Costa Rica Passes Law Supporting “Digital Nomads”

This week, Costa Rica President Carlos Alvarado and Tourism Minister Gustavo Segura signed into legislation the “Digital Nomads Law” (Law No. 22215) with the goal of attracting foreign remote workers and their families to reside in Costa Rica for a term of up to two years. Deputy Carlos Ricardo Benavides, promoter of the project in the Legislative Assembly, was also in attendance.

With this new legislation, the country has created a regulatory framework capable of attracting remote international service providers (so-called “digital nomads”), which reinforces Costa Rica’s tourism competitiveness and provides legal security and incentives to remote workers who choose Costa Rica as their headquarters.

The objective of the law is to promote long-stay visitation in Costa Rica and increase the expenditure of resources of foreign origin in the country. The regulations establish the non-resident immigration category for beneficiaries as well as total exemption from income tax.

How it works: This law will allow any foreign person, with an income greater than $3,000 per month, to stay for up to one year in the country with a visa that can be extended for an additional year. (If you travel with your family, the income must be $5,000.) The importation of basic personal computer equipment, information technology, telecommunications or similar, necessary to fulfill your tasks or the provision of your services, will be exempt from the payment of all taxes, as long as they meet the proportionality criteria that will be dictated by the National Customs Directorate of the Ministry of Finance.

The beneficiaries will also receive total exemption from the income tax (defined in Title I of Law 7092, Income Tax Law). This exemption does not apply to the beneficiary's family group. In addition, a valid driver's license granted in the beneficiary's country of origin will be considered valid for driving purposes in Costa Rica.

With the passing of this law, it is projected that digital nomads will contribute to the tourism industry’s recovery in many regions of the country, by way of accommodations, food, vehicle rental, tours, medical services, beauty salons and even educational services.

The 32 Tourism Development Centers in the country have conditions to receive and serve digital nomads. The "digital nomad" will be able to establish their "office" on beaches, mountains, volcanoes, and a variety of other ecosystems in Costa Rica.

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