How to Get Colombia Resident Visa in 2020
The Colombia resident visa is intended for foreigners who want to live in Colombia on permanent basis. In other word, if you want to live in Colombia full time and make Colombia your permanent residence, then you must apply for Colombia resident visa.
The Colombia resident visa has been the most popular visa among expatriates looking to live, work, study, conduct a business, or simply retire in Colombia. Previously, the Colombia resident visa was known as RE visa. This visa used to be valid for only one year and had to be renewed with original documents each year.
By end of 2017, Colombian government changed the retirement visa. It is now known as the Resident (R) visa. The Colombia resident visa is now valid for five years rather than three years, hence requiring fewer renewals. Furthermore, you can easily renew this visa after 5 years or apply for Colombian citizenship.
The Colombia resident visa allows multiple re-entries into Colombia. Please note that even though Colombia retirement visa is valid for 5 years, it will lose its validity if you stay out of Colombia for more than two years consecutively.
The current cost of resident (R) visa is $443. This is somewhat higher than cost of RE visa which used to be $435.
What Are the Categories of Colombian Resident Visa?
The Colombia resident visa is divided into a total of five categories. In order to obtain a Colombian resident visa, you must satisfy the requirement of one of the following five categories.
1. Returning Colombians:
A former Colombian citizen who was living in other countries where he or she was required to renounce their Colombian citizenship when becoming citizens of his or her newly adopted countries.
2. Parent of a Colombian:
A parent be it a father or a mother of a Colombian child by birth or by adoption can also apply for resident visa.
3. M-1 or M-3 Visa Holders:
Any foreigner who has held migrant visa of the category M-1 or M-3 for uninterrupted period of 2 years can apply for Colombia resident visa. The M-1 is a marriage visa and M-3 is a Mercosur visa.
4. M-4 to M-11 Visa Holders:
Any foreigner who has hold migrant visa of the category M-4 to M-11 for an uninterrupted period of 5 years can apply for Colombia resident visa. These categories include retirement, student, and work visa categories.
5. Beneficiary Visa of Type R:
Any foreigner who has held beneficiary visa of type R continuously for a period of 5 years can apply for resident visa.
6. Investment of over 650 times the minimum wage:
A foreigner who invests 650 times the minimum monthly wage in Colombia can also apply for resident visa. The minimum wage in 2019 in Colombia is 828,116 pesos per month. So, 650 times this is 538,275,400 pesos or $173,637 at the current exchange.
Recommended Reading: How To Buy Property In Colombia
What Documents Are Required For Colombia Resident Visa?
The following documents are required for type R resident visa
A photocopy of the first page of your valid passport showing your biographical data. The photocopy can be either in color or black and white.
Proof of Legal Entry:
A photocopy of the page of your passport showing last stamp of entry or departure of Colombia.
Photocopy of Previously Issued Visa:
If you’ve had a previous Colombian visa such as a retirement visa, then a photocopy of this visa. Photocopies of previously issued TP or M visas are needed if you are applying on the basis of length of time holding of these visas.
Proof of Income:
You must provide a proof of your source of income.
Accreditation of Occupation:
A document proving that your occupation is accredited.
Migratory Movement Certificate:
This certificate is issued by Colombia Migration and is dated within three months of the visa application
Notarized Letter by Spouse:
If you are applying for the R visa on the basis of marriage to a Colombian citizen after three years with a TP-10 visa or two years with the new M-1 visa, then you need a notarized letter signed by the spouse or permanent partner who is a Colombian national requesting the issuance of the R visa for his or her foreign spouse.
Copy of Cedula:
If applying for R visa on the basis of marriage, then you must submit a copy of your Colombian spouse’s cedula.
Copy of Child’s Birth Certificate:
If you are receiving the R visa due to being the parent of a Colombian child, either by birth or by adoption, then you must submit a copy of the child’s Colombian birth certifi In addition, a letter must be provided signed by the other parent, stating that the foreigner visa applicant is in full compliance with corresponding food obligations. Or if the child is of legal age, then the letter should be from the child requesting the issuance of the visa along with a copy of the child’s national ID or cedula.
Proof of Investment Issued by Department of International Exchange:
If you are receiving the R visa due to investment, then you must provide a communication issued by the Department of International Exchange of the Bank of the Republic. This communication from the banks records the direct foreign investment made by you in your name with an amount greater than 650 times than minimum monthly wage in Colombia.
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.
Recommended Reading: (How to create a company in Colombia)
How to Apply for Colombia Resident Visa?
There are two ways to apply for Colombian resident visa.
Applying for resident visa from abroad
A visa applicant who wishes to resident in Colombia can apply for a Colombia resident visa online. In addition, any Colombian visa can be obtained at any Colombian consulate around the world. In the U.S., Colombia has consulates located in the following cities and states:
The Colombian visa application process is fairly easy as it can be completed entirely online. You can apply for a Colombia resident visa online here. This application will require scanned copies of all required documents in Adobe PDF format along with your passport photo in JPEG format. In addition, a detailed guide for applying online can be found here.
If you are in another country outside of Colombia, then you have to go to nearby Colombian consulate in that country so that you can get the visa added to your passport at a Colombian consulate. Once your Colombian investment visa has been approved and added to your passport, you are ready to travel to Colombia as a migrant and an investor.
Applying for Resident Visa from 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 Sanish.
This is where you can benefit from the services of an experienced visa agency such as Visas by James. A visa agency such ours is your best bet when it comes to obtaining visa for you. An experienced visa agency which 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.
Why Use Our Visa Agency For Getting Colombia Resident Visa?
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.
James Lindzey the owner of 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.
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Testimonials from a current and former clients who got a Colombian visas successfully.
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Our office ours are from 8:30 am to 6:00 pm Monday to Friday, and 9:00 am to 12:30 pm Saturday. 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.