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 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) became a resident (R) visa.
Note that the M-6 and M-10 migrant investor visas are valid for one to 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.
Note a migrant M-6 or M-10 visa loses its validity if you leave Colombia for a period of over six months without returning to Colombia. And an R resident visa loses its validity if you leave Colombia for a period of over two years without returning to Colombia.
Coronavirus Visa Impacts
Editors note on May 20: According to the Minister of transport, international flights to/from Colombia will be restricted until August 31 due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Also, starting on March 24, the country in in a nationwide Colombia quarantine from March 24 to June 30, 2020. During this quarantine, the Migracion office in Colombia and Ministerio de Relaciones Exteriores office in Bogotá are closed.
What does this mean for visa holders?
If you are not in Colombia, you cannot travel to Colombia even if you have a resident (R) visa, migrant (M) visa, beneficiary visa Visitor (V) visa.
And if you are in Colombia, if you leave Colombia you can’t return return even if you have a Colombian visa.
Has the visa process changed in Colombia due to coronavirus?
Yes, the Colombian visa process has changed due to coronavirus and the quarantine in Colombia. We have a separate article about the Colombian visa produces changes due to coronavirus.
According to ExpatGroup, the visa agency we partnered with, they are still submitting visa applications online without issues and are receiving visa approvals during the Colombia quarantine.
If you were approved for a Colombian visa and received electronic approval but can not get the visa stamped in your passport, register the visa or apply for a cedula due to the current coronavirus crisis, you basically can do this when things return to normal without paying a penalty.
How to Apply for a Colombia Investment Visa
You can apply for a Colombia investment 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.
After receiving the online visa approval, if doing this in Colombia, you need to travel to Bogotá to get the visa in your passport. Or if at another country you can get the visa put in your passport at a Colombian consulate.
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 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 offer services to courier your passport to Bogotá to get the visa put in your passport. So, you can avoid a trip to Bogotá. The cost of a visa service including the service to courier your passport to Bogotá can even be cheaper than the cost of a trip to Bogtoá.
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.
Documents Required for a Colombia Investment Visa
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.
Additional documents required depend on the type of investment visa.
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 877,803 pesos per month. 100 times this equals 87,780,300 pesos or $21,929 USD (at an exchange rate of 4,003 pesos per USD). In addition, you will need for the visa application a number of documents, which can include:
- 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.
- Certificate of opening a bank account in the name of the company.
- Support for the entry into Colombia of the total amount of capital that appears as paid at the Chamber of Commerce.
- Foreign exchange declaration form F4.
- Certificate of foreign investment issued by the Banco de la República.
- Certificate of share composition made by an accountant.
- Photocopy of cedula of the accountant.
- Photocopy of the professional card of the accountant.
- Current certificate of the disciplinary background of the accountant
- Bank statements of the last 6 months in the name of the company (only in case the company is not newly formed).
- Last income statement in the name of the company (applies only to companies with more than 1 year of incorporation).
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 307,231,050 pesos or $76,751 USD (at an exchange rate of 4,003 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 resident visa (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 570,571,950 pesos or $142,537 USD (at an exchange rate of 4,003 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.
Duration of Validity for Colombian Investment Visas
The three different Colombian investment visa have different durations of validity as follows:
- Resident investment visa (invest greater than 650 times the Colombian minimum monthly salary) – like all resident (“R”) visas is valid indefinitely. However, according to Article 25, the validity period of the “R” visa label (“visa stamp” in a passport) is five years. At the request of its owner, this document may be renewed for equal periods by a “visa transfer procedure”.
- Migrant real estate investment (invest at least 350 times the Colombian minimum monthly salary) – the M-10 visa is typically valid for three years.
- Migrant business investment ( invest at least 100 times the Colombian minimum monthly salary) – the M-6 visa is typically valid now for only one year unless you can show business activity information (such as receipts, bank statements, invoices and payments to employees) for at least a six month period. If you apply immediately after you make the business investment, you obviously won’t have this six month activity and if you successfully get a visa without the business activity information you likely will only get validity for one year instead of a longer time. And you will need to show business activity when renewing.
Using a Visa Agency for a Colombian 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 Colombia 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.
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.
- Courier your passport to Bogotá to get the visa in your passport.
- 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 the first 15 months, 223 visas were successfully received by clients including 18 investment visas.
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.
Buying Real Estate for a Colombian Investment Visa
If you are looking to buy real estate to obtain a Colombian Investment visa, Medellin Guru has partnered with RE/MAX Coffee Realty to offer real estate services to foreigners and Colombians interested in buying and selling properties in Medellín and Colombia.
Several Medellin Guru readers have asked about real estate and advice about buying and selling real estate. So, we partnered with RE/MAX Coffee Realty to offer reliable real estate services to readers.
We decided to partner with RE/MAX Coffee Realty for services for buying and selling real estate for several reasons:
- RE/MAX is the largest real estate company in the world and is a well-known brand for foreigners.
- RE/MAX is one of the largest real estate companies in Colombia with 35 offices in four cities (Medellín, Bogotá, Cali and Barranquilla). So, RE/MAX can offer real estate services to readers in several locations in Colombia.
- In Colombia, RE/MAX has over 350 real estate agents including more than 70 agents in Medellín. Also, RE/MAX has agents that are bilingual and speak both English and Spanish.
- RE/MAX ensures properties are not overpriced by performing a study of market property prices known as an ACM (Análisis Comparativo del Mercado).
To use this real estate partner service from RE/MAX, just click on the button below.
Fill out a very short form and RE/MAX offers a free consultation to provide information about the local market, current pricing information and tips for buying or selling properties.
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 investment 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 877,803 pesos per month in 2020. So, the fine is up to 6,144,621 pesos in 2020.
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 a few counties 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. 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-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 articles include:
- Colombia Visa Guide: Ultimate Guide How to Get a Colombian Visa
- How to Obtain a Colombian Visa with Up-to-Date Info – an overview of all the Colombian visas
- Coronavirus Impacts on Colombian Visas and Tourist Visas
- Visa Agencies: A Guide to Visa Agencies in Medellín and Colombia
- 7 Common Colombian Visa Mistakes: How to Avoid Them
We have looked in detail at the seven most popular Colombian visas used by foreigners:
Also, we have looked in detail at three additional Colombian visas, which are less popular for foreigners:
- Rentista visa (annuity visa) – for foreigners with a fixed income
- Beneficiary visa – for relatives of visa holders
- Expertise visa – for professionals
Furthermore, 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 2019 to ensure they are up-to-date and were updated again in early 2020. In addition, all visa articles on this website will be kept up-to-date as new details are disclosed.
The Bottom Line: Obtaining a Colombia Investment Visa
Colombia’s investment visa is relatively easy to get with few documents needed and the investment required is lower than many other countries. But the Colombia 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.
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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: completely updated this article on January 4, 2018 that was originally published in December 2017 with the new 2019 Colombia minimum wage information.
Editors note: updated on February 25, 2019 to add information that a M-6 or M-10 visa loses its validity if you leave Colombia for a period of over six months without returning to Colombia. And an R visa loses its validity if you leave Colombia for a period of over two years without returning to Colombia.
Editors note: updated on March 2, 2019 to add additional documents required for the business investment visa.
Editors note: updated on August 21, 2019 with updates on durations for the three types of investment visas and with information that the business investment visa is typically good for only one year unless you can show business activity.
Editors note: updated on September 18, 2019 with the current investment requirements for the Colombian investment visa options, which are now lower due to the improved exchange rate.
Editors note: updated on December 14, 2019 with information about the Mercosur agreement benefits of having Colombian citizenship.
Editors note: updated on January 2, 2020 with the new 2020 Colombia minimum wage information, which impacts the investment requirements for the Colombian investment visas.
Editors note: updated on March 17, 2020 the investment visa requirements using the current exchange rate.
Editors note: updated on March 30, 2020 with Colombian visa process changes due to coronavirus and the quarantines in Colombia.
Editors note: updated on April 8, 2020 to add information that the nationwide quarantine in Colombia has been extended to April 26.
Editors note: updated on April 21, 2020 with information that the national quarantine in Colombia has been extended to May 11 and international flights banned until the end of May.
Editors note: updated on May 6, 2020 with information that the national quarantine in Colombia has been extended to May 25.
Editors note: updated on May 20, 2020 with information that the national quarantine in Colombia has been extended to May 31 and that international flights will be restricted until August 31.
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.