How to Obtain a Resident Visa in Colombia

Visa application

This website has previously looked at several temporary visas for Colombia and due to several reader requests we now look at how to obtain a resident visa (RE visa) in Colombia.

The resident visa is intended for foreigners who wish to live full-time in Colombia. A foreigner with an RE visa is also authorized to exercise any legal activity in the country, including working.

Before looking at the resident visa, it is worthwhile to review several of the most popular temporary (TP) visas as the resident visa in most cases requires first having a TP visa for a certain duration.

Colombia Temporary Visas

Some of the most popular temporary visas (TP visas) with foreigners in Colombia include:

  • Student visa (TP-3) – for the foreigner who enters Colombia to engage in an academic program. I previously had two TP-3 visas while I was enrolled in University EAFIT’s Spanish language program, each good for a year.
  • Work visa (TP-4) – for a foreigner who has a job in Colombia.
  • Retirement visa (TP-7) – for the foreigner who receives a retirement income such as a pension from a public or private company or the government (Social Security). The requirement is a minimum of three times the minimum wage in Colombia. The minimum wage in 2016 is 689,454 pesos per month, so the minimum retirement income is only $629 per month at an exchange rate of 3,290 pesos.
  • Rentista visa (TP-7) – for a foreigner who receives a non-pension income from outside Colombia from a public or private company. The minimum income is 15 times the minimum wage in Colombia or about $3,143 per month.
  • Investment visa (TP-7) – for a foreigner who invests in property or a business in Colombia.  For property investments, Colombia requires an investment that is more than 350 times the minimum wage in Colombia or more than $73,346. For business investments, Colombia requires an investment that is no less than 100 times the minimum wage in Colombia or no less than $20,956.
  • Spouse visa (TP-10) – for a foreigner who has a Colombian spouse or permanent partner. Since I am married to a Colombian, I now have a TP-10 visa that is good for three years.

Note this is not a complete list of visas but includes several of the most popular TP visas.

The TP-3 visa is typically good for six months to two years depending on the length of the school program. The TP-7 and TP-4 visas are typically good for a period of a year or two. While the TP-10 visa is typically good for three years.

Colombia Resident Visa

A Colombia resident visa is good for a period of five years and must be renewed every five years. RE visas do not expire unless you are out of Colombia for more than two years.

The common options for obtaining a resident visa include:

  • Having a TP visa for a certain time – after holding most TP visas for an uninterrupted minimum time of five continuous years or for a TP-10 visa (Spouse visa) for a minimum of three years.
  • Qualified resident – this is available immediately for parents of Colombian children.
  • Resident investor – This option requires that you make an investment in Colombia of more than 650 times the minimum wage in Colombia or more than $136,214.
  • Returning Colombians – In some cases, Colombians that live abroad were required to renounce their Colombian citizenship when becoming citizens of their host countries. This visa provides residency when these Colombians return to Colombia.

The requirements for obtaining a RE visa are spelled out in detail on the Cancillería website, here.

If you had a TP visa for the required minimum time, the requirements for a RE visa are easy:

  • Copy of the main data page of your passport
  • Copy of the page of passport with the last entry to Colombia stamp
  • Copy of your TP visa(s)
  • Migratory Movement Certificate issued by Colombia Migration, dated within three months of the visa application
  • For a TP-10 visa, a notarized letter signed by the spouse or permanent partner who is a Colombian national requesting the issuance of the RE visa along a copy of the Colombian national’s cedula

The RE visa costs $385 as well as an additional $50 study fee. It can be applied for in person at the Ministerio de Relaciones Exteriores office in Bogotá located at Avenida 19 # 98-03, Torre 100 Building, 3rd Floor.

Exclusive Bonus: Download The Free Step-By-Step Guide to Investing In Medellin Real Estate.

Note that after receiving a RE visa you will have a maximum of 15 days to register your visa and apply for a new cédula de extranjería ID card in a Migración Colombia office in any city in the country.

Migración Colombia office in Bogotá, a place to apply for a new cedula

Migración Colombia office in Bogotá, a place to apply for a new cedula

Becoming a Dual-Citizen

One drawback of the RE visa is that it must be renewed when it expires. But it is possible to become a dual-citizen so you will no longer incur the expense for RE visa renewals.

After having an RE visa for five years (or two years if married to a Colombian), you can apply to become a citizen of Colombia. Colombia permits dual-citizenship as does the U.S. and many other countries.

Latin American and Caribbean nationals are eligible to apply for citizenship in Colombia after shorter time frames of only one year as a resident or two years if from Spain.

The requirements for Colombian citizenship application include:

  • A letter to the Ministerio de Relaciones Exteriores, requesting citizenship, which includes name, date of birth, current address, contact details, country of origin, current nationality and last address before moving to Colombia and reasons for request of citizenship
  • Copy of your cédula de extranjería
  • Copy of the main data page of your passport
  • Copy of valid RE visa
  • Copy of Colombian tax return (if file taxes in Colombia) or certification from an accountant if not a taxpayer
  • Authorization for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to request the report for naturalization, tax and other relevant information from other authorities
  • Proof of Employment covering the past six months
  • Marriage certificate, if married or permanent partner of a Colombian citizen
  • Males between the ages of 18 and 50 must show their military status from their home country
  • 4 Passport Photos

A complete list of the requirements for Citizenship is found on the Cancillería website here.

Like the US, Colombia also has a citizenship test. You are expected to pass a test related to Colombian history, geography and the constitution.

A basic Spanish oral test is also required. Those who have a bachelor’s degree from a Colombian university or are over 65 years old are exempt from these tests.

Dual passports with dual-citizenship

Dual passports with dual-citizenship

The Bottom Line

Colombia has many temporary visa options for foreigners who wish to stay in the country for a longer period than the standard six-month maximum during a year with a tourist visa.

Resident visas are more challenging and require several years with a temporary visa first unless you are a parent of a Colombian child or invest sufficient funds to qualify as a resident investor.

After having one of the temporary visas for a minimum of five years (or three years for marriage or permanent partner), you can receive a resident visa (RE visa) that is good for five years and will need to be renewed every five years.

After having a resident visa for five years (or two years for marriage or permanent partner) it is possible to obtain dual-citizenship and never have to deal with Colombian visas again.

Exclusive Bonus: Download The Free Step-By-Step Guide to Investing In Medellin Real Estate.
Like the story? Take a second to support Medellin Living on Patreon!
About Jeff

Jeff first discovered Colombia back in 2006 and has traveled to all the major cities in Colombia. He is fortunate to have a job in the U.S. with location flexibility, which has allowed him to spend over six years living in Medellín. He is also studying Spanish to become fluent.


  1. Good info.

  2. david pollitt says:

    Thank you for your help on the Resident visa. There is one point that I need to bring up concerning the investment of $136.214. I have invested at least that in buying land and building a house on that land. All that money is either now in the land and house or in a Colombian bank. However, the usual horrendous colombian bureaucracy requires that you bring that money into the country in the first six months of your stay here(I am here now for three years). I was horrified to find out this little snag. Do you understand this issue? Apparently the Banco del la Republica has to ascertain that you did bring it in in the first six months. To be truthful I am up to my limit with this colombian bureaucracy that does everything it can to confuse and not allow whats good for the country itself. Ie Why require this be done in the first 6 months…..isnt first two years good enough? Any help on this would be most appreciated.

  3. Excellent information, Jeff. Thank you for posting. Slowly but surely I’m putting together my plan, and you are contributing a lot towards understanding the process.

  4. Steve Behr says:

    Thank you for the all the excellent information.
    I have asked you in the past about tourist visas and now I have become aware, thanks to you, of the TP7 retirement visa.
    Is this a relatively easy visa to obtain?
    I am 61 years old, a US citizen and I collect Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI). Do you know if somehow the SSDI income could be used to obtain this type of visa? I am permanently disabled if that matters.
    Any additional insights would be appreciated.

    • Yes the TP-7 retirement visa is easy to get. I have met many expats with this visa. You just need a SSA Benefit Verification letter from the Social Security Administration (SSA), an Apostille from the U.S Department of State for this letter, a translation by an official Colombian translator, your passport, copy of the data page in your passport and copy of passport page with last entry stamp for Colombia.

      If you can get a benefit verification letter from SSA for SSDI that may work as that is what is needed for proof of Social Security benefits in Colombia. But I would recommend contacting a visa agency in Colombia to be sure like Visas y Tramites Internacionales.

      • Hello:

        I am currently working through this process. You need proof of bank deposit of your SS check into your account. Once you have proof of deposit, you need to send a copy of the deposit and the form letter required from the U.S. Embassy’s site in Bogota. They need to process a “Certification Letter” which needs to be submitted with your Visa paperwork. This takes (5) business days for them to process.

        It is Form DS-5505 Authorization Letter. Go onto the U.S. Embassy website in Bogota, and it is all explained. They are also very good at returning emails.

      • Thanks so much!

        • Rob Sherman says:

          Hi Steve,my name is Rob and i live in the USA and want to live in Bogota Colombia.I am collecting SSDI and want to know if i can still collect my social security disability in Colombia

          • Steve Behr says:

            Hi Rob,
            My SSDI monies are direct deposited into my Bank of America account in the US.
            As far as I know, there is no problem living in Colombia while collecting SSDI
            (I could be wrong but, I have not run into any problems yet and I have been in Bogotá since April of 2016).
            I am not sure how to direct deposit those monies into a Colombian bank if that is your question.
            Good luck!

          • There are very few receiving Social Security living in Colombia with direct deposits to a Colombian bank – only 14 according to Social Security Administration – see: I understand that Bancolombia is the only bank in Colombia with the ability for direct deposit of Social Security from the US. The US embassy in Bogotá can provide information about this.

          • I am presently trying to renew my TP7 (for the first renewal). I have a bilingual friend who volunteered to help my do it via the Cancelleria website (online). Prior to that I almost let the guy at DAS do it who did it last year but he wanted too much money to do it and since I had been told it was possible to do online I thought I’d let my friend try to help me.

            He’s been through several steps, presumably with the Cancelleria people online from Bogota and now we are at a position where they told ‘us’ that I now owe another 630K COP and then have to go to the “BTA”, apparently a part of the US consulate here in Barranquilla, to get something else.

            Some kind of stamp or ‘seal’ or something.

            Does anybody know what the US consulate could possibly have to do with renewing my TP7…… and what is the “BTA” office?


          • Hi Art,

            There is no more DAS, they were disbanded years ago – it’s now known as Migracion Colombia.

            For your questions, I recommend contacting a visa agency like that has experience getting Colombian visas for many foreigners.

      • Lannie Loeks says:

        In Ecuador the Retirement visa requires that you may only be out of EC for 90 days per year.
        What are the rules in Colombia?

        • Lannie Loeks says:

          (During the 1st 2 years only)

        • I just completed my first year on a TP-7 and was told by my contact at D.A.S. here in Barranquilla that I could be out of the country no more than 6 months without having to reapply for my TP-7.

          Also of note, I think the people/agencies who ‘do’ TP-7 for us Gringo…they’re making a killing. I was quoted 1.6 – 1.9 Million COP. Even at the lower figure, that comes out to approx. 53$!!

          Ridiculous. I sorta expected it would be cheaper the second year, but I guess not. Next year, iif I’m not married by then, I guess I’ll have to learn how to do it myself.


      • Glad to help out with visa consultations. if your in a jam let me know. Were publishing updates on new visa values based on the minimum wage for 2017 during the last week of the year. About half of the visas depend on values derived from the Colombian minimum wage, like the pension, property owner and business owner visas. Minimum wage will likely go up another 6-7% this year. It just depends on how the government will calculate inflation in Colombia this year. or the expat legal website are loaded with info on immigration.

  5. Thank you for this article. Can i get visa for every school i will study, lets say for five years?

    • Not for every school, the school has to be accredited/certified school in Colombia. Look at the TP-3 visa requirements on the Cancilleria website.. For example for Spanish classes, typically only the University programs are certified.

      • Hi Jeff,

        Thanks for this post, as well. Very informative and to the point.

        I was looking for a list of accredited/certified schools in Medellín in the TP-3 page ( but could not fins any.

        I was also googling but, still, no success.

        Any idea?


        • Hi Amir,

          Most of the universities are accredited. I took Spanish classes for two years at Universidad EAFIT in Medellín and didn’t have problems getting TP-3 visas.

          • Thanks Jeff. I was not clear enough – I meant institutions that are not universities, but I guess it may be checked with Migración by each case.

            Thanks again.

        • I read someplace here that the educational programs for studying Spanish are a bit expensive but I still think it would be fun be around the university campus environment again. Especially for a single guy. I think I could learn Spanish pretty quick there.


      • I have had TP3 visas approved for very small schools in addition to the big universities. What is important is that you verify with the school that they are registered with either the secretary of education in the state where the school is, or the national ministry of education. With that confirmation and a current business license the school can issue supporting documents for an education visa.

  6. Larry Rose says:

    I had a Pensionary Visa for two years until I got married when I got a TP10. Combos ok for RE Visa?

    • It would be 5 years with the pensioner visa until you would be able to get the RE visa. I’m pretty sure you will just have to wait for 3 years with your TP-10 visa until you could get the RE visa.

  7. david polltt says:

    Hello Jeff, Could you comment on the issue of Resident Visa and the issue of investing in the first six months of ones stay. I would appreciate if anyone has any experience with this issue. Since I have invested in land and home here in Colombia of at least the 650 times the minimum wage am I not eligible?

    Many thanks
    david pollitt

    • According to the requirements for the resident visa listed on the Cancileria website you are required to have “registered Foreign Direct Investment before the Bank of the Republic in an amount of more than 650 current legal monthly minimum salaries.”

      I am not sure on the timing of this registration with the Bank of the Republic or timing of the investment. I recommend checking with a visa agency like Visas y Tramites Internacionales as they may have experience with this.

      • davidpollitt says:

        Thanks a lot, Jeff

        • Unfortunately, I found out the same news from a highly regarded attorney here. I also read it on the government website. Decree 1735 of 1993.
          From my understanding If you are here for more than 6 months out of the year, they consider you a “resident” which no longer means you qualify for the foreign direct investment title. You need this title in order to qualify for that type of visa. I was informed that if they audit you and find you made the purchase after 6 months, you will have the title revoked as well as any associated visa that was granted. To me, doesn’t seem to make to much sense. When one is a foreignor, they obviously need to spend time here to see if such a commitment makes sense for them. 6 months months is a very short time. It seems like they might want to think about changing that law if trying to encourage more investment. After I found that out, I retracted from being so ancy to purchase anywhere. Frustrating I know, I hear ya. Been there. Let me know if you find a work around. Best, Charles

          • david pollitt says:

            Hello Charles,
            Thanks for taking the time to discuss this issue. Yes, the colombian government implores us to visit, to invest, to live in their country and then makes it nearly impossible to do so. Its always the governments that are so bad….the people are wonderful. You did clear up one issue and that is the ‘6 month’ issue. Now I understand that one a bit better. Will give you another example of how a–backwards this system is….if you have a pension visa you are not allowed to work, invest, own a SAS. In so doing they cut off just the group that perhaps is the richest and with the most disposable income or potentially disposable income(if their investment works out). Idid contact the company that Jeff suggested and they mentioned a possibility of another type(I think) of visa….’purchasing a home’. I will let you know what happens on that front.

            Once again, many thanks…..david

  8. GringoBill says:

    What happens if you overstay the 6 month tourist visa?

    • Overstaying the 180 day period for a tourist visa is not advised as Colombian immigration authorities are become more strict about such infringements.

      Digitization of migration systems means that the officials in Colombia are now more likely to notice where tourists have stayed longer than the allowed period. Where this occurs, I have heard you can face a fine of between 325,000 COP and 4,500,000 COP, which I understand is up to the discretion of the immigration official involved. You will need to pay this at the point of departure from the country.

      Another consequence is that it may become more difficult for you to enter the country on a subsequent occasion.

      A better option for those looking to stay longer than six months in the country is to apply for one of the TP visas.

  9. duane pitts says:

    Good info

    I am trying to locate a busines in Medellin that can assist me with a permanent visa.
    I am 69 years old and have had 5 consecutive years of having a 1 year visa- with proof of retirement income
    I understand I can now apply for a permanent? visa . I have used a service – Visas and Tramites in the past but they don’t seem to be responsive Any other resources available?

    many thanks
    duane pitts

    • Steve Behr says:

      Hi Duane, I have a question for you.
      I know you wanted an answer to your question. sorry.

      With the retirement visa, do you have to submit the same documentation each year? Like in my case, a NEW social security benefit verification letter each year, an apostille for that letter, both translated and legalized each year? (Or using whatever is the source of your retirement income? (Maybe yours is not social security)) Do you have to obtain a new letter verifying your income each year?
      One more question. Did you have to leave Colombia for a short time at all (between visas) or have you remained in the country the entire five years?
      Thanks in advance,

      • Art Williams says:

        I think I can give you some input into that as I am in the process of renewing my TP7 visa right now. I live in Barranquilla and my income is Social Security. I thought I was getting a good, fair deal last year when I was referred to somebody who works at Immigration here in town who did the paperwork for me. I was aware of the fact that it might have been a bit ‘unofficial’ but… who was I to question what they were doing. I wanted a visa, he told me what it would cost, I gave them the money, and a few weeks later I got the visa. I also paid a fine at the time, about 600K as I recall. But I considered it cheaper than leaving the country. I know I paid over 1 Mill COP for the TP7 which the guy got me.

        Now, recently, in going in to renew, I never expected to pay the same money (minus the fine of course) but I’m almost stuck with what I think is a raw deal. The guy just told me that a Salvo de Conducto will cost me 565K, which I just gave him the money for.

        But in addition to that he told me the actual TP7, for the next year, will cost me an addiitional 1.6Million COP…meaning that to stay here for another year it’s costing me almost 2.2 million COP which frankly I do not consider a good deal.

        The guy is already working on my Salvo de Conducto but I/we have postponed the other component of the process, the TP7 until later. I’m actually going to have to do that anyway because I won’t have that additional money until the first of January anyway.

        In the meantime, I am investigating other means of getting that Visa. I found a website online, this one:
        …. which would seem to imply that the TP7 can be had for $205US. I’m having a Spanish speaking ladyfriend of mine (she’s an attorney) call that phone number on the site to see what kind of info she can discover regarding my options. I really don’t want to have to go to Bogota….espcially since there is a D.A.S. office here….OR maybe I can submit the paperwork myself via mail OR though an agent here.

        But to address your original question….. I had to get that DS 5505 form (the US consulate gave it to me to fill out), send it to the US Embassy in Bogota. They got it back to me with reasonable haste. I was surprised I had to do it again.

        Also, at this point I’m very open minded to any advice about getting my TP7 done at a better price. $60 @ month seems a bit over-priced.


    • Duane,
      I was listening to the Borderless Podcast (which I highly recommend BTW) and they were interviewing a young lady named Gloria Zuluaga who has a company in Medellin which provides a concierge service that sounds like it might be able to help. I haven’t had any dealings with her or her company but it might be worth checking out.
      Best of luck

      • I just checked out that website. I’m always interested in info like that. To my surprise, it’s all in Spanish. Does that make sense?!


  10. Brendan says:

    Has anyone experienced trying to get a real estate visa when the wrong purchase price of your house was recorded? In my case, the recorded value is 1MM below threshold actual price well above. I requested to have actual value recorded but was told it was too late. Will they accept this can i change it?

    Can you pair together real estate and stock?

    I tried to upload docs online but the system doesn’t work, I don’ want to fly to bogota to complete in person without being sure ill be approved.

  11. Great article for a wannabe in Medellin. I am currently living 3 years in Mexico.

    Is it necessary to apply for a pension visa while OUTSIDE of Colombia? or Ok to apply in Medellin before my tourist visa expires?

    • You can apply for a pension visa (TP-7) while in Colombia but it must be done in Bogotá if you do it yourself or you can use a visa service in Medellín.

      Don’t forget that after you receive the visa you have a maximum of 15 days to register your visa and apply for a cédula de extranjería ID card in a Migración Colombia office in any city in the country or you will be subject to a pretty hefty fine. If you use a visa service this 15 days is the count from the date the visa was put in your passport – not from the date the visa service returns your passport with visa to you.

  12. wesmouch says:

    My understanding is that residence in Colombia for more than 6 months a year triggers the wealth tax which is quite onerous. Is this correct?

    • It triggers world wide income tax as well. One needs to be very careful when deciding if they want to live in Colombia.

      • Keep in mind you can deduct taxes paid in another country on a Colombian income tax return. Plus Colombia has a number of deductions including the ability to exclude 25% of your income (up to a limit) from being taxed. Last year I had to file taxes in Colombia based in my income in the U.S. but I didn’t pay any taxes in Colombia as I could deduct taxes I paid in the U.S. I recommend consulting a tax professional about your personal situation as everyone’s situation is different.

        See:–Colombia-enacts-tax-reform for info about the wealth tax. The wealth tax doesn’t really get onerous unless you have a high wealth tax basis plus you can deduct the value of a home (up to a limit) from your wealth tax basis.

        • How do they monitor something like this? How would Colombia know whether one had paid Colombian income taxes or not?


          • It would be quite easy for DIAN (the IRS of Colombia) to get a list of foreigners with visas that have been in Colombia long enough to become a tax resident (over 183 days) from Migracion and see if they filed taxes in Colombia. The tax filing income requirement is quite low in Colombia – only $12,751 USD for 2015 tax filing – I personally doubt many expats living in Colombia have an income less than that.

            Colombia also has an agreement with the IRS to exchange information – see:

            I have met several expats living in Colombia full time that don’t file taxes in Colombia. I suspect they eventually will run into problems. I met one expat last year that was caught not filing that had to pay penalties. Since I live here I don’t take such a risk and I file taxes. As part of the new tax agreement just approved in Colombia, it toughens penalties against tax evaders, who can face four to nine years in prison.

            Also to become a dual citizen in Colombia (which I plan to eventually do) you have to demonstrate that you file taxes in Colombia.

          • On the personal tax declarations form you have a field which is used to declare foreign income. Under an audit from the DIAN (colombian tax authority) they can at that time solicit proof of payments on taxes in foreign companies. This is what foreigners have to be careful of.

  13. Thank you for that great information! I am aiming for a TP-7 Rentista visa with the income of my freelancer company. Do you know if this visa is issued as easily as the Retirement One? And how to prove my 15-times minimum wage?

    • Hi Dani, I haven’t met an expat with a Rentista visa yet so I would recommend talking to a visa agency like Visas y Tramites Internacionales.

  14. Hi Jeff,
    I will become father at the end of this year in COL. Stayed already 90 days with a tourist visa and left now for working and organisation. Plan to come back in 2 month, but how handle the situation if I run out of the 180 days and the baby isn’t born? Is it necessary to marry her?
    Thanks in advance

  15. Hi, Jeff! Good info! I do have a question, though. I just spent seven hours getting a work visa, and couldn’t stand to proceed directly to Migración Colombia to register it and request a new cédula (besides, the cédula I already had has the exact same expiration date as my new visa – one day’s difference). Here’s my question. What actually happens if I don’t register the visa and get a new cédula?? I half-unintentionally already did this when I had a short-term work visa of about four months and decided I simply wasn’t going to give up my long-term cédula; I did try to register my visa online, it wouldn’t let me, and as I recall I just gave up. Absolutely nothing bad happened – I left and re-entered the country without incident – leaving me to wonder, why go to all the hassle now?

    • Hi Tim,

      Technically you are required to register all new visas with Migración Colombia within a maximum of 15 days or you are liable for a big fine. But I don’t believe you will need to get a new cedula – especially if your existing cedula has the same expiration date as the visa.

      You can’t register visas online — you have to go to a Migración Colombia office as they stamp your passport with something that demonstrates the visa is registered.

      I’m not sure how they enforce this visa registration but I met one expat that had to pay the big fine when he went about a week late to register his visa and get a cedula.

  16. Hello Jeff:

    I am happy that I found this web page and your perfect answers that has been helping me a lot in my decision to relocate to Colombia. I have never been there but I am now staying in Mexico.

    I would like to ask you: Do I have to go for visitors visa first and only after having at least one visit I can apply for TP7 or I can do that in Mexico? I am receiving pension from CZ republic and starting January 2017 I should be receiving pension from the US as well. Is the visitors visa good for 90 days or 180 days? What is the cost of the visitors visa? How about to go for visitors and at the end of that term change it to TP 7?

    If somebody stays for 180 days, is it possible to extend it or you just have to leave and come back to get a new visa as I have been doing it now in Mexico? Is there any requirement how many days or hours you have to be out of Colombia to get a new turist visa?

    Sorry for too many questions. I appreciate your help. Thank you very much. Marie

    • Hi Marie,

      You won’t need a visa to enter Colombia with a Czech or U.S. passport. A free tourist entry visa is stamped in your passport on entry and is normally good for 90 days. You can renew this tourist visa for another 90 days without leaving the country (search this site to see how to renew a tourist visa). You are limited to 180 days per year in Colombia with a tourist visa.

      You can apply for a TP-7 visa while in Colombia or you can apply for a TP-7 visa at a Colombian embassy/consulate in another country like Mexico. The Colombia embassy in Mexico is located in Mexico City. A TP-7 visa is normally good for a year and can be renewed.

  17. harrie baltussen says:

    Hi I am looking for a visa. I want to practise chinese medicine in Medellin. I need time to figure out if there are possibities for me overhere, which part to start etc. so the first step is a possibilty to stay legal for lets say a year.
    Within that year I can found out the things I want to know. Which visa is the most easy to get and/or the most recomendable in my case. Can you help me?
    Thank you.

    • If you need to learn Spanish, a student visa to study Spanish in a university would probably be the lowest cost visa. I used two student visas to stay two years in Colombia.

  18. Hi, I received an offer letter from a Company in Colombia, but I have to apply for visa and etc. Any attorney specialized in this kind of service that you can recommend ?

  19. Hi, Thanks for information. My intention is to spend 6 months in Colombia and 6 months in U.S. as I own several businesses in U.S. I’m looking for dual-citizenship situation. As time goes on, I would reside full time in Colombia. I’m at the beginning of my research so all suggestions welcome.


  20. I am married to a Colombian National for six years and currently have a TP10 visa which expires Aug 27 2017..We live in Colombia full time..I have a 15 year old stepdaughter,,does she qualify me for a “Qualified Resident ” visa? And do you recommend that I apply for one?

  21. Hi Jeff, I have had a TP10 visa for the last 3 years and currently applying for a RE Visa. I actualy applied for this visa online so I uploaded alll the required documentation. I just received the following message from the official departement “La carta suscrita por el nacional colombiano debe tener diligencia de reconocimiento ante notario y debe estar acompañada de la copia de la cédula de ciudadanía .Adjunte nuevamente toda la documentación y recuerde que debe estar regular al momento de actualizar su solicitud.” So be advised that the letter signed by the spouse must be oficially legalised by a notary and accompanied with a copy of the cedula of the spouse.
    It might be a good idea to complete your info on the requirements for the RE Visa with this ‘requisito’. Actually it is not even mentioned in the official webpage for visas….
    Best wishes,

  22. Hi Jeff,

    Thanks for sharing this great info about Colombian visas.
    I am veteran on VA pension and been living unofficially in medellin for a little over a year now (90 days plus the extension then leave for 180 days)

    Is it true, however, the Colombian government will start taxing my VA monthly income once I get the TP-7 visa or the residence visa? Can you tell me if this is true and if so can you recommend a good Colombian website with authority on this?

    Btw, I too took a Spanish course at EAFIT and I highly recommended this school

    • Yes foreign pensions are taxed in Colombia. DIAN (the IRS of Colombia) issued a ruling in 2014 that foreign pensions are taxed entirely in Colombia. Here’s an article in Spanish from last year that discusses this:

      I suggest talking to a Colombian tax accountant – see:

    • I know you’re not a tax expert, but does anyone know if there is a portion of income that is not taxed if not over a certain amount? I;m hoping that if you don’t earn very much, the tax would be negligible. thanks

      • david pollitt says:

        Good question concerning the limit on taxes related to the amount of earnings. Also here is another: if the money that one gets from Social Security stays in the USA but one is living in Colombia – is that taxed as well? Cant believe that it would.

        • Income from social security is taxable in Colombia, but you can deduct a lot of your living expenses as a foreign resident in many cases. Also if you buy a home all of your utility bills, administration, and property taxes are deductible. If you are paying taxes in the states then you can not be double taxed. check out the information on Colombia Legal & Accounting has some information on personal tax declarations for foreigners. Just keep in mind this week Colombia just passed a new tax law so more information will be coming out soon. Veterans are able to get more discounts if they are receiving disability pay from over seas.

          • I am a disabled veteran from the U.S. Could you elaborate please? Thank you for your assistance.

        • It doesn’t matter if the social security income stays in the US. Colombia taxes worldwide income just like the US and social security income is taxable in Colombia per a ruling by DIAN. However there are many deductions in Colombia so best to talk to a Colombian tax accountant for your situation.

          • hi Jeff – a lot of good info here and in the websites that were provided. I own a home in CTG and plan to get a TP visa at some point in the future.

            Does anyone know if taxes paid in the USA on dividends/interest earned can be applied (e.g. deducted) from the Colombia taxes?

            thanks in advance….Jon

          • Hi Jon, yes, income taxes paid in the US can be subtracted from income taxes due in Colombia. More information is found in this article:

  23. Hey Guys, a lot of great insider information here, thanks a lot for that. So I will do my part in posting a question with the confusing Colombian government. My question IS: If I get a TP7 investment visa can my wife get a visa as well in Colombia without making any investments?
    Thanks again

  24. Hi I had a question in regards to leaving the country with a 3 year marriage visa. I am leaving Colombia after a year with the marriage visa to go back to my home country. I was wondering how do I go about keeping the marriage visa active while I am back home for a few years. I am hoping to apply eventually for the resident visa once my three years are up but I will be spending the remaining 2 years outside of Colombia. Do I have to come back every 180 days for a short trip or how does this work? Thanks!!

    • I believe with a TP visa you are limited to 180 days outside of Colombia per year to maintain the visa. I recommend contacting Migración and/or a visa agency like to be sure.

    • Yes to keep it active you are not supposed to be out of the country more than 180 days in a row. Also if you stay more than 180 days each year for 5 years in arow you can qualify for a permanent residency visa. The TP10 it is just 3 years, (this is the marriage visa).


      James Lindzey

  25. Thanks in advance for your time! I’m a retired U.S Maryland resident. Ihave military and teacher pensions and soon S.S pension. How much will I be taxed there on a retirement visa? I have to pay U.S taxes also.

  26. I am only 57 and do not pull any pension as yet. I am retired and have over $700,000 in retirement money and a rental property. I would like to live in Cartagena for 6 months in an apartment before I purchase a condo. This will give me time to travel around the country to places like Santa Martha, etc. Can I qualify for a visa just by showing statement of my liquidity and assets showing I can support myself in Colombia? I already spent over 2 weeks in Colombia so far in 2017 (Medellin and Cali). I need to stay for at least 6 months straight or more.

  27. Is there also a “Living with a Colombian” visa?m If so what is it’s TP#?

    • There is a TP-10 for a foreigner who has a Colombian spouse or permanent partner (essentially like a common law marriage).

  28. my father worked in Colombia for a few yrs, just went back for vacay. is supposed to return within days. he went to immigration office told him that his employer(previous) didnt fill out the docs for a “cedula?” correctly and they wont let him back unless he pays some type of fine along with his past company paying a fine as well! in in the US, what can i do to help!?!?!?

  29. Lenoard says:

    Hey mate.I am a Venezuela citizen,as you said if i am a citizen of Latin America ,I could get citizenship in a year,I just wondering Do I have to be a nature born of a Latin American country? I wasn’t born in Venezuela,got citizenship through Naturalization,Am I still able to get Colombian citizenship in a year?Thank you so much

  30. I cannot get a firm dollar amount for the amount I need to spend on a condo to qualify for the real estate visa. How much is it for 2017? Both the real estate and investment visas.

    • The Colombia minimum wage in 2017 is 737,717 pesos per month. For the investment visa (TP7 visa), it’s 350 times the minimum wage or 258.2 million pesos ($89,872 USD at the current exchange rate). For the resident investor for a RE visa it’s 650 time the minimum wage or 479.5 million pesos ($166,905 USD at the current exchange rate). The exchange rate fluctuates so the required USD amount for visas will change.

      • Therefore to clarify, if I buy a condo to live permanently in Colombia I have to buy a condo for more than the $166,905. I actually thought it was the opposite. I thought that higher amount was for an investment rental property. I only wanted to buy a condo for about $100,00 US to live.

        • A property you live in could also be considered an investment. I believe for visas they only look at the amount invested not the use of the property. The difference in the amount is how long the visa is good for. The TP-7 investment visa is only good for a year and needs to be renewed each year. The RE visa is good for 5 years. I suggest talking to a real estate firm in Medellín – they are all experienced with people buying property to receive a visa.

          Some real estate companies have even structured property investments as a business so only need to invest 100 times the minimum wage in some property investments with multiple owners to get a TP-10 visa.

      • david pollitt says:

        Hello Jeff,
        This is quite confusing for the following reason. I tried to get a Resident Visa based on a rather large investment in the construction of a new home and the land to go with it. I was told by cancilleria that unless you ‘invest’ the whole lot in the first 6 months of your stay (it may have been the ‘first year’ )the will not consider it an investment. For this reason I have been staying with the pension visa. Can you comment on this. My opinion of this was that it was absolutely absurd that, on the one hand they want investment, but when one comes and puts ones money, all of it, in this country they invoke this ridiculous law. I have always suspected, based on the pure absurdity of it, that it couldnt possible be true. I did try and was persistent always coming up with the same answer.

        • Hi David,

          I heard the same thing from two other expats that there is a time restriction on the investment. I’ll see if I can find a documented answer about this.

      • david pollitt says:

        Forgot….that the Banco del la Republica had to be involved and it as this bank that invoked this rule and had to ascertain that all funds were in the country in the first 6 months of ones stay. I live here and have for 4 years.

  31. What happens when I renew my passport and get a new #? My Cedula is good for another 10 months but I need to renew my passport?

    • I talked to another expat recently in this situation. He told me you can keep your old passport with the visa along with your new passport. When he enters Colombia he shows the new passport as well as the old passport with a valid visa. So no need to get a new visa or cedula until towards the expiration date.

    • Xander Schippers says:

      I experienced the same thing with my EU passport issued in the Netherlands. I had to renew with my TP-10 visa still valid for almost another year. My new passport was issued with a new number obviously, but this new document specifically mentions the fact that it was issued to replace the old one. According to the dutch officials this was necessary. Upon showing my documents to Colombian immigration I’ve never had any odd questions. Probably the old pp next to the new one is sufficient. But, on renewel of your old pp be carefull to stress the fact that they don’t put holes into the still valid visa, as they will do sometimes to an expired travel document.

  32. Apologies if this has been answered already but I couldn’t find it in the comments.

    I have a year visa as a Freelancer (TP7). My business and earnings are all in the UK, and I just pay tax annually in the UK. In September I will apply for an extension to my TP7 visa for another year. Do I need to do anything for Colombian Tax system? ie/ submit tax info to show that I am not earning in Colombia but in UK? I’d appreciate any advice, including advice as to what makes a strong application for an extension.

    To previous comments asking about what makes a good application for a TP7 as a Freelancer – I had to ask around a lot about this as I found lists of what I needed to submit, but nothing to indicate what made a good application. The advice I got from the consulate was: legalised references that supported my business statement of intent in Colombia was the most important (i submitted 3 legalised and another not legalised), also important was proof of income. The process in the UK and in Colombia at the office in Cali was relatively straight forward, I didn’t pay an external agency. All i paid for was the cost of the visa, to legalise documents and for the official translator.


    • Filing income taxes in Colombia was covered last year on this site – see: Colombia taxes worldwide income if you are a tax resident with over 183 days in the country. But you can deduct income taxes paid in another country from income taxes due in Colombia. The income tax filing requirement is pretty low in Colombia even if you don’t owe any taxes. I suggest talking to a Colombian tax accountant about taxes and a visa agency for filing your visa renewal.

  33. HI, I’m From China. I’m Coming to Colombia on TP 11 visa. So i have to switch from TP-11 to TP-3.
    Please Let me Know Cheap (low cost universities) where i can Learn Spanish. even in town or rural area.
    I’m very Thank full to you
    Sorry for my bad English

  34. Is there a TP medical visa that I can get for my wife?
    We are planning a trip to a rehabilitation clinic for more that 180 days.
    I will be in and out of the country, so would only need for her.
    Thank you

Comment Policy:

We strive for a positive, supportive community discussion at Medellín Living. Please use your real name. Comments with anonymous, fake or company names will be deleted. If it's your first comment or you include a URL, it will be held for moderation. Critical comments that serve to enhance the conversation are welcome; comments that serve to insult or demean will be deleted.

Speak Your Mind