The Colombia work visa is intended for foreigners who have a job in Colombia. And the visa is relatively easy to get once you have found a job in Colombia. We provide 2023 updates on the Colombia work visa rules.
Colombia changed its Colombian visa rules, which went into effect on October, 2022. So, the previous TP-4 work visa in Colombia became a Migrant (M) visa, work visas are typically valid for the duration of a work contract.
Furthermore, the job activity of the foreign worker must be related to the company’s activity. This prevents a business-owning friend from doing you a favor by sponsoring you for a work visa, even though the company in realty has no need for your services.
The cost for the M- work visa is $325,32 USD including all fees. This is higher than the previous TP-4 visa which cost $304 USD.
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 5477, 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.
Among other changes introduced by the Resolution is the entry into force of new visas, such as the expected visa for digital nomads.
How to Apply for a Colombia Work Visa
You can apply for a Colombia work 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 visa application. The cost of the service includes immigration advice, visa application, visa registration, and application for the 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 have piece of mind.
Medellin Guru Visa Service
The visa agency we partnered with has helped 800 Medellin Guru reader
Documents Required for a Colombia Work Visa
In the case of working for a business, you also need:
In the case of working for a person, you also need:
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 a Work Visa
If you are in Colombia, you can use a visa agency to obtain a Colombia work visa. A visa agency can handle the online application and ensure you have all the required documentation and you benefit from the visa agency experience.
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, 655 visas were successfully received by clients including 14 work visas.
So, in total we had 746 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, 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.
Getting a Colombian Cedula
After you have successfully received your Colombia work visa approval, 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 work 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) work 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.
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. 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:
- 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
- Popular Colombian Visas for Foreigners: Which Visa is the Most Popular?
- Coronavirus Impacts on Colombian Visas and Tourist Visas
- Visa Agencies: A Guide to Visa Agencies in Medellín and Colombia
- 9 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 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.
The Bottom Line: Obtaining a Colombia Work Visa
Colombia’s work visa is relatively easy to get with few documents needed. But the work visa requires finding a job 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 visa agency we partnered with has helped 14 Medellin Guru readers obtain work visas and over 590 other clients with visas, and passport renewals. 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.
Medellin Guru Visa Service
The visa agency we partnered with has helped 800 Medellin Guru reader
Editors note: updated on February 21, 2023 with information regarding new resolution 5477.
Editors note: updated on June 28, 2023, with new images.