Digital Nomad Visa Comparison: Spain vs. Costa Rica

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

Digital Nomad Visa Comparison: Spain vs. Costa Rica

Comparing Digital Nomad Visa Programs: Spain vs Costa Rica

Considering taking your work on the road and living the digital nomad life in Central America or Europe? Two countries offering enticing visa programs for digital nomads are Spain and Costa Rica.

About Spain

Spain, with its diverse culture and Mediterranean climate, is a coveted destination for digital nomads. It offers stunning architecture, museums, and an exciting nightlife, along with accessible beaches and rich cuisine.

Digital Nomad Visa Program

Spain officially launched its Special Visa for International Teleworkers under Startup Act 28/2022, which allows eligible remote workers to reside in Spain for up to one year.

Cost of Visa TBC within the instruction yet to be published (before 31 March 2023)
Length of Stay One year
Income Requirement The freelance applicant is required to earn at least 80 percent of income from outside of Spain.

Other Conditions or Requirements

  • Graduates or postgraduates from universities of recognized prestige or professional training and business schools of recognized prestige or with a minimum of three years of professional experience
  • Proof of being employed with the employer (outside of Spain) for at least one year continuously and permit to work remotely
  • In case of contractual employment, proof of professional relationship with an entity (outside of Spain) for no less than three months and permit to work remotely
  • In case of freelancing, proof of working with at least one non-Spanish company from at least the past three months and providing terms and conditions allowing to work remotely
  • Valid experience and technical knowledge for the job performance
  • Proof of clean criminal records

About Costa Rica

Costa Rica, also known as the "Switzerland of Central America," has become a haven for digital nomads seeking a blend of adventure, natural beauty, and financial incentives. It offers stunning rainforests, friendly locals, and a laid-back lifestyle.

Digital Nomad Visa Program

Costa Rica offers the Estancia para Trabajador y Prestador Remoto de Servicios for digital nomads.

Cost of Visa US$100
Length of Stay Up to one year, renewable for one additional year
Income Requirement The travelers must have 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.
  • 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.


Choosing between Spain and Costa Rica would depend on personal preferences, lifestyle, and work requirements. Spain presents a unique opportunity for teleworking professionals, thanks to its Special Visa for International Teleworkers. It offers a vibrant culture, rich history, and Mediterranean climate, coupled with reliable internet connectivity and cost-of-living benefits.

On the other hand, Costa Rica's Estancia para Trabajador y Prestador Remoto de Servicios offers a laid-back lifestyle with tropical landscapes and incentives that will appeal to travelers looking to balance work and leisure.

It's worth researching and identifying which country will best meet your individual needs and lifestyle preferences.