Digital nomads have become the new niche that Costa Rica is betting on, and in recent months, the country has seen a significant increase in tourists entering our country under this model of teleworking.
Working from Costa Rica
In this article we will cover everything, from the concept of Digital Nomad to the country’s laws to promote such activity in Costa Rica.
What is a Digital Nomad?
Digital nomads are those workers who by their job functions, can perform their actions from anywhere in the world, making use of new technologies such as the internet, remote work, remote assistance, sales through digital platforms, etc..
These digital nomads usually work in international companies that offer digital services or sales through the internet, as they can work only with internet connection, their cell phone and computer. And it is mainly these services that have had an increase in the last year thanks to the pandemic and the speed at which teleworking had to be incorporated due to the confinements.
They differ from traditional tourists because digital nomads tend to seek spaces where they can work near a beach, mountain or resort that offers comfortable and safe spaces, also tend to use more national services, such as barbershops, cinemas, local restaurants, medical services, etc..
Programmers, web developers, graphic designers, sales agents, call center workers, customer support, entrepreneurs, accountants, consultants and coaches are just some of the profiles that usually tend to be digital nomads.
Why Costa Rica is the ideal destination for telecommuting?
Around the world, our country is projected as an ideal tourist destination for digital nomads, due to its ease to travel the country in a few hours, the penetration of the Internet throughout the country, the diversity of climates, plus the fact that Costa Rica is in the same time zone of much of the United States and that there are many international companies that offer their services in the country.
What is Costa Rica doing to attract these digital nomads?
Costa Rica has become an ideal destination for foreigners who choose to work remotely. The country, offers them an adequate management of the pandemic and the possibility of combining the work of their countries of residence with surfing lessons, trips to the mountains and the Pura Vida.
Digital nomads from Chile, the United States and Portugal have lived and worked, some for periods of months and in other cases for a year, in areas of the country such as Jacó, Manuel Antonio, Santa Teresa de Cóbano and Monteverde, among others.
This experience could soon attract more people who do not depend on a fixed location and use technology to carry out their work, as the country is currently analyzing Bill No. 22215: Law to attract international remote workers and service providers to the country.
Benefits for the nomad
- Visa for one year, extendable
- Income tax exemption
- Free importation of equipment necessary for the service
- Recognition of driver’s license
- Permission to open local bank accounts
If the bill is approved in the Asamblea Legislativa, remote workers would obtain a permit to stay for one year in the country, extendable for another year, would have the possibility of opening bank accounts and the use of the driver’s license of their country of origin, among others.
“In the current situation, where the recovery of tourism could take up to three more years before recovering the pre-pandemic demand, the segment of digital nomads is key to the recovery of the sector, a bet that has already advanced other destinations in the world,” said Minister Segura.
Meanwhile, Megan Kennedy, head of the country office of the Selina lodging company in Costa Rica, explained that the concept of digital nomad has been part of this chain since its inception, as they have always had areas equipped for work and with sufficient capacity for Internet connection, which has allowed them to experience an increase in the number of guests from all over the world who come to work remotely from Costa Rican soil.
“We are amplifying the Internet speed, creating more private places for work calls, as well as coworking areas. The benefit for Costa Rica is obvious because people will come to live here, buy their food, their clothes, rent a car, participate in the economy while continuing to work,” said Kennedy.
“The beaches are wonderful for surfing, the warmth of the people in all the towns is outstanding, the weather has delighted me, as well as the nature and the national parks. Costa Rica is ideal to come to work remotely,” said Raul Reeves, Chilean entrepreneur and digital nomad, who since January has taken advantage of his work stay to enjoy destinations such as Jaco, Nosara, Tamarindo, Santa Teresa and recently Monteverde.
Digital nomads are a new tribe that has come to stay. We all love to enjoy the outdoors, while we work. We love creative and distraction-free spaces where we can enjoy the waves, the sea, the mountains and our diversity of climates, right at the end of our workday, plus these advantages can be taken advantage of by tourists, digital nomads or the Costa Rican population…
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