New Remote Visa Program Approved – Immigration

Costa Rica: New remote visa program approved

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Key points

  • On August 11, 2021, President Carlos Alvarado and Tourism Minister Gustavo Segura approved new laws supporting a remote work visa to Costa Rica. The law will come into force as soon as it is published in the Official Journal (La Gaceta), expected in the coming weeks
  • The Remote Work Visa will allow eligible foreign nationals employed outside Costa Rica (service personnel or entities outside Costa Rica) to live and work remotely within Costa Rica’s borders.
  • Remote visa will be approved for up to one year, without sponsorship from local employers
  • Remote visa will not allow foreign nationals to perform paid local tasks in Costa Rica

Overview

Additional information about the remote work visa is as follows:

  • The visa is valid for one year. It can be extended once (1) for one (1) additional year.
  • To be eligible, applicants must prove a constant average monthly income of at least $ 3,000 (or $ 4,000 if the visa holder has dependents) for one year prior to submission. The Directorate General of Immigration may request bank statements or other documents to verify.
  • Applicants and family dependents must have private medical insurance. The insurance policy must cover the entire duration of their stay in Costa Rica.
  • The government intends to process remote work visa applications within 15 calendar days from the date of filing.
  • This program will provide tax benefits to the primary visa holder. These benefits include:
    • Income tax and technical work material exemptions.
    • In addition, major visa holders will be able to use their international driving license in Costa Rica and open savings accounts in Costa Rican banks.
  • If primary visa holders wish to renew for an additional one (1) year, they must have remained within the borders of Costa Rica for at least 180 days during the first year.

What are the changes?

This is a new program in which foreign nationals have the opportunity to work remotely within the Costa Rican borders. Other Costa Rica work visa options require corporate sponsorship and / or do not automatically transfer work authorization.

Look ahead

This new policy will be officially launched when it is published in La Gaceta, expected in the coming weeks. In addition, detailed information on the application process will be published within the next two months (60 days). Employers may consider this option for their employees who wish to relocate; in addition, employers can expect similar announcements for other countries. Remote work visas are growing in popularity due to COVID-19. Employers should keep abreast of all local labor and tax laws and pay close attention to compliance requirements.

Originally posted Aug 20, 2021

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide on the subject. Specialist advice should be sought regarding your particular situation.

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