Costa Rica Aspires to Position Itself as a Global Destination for “Remote Workers”

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    Costa Rica plans to attract remote workers that the COVID-19 Pandemic has generated, with the consolidation of remote and digital work caused by the sanitary restrictions and quarantine orders implemented throughout the world.

    The plan is to achieve this through a new law that creates a special immigration status that allows foreigners who meet certain requirements to stay up to a year and a half working in the country. This condition would also apply to the interested party’s family nucleus. This was explained by Carlos Ricardo Benavides, deputy for National Liberation and coauthor of the initiative, who defined these workers as “digital nomads.”

    “They work from Costa Rica for companies in New York or Toronto, they receive their income abroad, but they spend it here, renting accommodation and vehicles, consuming in restaurants, shopping in stores and walking,” explained the legislator. The project estimates that, in a six-month stay, a digital nomad with his family group can invest about ¢ 15 million.

    A growing trend

    Countries such as Estonia, Bermuda and Barbados are desired by these digital nomads, since they have favorable conditions at the migratory level and cost of living. The market is wide, since, during 2020, as a result of the COVID-19 crisis, teleworking has been implemented in 88% of companies compared to 4% that used it before the crisis. In turn, 27% of workers in high-income countries could telework from home or from anywhere else in the world, estimated the International Labor Organization.

    Added to this is a possible exodus of teleworkers from Silicon Valley companies to exotic destinations, because the rental or purchase price and the cost of living are high in this Californian area, analyzed Sary Valverde, president of the Association of Agencies Travel.
    The initiative to attract digital nomads is called for on extraordinary legislative sessions and has the support of the National Chamber of Tourism, to begin with, of 19 congressmen, so it enjoys a favorable environment to be approved in the first semester of this year . 

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