Costa Rica: an ideal destination for Canadian investors and digital nomads

by | Aug 24, 2023 | Articles, GLC Abogados, Immigration Division

costa rica destino ideal canadienses

Costa Rica is an ideal destination for Canadians who wish to invest and work remotely, the Central American country has a growing economy based mainly on tourism, coupled with a robust and established democratic system and a friendly time zone. In addition, Costa Rica is one of the most sustainably developed countries in the world: Its Constitution guarantees a healthy and ecologically balanced environment and the country runs, for the most part, on renewable energy.

Therefore, investing in Costa Rica is a great option for Canadians. The Costa Rican law (bill No.8764 of August 19th, 2009) allows foreigners to apply for a series of temporary residences according to their profiles: as investors, rentista and pensionado. Residences will be granted for two years (extendable for the same period), according to current regulations.

Temporary residences:

If you wish to apply as an investor, you must inject a capital of not less tan USD $150,000.00 into the Costa Rican economy, either in real estate, registrable goods, shares, securities and productive projects o projects of national interest. To apply as a rentista, a minimum monthly income of USD $2,500.00 must be demonstrated. As for pensionado, the minimum monthly income to be demonstrated is USD $1.000,00.

All categories allow the applicant to cover dependents, such as spouse and children under the age of 25, while they are still studying.

As general requirements, all applicants must present a letter of application for residency, their birth certificate and background check (criminal record), both apostilled or legalized. If the application is made on behalf of a family, the marriage certificate and birth certificate of the children must be presented, also apostilled or legalized. All these documents are requested before the Canadian authorities, who legalize them and thus, they are valid and effective in Costa Rica, as long as they are within their period of validity (6 months after the date of issue, unless the document indicates otherwise).

Digital nomads:

Costa Rica is also an ideal destination for digital nomads, as the country allows combining remote work with abundant nature, stable internet connection and legal protection (bill No.10008 of August 11th, 2021). Currently, it is estimated that more than 4000 digital nomads reside in Costa Rica.

By applying for this special category stay visa, individuals from Canada will be able to obtain a one-year visa (extendable for an additional year) for themselves and their family, open a bank account in Costa Rica, drive with their country’s driver license, and a total exoneration of income tax (utilities tax) and import tax for their basic personal work equipment (with the fulfillment of certain conditions).

Applicants must prove that they have a monthly income greater than USD $3,000.00 (or greater than USD $4,000.00, if they wish to apply as a family group), and meet the following requirements:

  1. Complete the application form, which can be presented digitally or physically.
  2. Present the receipt of payment of USD $100.00 or its equivalent in colones (Costa Rican currency), deposited to the accounts of the Immigration Department.
  3. Present a photocopy of the biographical page of their valid passport (the one that includes their photograph and biographical data) and the entry stamp to Costa Rica.
  4. Proof of economic solvency, by two possible means:
    1. Bank statements of the previous year, to prove your income, duly apostilled or legalized. In addition to an affidavit stating that such statements were requested and obtained from the corresponding financial entity; or,
    2. Alternatively, if the applicant is located in Costa Rica, an accounting certification issued by a public accountant or notary public may be presented.


Canada’s accession to the Apostille Convention will make it easier, faster and more accessible to obtain documents to apply for the Immigration processes described above, starting in January 2024. In any case, GLC Abogados is the best option to protect your business and your interests. If you would like to have more information, please contact us via phone at (+506) 2105-3100 or by e-mail at

Written by Eugenia Víquez and Gabriel Porras