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How to Obtain a Colombia Expertise Visa: A Visa for Professionals - Medellin Guru
Colombia's expertise visa is intended for foreigner professionals who want to practice a profession in Colombia such as an architect or electrician.

How to Obtain a Colombia Expertise Visa: A Visa for Professionals – 2023 Update

Colombia’s expertise visa is intended for foreigner professionals who want to practice a profession in Colombia such as an architect or electrician. We provide 2023 updates on the Colombia expertise visa rules.

Medellin Guru has published popular articles about many of the Colombian visas. And we have received several questions from readers about the expertise visa. So, we look at the Colombia expertise visa in more detail.

The Colombian expertise visa can be more difficult to obtain than other Colombia visas, as you must:

  • Prove that you have a professional license/degree – for example an architect or electrician.
  • Demonstrate that your license/degree is recognized under Colombian law.
  • Demonstrate that your academic background is similar to what is required under Colombian regulations.

In addition, in some cases you may even need to take classes in Colombia to complete the validation process.

The validation process can take several months before you can apply for an expertise visa. So, only pursue this type of visa if you have time and are seriously planning to practice a profession in Colombia.

Applying for a Colombia expertise visa
Applying for a Colombia expertise visa

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.

Applying for a visa
Applying for a Colombia expertise visa

How to Apply for a Colombia Expertise Visa

You can apply for a Colombia expertise 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 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 student 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.

Medellin Guru Visa Service

The visa agency we partnered with has helped 1.189 Medellin Guru reader

New 2023 requirements to obtain the expertise visa

Documents required for the Colombia expertise visa are as follows:

  • Photo

    Passport-style face photo with a white background, 3 cm width X 4 cm height, maximum 300 kb jpg file size for online application.

  • Passport

    Photocopy of the first page of your passport with a minimum validity of 6 months where your personal data is displayed.

  • Passport stamp

    Photocopy of the page of your passport with the last stamp of entry or departure of Colombia is located.

  • School curriculum

    School curriculum demonstrating training in the activity to be pursued in Colombia.

  • Experience Certificate

    At least three certificates of experience/licenses in the profession, which are legalized, apostilled and translated.

  • Degree Validation

    Certified copy of the degree validation and proof of compliance with the other requirements for the exercise of the profession by the laws in force, including the presentation of the professional card, license, or provisional permit issued by the corresponding professional association or council.

  • Reference Letters

    Reference letters of Colombian companies interested in hiring the independent service of the visa applicant.

  • Bank Statement

    Bank statements for the past six months demonstrating an average income of at least 5 times the Colombian monthly minimum wage (minimum is 1,160,000 pesos per month in 2023, so this is 5,800,000 pesos per month of income).

  • Visa

    If you’ve had a previous Colombian visa, a photocopy of this visa.

  • Health Insurance Policy

    Mandatory health insurance policy that covers Colombian territory, all risks, death, and repatriation.

Medellin Guru Insurance Service

Medellin Guru partnered with an insurance agent to offer Colombian insurance services to foreigners including health insurance, auto insurance, homeowners’ insurance, travel insurance and life insurance.​

Using a Visa Agency for an Expertise Visa

medellin guru visa service

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 Colombia expertise 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, 630 visas have been successfully received by clients:

Also, our visa service renewed 78 American passports in Bogotá using our passport renewal service. In addition, 37 clients extended tourist visas using our tourist visa extension service.

So, in total we had 745 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.

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, videoconference, 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 expertise 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 allowed 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.  Starting on September 21, 2020, Migración Colombia offices have reopened in Colombia. So, it again possible to obtain a Cedula de Extranjeria.

Dual citizenship is possible
Dual citizenship is possible

Dual Citizenship

After having a migrant (M) expertise visa or other M visas for five years you are eligible to receive a resident (R) visa. And after having an R visa for five additional years you can apply to become a citizen of Colombia.

Also, you won’t have to give up your existing citizenship. Colombia permits dual-citizenship, as does the U.S. and many other countries.

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.

Also, if you have Colombian citizenship, this benefits you with the Mercosur trade block. Nationals of Member States (Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay) and Associated States (Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador and Peru) do not need a passport or visa to travel around the region, with only a national identity card required. 

In addition, the Mercosur Agreement grants the right to residence and work for citizens with no requirement other than nationality. Citizens of the Member States and Associated States that are part of the agreement enjoy a facilitated procedure for applying for a residence visa, as long as they have a valid passport, birth certificate and a negative certificate of criminal record.

To become a citizen, Colombia requires a citizenship test, just like the U.S. does. And 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.

Furthermore, a complete list of the requirements for Colombian citizenship is found on the Cancillería website here.

Medellin Guru's Comprehensive Visa and Passport Series

The Colombian visa changes that went into effect in mid-October 2022 were significant. 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 2022 to ensure they are up-to-date and are being updated again in 2023. In addition, all visa articles on this website will be kept up-to-date as new details are disclosed.

Obtaining a Colombia visa
Obtaining a Colombia expertise visa

The Bottom Line: Obtaining a Colombia Expertise Visa

Colombia’s expertise visa can take a while to get as you need to validate your professional degree/license, and this can take several months.

Also, this visa is only intended for foreigners with a professional degree/license that is recognized under Colombian law. And you should only consider the Colombia expertise visa if you plan on providing professional services in Colombia.

The expertise visa is one of the least commonly used Colombian visas by foreigners. Several other visas in Colombia are more popular with foreigners including the retirement visa, marriage visa, investment visa, work visa, student visa and resident visa.

The visa agency we partnered with has helped 626 Medellin Guru readers obtain visas and U.S. passport renewals.

Medellin Guru Visa Service

The visa agency we partnered with has helped 1.189 Medellin Guru reader

Editors note: updated on Febryary 28, 2023 with updated information regarding new visa rules. 

Editors note: updated on June 28, 2023, with new images.

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2 thoughts on “How to Obtain a Colombia Expertise Visa: A Visa for Professionals – 2023 Update”

    1. Daniel Siker, M.D. May 29, 2019

      I have been working in Bucaramanga at the University of Bucaramanga also stints in Manisales, many in Cartagena also at the University and Rafael Calvo Maternity Hospital and many conferences in Bogota as a speaker for the past 33years.
      I now want to move to Bucaramanga and continue to work with the medical staff as a professor of Anesthesiology.
      I believe I am already an emeritus professor of the society of anesthesiology in Colombia.

      I want either an investment visa when I buy a finca in B-manga. Or an expertise visa when I volunteer at the university of B-manga.

      Thank you for any advice you may choose to offer.

    2. Interesting article. I did not know that Colombia had an expertise visa. Love all your visa articles and your visa service partnership looks like a good deal.

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