Colombia Investment Visa

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Looking to invest in and live in Colombia? Then the Investor Visa is for you. Below is our guide on who the investor visa is for, what is required to obtain this visa, and what documentation etc you need to apply.


An introduction to the Colombia Investor Visa

The Colombian Business Investor Visa is structured to encourage foreign investment by providing a pathway to residency for investors. There are two main types of investment visas available: the Migrant (M) Visa and the Resident (R) Visa.

Migrant (M) Visa

This visa is intended for those who make a significant investment in a Colombian business or real estate. The investment requirement for the M visa is a minimum of 100 times the Colombian minimum monthly wage, which amounts to about $25,000 USD if investing in a new business. This visa is valid for three years and can be renewed. To qualify, applicants need to demonstrate their investment through documentation like certificates of investment, bank statements, and proof of financial stability.

Resident (R) Visa

The R visa is available for those who invest an amount equivalent to 650 times the Colombian minimum wage, approximately $130,000 USD. This visa is noted for granting permanent residency status and is recognized for its high status, offering benefits such as the ability to enter and leave Colombia multiple times and the potential to obtain employment benefits easily. The visa lasts for five years but requires verification of the investment by the Bank of the Republic and other formal documentation.

For both types of visas, the process generally involves providing a comprehensive list of documents, including proof of investment, a business plan, a criminal background check from countries of residence in the past five years, and proof of health insurance. The application can be initiated online, and typically involves an interview at a Colombian consulate or embassy. The processing time for these visas can take up to 30 days once all documents are submitted.

Applicants should be aware that once the visa is obtained, there is a requirement to register it within a specified timeframe at Migración Colombia to avoid penalties. Continued eligibility for the visa, particularly when renewing, will require proving that the investment remains operational and is in good standing.

The Colombian Business Investor Visa not only facilitates investment into the country but also provides a platform for investors and their families to access Colombia's social services, potentially paving the way to citizenship after a set period of residency.


What are the requirements to be eligible for the Colombia Business Investor Visa?

To qualify for a Colombian Business Investor Visa, both the Migrant (M) and Resident (R) Visa categories require a series of comprehensive documentation to ensure the applicant meets all regulatory requirements. Here's a detailed breakdown of these documentation requirements:

Financial and Investment Documentation

Proof of Investment: Evidence must be provided to show that the investment meets the minimum financial requirements. This could include:

  • For the M visa, proof of an investment of around $25,000 USD.
  • For the R visa, a larger investment typically around $130,000 to $216,667 USD.
  • Relevant documents could be share certificates, property deeds, or business registration documents, which demonstrate the investment in a Colombian business or real estate. This also includes evidence from the Bank of Republic of Colombia showing the registered investment (if it's a property purchase).

Identification and Personal Documents

  • Valid Passport: A copy of the bio-page and any Colombian visas or entry stamps if previously obtained.
  • Background Check: Police clearance certificates from the applicant's country of origin and any country where they have resided for more than six months in the past five years. These documents often need to be apostilled or legalized depending on the country of issue.

Legal Documents

Apostilled Documents: Many documents sourced from outside Colombia require an apostille to certify their legitimacy. These include:

  • Birth certificates.
  • Marriage certificates, if applicable.
  • Any other public document that supports the visa application, such as adoption records or divorce decrees.

Financial Solvency

  • Bank Statements: Recent statements (typically from the last three months) showing sufficient financial resources to support the investor and any dependents while in Colombia.

Health Insurance

  • Proof of Health Insurance: Valid and comprehensive health insurance coverage for the duration of the stay in Colombia.

Business Plan

  • Detailed Business Plan: A comprehensive business plan outlining the purpose of the investment, expected outcomes, employment creation, and how it contributes to the Colombian economy.

Additional Requirements

  • Certificate of Legal Entry and Stay: If the applicant is already in Colombia, documentation confirming their legal status in the country may be required.
  • Registration of Foreign Investment: For investments in businesses or real estate, it's crucial to register the investment with the Banco de la República (Colombia's central bank), which often involves producing additional financial documentation and details about the investment.

It is advisable for potential applicants to engage with a professional immigration attorney such as Colombia Law Connection to ensure all documents are correctly prepared and submitted according to the latest regulations and requirements.


What is the process for applying for the Investor Visa?

Applying for a Colombian Investor Visa involves several detailed steps, which must be carefully followed to ensure a successful application. Here is a step-by-step guide based on the typical requirements and processes:

Step 1: Determine Eligibility and Investment Type

  • Choose Investment: Decide whether you will invest in real estate, a new business, or existing business shares. The investment amount required varies depending on the type of visa (Migrant or Resident).
  • Consult Legal Advice: It's advisable to consult with an immigration lawyer or a visa consultant who specializes in Colombian visas to ensure the investment meets legal requirements.

Step 2: Gather Required Documentation

  • Collect Financial Documents: This includes proof of the investment, bank statements, and financial solvency evidence.
  • Obtain Legal Documents: Gather personal documents like passport, marriage certificates, and birth certificates. Ensure that any document from outside Colombia is apostilled or legalized as necessary.
  • Prepare a Business Plan: If investing in a business, prepare a detailed business plan outlining the scope, potential impact, and financial forecasts of the business.

Step 3: Register the Investment

  • Register with Banco de la República: For investments in real estate or business, you must register the investment with Colombia's central bank. This process typically involves submitting proof of the investment along with other required financial documents.

Step 4: Apply for the Visa

  • Submit Application Online: Complete the visa application form on the Colombian Ministry of Foreign Affairs website. Upload all required documents in PDF format and any photos in JPG format.
  • Pay Application Fees: Pay the necessary visa application fees online during the submission process.

Step 5: Visa Application Review

  • Consulate Review: The application will be reviewed by the Colombian consulate or embassy. This may involve an interview where you will discuss your investment and intentions in Colombia.

Step 6: Visa Issuance

  • Receive Your Visa: If your application is approved, the consulate will place the visa in your passport. You will be notified to pick up your passport or it will be mailed to you.

Step 7: Travel and Validate Visa

  • Enter Colombia: Travel to Colombia and validate your visa by entering the country before the visa expires (usually within a few months of issuance).

Step 8: Register in Colombia

  • Register with Migración Colombia: Within 15 days of entering Colombia, register your visa with Migración Colombia and apply for a foreign ID card (Cédula de Extranjería).

Step 9: Comply with Local Regulations

  • Tax Registration: Register with local tax authorities and understand your tax obligations in Colombia.
  • Renewal: Keep track of visa expiration and renewal requirements. Resident visas may require renewal every five years, and Migrant visas typically need renewal every three years.

Step 10: Monitor Investment

  • Ongoing Compliance: Ensure your investment remains compliant with Colombian laws and regulations. This may involve regular reporting and adherence to financial regulations.

This process can vary slightly depending on individual circumstances, the type of investment, and specific requirements from the Colombian consulate processing the application. Always verify the current requirements and procedures with the Colombian Ministry of Foreign Affairs or your trusted Colombia Law Connection legal advisor.


Some common issues people have when applying for the Colombian Business Investor Visa

When applying for a Colombian Investor Visa, several common issues can arise that applicants should be aware of to avoid complications:

Delayed Registration and Cedula Application

After receiving your Colombian visa, you must register the visa with Migración Colombia and apply for a Cedula de Extranjeria within 15 days. Failure to do so can lead to substantial fines.

  • Document Requirements: All foreign documents must be properly apostilled or legalized and translated into Spanish if they are not already in this language. Failure to comply with these requirements can delay or invalidate your application.
  • Financial Proof Issues: Applicants must provide recent financial documents (no older than three months at the time of application) to prove their financial solvency. Using outdated financial documents can lead to delays or rejections of the visa application.
  • Visa Status and Expiry Concerns: It's important to not stay outside Colombia longer than the visa allows. For M visas, leaving Colombia for more than six continuous months can result in visa expiration. For R visas, the period is two continuous years.
  • Health Insurance Requirements: Although not always strictly enforced, having health insurance coverage is officially required and should be considered essential for smoothing the application process.
  • Incorrect or Incomplete Applications: Submitting applications with errors or missing information can significantly delay processing. If errors are discovered, it may be necessary to withdraw and resubmit the application, which can extend the process by weeks or even months.

To manage and mitigate these issues, it's advisable to:

  • Double-check all documents for accuracy and completeness before submission.
  • Ensure all foreign documents are up to date and correctly apostilled or legalized.
  • Register the visa and apply for a Cedula promptly upon arrival or visa approval.
  • Keep track of the length of stays outside of Colombia to avoid inadvertently invalidating the visa.

These precautions can help streamline the application process and reduce the likelihood of encountering delays or rejections.


How much does it cost to apply for the Investor Visa?

The costs associated with applying for a Colombian Business Investor Visa include several categories, now updated to include service fees for specific legal assistance:

  • Visa Application Fee: The application fee is $55.00 USD, paid during the online application submission. This fee is non-refundable.
  • Government Fee for Visa Issuance: After the visa is approved, a government fee of $275.00 USD is required for the issuance of the electronic visa.
  • Colombia Law Connections Service Fee: If using the services of Colombia Law Connection, our fee for managing the visa application process is $1100.00. This includes handling the necessary documentation, application submission, and potentially other legal services related to the visa process.
  • Additional Costs: These include fees for document translation, certification (apostille), and legal consultations. The need for translated and apostilled documents can add significant costs, depending on the number of documents and the fees charged by the service providers.
  • Bank and Investment Certification Costs: Certifications such as the certificate of investment issued by a legal entity in Colombia and certificates from accountants verifying share composition might incur additional charges. These are critical for proving the legal standing and validity of the investment.
  • Miscellaneous Costs: This includes expenses for obtaining background checks, financial records, and other supporting documents from your home country, which vary based on local rates and the specifics of what is needed.

Planning for these expenses is crucial to ensure that all potential costs are covered throughout the Colombian Business Investor Visa application process.