The Digital Nomad Visa Requirements of Costa Rica and Belize
If you're a digital nomad looking to experience new cultures and escape the traditional "9-5" lifestyle, Costa Rica and Belize are two Central American countries that offer attractive visa programs to remote workers. Both programs offer flexibility and benefits that make them competitive options for digital nomads. However, there are differences between the two that you should be aware of before you set your sights on one of these countries.
Costa Rica's visa program, Estancia para Trabajador y Prestador Remoto de Servicios, offers exemptions from income tax. The Digital Nomads Law and its regulations do not establish any duty for foreigners to contribute to the Costa Rican Social Security Fund. However, to qualify for this program, travelers must have $3,000 per month if traveling alone or $4,000 per month if traveling with dependents. Additionally, applicants must have a medical services policy that covers them and their family, if applicable, for the entire duration of their stay in Costa Rica and with a guarantee of coverage for medical expenses in case of illness of at least $50,000 USD. Immigration will also check whether applicants have criminal records and require bank statements and affidavits to prove income. Digital nomads are not allowed to work for Costa Rican employers or contractors under this program.
Belize's visa program, Work Where You Vacation, requires a fee per month of stay and has an annual income requirement of $75,000 for individuals and $100,000 for couples or families. There is likely no income tax since the maximum stay is 180 days (183 days required to establish tax residency), but the applicant is required to present a certificate issued within the past six months and a valid police record for all applicants 18 years and older. Unlike Costa Rica, there is no requirement for medical insurance, and the digital nomad can work for anyone, including a Belizean company.
Although not Central American, it’s worth noting that Anguilla also offers a tempting visa program. The Remote Work Programme has a fee of $2,000 for individuals and students who are 18 years or older, and $3,000 for a family of four. There is no requirement for medical insurance, but applicants need a valid police record. Digital nomads must also be self-employed or have employment from an entity based outside the country. The program has a duration of 3 to 12 months.
If you're a digital nomad seeking to explore the tropical paradise of Central America, Costa Rica and Belize are both excellent options. Both offer unique experiences and cultures for those looking to work remotely while enjoying a high quality of life. Although their visa programs differ in requirements and benefits, they share the same goal of attracting digital nomads to work and live in their countries. Consider the specific requirements and living arrangements of each program before deciding which one is right for you.