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Colombia Visa Renewal Tips

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NEW VISA RULES ARE EXPECTED TO COME OUT SOON. Due to this being an election year our best guess is that the current administration will sign the new visa rules into effect between now and the end of July, but that is just a GUESS. The new administration hands over the presidency in August 2022.

MOST VISA RENEWALS REQUIRE HEALTH INSURANCETHAT MEANS STATE-REQUIRED COLOMBIAN EPS HEALTH INSURANCE All visa renewals will require that persons prove they have EPS PUBLIC state-required health insurance for visas where persons are living in Colombia. Certain visitor visas may not require this insurance. Student visas do require health insurance. Foreign insurance policies are not accepted. Private Colombian health insurance known as PREPAGO, or POLICY does not meet this requirement. Yes, private insurance is much much better. For more on Colombian Health Insurance info click here.

Visa history matters when reapplying for the same visa or a new Colombian visa If you had a work, business owner, student, property owner, or marriage visa, the government will verify you complied with previous visas. Even if you comply with a new visa they will make you prove your past visa vas valid during your time in Colombia. Here are just a few examples of visa cases that pass through our office. The second visa is just as hard as the first one generally speaking.

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Remember Colombian Visa officials are looking at previous visas and looking for reasons to sanction applicants who stay after their visa goes invalid, or a technical rule (reason) to not approve your new Colombia visa application.

A) Student Visa Renewals– Students may be asked to obtain documents from schools that show they have progressed levels and are/were currently studying during the issued visa period.

C) Marriage Visa Renewals – holders must prove the relationship was valid during visa time and may ask for an explanation why they’re applying for a new visa such as a divorce, or divorce petition to the court.

E) Property Owner Visa – This year you must re-qualify at the 350 million pesos mark to renew another 3 years. If your original purchase value does not meet this new value of 350 minimum salaries then you will not get a new visa. This is probably the worst visa to renew!!! If you are not planning ahead you can have a house and no visa after 3 years!  When you originally get this visa you need to pay attention to the purchase value and plan for inflation, which could be 30% in just 3 years during covid economic times 

B) Business Owner Visa Renewals – must show business activity that occurred or explain what happened during that time. Documents examples for business visa renewal can be found here: business visa renewal

D) Work visa holders must show they have been signed up to government social security and prove this has been paid for the entire period. Unlinking (desvinculacion) from company certifying date worker has discontinued employment. The company must of course requalify, and Migracion might ask for applicant college or professional certifications once again.

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Ways to add on to your original property investors purchase:

1) purchase new property to add to the original purchase price before you become a tax resident that puts you over 3 years of inflation value.

2) leave the country for more than 6 months in one year to reset your tax resident status and become a foreign tax resident investor again! Thereby allow you to add on to your property investment value.

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Visa Requirements are:

Inventory of Assets – Minors of Either Parent Require a months long process called inventory of assets

Marriage License / Permission  Notary time to issue permission to marry may take 15 business days.

Notary calendar Opening for marriage – may be booked for more than a month so be prepared to shop around different notaries

Notary Approvals Vary – Documents which work in one notary may not be approved in another notary and vice versa.

Power of Attorney – If your not in the country its important to get a power of attorney to allow a person to present documents on your behalf to push process forward.

Advanced Approval – If your on a tight travel schedule be prepared to express mail all of your original documents so that notary will put your marriage on the calendar before you arrive.

Marriage of Two foreigners – may not get married in Colombia if they have not been living here a very long time. Possible Solution is the CIVIL UNION. (ask James Lindzey for more info)

Old Documents not Valid –  may not be presented. All FOREIGN documents must be less than 90 days old.

City of Domicle – You must marry in the same city that you reside in.

 Colombian Citizens – must have original cedula to marry

Certificate of being single – had different requirements depending on the notary. Sometimes this may be declared in Colombia but other times this document must come from country of origen. This is a very delicate and potentially marriage stopping document. (ask James Lindzey for more info on this subject)

Place of Translations – Depending on the notary you will have to translated all documents to spanish either in your home country or in Colombia. This depends on the notary.

Same Sex Marriages – are legal but certain notaries may make your life difficult.

Document Certifications (Apostille or Legalization) – Documents must be apostilled or legalized before you bring them to Colombia.

Previous Divorces – If you were divorced then you must get a new copy of your divorce, apostille/legalize and translate.

Colombian Registration of Previous Divorces – Some Colombians forget to register dirvoce(s) from previous marriages from their birth certificate. This can cause a loss of important time during process.

Previous Name Changes – If anyone has changed a name then name change documents must also be presented in legalized format as explained above.

Birth Certificate must match Cedula or Passport  If a birth certificate for either side is not exactly the same as the Colombian ID, or Passport, then the ID or passport must be corrected before the marriage is allowed.

 Post Marriage Name Changes – Name changes are allowed for Colombian Citizens. (keep in mind childrens last names have special rules, but you  may also change childrens names after birth in the case you want them to have fathers last name only)

Use Estate Planning & Prenuptials – Remember Colombia has a prenutials, living trusts to protect your assets. Living with someone for 2 years in Colombia automatically creates a civil union. If you will move to another country get a prenput for that country as well.

Use an Expert in Foreign Marriages to help – As you can see many things can go wrong with a marriage in Colombia, especially when organizing marriage with a foreigner. Many people have to get documents from overseas 2 times due to strict marriage laws.

Symbolic Marriage – Is a Colombian marriage too complicated? Alternately you may use  a Symbolic Marriage for the family

Why Use Our Agency For ColombiaVisa Renewal Tips? 

Since 2005, our legal firm Medellin Lawyer has helped clients who want to get a US visa. We are the oldest expat visa business in Colombia. We also have more attorneys in office than any other visa agency in Colombia.

In addition to our visa services we offer a full range of legal and accounting services to our clients. By having a legal and accounting firm work on your application, we are able to handle any surprises or last minute requests by immigration officials or by a judge.

Applying for legalize documents for colombia

Once you receive 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. Their office is located at Avenida 19 # 98-03, Torre 100 Building, 3rd Floor. It’s open from 7:30 am until noon.

The major challenge with getting a Colombian visa yourself is dealing with a government bureaucracy, making a trip to Bogota, and not understanding the laws properly if you are not fluent in Spanish.

This is where you can benefit from the services of an experienced visa agency such as Visas by James. A visa agency such as ours is your best bet when it comes to obtaining visa for you. An experienced visa agency that has processed hundreds of visas and knows exactly what is needed for each type of visa is exactly what you need.

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 Bogotá.

About Visas By James

Since 2005, our visa agency Visas by James has obtained hundreds of visas for foreigners who wish to study, work, invest, and live in Colombia. We are the oldest expat visa business in Colombia. We also have more attorneys in office than any other visa agency in Colombia. In addition to our visa services we offer a full range of legal and accounting services to our clients. By having a legal and accounting firm work on your application, we are able to handle any surprises or last minute requests by immigration officials.

Visa by James Story:

James Lindzey the owner of Medellin Lawyer and Visas by James has worked as a private investigator and paralegal in the United States from the 90s until he moved to Colombia in 2005. James arrived in Colombia in 2005 and started doing visas for expats in 2007.

In addition to our visa services our agency offers a full range of legal and accounting services to our clients. We are able to assist better in document collection services in the United States because of James legal experience in the United States.

About Our Visa Services

We can guie you through the most Complicated Immigration Situations. Our aim is to make life easier for expatriates in Colombia!

We organize your immigration profile so that your Colombian visa application is successful.
We elaborate and structure all the necessary documents for your Colombian visa application.
Presentation of a Colombian visa before the Ministry of Foreign Affairs or any Colombian consulate
Registration and orientation when you are getting you Colombian ID (Cedula de extranjeria).
We monitor your visa application process .
Translation Legalization and apostille of the documents required for your visa application.
Chat Over WhatsApp – get your visa questions answered fast.
Online quotes – get immediate quotes for visa and other legal services
Courier your passport to Bogotá to get the visa in your passport.

Please let us know if you need more information, or we can set up a consultation in order to provided you personalized guide.

Our main office is located in Medellin, Colombia near Parque Lleras in El Poblado. We have representation in Bogota, Miami, and Fort Lauderdale. Our main office address is  Cra 39#5A-95, Oficina 709, Edificio Avangarde. We accept walk in appointments but its always nice if you can let us know ahead of time so we can schedule a time. Areas codes in Colombia have changed. To reach our office please call (57) 604-444-6634.

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Need a Visa? Over 1000

Visas Approved! click here