Attraction of remote workers from abroad

September 2, 2021

Through Law No. 10008, the Government of Costa Rica promotes the hiring of international remote workers and service providers.

1. Law target

Promote the attraction of workers and service providers performed remotely to encourage long-stay visitation in Costa Rica and increase the expenditure of resources from abroad in the country.

2. The General Directorate of Migration and Foreigners: Key body

It will be the administrative instance in charge of receiving, processing, granting, denying, or canceling the granting of the immigration subcategory of stay through a reasoned resolution, complying with due process.

Likewise, those persons who received the aforementioned immigration subcategory will be entitled to the other benefits indicated in this law. However, tax benefits will only be granted to workers or remote service providers, not extending such tax benefits to members of their family group.

For the digital process, the Directorate will use a platform or digital window for the expeditious management of the requests of foreigners who wish to opt for the category of non-resident, subcategory stay, Worker, or Remote Service Provider and its consequent benefits.

3. Procedure

Those foreigners who wish to opt for a non-resident visa in the subcategory of stay, Worker, or Remote Service Provider must:

  • Submit a form requesting a visa and
  • Provide the necessary information required by law.

The Directorate will have a period of fifteen (15) calendar days to resolve. It is worth mentioning that workers or remote service providers who wish to apply with their spouse or common-law partner, sons or daughters under twenty-five (25) years of age or older with a disability or the elderly who live with them must submit a form of a family group.

Upon receiving the request, the Directorate must verify within a period of five (5) business days the information filed by the requesting person complies with the provisions of Law 8764.

4. What are the benefits granted to these workers and service providers?

They are mainly divided into three (3):

  • First, the benefits related to immigration status will be granted for one (1) year, extendable for a single period of one (1) additional year.
  • Second, benefits related to profit tax will have a total exemption thereof. This benefit will not apply to the beneficiary’s family group.
  • Third, upon benefits related to the importation of equipment, the beneficiaries will be exempt from paying all taxes on the importation of basic personal computer, computer, telecommunications, or similar equipment necessary to fulfill their tasks or the provision of their services, provided they meet the proportionality criteria that will be dictated by the National Customs Directorate of the Ministry of Finance.
  • Fourth, the driver’s license granted in the beneficiary’s country of origin and in force will be valid to drive in Costa Rica.
  • Finally, the beneficiaries of this law may open savings accounts in the banks of the national banking system, complying with the provisions of the established regulations.

It should be noted that the tax benefits established in this title are immediately eliminated when the General Directorate of Migration and Immigration decrees the cancellation of the beneficiary status.

6. Penalties for false documents

The falsity verified by the Directorate of Migration and Foreigners or the Ministry of Finance as corresponds to the scope of its competencies in the documents or reports supplied for the visas granting, or the benefits conferred by this law will be sanctioned under due process, ordering the immediate payment of the exonerated taxes plus an amount of an additional twenty-five percent (25%) as a fine. The foregoing without prejudice to the corresponding judicial procedures for these purposes.

7. Validity

This Law will be in force as of September 1, 2021, and the regulations will be published at the beginning of November.

Source: La Gaceta 01/09/21