In late 2017, the Colombian Ministry of Foreign Affairs made sweeping changes to its visa system under Resolución 6045. Broad reclassifications to the visa program officially went into effect on December 15 of that year.
The updates to the system have largely simplified the process of obtaining a visa. While previously, there were nearly 20 types of foreign visas for residents, that number has been reduced to three primary categories: visitor (v), migrant (m), and resident (r).
Here’s what you need to know about the process of receiving a Colombia investor visa in 2019.
The New Colombian Investment Visas
Before Resolución 6045 went into effect, the two types of Colombian investment visas were the TP-7 temporary visa and the RE resident visa.
As of December 2017, investors can still choose between two types of investment visas: a resident or migrant visa.
The investment visa for which you qualify may depend on the size of your investment in the property.
We’ve broken down the two types of Colombian investments below:
Resident visa (type R)
Your first option to invest in property or a local business in Colombia is by obtaining a resident, or type R, visa.
To be eligible for a resident visa as an investor, you must make an investment worth at least 650 times the Colombian minimum wage.
As of 2019, the monthly minimum wage in Colombia is 828,116.00 COP – or around 265 USD. (828,115 x 650 + = 538,275,400, or about 172,422 USD.)
A resident visa extends for five years and may be renewed every additional five years.
However, if you leave the country for more than two years, the visa will be deemed invalid.
Migrant visa (type M)
As a prospective investor in Colombia, you also have the option to apply for a Migrant, or type M, visa.
This is one of the most common types of Colombia visas for expats.
Aside from investments, there are many situations that may qualify you for an M visa, including marriage to a Colombian national, permanent employment with a Colombian entity, or participation in an educational institution in Colombia.
As an investor, you may qualify for an M visa if you have made an investment in a Colombian business or property that is worth more than 350 times the country’s minimum monthly salary.
As noted, the Colombian monthly minimum wage in 2019 is 828,116. (828,116 x 350 = 289,840,600, which comes out to $92,842.58 USD).
The Colombian Investment Visa Process
The visa process in Colombia is fairly easy and it’s done online. You can apply for a Colombian investment visa online here.
This application will require scans of all the below required documents in PDF files plus the photo in jpg format. A detailed guide for applying online is found here.
- Copy of the first page of your current passport where your personal data is displayed.
- Copy of the page of your passport where the last stamp of entry or departure of Colombia is located.
- If you’ve had a previous Colombian visa, a copy of this visa.
- Documents outlined above under Colombian Investment Visa Requirements to prove the property or business investment in Colombia.
- Passport style face photo with a white background, sized at 3cm width X 4cm height, max size of 300kb jpg file for online application.
After the visa approval, you need to travel to Bogotá to get the visa in your passport.
Visas are issued at the Ministerio de Relaciones Exteriores office in Bogotá. This is located at Avenida 19 # 98-03, Torre 100 Building, 3rd Floor. It’s open from 7:30am until noon.
If you don’t want to travel you can use a visa agency.
A visa agency can handle the online application. And it will courier your passport to Bogotá to get the visa in your passport. There are several visa agencies in Medellín.
You can also get visas at Colombian consulates around the world.
In the U.S., Colombia has consulates located in Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, Orlando, Newark, New York, San Francisco and Washington DC.
With a higher investment for the resident investor visa you can receive the visa immediately.
Note that if someone with an Resident visa leaves the country for two continuous years they lose the right to the visa.
After having a Resident visa for five continuous years it is possible to apply for Colombian citizenship and become a dual citizen.
Getting a Colombian Cedula
After you have successfully received your Colombia Investment Visa you will have a maximum of 15 days to register your visa with Migración Colombia to get a Cedula de Extranjeria (Colombian ID for foreigners). This must be done in-person.
It is important to register your visa within the allotted time frame. If not, you will be liable for a big fine of up to seven times the minimum monthly salary in Colombia (over $1,700).
To register your visa and apply for a cedula this must be done at one of the Migración Colombia offices. You can find offices in major cities in Colombia.
- Bogotá – Calle 100 #11B-27
- Photocopy of biographical page of passport
- Photocopy of your visa
- Photocopy of blood test showing your blood type (or if you have a previous visa, photocopy of your cedula)
You will need to make an appointment with Migración Colombia to register your visa and apply for a cedula. This appointment can be done online here or via the phone at 018000510454
The current cost of a cedula is 183,000 pesos, which can be paid for using a credit card at the Migración Colombia office.
The Colombian Investment Visa is relatively easy to get but is strictly intended for someone who invests in property or a business in Colombia.
Steps outlined above show how to get a Colombian Investment Visa yourself based on the current procedure.
Lifeafar Investment, the largest foreign-owned real estate firm in Medellin, has experience working with investors for all types of Colombian Investment Visa.
Visitors looking for an easy way to obtain a Colombian Investment Visa can contact the company here.
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