How to Get Colombia Colombia Work Visa in 2021
The Colombia work visa is for foreigners who have a job in Colombia or have found work in Colombia. Even though it can be difficult for foreigners to find a job with a local employer in Colombia, nevertheless, the Colombian work visa is still quite popular among expatriates.
The Colombia work visa is easy to obtain as long as you satisfy all the requirements set forth by the ministry of foreign affairs. Historically, the Colombia work visa was known as TP-4 work visa. However, Colombia changed visa rules in December of 2017.
Now, the Colombia work visa is known as a migrant (M) visa of category 5 or M-5 visa. Unlike other migrant visas, this visa can be valid for duration of employment contract but no more than 3 years. Please note that TP-4 visas do not automatically convert into M-5 visas when they expire.
Work visa applicants must keep in mind that they can only apply for work visa if their credentials meet the job requirement, the work activity of the visa applicant must be related to the employer’s business activity, and there is a need to hire a foreign worker.
New Requirements for Colombian Work Visas: During the current presidential administration of Ivan Duque Colombian immigration policies for visas have become much more strict. If your applying for a work visa you must have certifications or diplomas which back up your experience. Additionally the immigration office may ask for your degree to be resigtered by the competent authority before issueing a visa. This means you may have to “homologar su grado“. The process to register your degree depends on the profession your certifications or diploma is in..
The government fee for the new M-5 Colombian work visa is $282 USD for the application processing charge.
The Colombia work visa is a category 5 migrant visa (M visa), which is similar to the previous TP-4 visa. With this type of visa, you are allowed to live and work in Colombia. Even though the work visa allows multiple entries, it will lose its validity if you stay out of Colombia for more than six months consecutively.
What Documents are required for a Colombia Work Visa?
There are some general requirements when applying for Colombia work visa which are the following:
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 student visa, then a photocopy of this visa.
Digital visa photo, white background,100 Kb max size, jpg file. No ear rings, no hats, no white shirts.
In addition to the general requirements, here the specific documents that are required when applying for Colombia work visa.
Original Work Contract:
A brief summary of the original work contract as established by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The ministry may demand the original work contract if needed to clarify any clauses or inconsistencies.
Certificates Of Experience:
At least 3 certificates of experience in the corresponding profession or occupation. All three certificates of experience or licenses in the profession must be legalized, apostilled, and translated.
Degree / Diploma / Techincal Certification(s):
Your academic degree title in case of a liberal profession is needed which must validated by the Ministry of Education. Process of homologacion de grados may be required.
Permission or license:
A permission or license granted by the competent authority when it is a regulated profession.
Certificate of suitability:
A certificate proving the suitability of the foreigner and relevance of the contract, issued by the employer.
Letter of Academic Support:
A letter showing that the visa applicant has the necessary academic training which agrees with the position to be performed.
If you are applying for work visa while working for a business, then you need to submit the following documents:
Six months of bank statements prior to the visa application. The employer must demonstrate average monthly income of 100 times the legal monthly minimum wages during the six months prior to the application when it is a legal entity. The minimum salary in Colombia is 908,526 pesos per month in 2021.
The last year’s income statement of the business.
If you are applying for work visa while working for an individual or a natural person, then you need to submit the following documents:
Six months of bank statements of the hiring person or the employer. The natural person employer must demonstrate average monthly income of 10 times the legal monthly minimum wages during the six months prior to the application. The minimum salary in Colombia is 908,526 pesos per month in 2021.
A copy of Unique Tax Registry or RUT.
Data from Chamber of Commerce:
An updated data from Cámara de comercio or Chamber of Commerce showing productivity and economic activity carried out by the employer.
Copy of identification card:
A copy of employer’s cedula.
For regulated professions, applicant must provide the corresponding permit, license or provisional authorization to perform the respective profession in Colombia, granted by the competent authority.
In the case of practicing a non-regulated profession, a duly validated professional title validated by the Ministry of Education must be submitted.
How to Apply for Colombia Work Visa?
Applying for Work Visa from Abroad
A visa applicant who wishes to live, work, and study in Colombia can apply for a Colombia work visa online. In addition, any Colombian visas can be obtained at any Colombian consulates around the world.
The Colombian visa application process is fairly easy as it can be completed entirely online. You can apply for a Colombia work visa online here. This application will require scanned copies of all required documents in Adobe PDF format along with your passport photo in jpg 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 put in your passport at a Colombian consulate. Once you have the Colombia work visa has been approved and added to your passport, you are ready to travel to Colombia as a migrant.
Applying for Work 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 Work 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.
More About Our Visa Services
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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.