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Guide for Digital Nomads Process

If you are thinking of applying for the non-resident immigration category for stay for digital nomads, this guide will help you understand the digital platform of the Costa Rican Immigration Department (DGME), as well as the

Guide for Digital Nomads Process

If you are thinking of applying for the non-resident immigration category for stay for digital nomads, this guide will help you understand the digital platform of the Costa Rican Immigration Department (DGME), as well as the documents you must have on hand to be able to submit your application successfully.

Before going through the steps for Trámite ¡YA! Processing Platform, we must check to whom this migratory category applies to.

The legal stay for remote service providers, better known as “digital nomads”, is available for people who can work remotely outside their country of origin or residence, in other words, people who provide services to companies outside Costa Rica.

To apply for this category, you have two options, a physical or digital one. In this guide we will focus on the digital way to submit the application, as it is easier, since you don’t have to visit any immigration office.

Requirements for remote workers

These workers must have a minimum monthly income of $3000 USD to be able to apply, however, if they have dependents, such as an spouse and/or children, their minimum monthly income must be at least $4000 USD.

The main applicant must also comply with certain vital documents:

  1. Valid passport and entry stamp: This means that you must enter the entry stamp before the expiration of 90, 30 or the number of days Immigration has granted you to be in the country legally. If you are out of the country, you can also add the last time you entered the country. Immigration will review your migratory movements and add all of them. If you have never entered Costa Rica, you can add any date and Immigration will review your migratory movements and will determine that you have not entered the country yet (this is because adding an entry date is mandatory in the platform, even if you have never entered the country) and you will not have any problem for the approval of the affiliation.

  2. Application form: you can find this form on the immigration webpage, under the section ”forms” where you will find some for the digital and physical processing.

  3. Informed consent: on the Immigration webpage, you will also find the informed consent to print and later sign.

  4. Passport size photo: this must be scanned, preferably in color, to upload it to the platform.

  5. Bank statements in Spanish or with their translation in Spanish.

  6. Affidavit confirming that the person’s bank statements were obtained through the corresponding financial entity, indicating last year’s payment from abroad with a monthly income of $3000 or $4000 USD in each particular case. This declaration must be made by a Costa Rican notary public.

  7. Proof of payment for $100 USD: The process of how to upload the receipt of this payment to the platform will be explained in more detail later in this document.

  8. Visa: If the country you are coming from requires a visa to enter Costa Rica, you must scan it and upload it, and in case it is in a language other than Spanish, you must upload its translation into Spanish as well.

If the principal has a partner as a dependent, they must do an affiliation process for this person as well and comply with the following documentation:

  1. Valid passport and entry stamp

  2. Application form: the one that indicates that it is for a spouse or domestic partner

  3. Informed consent

  4. Passport size photo

  5. Marriage or common-law marriage certificate with its translation in Spanish

  6. Proof of payment for $100 USD

In the case of applicants who also come to Costa Rica with their children, they must also comply with these documents:

  1. Valid passport and entry stamp

  2. Application form: the one for applicants with minor children

  3. Informed consent

  4. Passport size photo

  5. Birth certificate with Spanish translation

  6. Proof of payment for $100 USD

Now we can review in more detail the Trámite YA! platform.

First you must create a user, once you enter the page of Trámite YA!, you must click on ”Register”, the page will show you a tab in which you must select the rectangle with red letters, to create an account without a digital signature.

Guide for Digital Nomads Process 1

Then, the system will take you to the section where you must enter your nationality and passport number. Once you have entered this information, you will be able to click next (siguiente) and fill in your personal information until you create your username and password.

Guide for Digital Nomads Process 2

Once the user is created, you will enter the page and have the options to start your process.

The first step to start the Digital Nomads process, is to open an affiliation process for each of the applicants:

Guide for Digital Nomads Process 3

Afterwards, you must complete the applicant’s personal information, upload the informed consent form which has to be signed and authenticated by a lawyer, upload the passport size photos and the valid passport with the current entry stamp.

Guide for Digital Nomads Process 4

 Then, you will have to confirm again your consent, click on next until you reach submit.

Once this information is submitted, there will be a waiting period of 15 days for Immigration to approve this affiliation.

To take into consideration:

  • The applicant’s name must be exactly as it appears in the passport.

  • In the parents’ name section, if they do not have a second last name, write ”No indica”.

Once the affiliations have been approved, click on: Trámites de extranjería – Estancias – Nómadas Digitales – Prestadores de servicios remotos. (Foreigners’ Procedures – Stays – Digital Nomads – Remote Service Providers). Then you have to click on start procedure.

The first step in the procedure will be to indicate the file number that the affiliation granted you at the time of the approval. You will find the file number in the affiliation process you have completed, once it is approved, as you can see in this image:

Guide for Digital Nomads Process 5

This number will always start with 135, followed by six more numbers.

You will have to indicate this number in the first step of the immigration procedure, so you can click on ”search” and mark the procedure that appears with your name.

Be sure to mark the procedure with your name, so that it remains in blue and goes to the next step.

Guide for Digital Nomads Process 6

After that, the applicant’s personal information must be confirmed.

Subsequently, check yes again in the informed consent on the page.

Guide for Digital Nomads Process 7

The fourth step requires to upload the above-mentioned documents in PDF format. The first document requested is the signed and authenticated form.

Guide for Digital Nomads Process 8

Then the system will ask you for the deposit number, the date, a photo of the voucher and the PDF of your passport again.

Guide for Digital Nomads Process 9

Next you will need to upload the financial solvency documents. The platform allows you to upload up to 4 PDFs, so you can upload your bank statements, affidavit and translation separately.

In addition, if your country of origin requires a visa to enter Costa Rica, you must also upload a photo of your visa in PDF.

Guide for Digital Nomads Process 11

The system will ask you to confirm the information in order to proceed to the last payment of $11.3 USD, which must be made by a credit card, since Trámite YA! requests this payment for the use of the platform.Guide for Digital Nomads Process 12Once the payment has been processed, you will be able to send the process for review.

You will have to follow the same steps for the dependents, the system (Trámite YA!) will indicate the order in which you must upload the documents, as well as the category in which the dependent fits, as you can see in the image.

Guide for Digital Nomads Process 13

Once the 15 days have passed, a notification will arrive to your e-mail, indicating the approval or any other additional information you need to send. If it is a prevention, the same system will indicate you how much time you have to upload the information they requested or correct the information. Although it is true that Immigration has 15 business days to resolve each case, this deadline is not always met, since the approval of the process can take up to 1 month or 1 month and 15 days, because the staff responsible for reviewing and approving applications does not resolve all cases that are presented to the department as quickly.

Once you are notified of the approval, you will be able to download the resolution which will indicate that you are granted the Digital Nomad non-resident immigration category of stay for 1 year and the amount you must pay as a security deposit. It will also indicate that you will have 90 days to make an appointment for your DIMEX at the nearest Correos de Costa Rica office.

That same day you will have to present proof that you have health insurance that covers you for one year and for an amount of $50,000 USD in international medical expenses. If you have dependents, each one of them must be covered by the health insurance for the same amount of $50,000 USD.

Once you have your DIMEX in hand, you will officially be a digital nomad in the country, so you will be able to enter and leave the country without been consider a tourist, and your driver’s license will be valid for the whole year that your DIMEX is valid.

Before the end of the year for which you were granted the digital nomad status, you may request a renewal appointment and comply with the documentation that the same approval resolution will indicate.

Once the second year is over, you will have to start the process all over again, since this category cannot be extended for more than two years.

Using this platform allows you to apply without having to go to a Immigration office with all your documentation, and it will also help you to make the process a bit easier, since the same system will indicate you through notifications to your e-mail, the changes that your case is going through, in order to have updated information and better expectations of when your resolution will arrive.

At Outlier Legal Services we have been working in this category and obtaining good results. For us it will be a pleasure to assist you in this process, if you want to become a digital nomad in Costa Rica. Contact us and we will provide you a free consultation.



Natalia Solórzano serves as an Immigration Client Services Coordinator at Outlier Legal. She has a Law degree, and has worked as a customer service agent for Sykes and as a legal assistant for the local government of Heredia. Organized and attentive, are some adjectives that fit her perfectly.

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