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How to apply for a Digtial Nomad Visa in Costa Rica

by rpetersen

The President of Costa Rica, Rodrigo Chaves signed the Regulations to the Digital Nomad Law.  What does this mean for you and is the Digital Nomad Visa worth considering for an extended stay in Costa Rica. 

The Digital Nomad Law was originally passed a year ago but the lack of regulations on the law has prevented its implementation.   It took a new President in office that is focused on attracting foreign investment and job creation to revitalize the Costa Rican economy to get it done and as result remote workers that want to work from Costa Rica now have a clear path forward to do so.   So let’s dive into the law and the regulations.

Who Qualifies for the Visa

The Digital Nomad Visa is open to anybody who wants to work from Costa Rica and receives at least $3,000 per month from a foreign (non-Costa Rica) source of revenue.  To qualify your country of origin must be on the VISA-FREE entry list for Costa Rica.  You can check out that list here:

How do you prove the Income

To do so they are asking for copies of your bank statements for the previous year to your application and a sworn affidavit indicating that the statements were requested and obtained directly from your financial entity.   The regulations indicate that as an alternative the applicant can submit an income certification from a Costa Rican Public Accountant or Notary Public or their equivalent in the country of origin.  In those cases, it would have to be apostilled.

Can you bring your family

The answer is yes.  The Law allows the applicant to include their spouse and dependent children.  Each one would have to file an individual application as a dependent.  The only catch is that if you include your family the income requirement jumps from 3,000 to 4,000 per month. 

Requirements

Now that we have covered the income requirements for a digital nomad visa let’s continue to review the regulations to provide with all the other requirements that you will need to successfully complete your application.

    1. Copy of the picture and signature page of your passport.   If you are applying from within Costa Rica then provide the entry stamp on your passport when you entered Costa Rica
    2. Pay $100 application Fee
    3. Translations into Spanish of any supporting documentation that is provided as part of the application. Use the translators form the Costa Rican Ministry of Foreign Relation list.  The link will be in the description
    4. If you are applying with dependents then you will need to provide a marriage certificate and birth for the children to demonstrate the family relationship. 

You can view the Nomad Visa application information page at the Department of Immigration here.

Medical Insurance

The final requirement that we need to address is Medical Insurance.   The Digital Nomad Visa is an extended stay visa and not a residency.   Under the residency categories, the applicants are required to pay into the Costa Rican Public Healthcare system and have access to it once their residency is approved.  With the Nomad Visa that is not the case.  As such the law requires the applicant to provide proof that they will have private medical insurance coverage during the duration of the visa. The minimum coverage required is US$50,000.  The insurance can be purchased from local Costa Rica insurance companies that offer it or any other recognized International medical insurance coverage.

How to File

So now let’s move on to the actual filing process.   Immigration gives you two options.  You can file it using the digital platform called Tramite Ya or you can do it in person at the Department of Immigration by requesting an appointment to file.

I will start with the digital platform filing process.

First, you have to create your account on the digital platform of Tramite Ya.  Click on the section that says REGISTRO to create a new account then it will ask you if you want to create your account using your digital signature card.   If you don’t’ have one then click on NO and follow the instructions.

The system is also in English so go to the left-hand corner and select the US flag for English.   Just start following the prompts until your account is set up.

Now you can log in to start the application process. 

The First step that is required is completing the personal background information sheet referred to as the Hoja de Filacion.  So, click on the box that is translated here as “Fillation Procedure” and that will start the process for you.  Just go through each of the questions that are asked of you regarding your personal information.

Once you complete the requested information just complete the form and keep advancing.  Next, it will ask you to agree to the digital privacy consent form.  You have to agree to continue to do so. 

Now on the requirements page just upload your passport size photograph and the picture page of your passport.  You can ignore the second part about Power of Attorney and Informed Consent since those are used if you have somebody else completing the form for you.

Once you have concluded the filing and the system confirms that it has accepted it then you will be authorized to continue to file the visa application. 

After that you can go back to the main page and this time look for the Immigration procedures and go to the section which indicates STAYS – which is ESTANCIA in Spanish and click on the Digital Nomad section here.

Then click on the option for Remote Workers and Service Providers and you can go ahead and start the procedure.  Before you start the process be sure that you have all the documents that we have discussed with you because you will need to upload them to the platform.   

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