2017 UPDATE: OBTAINING A COLOMBIAN INVESTMENT VISA

The Colombian Investment Visa is intended for a foreigner who invests in property or a business in Colombia. The visa is relatively easy to get with few documentation requirements.


 

Colombian Investment Visa Requirements

There are two types of Colombian Investment visas.  The first is the TP-7, which is a temporary (TP) visa.  The second is the Resident investor visa or RE visa, which requires a larger investment.To qualify for the TP-7 Colombian Investment Visa, you need to demonstrate that you have invested a required amount in either a property or a business in Colombia.

For property investments for a TP-7 visa, Colombia requires an investment that is more than 350 times the current legal minimum monthly salary in Colombia. The minimum monthly salary in Colombia is 737,717 pesos per month in 2017. This means you would need to invest in property that costs more than 258,200,950 pesos. This is $88,546 at the exchange rate of 2,916 pesos per USD.

To prove a property investment for a visa, Colombia requires two documents. The first requirement is a communication issued by the Department of International Exchange at the Bank of the Republic in which the foreign direct investment is registered in order for the foreigner to buy a property in his name in an amount that is greater than 350 times the current legal minimum monthly salary in Colombia.

And the second requirement is a Certificate of Tradition and Liberty issued by the respective Office of Public Instruments.  This must have an issue date of no more than a month prior to the visa application in which the property ownership by the foreigner is shown.

For business investments for a TP-7 visa, Colombia requires an investment that is no less than 100 times the current legal minimum monthly salary in Colombia. This means an investment of at least 73,771,700 pesos. This is $25,299 at the exchange rate of 2,916 pesos per USD.

To prove a business investment for a visa, Colombia requires a certificate of legal representation issued by a Colombian Chamber of Commerce within three months prior to the application for the visa.  The certificate must state that the foreign national is a partner or owner of a company legally constituted and registered with a capital or assets registered and paid by the foreigner in an amount of at least 100 times the current legal minimum monthly salary in Colombia.

The TP-7 visa is also relatively inexpensive.  It costs just $263 including the processing fee. The TP-7 visa is typically issued for a duration of one year and can be renewed.  It permits multiple entries into Colombia. After five years of having a TP-7 visa this can be converted to a resident visa (RE visa), which is good for five years.

Resident Investor Visa Requirements

 

It is possible to invest more money and receive a resident visa (RE visa) immediately in Colombia instead of the TP-7 visa.  Under this option, you must invest at least 650 times the current legal minimum monthly salary in Colombia.

This means an investment of at least 479,516,050 pesos, which is $164,443 at the exchange rate of 2,916 pesos per USD.

The documentation requirements for the resident investor visa are similar to the TP-7 investor visa.  To prove your investment for the resident investor visa, you need communications from the Bank of the Republic stating registration of the foreign direct investment in an amount of at least 650 times the minimum monthly salary in Colombia.

A RE visa is more expensive than the TP-7 visa but it is good for five years.  The cost is $443 including the processing fee.

The Colombian Investment Visa Process

The visa process in Colombia is fairly easy and it’s done online.  You can apply for a Colombian investment visa online here. This application will require scans of all the below required documents in PDF files plus the photo in jpg format. A detailed guide for applying online is found here.Documents required:

  • Copy of the first page of your current passport where your personal data is displayed.
  • Copy of the page of your passport where the last stamp of entry or departure of Colombia is located.
  • If you’ve had a previous Colombian visa, a copy of this visa.
  • Documents outlined above under Colombian Investment Visa Requirements to prove the property or business investment in Colombia.
  • Passport style face photo with a white background, sized at 3cm width X 4cm height, max size of 300kb jpg file for online application.

After the visa approval, you need to travel to Bogotá to get the visa in your passport.  Visas are issued at the Ministerio de Relaciones Exteriores office in Bogotá. This is located at Avenida 19 # 98-03, Torre 100 Building, 3rd Floor.  It’s open from 7:30am until noon.

If you don’t want to travel you can use a visa agency.  A visa agency can handle the online application. And it will courier your passport to Bogotá to get the visa in your passport. There are several visa agencies in Medellín.

The TP-7 visa is typically issued for a duration of one year and permits multiple entries into Colombia. After five years of having a TP-7 visa this can be converted to a resident visa (RE visa), which is good for five years.

You can also get visas at Colombian consulates around the world.  In the U.S., Colombia has consulates located in Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, Orlando, Newark, New York, San Francisco and Washington DC.

With a higher investment for the resident investor visa you can receive the RE visa immediately. Note that if someone with an RE visa leaves the country for two continuous years they lose the right to the visa.  After having a RE visa for five continuous years it is possible to apply for Colombian citizenship and become a dual citizen.

 

Getting a Colombian Cedula

After you have successfully received your Colombia Investment Visa you will have a maximum of 15 days to register your visa with Migración Colombia to get a Cedula de Extranjeria (Colombian ID for foreigners). This must be done in-person.

Migración Colombia

It is important to register your visa within the allotted time frame.  If not, you will be liable for a big fine of up to seven times the minimum monthly salary in Colombia (over $1,700).

To register your visa and apply for a cedula this must be done at one of the Migración Colombia offices. You can find offices in major cities in Colombia.

  • Bogotá – Calle 100 #11B-27
  • Medellín – Calle 19 #80A-40, Barrio Belén
  • Cali – Avenida 3 norte # 50N-20
  • Cartagena – Carrera 20 B # 29-18, Barrio pie de la Popa
  • Barranquilla – Carrera 42 # 54-77, Barrio El Recreo

A complete list of Migración Colombia offices is found here.

Documents needed:

  • Original passport
  • Photocopy of biographical page of passport
  • Photocopy of your visa
  • Photocopy of blood test showing your blood type (or if you have a previous visa, photocopy of your cedula)

You will need to make an appointment with Migración Colombia to register your visa and apply for a cedula.  This appointment can be done online here or via the phone at 018000510454

The current cost of a cedula is 183,000 pesos, which can be paid for using a credit card at the Migración Colombia office.

Conclusion

The Colombian Investment Visa is relatively easy to get but is strictly intended for someone who invests in property or a business in Colombia. Steps outlined above show how to get a Colombian Investment Visa yourself based on the current procedure.

FAR International, the largest foreign-owned real estate firm in Medellinhas experience working with investors for all types of Colombian Investment Visa. Visitors looking for an easy way to obtain a Colombian Investment Visa can contact the company here.

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