital Nomads

July 21-21 Courtesy Cordero and Cordero Legal 

The Costa Rican Congress passed a bill creating the Law for the Attraction of workers and remote providers of international services, with special incentives for one year with one year extension.

The new law will enter into effect upon publication in official newspaper, La Gaceta. It is important to indicate this law requires the drafting and approval of an administrative regulation by the Executive Branch to develop the content of the law.

The objective of this law is to promote the attraction of workers and service providers that are carried out remotely, to promote long-stay visitation in Costa Rica and increase the expenditure of resources of foreign origin in the country. Therefore, a new migratory category of non-resident, subcategory of “estancia”, Worker or Remote Service Provider.

The requirements will include:

a) Proof that the person receives a stable monthly remuneration, fixed income or an average monthly income, during the last year, for an amount equal to or greater than US$3000 or its equivalent. If the applicant chooses to request the benefits also for his family group, the amount of income to be demonstrated may be validly integrated by his own along with that of his spouse or any of the other members and must in that case reach the sum of US$4000 per month. In any case, it must be income that can continue to be received even if the person is not in their country of origin. The paid work or services must be allowed by the list to be provided by the Immigration Authority.

b) Obtain a medical services insurance that covers the applicant for the entire duration of their stay in the country. Likewise, all members of the family group must be covered if they choose to request their inclusion as beneficiaries. 

c) Make a one-time payment for the granting of a non-resident visa, as a Worker or Remote Service Provider. The amount will be determined through regulations issued by the Directorate, based on objective parameters and service at cost.

d) Any other requirement that derives from the General Law on Immigration and Immigration Law No 8764.

The new migratory category will be granted for one year, extendable for a single period of one additional year. To authorize said extension, the beneficiary must have stayed in the country for a minimum of 180 days during the year originally granted.

Additional incentives are:

  1. The beneficiaries will have total exemption from the income tax, defined by law. In no case will the beneficiaries be considered as habitual residents of the country for tax purposes, nor will the income they receive from abroad be considered from a Costa Rican source. This benefit will not be applicable to the beneficiary’s family group.
  2. The beneficiaries will be exempt from paying all taxes on the importation of basic personal computer, computer, telecommunications, or similar equipment, necessary to fulfill their tasks or the provision of their services as long as they meet the criteria stablished by law.
  3. The driver’s license granted in the beneficiary’s country of origin and that is valid, will be valid for the purposes of driving in Costa Rica.
  4. The beneficiaries of this law may open savings accounts in the banks of the national banking system, complying with the provisions of Law 8204 and the entire legal framework in force relative to the fight against money laundering. The General Superintendency of Financial Institutions will issue the necessary regulations or guidelines.

Note:  The purpose of the present publication is to provide general information on the updates for Immigration regulations in Costa Rica and it is not intended to be legal advice as such. In case more specific information is required regarding these topics, please Cordero & Cordero Abogados at [email protected] or visit our web page at www.corderoabogados.com

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