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Digital Nomad Law Signed & UPDATED – still pending finalization

*UPDATE - we have been receiving many messages regarding the status of the Digital Nomad visa.   At this time there still has been no movement from the Government to finalize the process and enable interested

Gustavo Segura, Carlos Alvarado y Carlos Benavides

*UPDATE – we have been receiving many messages regarding the status of the Digital Nomad visa.   At this time there still has been no movement from the Government to finalize the process and enable interested parties to apply.   As soon as we receive any news regarding the status of this visa we will update on all our social media platforms.   We understand everyone’s frustration as the Digital Nomad visa is much anticipated, especially now in this age when there are so many remote work opportunities.

We know that not only us at Outlier Legal, but so many people around the world were waiting for this: the digital nomad law has been signed. The event, held at the Costa Rica Convention Center, was also attended by Representative Carlos Ricardo Benavides, promoter of the project. We confirmed everything included in this article with the Representative’s office and with the Government’s Press Department.

Carlos Alvarado, Costa Rica’s President and Gustavo Segura, Tourism Minister, signed this morning the Law to attract workers and remote international service providers (No. 22215), also known as digital nomads. The law was previously signed by the heads of the Treasury and Public Security, Elian Villegas and Michael Soto, respectively.

What does this mean?

It means that the country has now a regulatory framework capable of attracting so-called “digital nomads”, which reinforces our tourism competitiveness and provides legal security and incentives to remote workers who choose Costa Rica as their headquarters.

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 $ 4,000. Likewise, the importation of basic personal computers, information technology, telecommunications or similar equipment, 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 Treasury.

The beneficiaries will have total exemption from the income tax, defined in Title I of Law 7092, Income Tax Law which explains and regulates everything related to this specific tax. This exemption does not apply to the beneficiary’s family group.

Additionally, the driver’s license granted in the beneficiary’s country of origin and that is valid there will be valid for the purposes of driving in Costa Rica as well.

Next steps

Remember that we have to wait until the law is published at La Gaceta (official newspaper) so far what they did today was signing the bill, then comes the ruling. We must wait for the ruling to be drafted and published before we can apply for this Estancia. We hope that the ruling will be ready in the upcoming months. If you wish to learn more details we also have this previous article.

In their own words

President Alvarado:

“This is a project that has the words employment and well-being written across all its pages (…) because it makes it easier for people from different parts of the world to be in Costa Rica for work which attracts all the investments and contributions. The digital nomad consumes services, food, makes purchases, uses transportation, hires people… All of this generates more employment in the country and everything translates into generating growth.”

Minister Segura

“The law gives the tourism sector hope, for the economic reactivation of our sector and with it the country in general. Costa Rica can compete by guaranteeing legal security to this target audience (…)”

Representative Benavides

On his part, Representative Benavides pointed out: “We are moving towards economic reactivation with the signing of this law. Costa Rica has in this pioneering legislation in the area, from the point of view of its solidity, a great tool to empower the country as a favorite destination.”

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.

All these benefits are governed by the terms of the immigration permit, except if the loss of legal status is determined.

With the validity of this law, it is projected that digital nomads will contribute to tourist recovery in the different regions through accommodation, food, vehicle rental, tours, medical services, beauty salons, and even educational services.




Professional Translator who has worked in the Legal and Medical industries for more than 10 years, passionate about Human Rights and Political enthusiast. Master in Translation (Universidad Nacional) and she is also a photography and sports fanatic.

Review overview
  • Gerry Wiley August 13, 2021

    I have only one question. Has the President, Ministers, or ProjEct Leaders even considered how poorly the Internet Infrastructure is behaving right now in Costa Rica? And they want to connect more people to it? People that will now depend on the performance of their internet connection to “Work From Home”? I’ve lived here in Santa Ana (Pozos) now for 6 years, and watched my connection go from barely acceptable to dial-up modem speed. It’s almost impossible to watch anything streaming without getting “spinners” every 60 seconds. I retired here in Costa Rica as a Systems and Solutions Architect, so I have some familiarity with this subject. I upgraded our small condo complex to a 300 Mbps LAN network, so our internal LAN is fine, but the world outside our condo complex is crap. My neighbors up and down the street from me have the same complaint. Costa Rica’s infrastructure needs major overhauls. It is way over allocated with more users than bandwidth.
    I pity the people that are coming here, expecting a reasonable internet connection. This project is doomed to fail miserably. I hope the Project Director(s) have already purchased their airline tickets out of town…

  • Suzanne Conrad December 8, 2021

    Ive been hearing that an expat can move to cr and shipbover 2 cars and household goids without paying duty or taxes. Is that happening yet? We have finally got our oapers in to start our residency and will be needing to shipbover a container. What are the rules on this or has it been approved yet. Thank you

    • Stacey Jennings December 8, 2021

      We are still waiting for the final wording to be released and finalized. Until that happens we will not know the actual details of bringing vehicles in under the law. As soon as it’s published we will report on all our social media platforms