A proposed modification to section 88 of the General Law on Immigration, law No. 8764 brings exciting news to those wishing to live in Costa Rica while working remotely. As we know, many companies have moved to a remote work model due to COVID-19. This change in the traditional workplace environment has opened the door for thousands of employees to become digital nomads and live anywhere they would like.
The main purpose of this bill is to promote the entry of remote service providers and workers, encouraging long-term visitation to Costa Rica. Of course, this also encourages the spending habits of those workers to help the economic recovery of CR from COVID-19 impact.
If this bill is approved in the Legislative Assembly, qualifying remote workers would receive the following benefits:
Immigration status: The immigration benefit will be granted for one year, extendable for a single period of an additional year.
Income tax: Total exemption from income tax, as defined in Title I of the Income Tax Law, No. 7092 of April 21, 1988 and its amendments. In no case will the beneficiaries be considered as habitual residents of the country for tax purposes, nor will the income they received from abroad be considered from a Costa Rican source.
Import of equipment: Exempt from the payment of all taxes on the import of basic computer, telecommunications or similar personal equipment, necessary to carry out their job duties or the provision of their services, as long as they comply with the proportionality regulations that will be dictated by the National Customs Directorate of the Ministry of Finance.
Driving licenses: The driver's license granted in the country of origin of the beneficiary will be valid for the purposes of driving in Costa Rica.
Opening of bank accounts: The beneficiaries will be able to open bank accounts in the banks of the national banking system, complying with the current legal framework against money laundering.
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