Costa Rica wants to roll out the red carpet for foreign digital nomads who have a little money to burn.
Government lawmakers recently introduced a bill called “Law to attract international workers and remote service providers, ”Which would allow digital nomads and their families to live and work in the Central American country for up to 24 months.
To qualify for the proposed visa, which has not yet been approved by lawmakers, single remote workers must earn at least $ 3,000 a month. Remote workers with families must earn at least $ 4,000 a month.
Workers will also have to provide private health insurance coverage for themselves and their families during their stay. They will not be required to pay Costa Rica’s income tax or make contributions to the country’s social security program.
The visa will be valid for one year, but can be renewed for another 12 months upon request.
The government hopes the visa will encourage remote workers in wealthy North American cities to temporarily abandon urban life in favor of Costa Rica’s stunning scenery, relaxed lifestyle and strong IT infrastructure. Project sponsors estimate that each worker will spend at least $ 24,000 in the country every six months of their stay.
“[Digital nomads] work from Costa Rica for companies in New York or Toronto, ”said Legislative Assembly deputy Carlos Ricardo Benavides, according to The Costa Rica News. “They receive their income abroad, but they spend it here, renting accommodation and vehicles, consuming in restaurants, shopping in stores and walking.”
The bill, which has been approved by the Costa Rican National Tourism Board, has the support of about 20 lawmakers and must be approved.
The COVID-19 crisis has created a wave of digital nomads and remote workers, and several countries are trying to attract them for long-term visits by offering specialized visas and tax incentives.
For example, Greece has just announced plans to create a digital nomad visa in the near future, and Croatia and Estonia have already launched visa programs for remote foreign workers.
According to a new report by global talent recruiter Randstad Sourceright, 80% of human capital leaders believe remote work will be part of their future job models and 64% believe that flexible job options are now a “must-have” for top employers .
ONE second Randstad report concluded that digital professionals and flexible workers will play a key role in global economic recovery efforts.