There are numerous options, both permanent and temporary, for those who wish to obtain residency abroad in Colombia. The visas are divided into two types: an N series for those who are looking for permanent status, and the T series for those in need of temporary status. All visas have a couple of qualities in common, however. There aren’t any vaccination requirements, for example, and there are no currency restrictions. Here’s a breakdown of what’s available to those looking to make this move abroad to Colombia.
Temporary Residency Options
There are seventeen types of residency visas offered by Colombia, but we’re only going to go over the types that are most likely relevant to our readership. To learn more about any of the others, check out this list at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs website.
Those with temporary residency may stay in Colombia for a restricted period of time before they must renew their visas. These time constraints differ between the different types of visas.
Colombia Pension Visa
Retired individuals who receive monthly payments equal to at least 3 months’ worth of Colombian minimum wages can apply for this type of visa. This translates to roughly $750 per month, based on the 2017 wages. The minimum wage increases in Colombia each year, but the government renews retirement visas for those who qualified under the lower amounts from previous years.
Although this visa allows temporary residency abroad in Colombia, and lasts for up to one year, it is possible to continue to renew and stay in the country for 5 years in order to gain permanent residency status.
Colombia Investment Visa
Intended only for those who invest abroad in Colombian real estate or business, the investment visa requires specific amounts to be invested depending on which market you’re involved in. For those investing in property, an investment that is more than 350 times the minimum monthly salary is required. With the current (2017) minimum wage at 737,717 Colombian pesos per month, that means your investment would need to be at least $88,546 under the current exchange rate. Two Colombia real estate markets that are popular for the Colombia investment visa are Medellin real estate and Cartagena real estate.
For those investing abroad in business, Colombia requires an investment that is at least 100 times the same salary. This would come out to $25,299 under the exchange rate. This visa lasts for 1 to 2 years, depending on your individual circumstances.
This visa is designed for those who receive a fixed, reliable income from outside of the country, but who are not retired. The income must be fifteen times the Colombian minimum wage. Incomes that fall under this category are: annuity payments, rent from an owned property, interests paid from loaning money, dividends, disability or payments from the sale of a business. Payments from salaries or commissions do not qualify. This visa is for 1 year.
Colombia Permanent Residency Options
While you can technically keep renewing your temporary visa until you have lived in the country for 5 years and gain permanent residency that way, you can also skip that step and go right for the lengthier visa. That is, if you know you’d like to stick around indefinitely.
Colombia Resident Visa
The qualified resident visa for Colombia applies to applicants who are holding a temporary visa and have stayed at least 5 years in Colombia. Those years must be continuous and uninterrupted. There is no time limit on this visa, but it will be cancelled if you spend more than 2 consecutive years outside of the country. This is the visa mentioned earlier, the one you get when you’ve kept renewing your temporary visa until you’ve reached the 5 year mark.
Colombia Resident Investor Visa
Just as there’s a temporary visa for overseas investors in Colombia, there is a permanent one as well. This visa is available for someone who is investing a minimum of $100,000 in money that’s registered with a Colombian bank. Again, there is no time limit on this visa (hence the “permanent” status), but it can be revoked if you spend two consecutive years outside of Colombia.
It’s always a smart idea to visit a country temporarily before deciding to relocate permanently and apply for residency abroad, so it makes sense that there are more temporary visa options for Colombia. Your best bet is probably to choose the temporary visa that works best for you, and then if you decide you love the country and wish to stay for good, keep renewing until you’ve reached your 5 year mark. Achieve permanent residency in Colombia this way and you’ll already know what you’re heading into and that you will enjoy your new home. Don’t forget to research the best places to live in Colombia before you head out!
Image credit: https://pixabay.com/en/colombia-guatape-tourism-2410697/