The Colombia investment visas are intended for foreigners who make an investment in Colombia. And these visas are relatively easy to get once you have made an investment in Colombia.
Colombia changed its Colombian visa rules, which went into effect on December 15, 2017. Colombia previous had two types of investment visas: the TP-7, which is a temporary (TP) visa and the resident investor visa or RE visa, which requires a larger investment.
With the new visa rules the TP-7 investor visa became e a migrant (M) visa of category 6 (M-6) for investment in a business or category 10 (M-10) for investment in real estate. And the resident investor visa (RE) will become a resident (R) visa.
Note that the M-6 or M-10 migrant investor visas are valid for three years compared to only one year for the previous TP-7 visa.
The new M-6 and M-10 migrant visas cost $282 USD including the processing charge. This is higher than the previous TP-7 visa that cost $263. The new R resident visa costs $443 USD, which is higher than the previous RE visa, which was $435 USD. So, the new Colombia visa prices are somewhat higher.
How to Apply for a Colombia Investment Visa
You can apply for a Colombia investment visa in-person in Bogotá. 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. Also, it’s done online. You can apply for a Colombia resident 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.
Documents required for all types of investment include:
- Photocopy of the first page of your valid passport where your personal data is displayed.
- Photocopy of the page of your passport with the last stamp of entry or departure of Colombia is located.
- If you’ve had a previous Colombian visa, a photocopy of this visa.
- Passport style face photo with a white background, sized at 3 cm width X 4 cm height, maximum size of 300 kb jpg file for online application.
1. Migrant visa for investment in business – If you are applying for a M-6 visa for investment in a business you need to invest at least 100 times the Colombian minimum monthly salary. The minimum wage in 2019 in Colombia is 828,116 pesos per month. 100 times this equals 82,811,600 pesos or $25,678 USD at an exchange rate of 3,225 pesos per USD. In addition, you will need for the visa application:
- A letter of request which includes the company name, address and Tax Identification Number (NIT) of the commercial company incorporated or the company in which the investment was made.
- In the case of joint-stock companies, participation in the company shall be certified by a certificate of share composition subscribed to by a public accountant, indicating the amount of capital or assets registered and paid for by the foreigner who applies for the visa, which not less than the equivalent of 100 times the Colombian minimum monthly salary.
Also, the Colombia visa authority may require the presentation of the original partnership agreement, incorporation document or financial information of the company when the documentation provided is insufficient, presents inconsistencies or requires clarification.
2. Migrant visa for investment in real estate – If you are applying for a M-10 visa for investment in real estate you will need to invest at least 350 times the Colombian minimum monthly salary, which is 289,840,600 pesos or $89,873 USD at an exchange rate of 3,225 pesos per USD. In addition, you will need for the visa application:
- Certificado de libertad y tradición of the real estate property that proves ownership.
- Communication issued by the Department of International Exchange of the Banco de la República, which records the direct foreign investment for the purchase of real estate in the name of the foreigner applying for the visa.
3. Resident visa for investment in real estate – If you are applying for a R visa for a resident investor you must provide with your visa application a communication issued by the International Exchange Department of the Banco de la República that records the direct foreign investment in the foreigner’s name in an amount greater than 650 times the Colombian minimum monthly salary, which is 538,275,400 pesos or $166,907 USD at an exchange rate of 3,225 pesos per USD.
After applying and after receiving the online visa approval, if doing this in Colombia, you need to travel to Bogotá to get the visa in your passport.
Visas in Colombia 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 7:30 am until noon.
I successfully obtained three Colombian visas on my own in the past that were good for five years. Also, I found the process relatively straightforward without much documentation required. But for my latest visa, a Colombia resident visa, I used a visa agency.
Using a Visa Agency for an Investment 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 investment visa. A visa agency can handle the online application. And it will courier your passport to Bogotá to get the visa in your passport.
You can find visa agencies in several cities in Colombia. For example, there are at least five visa agencies in Medellín:
- Intercol Trámites Internacionales
- Visas y Trámites Internacionales
- Extranjería & Migración en Colombia
Also, some other cities in Colombia have visa agencies. For example, Visas Americanas has offices in Bogotá, Cali and Pereira. Furthermore, in Cali there is Cali Capital and in Bogotá there is Migracol.
Getting a Colombian Cedula
After you have successfully received your Colombia investment 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 resident 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 828,116 pesos per month in 2019. So, the fine is up to 5,796,812 pesos in 2019.
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)
After having a migrant (M) investment visa 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. And 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 some counties as a Colombian citizen without a visa such as Russia and Brazil, 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.
Furthermore, a complete list of the requirements for Colombian citizenship is found on the Cancillería website here.
The Bottom Line: Obtaining a Colombia Investment Visa
Colombia’s investment visa is relatively easy to get with few documents needed. But the investment visa requires making an investment in Colombia before you can apply.
The visa costs in Colombia are lower than in many other countries in Latin America. Also, the Colombian visa process is streamlined with online applications and is relatively fast.
The Colombian visa changes that went into effect in mid-December 2017 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 visa articles include:
- How to Obtain a Colombian Visa with Up-to-Date Info
- How to Obtain a Colombia Retirement Visa
- How to Obtain a Colombia Marriage Visa
- How to Obtain a Colombia Student Visa
- How to Obtain a Colombia Work Visa
- How to Obtain a Colombia Investment Visa
- How to Obtain a Colombia Resident Visa
- How to Obtain a Colombia Beneficiary Visa for Relatives
- How to Apply for a Cedula Extranjeria in Colombia
- Tourist Visas and How to Extend a Tourist Visa in Medellín
Also, all of our Colombia visa articles were updated in early 2019 to ensure they are up-to-date. In addition, all visa articles on this website will be kept up-to-date as new details are disclosed.
Sign up for the Free Medellin Guru Newsletter – You can see all of the previous Medellin Guru weekly email newsletters and sign up here.
Editors note: updated on December 16, 2017 with the costs of the new investor visas.
Editors note: updated on December 31, 2017 with the new 2018 Colombia minimum wage information.
Editors note: updated on August 18, 2018 to add the Extranjería & Migración en Colombia visa agency located in Medellín.
Editors note: completely updated this article on January 4, 2018 that was originally published in December 2017 with the new 2019 Colombia minimum wage information. Also, added the Expatgroup.co visa agency.
Editors note: updated on January 16, 2019 to add the Migracol visa agency in Bogotá.