Government of Costa Rica Seeks Foreigners to Present Apostilled Documents for the Digital Nomads Special Visa

    Many sectors consider that requesting the apostille only makes it difficult to attract tourists as digital nomads

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    The Government of Costa Ricaseeks that foreigners must present a series of apostilled documents to be classified as digital nomads. This, through a draft regulation that has received mixed comments from various interested sectors, mainly those linked to the tourism sector.

    “Who is going to certify the statement of account issued by the bank and then go to the consular headquarters to apostille it and pass it through there, it is absolutely the opposite spirit (to the law),” said deputy Carlos Ricardo Benavides.

    The legislator has criticized the delay in regulations as a result of the approval of this legislation. As he explained previously, it should have been ready since last November, but there is still no final document.

    Rubén Acón, president of the National Chamber of Tourism (Canatur) was added to the criticism, who considered that requesting the apostille only makes it difficult to attract tourists as digital nomads.

    “They forget that the apostille is a very complicated procedure and in some countries, very difficult (…) if a tourist wants to come to Costa Rica to do damage, he or she goes through the normal procedure of coming with a regular visa and does not go through that complicated process and we are making it difficult for that tourist who wants to do things right”, considered Acón.

    The Canatur spokesperson added that he is also being asked to prove who the person accompanying him is, for example, detailing whether it is his wife, husband, son, etc.

    In addition, they would be asked to ensure that they have income of $3,000 per month for the next two years through a certification.“I don’t know if your employer could give you a certification that you are going to earn X amount of salary,” Acón stressed.

    Work and reactivation

    Benavides, who was the promoter of the digital nomads bill, recalled that this initiative is intended to reactivate the economy.Thus, a digital nomad will be able to consume food in the local soda, visit national parks and carry out community tourism, among others.

    “Understand, it’s about humble people, it’s about employment, too much blah-blah-blah with respect to costs and no solutions because we don’t give them a chance because the logic is centralist valley and in this case, very bureaucratic”, the deputy pointed out.The projection is that some 10,000 families of digital nomads inject into the country about $600 million a year.

    Regulation contrary to the spirit of the law

    Both Benavides and Acón agree that the regulation is contrary to the spirit of the law approved since July 2021. “The regulation only creates obstacles for that tourist to come to Costa Rica, this law must be properly regulated and not be a disincentive for that tourist,” Acón said.

    The next step is in the hands of the Ministry of Economy, Industry and Commerce (MEIC) who will be in charge of analyzing the observations received.Some institutions that objected to the regulation are the Costa Rican Institute of Tourism (ICT) and the Bar Association. In addition to CINDE, Procomer, Chamber of Construction, Chamber of Hotels, among others. “You need to have a little more consideration for the people who need to work, for those who aspire jobs,” concluded Benavides.
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