Digital Nomad Visa Comparison: Costa Rica vs. Portugal

A comparison of remote work visas for Costa Rica and Portugal.

Digital Nomad Visa Comparison: Costa Rica vs. Portugal

Costa Rica and Portugal's Digital Nomad Visa Requirements: A Comparison


If you're a digital nomad looking for an ideal destination in Europe or Central America, Portugal and Costa Rica are two great options offering amazing landscapes, rich cultures, and unique experiences. In addition, both countries have attractive digital nomad visa programs that allow remote workers to live and work for an extended period. Let's take a closer look at these visa programs and see which one suits your preferences and requirements.

Costa Rica

Costa Rica is a beautiful Central American country known for its stunning beaches, tropical forests, and eco-adventures. Costa Rica's natural beauty makes it an ideal destination for digital nomads looking for a peaceful and inspiring environment away from hustle and bustle.

Estancia para Trabajador y Prestador Remoto de Servicios

In Costa Rica, the digital nomad visa program is called Estancia para Trabajador y Prestador Remoto de Servicios, and it offers a one-year stay that can be extended for an additional year. The digital nomad visa program doesn't require you to pay income tax or contribute to the Costa Rican Social Security Fund. You just need to have a medical services policy that covers you and your family throughout your stay in the country.

Costa Rica's Digital Nomad Visa Program Requirements

  • The applicant must have US$3,000 per month; If travelling with dependents: US$4,000 per month
  • Must have a medical services policy that covers the entire duration of stay
  • Guarantee of coverage for medical expenses in cases of illness in Costa Rica for at least US $50,000.00
  • Immigration will check for criminal records
  • May not work for a Costa Rican employer or contractor
  • Request form, receipt of payment, and image of the passport page showing the person's photograph and bio information
  • Bank statements and affidavit to prove income


Portugal is a charming European country famous for its breathtaking landscapes, golden beaches, and historic cities. Lisbon, in particular, has become a hotbed for digital nomads due to its vibrant startup scene and co-working spaces. Furthermore, Portugal's cost of living is relatively low compared to other European countries.

Residency Nomad Visa and Temporary Nomad Visa

Portugal has two types of digital nomad visa programs: Residency Nomad Visa and Temporary Nomad Visa. The former is issued for an initial period of 120 days and is converted to a residence permit after entry, while the latter is issued for a duration of 91 to 356 days and cannot be extended or converted to a residence permit. Nevertheless, both visa types are attractive for individuals who want to explore Portugal's rich culture and diverse landscapes.

Portugal's Digital Nomad Visa Program Requirements

  • The applicant must have monthly income equivalent to at least four times the Portuguese minimum wage monthly (around €2,820 or US$2,750 per month)
  • Must have proof of remote work and a clean criminal record
  • Application form, proof of average required monthly income for the past three months, and proof of employment or self-employment
  • Passport that's valid for at least three months beyond the intended duration of stay, proof of immigration status if not a citizen of the country of residence, and return ticket/transport document
  • Two passport-sized photos and authorization form for Portuguese criminal record


Both Costa Rica and Portugal offer great digital nomad visa programs suitable for remote workers who seek adventure, inspiration, and cultural enrichment. Each country has its unique requirements and benefits, which depend on your lifestyle, work style, and preferences. Ultimately, the choice between Costa Rica and Portugal boils down to your specific needs and desires as a digital nomad.