Digital Nomad Visa Comparison: Costa Rica vs. Portugal

Digital Nomad Visa Comparison: Costa Rica vs. Portugal

Digital Nomad Visa Requirements: Costa Rica vs. Portugal

About Costa Rica

Costa Rica is a country located in Central America, known for its beautiful beaches, national parks, and vibrant culture. It is a popular destination for digital nomads seeking adventure and a laidback lifestyle.

Digital Nomad Visa Program

Let's take a look at the digital nomad visa program in Costa Rica.

Cost of Visa US$100
Length of Stay 1 year + May be renewed for 1 additional year
Income Requirement US$3,000 per month; If travelling with dependents: US$4,000 per month

Other Conditions or Requirements

  • A medical services policy that covers the applicant for the entire duration of his/her stay in the country is required. Likewise, all members of the family group must be covered, if the applicant chooses to request their inclusion as beneficiaries. The guarantee of coverage for medical expenses in cases of illness in Costa Rica for at least US $50,000.00 (fifty thousand dollars of the United States of America) whose term of validity covers the period of stay in the country.
  • Immigration will check whether this person has criminal records through the databases it has access to, Bank statements and affidavit to prove income
  • This Visa category entails an exemption from income tax
  • The Digital Nomads Law and its Regulations does not establish any duty to foreigners to contribute to the Costa Rican Social Security Fund.
  • May not work for a Costa Rican employer or contractor
  • Request form, Receipt of payment of fees, Image of the passport page showing the person’s photograph and bio information, and the stamp showing entry into Costa Rica (if the person is already in Costa Rica), Depending on the person’s nationality, consular visa or restricted visa.

About Portugal

Portugal is a country located in southwestern Europe, known for its stunning beaches, historical architecture, and rich culture. It is a popular destination for digital nomads seeking a blend of urban and natural experiences.

Digital Nomad Visa Program

Let's take a look at the digital nomad visa program in Portugal.

Cost of Visa Processing Fees:
• Temporary Nomad Visa: EUR75
• Residency Nomad Visa: EUR90
Length of Stay Residency Nomad Visa: issued for an initial period of 120 days and is converted to a residence permit after entry
Temporary Nomad Visa: issued for 91 to 356 days (cannot be extended or converted to a residence permit)
Income Requirement The applicant is required to have monthly income equivalent to at least four times the Portuguese minimum wages monthly, which is around EUR2,820 or US$2,750 per month.

Other Conditions or Requirements

  • If the applicant stays in the country for more than 183 days in a year, then he might be considered as a tax resident of the country
  • Required criminal record from the country of residence and every country the applicant has resided in for over a year • Minors under 16 years are exempt from providing any document related to criminal record.
  • The applicant must continue to remain employed abroad.
  • Application form, Proof of average required monthly income for the past three months, Proof of employment or self-employment, Passport valid for 3 months beyond the intended duration of stay, Proof of immigration status if not a citizen of the country of residence, Return Ticket/ transport document, Two passport-sized photos, A form which would authorize the access for Portuguese criminal record, maintained by SEF.

Comparing Digital Nomad Visa Programs: Costa Rica vs. Portugal

Costa Rica vs. Portugal

Both Costa Rica and Portugal offer unique experiences for digital nomads. Costa Rica has a tropical climate and is known for its beaches and rich biodiversity, while Portugal offers a combination of historic architecture and modern urban life, with beautiful coastlines and vineyards.

In terms of their digital nomad visa programs, Costa Rica and Portugal impose different requirements. Costa Rica, for example, requires that digital nomads have a medical services policy that covers the entire duration of their stay and proves a monthly income requirement of US$3,000 to US$4,000. In contrast, Portugal requires digital nomads to have a monthly income of at least EUR2,820 (or its US dollar equivalent) and maintain employment abroad.

While both countries have their strengths and unique selling points, choosing between the two will depend on personal preferences, work style, and cultural experiences.


Choosing the perfect destination for your digital nomad lifestyle is no small task. Factors like cost of living, climate, affordability, and work opportunities can heavily influence the choice, along with the country's digital nomad visa program. Costa Rica and Portugal have both put forward attractive visa programs to attract digital nomads to their shores, and each caters to specific requirements and interests. Make an informed decision by evaluating the individual merit of each country according to your specific needs and preferences.