How to Obtain a Resident Visa in Colombia

Visa application
Visa application

For a 2019 update click here.

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 will also expire if 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.

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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.

For a 2018 update click here.

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  1. 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.

    • I am pretty sure no country allows gradual investment for residency. For example, Canada wants all the $1.6M before even coming into the country.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

        • 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

          • 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.

      • 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?

        • 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.

        • I read about Colombia and feel it is the place for me to retire to.So I searched the web and found a site offering to facilitate the process, backed by a firm of Medellin lawyers. I have so far written two e-mails, giving full details of everything they would need to know (one to the lawyers and one to the Immigration Company) …. this was 4 weeks ago BUT I have not even received an acknowledgement from either of them!

          Do you know of a SERIOUS lawyer or other SERIOUS immigration service based in Colombia which actually WANTS customers?

          • Buenas tardes Steve.

            Somos Extranjeria y Migracion y apoyamos la gestion en todo el proceso visado para extranjeros que deseen venir a Medellin, contamos con 15 años de experiencia, tenemos un amplio portafolio de servicios y testimonio de nuestros clientes.

            Comuniquese para brindamrle informacion sin compromiso.

            Cordial Saludo.

      • Hey Jeff I just wanted to ask you some info i have just got back from a trip in columbia . I love the country a lot. I have a finance in columbia since I live in Canada I want to move there how do I go about by getting the proper chanel to become legal in columbia any help would be appreciated.

    • 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 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.

        • 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.

    • 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.

  4. 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.

        • 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

          • 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

    • 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.

  5. 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

    • 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,

      • 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.


        • I received a salvo conducto three years ago, and they only charged me like 70,000. I had the process done through a friend though As a favor. Seems like the services have a pretty good markup. I needed the thirty day salvo to finish my visa process

    • 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?!


  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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?

      • 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.

          • 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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 ?

  15. 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.


  16. 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?

  17. 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,

  18. 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

      • Hi Jeff

        Thanks for all the information.

        I may retire sooner than I expected (so called social plan in my Europe based company may send me to early retirement when I hit 58 in a few months) so I am doing my homework 😉 I am considering a few options to retire as lovely Switzerland where I live is a bit too expensive for me. Colombia is one of the options I am currently looking at.

        Now I have found the following PwC website with valuable tax information across the globe:

        The link covers various topics. I tested the information provided against the tax I am paying on my income in Switzerland and the figures provided were accurate.

        So if I do the right calculation (i.e. based on my understanding of the method) it looks like the income, which would include my pension, is taxed at a rather high rate residents, i.e. those who spend more than 182 days in Colombia during a fiscal year (all figures below in USD, 1 Colombian Peso equals 0.00033 USD at today’s exchange rate, July 30 2017) :

        a) no tax if income below 11,575
        b) tax of 1,231 if income below 18,054
        c) tax of 8,367 if income below 43,542
        d) any additional dollar is taxed at 33%

        Can anyone confirm those figures or am I confusing things here?

        By the way I hope the above figures only apply once all the deductibles are taken off the income but I could not find mention of those (and their amount and nature) on the PwC website. Of course I expect treaties to avoid double taxation. In my case being a resident in Colombia would mean that I have to pay my income tax in that country.

        From the PwC site I get that: “A person is considered fiscally resident in Colombia if one remains in the country (continuously or not) for an aggregate period of time of 183 days within a period of 365 consecutive days. In cases where that requirement is met by considering the days spent in Colombia over two successive fiscal years, the individual qualifies as tax resident as of the second fiscal year.”

        Also “Employment income are those received for services performed in Colombia no matter where the payment was received. Pension income are those received from retirement, disabilities, labour risks, compensations that substitute pensions, or refund of pension plans savings.”

    • 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

      • 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.

        • 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.

  19. 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

  20. 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!!

    • 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

  21. 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.

  22. 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.

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

  23. 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!?!?!?

  24. 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

  25. 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.

      • 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.

      • 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.

    • 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.

      • Thanks for that! I just renewed my US passport and was wondering whether I need to obtain a new visa for it. Of course it’s much easier and less expensive simply to show both passports when returning to Colombia.

    • 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.

  26. 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.

  27. 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

  28. 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

  29. Jeff, some web sites suggest that if you get an RE visa after having TPs for 5 years, then the path to citizenship is only 2 additional years (but for those who get the RE visa immediately after investing at the RE qualified level still have to wait 5 years). Can you tell, is that true? You can get citizenship after 5 years on TPs and 2 more years on REs? Thanks.

    • Hi Jason,

      This was covered above – see the Becoming a Dual-Citizen section. 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.

  30. hi jeff!
    i would like to better understand the followings….

    – With the tp-10 if you have a colombian spouse, you have to wait 3 years for be titled of the resident visa, after that you will have to wait others 3 years for the citizenship?

    – Can you work in the country with the tp-7 and tp-10?

    -Can you work in the country with a resident investor visa?

    – If one of the these up here, allow you to work in colombia, are you also entitled to work in another mercosur country or you have to wait the citizenship to do so? (i know, this question is hard 🙂 )

    • Hi Andrea,

      As the article says above, “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.” With a TP-10 visa you have to wait 3 years until you are eligible for a resident visa and then 2 more years with a resident visa until you are eligible to become a citizen.

      You cannot work with a TP-7 visa. But you can work with a TP-10 visa. But “If the foreigner is to practice a regulated profession, he/she must present documents permitting him/her to practice such profession, such as a certification of equivalence or validation of the professional qualification, permit or provisional license to practice, or the registration or professional card of the Professional Council in Colombia.” See:

      Yes you can work with any of the resident visas including the resident investor visa.

      I don’t know the answer of your Mercosur question. But Colombia isn’t a member of Mercosur, so doubtful.

  31. I have been on a retirement visa for the last year while my wife has been working. It ends june 23. She will be leaving her job next january. Does anyone know if it is possible for me to just go to Ecuador next month and come back in on a tourist visa for the following 6 months rather than having to renew my temporary visa? Or will the tourist visa not be allowed because I have already been in the country on a temporary visa for the last 6 months?

    • Yes, you can not renew your visa and return as a tourist. But keep in mind if you do that you lose 1 year of having a TP visa towards eligibility to get a resident visa.

      • Yeah, but not working towards getting a resident visa. Just living here while my wife finishes her contract.

        So do you know if I can leave and return as a tourist this year? I am having a hard time finding an answer to this question on the official websites.

  32. How much does the TP-7 visa cost if you go to Bogata and do it yourself? Can I apply for it after I’m in the country for 5 months or so and then get it for one year?

    • Hi Gail, the TP-7 visa currently costs $211 + $52 for processing for a total of $263. Yes, you can apply for it after you are in the country for 5 months as a tourist.

      • Hi Jeff,

        I am only following what is here on this website for several moths trying to figure out if it makes sense for me to apply for retirement visa in Colombia or not. I am retired and staying in Mexico, on tourist visa, leaving every 6 months to Belize or Cuba and returning after two or 3 days to obtain another 6 months of stay. I am an European woman and need to live in warm climate due to my health problems.

        My question is about income needed for the pensioner visa. Dollar value goes constantly down lately. And at this time, I would qualify with the minimum of $629 dollars but how about if dollar vale goes dramatically down ( which I do expect) and my income would be good for this year and it would not be for the next one? The Colombian authorities would just simply tell you to leave and you would have no chance to renew your visa? I have two daughters that are willing to help me with missing money to qualify. My question is: would that written commitment mean anything? I do not want to bother you to answer with responsibility, just curious if you are thinking of it… US dollar goes down dramatically and will go …

        • Hi Marie,

          The numbers in this post are from 2016. The current monthly retirement visa minimum income requirement is 2,213,151 pesos, which at the current exchange rate is $763.28 USD. I have heard that Colombia may renew a retirement visa for a lower amount if there is a change in the exchange rate – but I wouldn’t count on that.

          • Jeff: Thank you so much for your prompt answer. I follow the exchange rates and according my observation the US dollar continues to fall down. It makes it even more complicated for me as to my decision. Thanks again!

    • I’m not trying to hi-jack this thread but I just would like to know where to post a question about the process of getting a cedula. I have my TP7 but the cedula seems to be a problem.

      in Barranquilla

      • Hi Art,

        The cedula process was documented on this site but is dated: That was the process when I received my latest cedula in late 2015. I have heard from other expats that you now need to now register for an appointment before you go to Migracion. Also the cost is now higher – 183,000 pesos. Hope this helps.

      • Migración will issue you your cédula and you are required by law to apply for it very shortly after you enter Colombia. Do not delay as Migración is not to be fooled with.

  33. Hi,

    This has probably already been covered in this article but my TP-10 visa going to expire in August and I would like to renew it and apply for a residence visa. What is the process in order to do this? How long before the expiry date can I do this? And finally, is the interview process for myself and my partner the same as before, where we are asked lots of questions separately?

    Thanks in advance.

    • iI started with a TP-7 Pensionado visa and then applied for my Reeident Visa which requires an extreme commitment to living here. I got all of my informatiin from the Colombian Consulate office website in Atlanta which had an English language option. I frequently called them on the phone and they were most Helpful. If you have family ties here or a child born here in Colombia the visa is much easier to Obtain. I did not use an attorney but many people do. If you want solid legal advice contact your embassy in Bogota or consult the web and a list of attorneys will be available. I strongly urge you to rely on one of those if you decide to engage an attorney as they have been properly vetted.
      Good luck.
      Are you currently residing in Colombia?

    • Very good
      Remember if anyone is interested in obtaining citizenship after the 5 year resident status ends I strongly urge you to consider consulting with a Colombian tax accountant and USA tax expert. Colombia will want to see transparency and tax returns. Prepare well ahead of time to avoid disappointments. Seek professional advice. Competent advice givers can be recomended by US Embassy officials in Bogota. Also remember dual taxation is a very real possibility when seeking dual citizenship and taxes here are very high.
      Good luck to all of us Expats . Navigating these waters requires savvy and lots of homework. Many of us think we can do all of this without professional help and inmnay cases much of the work is doable without professional help but avoid being too cocky. These waters are filled with sharks and land mines. The rewards of dual citizenship and residency include legal obligations not alway commonly known by many of us.

  34. Hello Jeff,
    I am applying for the second year for a TP 7 Pension visa. Last year I was issued by the American Embassy in Bogota a certification that I indeed receive a pension from the Social Security Administration. Do I need to redo this process, ie get another new letter of certification from American Embassy or can I use the original one issued last year, 2016.

    Many thanks
    david pollitt

  35. Today I will get my Social Security Administration income verification letter from the US Embassy here in San Jose, Costa Rica. I will use it tomorrow to renew my Cedula (my next two-year residency) for Costa Rica. I want in November to make an online application to Colombia Immigration on the website noted in this Medellin Living article on this page. I want to make a PDF of my income verification letter today from the US Embassy per instructions of on the cited their website for this November. Looking on the Colombia online application download, also in the above article, I see the example for those a foreigner living outside their home country, in my case USA. I have both a Costa Rica post office box and a Costa Rica telephone number that would be necessary to do the online form also. From the online application I also understand that no money is paid in the country your are residing until Colombia Immigration accepts your documents, is this true? Does anybody think this will work for me from Costa Rica since I am a resident now of Costa Rica, not a citizen, but resident of Costa Rica. I have not given up my USA citizen. My Costa Rica visa is a two-year in length as RESIDENTE PENSIONADO

  36. Hi, I´m trying to apply for my RE visa online but I can´t upload the documents. I have reduced the size and compressed the files onto pdf – there are around 10 pages. Any idea on how I can compress the files anymore so that they are accepted?

  37. Hi Jeff! Saludos from Bogota! I’ve had a TP10 that is expiring soon. Although I was out of Colombia for 5 months so it was “interrupted”. I don’t seem to find my options for extending my visa anywhere because I can’t apply for a RE! Can I apply for another TP10 in-country? Your help will be deeply appreciated. Gracias!

  38. Hi All , I am married to Colombian and have Colombian children. I already have RE visa since 1 year . When can I apply for citizenship and should I live in Colombia before applying or I can just come to Colombia after completing 2 years of rsesidency . I work and live outside Colombia but I visit for couple of weeks each year.

    Please anyone can advise on the above .


  39. I have a question in terms of the path to Colombian citizenship..

    You stated that when married to a Colombian, a resident visa can be obtained after 3 years of having the spouse visa. Then after 2 years of having the resident visa, one can be eligible to apply for citizenship..

    You also stated that Latin American and Caribbean citizens qualify for citizenship after 1 year of holidkng resident status.

    So, my question is, if a Caribbean citizen that is married to a Colombian; does the qualifying time to become eligible for citizenship cut down to 1 year after holding resident status? Or is it still 2 years because the application is being made solely based on a resident permit via a spouse visa?

  40. I have read the word “renew” in regards to a TP7 retirement visa.

    But the process to “renew” is exactly the same as the process used in applying for a new TP7. Prof of income, new photos, new application, and the same high fees as were paid to get the visa in the first place.

    The only thing “renewal” provides is credit towards the 5 year requirement for applying for the RE resident visa.

    So I am not sure the word “renew” is the right word to use. Although I can’t think of a better word to describe the process, maybe “renewal reapplication”?

  41. Hello Jeff How are ya? Hope you are doing good. I got my TP 10 visa this month and would be traveling to Colombia in January 2018. It is mentioned that to be eligible for RE visa, one needs to have TP 10 for continuous and uninterrupted years. My question is if I visit my home country to see my family (India) and stay outside of Colombia not more than 180 days and then return back to Colombia, am I still eligible for RE visa or will they exclude these outside stay days and calculate. Please let me know, your help is greatly appreciated

    • Hi, you can use Bancolombia, it is the only bank available in the country to receive your paycheck into your personal account, check the Cancilleria webpage and select the type of visa, you can go personally and complete all of the steps because everything is located in Bogotá D.C.

  42. I want to rent an apartment in Medellin. The requirement is to have a Colombian bank account. I currently work for the US govt in the US. What type of visa is required to rent an apartment and have a bank account?

    • Hello Ken,

      A Colombian bank account is not required to rent an apartment in Medellin. Many foreigners rent apartments here and pay by other means. This includes many who are here with just a tourist visa.

      I believe you can open a Colombian bank account with any type of visa (except a tourist visa). You can find several articles on Colombian visas here:

      Good luck,


  43. Hello,
    Can you apply for visa while you are in colombia on tourist visa? I heard that you could. And do you need a police report?

    • Hello Tony, thank you for taking the time to read the article. Please find below the answers to your questions.

      When you come in as a tourist, you can apply for a visa while you are here. Regarding the police report it is not part of the requirements.

      Let me know if there is something else I could answer.

      Happy new year

  44. I just didn’t get something clear here. So I get the RE and leave Colombia but visiting the country every two years (lets say for a week), i.e. two time in 5 years after obtaining the RE, then after the 5th year, even if I have not lived in Colombia, I can apply for the citizenship? Another question, is it at all possible to get the citizenship sooner (without the marriage)? Thanks!

  45. Are you allowed to leave colombia and re enter before receiving your cédula Extranjeria? For example , I have the visa and applied for the cédula but need to go abroad for a business trip. Is this possible without problem?

  46. Once a retiree from the USA comes to Bogota seeking to become a permanent resident, what are the specific steps in order? A list would be nice. Is a basic tourist visa to enter the country required, or can one get one after arriving? Must one come TO Bogota with a return ticket in order to do this? Must one leave the country to obtain the residency visa when the time comes—then return? How many times can one extend the tourist visa (is it 90 days?) before applying for residency? I am a USA retiree with not a big income but with quite more than enough to qualify as an expat resident. I apologize, but given what I see here and what I have read and heard elsewhere, these things are not perfectly clear to me. I plan on arriving in Bogota around June 1, 2018. Thank you!

  47. Hello Jeff At the risk of sounding like a smart ass, I am not, an update on residency visas might be in order, not so much the requirements as you outline but the process, it has changed markedly. I have been here over seven years, first on a matrimonial and then two years as retired, I qualified to apply for residency and did that last Wednesday, I was successful so no more paperwork for five years which pleases me as Bogota is not a place I prefer to spend much time.

    First off, application must be made online, no more can you arrive, like I did, pay your $52 fee and get in to see a Ministry officer. Once you complete the application, the last step in the process is a bill and an account summary to print off which shows a number that must be presented when you arrive in person. You pay the bill at a bank downstairs now, no more bank at the Ministry, once that is done you go upstairs showing your summary number to reception who then gives you an internal appointment number that will appear on the digital board when your turn arrives, mine took about 45 minutes, they seemed much busier than in the past. The Ministry and bank are linked now electronically which is great, once you transact anything at either it is instantly communicated to the system, all that is required is that number that first appeared on the application summary.

    To apply online, I used an internet cafe to the right of the Ministry tower as you look at it, I don’t know the compass direction but it is only three or four doors away. A young fellow there knew their system like the back of his hand, I would swear he was an ex employee. I completed my personal information, he did the rest, loaded my forms in pdf format and also pulled a National Police report. Nowhere I have I seen that this document is required, it may be worth checking into on your end. He then sent the completed application which, of course, was received instantly. I gladly paid him extra for his services, I was done in about 20 minutes, I recommend him to anyone and everyone.

    Once I was finished at the cafe, I went to the bank, paid the consultation fee of $52 US, went upstairs to reception, showed him my summary number, didn’t need to show him the receipt as the link had already told him I had paid, got my appointment number from him and waited. I was called, showed my documentation, that took about five minutes, was asked to wait in the waiting area while it was reviewed, after 15 minutes or so was called again and told the visa was approved. I went back downstairs and paid the bank that fee, they knew the cost once again based on the summary number. and when I returned the visa was in my passport.

    The whole process took about three hours but on a seemingly busy day and by a dunce that did not apply online. I would suggest two hours is probably closer to normal, really fantastic since you are dealing with government which are known to be notoriously slow. They have a slick system now, whoever put it into place deserves credit, it is assembly live efficient in my view. Hope this helps you out, my intent in advising you is that others following my adventures get their visas with the least stress possible. I have never been declined and even though you consider your preparations are complete, with me at least, there is always the doubt that maybe I have missed something, I find the process stressful. Now, I can eliminate that for five years, I love it here and look forward to staying.

  48. Great information!

    However I have a question which I wasn’t able to find the answer to. My husband and I will be staying in Colombia till May 2018, however he just got a job here and will be getting a work visa. Now since I am married to him, is there any way that I can get a visa and stay long term as well or no? (We are both Canadian, not Colombian)

    • Hello Taj
      For the sponsor there is a visa that is called BE (beneficiary visa), for this, you must present the marriage certificate (that must be notarized in Canada) and have no longer than 3 months of issue; this process for the BE visa is made once the work visa for your husband is approved and the BE visa will last the same as the working visa.

  49. Hello Jeff my partner and I have been doing a tremendous amount of research and there is one thing that i’m a little concerned about.

    This is our situation. My partner and I have been together for over 2 years and living together, we are not married. I currently have a work visa through an institute and it has become a threat to me and my partners relationship. He is a Colombian citizen and I’m a Canadian citizen. Is there a visa that allows common law visas or do you have to have the marriage certificate? We didn’t want to do the the marriage certificate until the day we are ready.

    Any information is helpful. Thank you

  50. Thanks Jeff, the information you provide is clear and complete. Colombia is my Patria Chica, first arrived in Bogotá in 1964…miss the country and it’s citizens. Currently in Panamá, will look you up on my next visit to Medellín.

  51. Hi Jeff, Trust you doing great. My name is Jessicah an RN officer from Kenya. I would love to work in Colombia. I really love this country. Happy to learn that you’ve been in this lovely country long enough to guide me. Kindly ,assist me with more information on how to get started.

    Thank you.

    Kind regards

  52. Hey wanted to now if any one has done business with Intercol they do the visa process for a fee been trying to call them but can’t seem to get a hold of any one any segusetion as to whom else preform this service does any one if they are still in business?

  53. i would like to enter on a retirement visa using my disability from the military. i have received an increase in benefits and i meet the income requirement for this visa. would my new benefit package sent from the government stating my income be qualified as documentation? can notary for documents apply ? what steps would i need to take? whats the best way for me to have my documentation translated into Spanish?

  54. Hi Jeff , thanks for providing such a great informative site.
    I am an American citizen living in Ecuador, I need to move my belongings out of states and now thinking to move to Medellin, I do qualify for retirement visa since I have few times more of required income from my CD accounts in Ecuador. How soon and how fast I can move my household there? How long the visa approval will take? Should I apply in California? I am visiting in Northern California and can go to consulate in SanFrancisco .
    Is this plan doable in next cuple weeks since I have to return to Ecuador in two weeks?
    Your reply would be greatly appreciated.
    Regards ,