Colombia offers many different categories of visas, which enable you to stay in the country for a year or more. We provide updated for Colombia’s visa rules for 2023.

In addition, Colombia changed its visa rules in late 2022. The new visa rules went into effect on October 21, 2022. So, it’s important to understand the new visa rules before applying for a Colombian visa.

Also, there are coronavirus impacts on the Colombia visa process that we look at in this article.

Citizens of several countries including the Australia, Canada, France, Germany, the United Kingdom, the United States and many other countries do not need a visa to enter Colombia as a tourist for up to 90 days.

If you are a tourist from Canada, you used to have to pay a reciprocity fee of 201,000 pesos – but were exempt from the fee if older than 79 or younger than 14. However, this reciprocity fee was eliminated on May 1, 2019.

A Colombian “tourist” visa isn’t a formal visa. It’s just a stamp in your passport. Furthermore, a “tourist” visa can be extended by 90 days at any Migración Colombia office in the country or online. We previously covered how to extend a tourist visa in Colombia.

However, with a tourist visa/permit and out a formal Colombian visa, your stay in Colombia is limited to a maximum of 180 days per calendar year. So, if you want to stay longer than 180 days you will need a Colombian visa.

Colombian Visa Types

Colombia previously had three types of visas: temporary (TP), resident (RE) and business visas. Most expats living in Colombia before the visa changes in late 2017 had TP or RE visas.

According to Resolución 5477 (Resolution 5477) released by the Minister of Exterior Relations on October 21, 2022, Colombia officially changed its visa classifications and now has three types of visas:

  1. Visitor (V)
  2. Migrant (M)
  3. Resident (R)

There are currently 25 different types of visitor visas, in addition to 4 courtesy visitor visas such as the international agreement visa. Moreover, there are 14 different types of migrant visas and finally 4 types of resident visas.

New Visa Resolution Impacts

Has the visa process changed in Colombia due to the new Resolution 5477?

According to ExpatGroup, the visa agency we partnered with, tells us that with the new resolution, the government has introduced new application requirements, in addition to having eliminated some visas, such as the M student visa, and changed the category, for example, the R type visa for Colombian child, it is now M category.

The visa agency we partnered with has helped many foreigners obtain visas during the pandemic including retirement visasmarriage visasstudent visasinvestment visas and resident visas.

The Migrant (M) Colombian Visa

The most popular migrant visas are retirement, marriage and investment visas, but according to Resolution 5477 you will be able to apply for 14 different activities shown below.

  1. Be a permanent Colombian national’s spouse. 
  2. For foreigners who have a common-law relationship with Colombian citizens.
  3. Be a Colombian national’s father or son by adoption.
  4. Be a Colombian national’s father or son by birth.
  5. Be a national of one of the States party to the “Agreement on Residence for nationals of Mercosur, Bolivia and Chile”. 
  6. For nationals of any of the States party to the “Andean Migratory Statute”.
  7. Be recognized as a refugee in Colombia according to the current regulations.
  8. Have permanent employment in Colombia or long-term, by virtue of a labor relationship or contracting of services rendered with natural or legal person domiciled in Colombia. 
  9. Have constituted or acquired participation in the capital stock in a commercial company valued at least 100 times the minimum monthly wage in Colombia. 
  10. Have qualification or expertise to practice a profession independently. This is similar to the former TP-13 visa.
  11. Receive a pension for retirement. A pension must be at least three times the minimum monthly wage in Colombia.
  12. For foreigners with a master’s degree, doctorate or postdoctoral training in basic or applied sciences, engineering, mathematics and related fields, whose profiles are in line with the priorities required by the country in its internationalization plans.
  13. Have registered foreign direct investment in Colombia for real estate valued at least 650 times the minimum monthly wage in Colombia. 
  14. For foreigners who the Colombian State has granted stateless status.


More Details about Colombia M Visas

Most of the migrant visas allow working in Colombia, except for the retirement, beneficiary and investor visas.

Also, the M work visa or practicing professional can work only for the position, entity or profession with which the visa was granted. And the M business investor visa can only work for the company in which the visa holder is a partner or shareholder.

Furthermore, the requirements for the new M visas are similar to the requirements for the corresponding former TP visa categories. 

Also, similar to the old TP visas, if you leave Colombia for more than six consecutive months with a M visa, the visa expires and is no longer valid. But this time counting for being outside of Colombia has been suspended during the quarantine with no flights available.

The Resident (R) Colombian Visa

The Colombia resident visa (R visa), which in Colombia is essentially the same as the previous RE (resident) visa. There are four categories of R visas according with the new Resolution 5477:

  1. Returning Colombian – In some cases, Colombians living in other countries were required to renounce their Colombian citizenship when becoming citizens of their adopted countries.
  2. Has held a M visa category continuously and uninterrupted for two, three, or five years, according to visa type. For example, if it is retirement needs five years, but if it is a marriage visa, only three. 
  3. For Venezuelan citizens under the Temporary Protection Status for Venezuelan Migrants.
  4. For those foreigners who belong to the FARC-EP and who have completed the process of laying down their arms.

The previous rules for visas included those investments that exceeded 650 minimum wages, or for parents of Colombian children could obtain a resident visa directly, now these visas have changed category and are migrant visas.

In addition, if you leave Colombia for more than two years with an R visa, the visa expires and is no longer valid. But this time counting for being outside of Colombia has been suspended during the quarantine with no flights available.

2023 Income and Investment Requirements for Colombian Visas

Some of the Colombia visas have income and investment requirements. These income and investment requirements are based on a multiple of the Colombian minimum monthly salary.

The minimum salary in Colombia is 1,160,000 pesos per month in 2023. And the following are income and investment requirements in 2023 in pesos and USD using an exchange rate of 4,500 pesos per USD:

The Visitor (V) Colombian Visa

The Colombian visitor visa (V visa) can be granted for 25 different activities as follows:

  1. Carry out direct transit in one of the airports of Colombia and destined to a third country.
  2. Visit Colombia for leisure, tourism or cultural interest purposes. 
  3. Conduct business management, including: business negotiations, market studies, plans or procedures of direct investment and constitution of commercial society, negotiation, conclusion of contracts or commercial representation.
  4. Participate in an academic exchange program, advance training in art or trade, or undertake different studies such as Spanish classes or in a primary, secondary or undergraduate higher education program. 
  5. Attend medical consultation, intervention or treatment.
  6. Carry out administrative and/or judicial proceedings before entities or authorities in Colombia. 
  7. Enter and work in Colombian jurisdictional waters as a boat crew member or offshore platform. 
  8. To carry out seasonal agricultural work under programs established by the government.
  9. Participate in an event as a lecturer, exhibitor, artist, athlete, jury, contestant or logistical staff.
  10. Perform an internship.
  11. To work in a religious ministry or as a missionary of a spiritual entity duly recognized by the Colombian State.
  12. To enter and remain in the country as a volunteer or student in religious training or to conduct theological studies in an institute or church organization.
  13. Volunteer in development cooperation projects or in the promotion and protection of human rights.
  14. Perform audiovisual production or digital content.
  15. Working remotely for foreign companies from Colombia.
  16. Perform journalistic coverage or stay temporarily as a foreign media correspondent.
  17. To provide technical assistance to a legal entity in Colombia.
  18. Hold a position in a Colombian branch of a company with a presence abroad, by virtue of inter-corporate transfer of personnel.
  19. Coming as a foreign government official or foreign government trade representative, on a mission that does not imply accreditation to the Colombian government.
  20. Visit Colombia under holiday-work programs agreed by Colombia with other States through treaties in force.
  21. For internship activities in companies established in Colombia.
  22. To work temporarily in Colombia under a contract to render services, work, or labor.
  23. For productive, innovation or research activities oriented to the adoption or adaptation of technologies that complement or develop products, processes or services that contribute to strengthen the country’s competitiveness.
  24. For foreigners who receive a periodic and variable income from a creditable legal source.
  25. Cases and circumstances not provided for in Resolution 5477, on an exceptional basis and upon assessment by the Visa and Immigration Authority.

In addition, there are six additional categories of courtesy visas where a V visa may be issued. For example, one category of courtesy visa is for artistic, technical and foreign production personnel who enter Colombia for projects of production and filming of foreign cinematographic works.

A V visa’s validity duration takes into account the activity proposed by the foreigner.

Health Insurance is Now Required for Colombian Visas

Colombia requires health insurance when applying for Colombian visas, all visitor visas are mandatory, and some migrant visas, such as retirement visa.

Many Medellin Guru readers have asked about health insurance needed for visas. And the insurance agent we partnered offers a relatively inexpensive travel insurance policy from ASSIST CARD that meets the health insurance requirement for Colombian visas.

Use the Medellin Guru Insurance Service

How to Apply for a Colombian Visa

How to Apply for a Colombian Visa

How to Apply for a Colombian Visa

You can apply for a Colombian visa online. In addition, you can obtain Colombian 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.

The Colombian visa process is fairly easy as it’s done online. You can apply for a Colombia visa online here. This application will require scans of all required documents in PDF files plus the photo in jpg format. In addition, a detailed guide for applying online is found here.

Visas in Colombia are issued by the Ministerio de Relaciones Exteriores. Since the coronavirus, all visas are issued electronically, so you do not have to travel to Bogota for the stamp.

I successfully obtained three Colombian visas that I applied for my own in the past that were good for a total of five years. But the biggest challenge with doing a Colombian visa yourself is not benefiting from the experiences of a a visa agency, which has processed hundreds of visas and knows exactly what is needed for each type of visa.

Also another big benefit of using a visa agency is that they help you gather all the information and documents necessary for the visa application. The cost of the service includes immigration advice, visa application, visa registration, and application for a foreigner identification card.

So, for my latest visa received in 2018, a Colombia resident visa, I used a visa agency. And I found the experience painless and now highly recommend using a visa service over doing a Colombia visa application yourself. The bottom line is with a visa agency you are less likely to run into problems and you can avoid a trip to Bogotá.

Using a Visa Agency for a Colombian Visa

If you are in Colombia and not located in Bogotá and you don’t want to travel, you can use a visa agency to obtain a Colombian visa. A visa agency can handle the online application. 

Medellin Guru has partnered with what we believe is the best visa agency in Medellín to offer Colombia visa services. Features of this service include:

  • Online chat – get visa questions answered fast.
  • Online quotes – get immediate visa quotes.
  • Bilingual team.
  • Office in El Poblado in Medellín.
  • Competitive price compared to other visa services.

The Medellin Guru visa service partnership was launched in March 2019. And in 47 months, 613 visas were successfully received by clients.

Also, our visa service renewed 87 American passports in Bogotá using our passport renewal service. In addition, 28 clients extended tourist visas using our tourist visa extension service.

So, in total we had 728 clients of the Medellin Guru visa service in 47 months.

In addition, many more visas are in process – short, medium or longer term, depending on client needs.

Use the Medellin Guru Visa Service

We reviewed all the Colombia visa agency services in Medellín and found one agency that offers a more efficient visa service with more features and more comprehensive communications including online chat, WhatsApp, Skype, email and phone plus a low price and a convenient office in El Poblado.

Our visa partnership is an affiliate relationship (like the Amazon affiliate program). If you use our visa partner, Medellin Guru receives a small commission and you support the website. This is at no additional cost to you. The price remains the same, whether you use a button or affiliate link on this website or not.

Furthermore, the visa agency we partnered with offers visa services anywhere in Colombia. So, if you are located in another city in Colombia you can use this service.

New entrance to Migracion Colombia in Medellín, on Calle 19A

New entrance to Migracion Colombia in Medellín, on Calle 19A

Getting a Colombian Cedula

After you have successfully received your Colombian Visa you have a maximum of 15 calendar days to register your visa with Migración Colombia to get a Cedula de Extranjeria (Colombian ID for foreigners). Or if you received your visa at a consulate, you will have 15 calendar days after you arrive in Colombia to register your visa.

Due to being photographed and fingerprinted this must be done in-person at a Migración Colombia office.

Especially relevant, it is very important to register your Colombian 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. The minimum salary in Colombia is $1,160,000 COP per month in 2023. So, the fine is up to 8,120,000 COP pesos in 2023.

To register your visa and apply for a cedula this must be done at one of the Migración Colombia offices. You can find Migración Colombia offices in major cities in Colombia.

  • Barranquilla – Carrera 42 # 54-77, Barrio El Recreo
  • Bogotá – Calle 100 #11B-27
  • Cali – Avenida 3 norte # 50N-20
  • Cartagena – Carrera 20 B # 29-18, Barrio pie de la Popa
  • Medellín – Calle 19 #80A-40, Barrio Belén (the entrance is on the other side of the building on Calle 19A)

A complete list of the Migración Colombia offices is found here. In addition, we have a guide to applying for a Cedula Extranjeria in Colombia

Dual citizenship is possible

Dual citizenship is possible

Dual Citizenship

After having an R visa for five years (or after having for two years if married to a Colombian) you can apply to become a citizen of Colombia. And you won’t have to give up your existing citizenship. Colombia permits dual-citizenship, as does the U.S. and many other countries.

Latin American and Caribbean nationals are eligible to apply for citizenship in Colombia after shorter time frames of only one year as a resident or two years if from Spain.

Once you become a dual citizen with Colombian citizenship, you will no longer need to deal with visas anymore. Also, you will be able to travel to a few countries as a Colombian citizen without a visa such as Russia, which require a visa for U.S. citizens.

To become a citizen, Colombia requires a citizenship test, just like the U.S. does. You will be required to pass a test related to Colombian history, geography and the constitution. Also, a basic Spanish oral test is required. Those who have a bachelor’s degree from a Colombian university or are over 65 years old are exempt from these tests.

Medellin Guru’s Comprehensive Visa and Passport Series

So, on the Medellin Guru site, we have a comprehensive series of visa articles that are kept up-to-date and should answer most visa questions. These articles include:

We have looked in detail at the seven most popular Colombian visas used by foreigners:

  1. Retirement visa
  2. Marriage visa
  3. Investment visa
  4. Resident visa
  5. Work visa
  6. Student visa
  7. Visitor visa

Also, we have looked in detail at three additional Colombian visas, which are less popular for foreigners:

In addition, we have a guide to Colombia tourist visas and how to extend a tourist visa. Also, we have a guide to renewing U.S. passports in Colombia and a guide to obtaining a Colombian passport.

Furthermore, we provide information about travel insurance that meets the insurance requirement for Colombian visas. And we have a guide to how apply for a cedula extranjeria in Colombia and a guide to using notaries in Medellín and Colombia. Finally, Medellin Guru has partnered with a visa agency to offer Colombia visa services.

All of our Colombia visa articles were updated in early 2022 to ensure they are up-to-date and were updated again multiple times in 2023. In addition, all visa articles on this website will be kept up-to-date as new details are disclosed.

Also, “How to obtain a Colombian visa?” is one of the most common questions asked by expats. So, we included this question in our list of Medellín frequently asked questions (FAQ).

The Bottom Line: Obtaining a Colombian Visa

Colombia has many visa options for foreigners who wish to stay in Colombia for a longer period than the 180-day maximum per year as a tourist.

In addition, obtaining a Colombian visa is relatively easy with fewer documents required than many other countries. Also, the visa costs in Colombia are lower than in many other countries in Latin America. Furthermore, the Colombian visa process is streamlined with online applications and is relatively fast.

The visa agency we partnered with has helped 728 Medellin Guru readers obtain Colombian visas and renew U.S. passports. Click on the blue button below and that will take you to a page of the visa agency where you can obtain a quote and ask questions using a chat.

Use the Medellin Guru Visa Service

Colombia has many visa options for foreigners who wish to stay in Colombia for a longer period than the 180-day maximum per year as a tourist.

Editors note: updated on 2/7/2018 with Canadian reciprocity fee based on a readers comment about the new fee.

Editors note: updated on January 3, 2019 with the new 2019 Colombia minimum wage information.

Editors note: updated on February 25, 2019 with information that the Colombian entry fee charged to tourists from Canada will be eliminated on May 1, 2019.

Editors note: updated on January 4, 2020 with the new 2020 Colombia minimum wage information, which impacts the income and investment requirements for several Colombian visas.

Editors note: updated on March 17, 2020 with impacts of coronavirus on the Colombian visa process and updated to use the current exchange rate.

Editors note: updated on March 19 to add that President Iván Duque, announced that starting on March 23 the arrival of international travelers to Colombia will be suspended for a period of 30 days – this includes all Colombians and foreign residents.

Editors note: updated on March 30, 2020 with Colombian visa process changes due to coronavirus and the quarantines in Colombia.

Editors note: updated on June 10, 2020 with information that the national quarantine in Colombia has been extended to June 30 and updated information about the Medellin Guru visa service.

Editors note: updated on August 5, 2020 to update information regarding the quarantine impact on the Colombia visa process and updated income and investment requirements for visas with the current exchange rate.

Editors note: updated on September 22, 2020 with information that Migracion offices in Colombia reopened on September 21.

Editors note: updated on January 8, 2021 with the updated income requirement for the Colombian visas based on the new minimum wage in 2021 in Colombia and the current exchange rate.

Editors note: updated on March 15 with current income and investment requirements for visas based on the current exchange rate.

Editors note: updated on March 7, with updated information regarding new visa rules and current rates. 

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