Business Visa Update

The prettiest street in Guatape
The prettiest street in Guatape
The prettiest street in Guatape
The prettiest street in Guatape

Since announcing my pursuit of a standard business visa last month, I’ve had lots of people asking for updates on my situation.

In the last two weeks since I shared the list of documents required to apply, I’ve run into some walls. One I can run around, the other I cannot.

First, E*Trade won’t notarize the letter I asked them to write, so I had a friend in New Jersey (where the office which produced it is located) take a copy to a local notary. She said the document can’t be notarized without the signer present.

The letter from my bank is required for my visa application, but the notary and apostille, technically, are not. It’d be great to have them both, as it adds credibility to the document and my application, but there’s nothing I can do based on my bank’s policies.

Second, I didn’t provide a proper place for a Florida notary to sign a stamp the Company Declaration letter written and signed by my LLC’s new VP.

As a result, Florida’s Department of State returned the letter without an apostille, but at least they included clear instructions in terms of what needed to be added to the letter.

The new version has been signed and notarized, and is effectively on its way back to Tallahassee for the apostille. This delay is adding another 7-10 calendar days to the process.

The one piece of good news is that while Florida returned the Company Declaration without an apostille, they did fulfill my request for a signed, notarized, and apostilled Certificate of Status, which states my LLC is in good standing.

My current tourist visa runs out soon, and I still need to receive my documentation here in Medellin, get it translated, and go to Bogotá before then.

Where does this leave me?

Stay tuned.


  1. The Decision to Pursue a Colombian Business Visa
  2. Documentation Required for a Standard Business Visa
  3. Business Visa Update
  4. Final Push: Visa Application and Interview Process in Bogota
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  1. FYI, you can get documents notarized in Colombia without the person signing being present but you have to go to a specific Notary in Colombia – I have done this before. Notaries in Colombia have signature cards on file that they can use to authenticate signatures on documents. But you have to go to a specific notary in Colombia with the signature card of the person signing a document on file to get it notarized in Colombia without the signer being present. In the US, notaries require the presence of the person signing who must also present ID.

    When you go to Bogotá for a visa I recommend getting to the the Ministerio de Relaciones Exteriories office at least an hour before they open (arrive by at least by 6:30 am) to be near the front of the line (about #10 or so). You’ll have to wait outside in the cold for about an hour as they open the door at 7:30am.

    • That’s good to know, but in my case, I need it notarized in New Jersey where the document was produced so I can then get it apostilled by the State Dept of New Jersey.

      The goal is the apostille, but I can’t do it without first getting the letter notarized.

  2. Hi dears, I have an urgent question, my country is not on the list for 3 months permit on entry.

    And my country doesn’t give a notary for my bank statements, but the new law states that documents should be “legalization”, the government doesn’t do this for bank statements, will I be declined because of this?

  3. Hi Dave,

    I recently opened a business in the U.S. but have yet to open a business bank account because I am in Medellin at the moment. I want to apply for the business visa mentioned here (I have plans to employ single moms here and sell the products in the u.s.) but I’m wondering if a personal bank account with over $10,000 and an average monthly deposit of $375 will qualify. Or would I have to travel to the U.S. and open a business account and have the monthly deposits delivered into that account (the monthly deposits come from an investment property that I own and rent.