2022 Colombian Visa Legislation Changes: What to Know

2022 Colombian Visa Legislation Changes: What to Know

TLDR? There are some 2022 Colombian visa changes coming this year, which will affect how foreigners immigrate to the country.

In the upcoming months, Colombia will experience some great changes regarding visa legislation. 

Visas in Medellin will have a news way of being issued and requested. Plus, there will be a few new types of visas coming out in the upcoming months.

If you’re thinking of visiting Colombia for any length of time, this may be of interest to you.  Read ahead to learn about the changes introduced to the visa application process that will take effect in October 2022. 

Types of Visas in Colombia

Types of Visas in Colombia

Before we dive into the changes, let’s talk about the different types of visas in Colombia. Here’s a quick look at the different types and what falls under each category.

V visas

Type V visas are for visitors, exclusive to those looking to enter the country temporarily as a tourist or for an event. This visa can last up to two years. 

Among these are novelties such as entry permits for seasonal agricultural workers, visas for digital nomads, and visas promoting internationalization. 

M-Type Visas

Type M visas are aimed at those looking to settle permanently in Colombia but did not meet the requirements for a Type R visas. 

This applies to the following situations: 

  • Permanent partner of Colombian national
  • Father or son of a Colombian national by adoption
  • Migrant under refugee status
  • Entrepreneur
  • Exercise profession or independent activity
  • Religious
  • Elementary, middle, high school, and undergraduate students
  • Real estate investor
  • Retired
  • Rentier

This visa is valid for up to three years.

Type R Visas

Type R Visas have an indefinite validity and are designed for those looking to settle permanently in Colombia. 

To obtain these visas, foreigners must meet requirements such as: 

With an indefinite validity, it’s designed for those who want to settle in Colombia permanently.

  • Be the father of a Colombian national by birth
  • Cumulative length of stay
  • Foreign direct investment.

The New Visas for Digital Nomads

The New Visas for Digital Nomads

That’s right, the rise of digital nomads has led to the creation of visa situations that will allow foreigners to stay in Colombia for slightly longer periods of time while working remotely.  

Leaders of regulatory entities have affirmed that Colombia is an excellent destination for nomads. This combined with a significant growth in tourism allowed for the creation of Resolution 5477, which offers new types of visas to accommodate current realities.

As a result, digital nomads have acquired competitive advantages over their work, allowing them to explore new opportunities and lifestyles. 

It’s important to clarify that those who arrive under this modality must make clear that their income comes from countries other than Colombia. After that, the Special Administrative Unit for Migration Colombia will grant the corresponding permit for entry and stay.

Remote workers can now work from Colombia by applying for the digital nomad/remote worker visa that lasts for up to two years, provided they meet some minimum requirements. 

Interested applicants must prove they work exclusively through digital media or the Internet for foreign companies, or that they plan to produce digital content or pursue an information technology venture. 

The requirements to obtain this visa depend on the conditions of each applicant, and it’s important to emphasize that these remote workers can’t work for any Colombian company or domicile. 

Visas for Digital Nomads Around the World

Visas for Digital Nomads Around the World

The digital nomad visa legalizes the status of remote workers. They’re easy to obtain and allow long stays in the country you’re applying for. 

Each of these countries has its own rules and laws, but a valid passport and proof of income from a different country than the country of destination are always required. 

Until mid-2022, more than 25 countries have created exclusive visa programs for those who can work from home. 

Among the countries providing visas for digital nomads are: 

  • Germany
  • Czech Republic
  • Portugal
  • Norway
  • Estonia
  • Croatia
  • Greece
  • Iceland
  • Italy
  • Anguilla
  • Antigua & Barbuda
  • Australia
  • Barbados
  • Bermuda
  • Cayman Islands
  • Costa Rica
  • Curacao
  • Dominican Republic
  • Dubai
  • Georgia
  • Indonesia
  • Mexico
  • Mauritius Islands
  • Thailand

Colombia will be added to this list in mid-October, and provide opportunities to foreigners through laws that support remote workers and the companies employing them. 

Most digital nomads pay taxes to their countries of origin in order to maintain citizenship or receive social security benefits. 

Exemption of Visas to Some Nationalities

Exemption of Visas to Some Nationalities

In June 2022, Resolution 5488 enacted changes exempting up to 100 nationalities from processing visas for short stays. 

Short stays are stays of 90 days or less, with the option to extend up to 180 days. 

Likewise, 160 nationalities have been excluded from applications for direct airport transit visas at some of Colombia’s international airports destined for a third State.

Extension of Times to Get the Visa

Extension of Times to Get the Visa

One of the main changes in regulations aims to extend the study times of visa applications from up to five business days to up to 30 business days. 

When a visa application is completed, including the provision of the required documents as well as the corresponding payment, the Visa and Immigration Authority may take up to thirty calendar days to issue the final verdict.

Sometimes authorities may require additional information or documentation, such as medical insurance policies, apostilled or legalized diplomas, as well as interviews with the applicant. In these cases, the 30-day period may be extended.

But if somehow the person interested in the visa doesn’t respond with these subsequent requirements, the case will be carried out by this authority responsible.

Likewise, the time for issuing the electronic visa will increase from 3 to 10 business days.

Permanence Visa

Permanence Visa

Those who apply for a stay visa in Colombia must have a passport with a minimum validity of 6 months.

In the event that the applicant is already in the country, they must ensure their regular immigration status while the application is processed, either under the certificate of a valid visa, safe conduct, or a residence permit.

Visa for the Promotion of Internationalization

Visa for the Promotion of Internationalization

This visa is designed for foreign personnel arriving in Colombia with the purpose of developing innovation or research that seeks to adapt technology or help with the development of products, processes, or services. 

This visa is academic in purpose and specially designed for those pursuing higher education such as master’s degrees, doctorates, or post-doctorates in basic sciences such as mathematics or engineering. 

Visa for Venezuelans

Visa for Venezuelans

As a neighbor to Venezuela, Colombia has received many migrants fleeing the social, political, and economic situations of their country. 

For the Venezuelan population that is in Colombia that wants to access a residence by “Temporary Statute of Protection of the Venezuelan Migrant”, it must be clear that it is intended for those who have a Special Permission to stay for 5 years.

Likewise, for those who have this permanence permit, it should be informed that it will be cumulative to acquire this visa.

Other Visas

Other Visas

Some visas don’t really fall under any of these categories. Those include the following visas:

  • Visitor Visa for Technical Assistance: This visa is valid for two years. However, the stay in the country must be for a maximum of 180 continuous days or 365 non-continuous days, counted from the date of issue.
  • Visa for journalists: There are a few different kinds of visas for journalists. One is a visitor visa for short-term journalistic coverage, and the other is a permanent correspondent visitor visa. 
  • Visa for investors: Investors who have a business and investment plan in Colombia will no longer need the resident investor visa. Instead, they must apply for a migrant investor visa and eventually apply for a resident visa.

Other Regulations and Changes

Other Regulations and Changes

There are some big regulations changes coming up this year regarding visas, too. For one thing, the times of the resident visa will vary case by case, and according to the new Resolution of the Ministry of Foregin Affairs, the transfer process must be carried out every five years. 

Additionally, those who have obtained a permanent resident visa according to previous regulations must complete this transfer in the next two years. 

In case there is an early termination of the visa for any reason, foreigners have 30 calendar days to leave Colombia, instead of 30 business days.

Visas processes will now be entirely virtual, except in cases where authorities deem stamping necessary. 

New subcategories of visas have been created through the separation of permissible activities and the assignment of new conditions.

For example, the annuitant and pensioner visas that previously corresponded to a single subcategory of visas have been separated.

Persons with restricted nationality must apply for a visa through a Colombian consulate in the country where they have resident immigration status.

In this sense, if a foreigner lives in a country other than the one of origin with a study or work visa, they will not be able to request a Colombia visa in that country.

Those who hold a V visa in any subcategory will face limitations for restricted nationalities. This restriction was temporarily imposed during the Pandemic but has since been made permanent. 

Visas in Work Settings

Visas in Work Settings

The government now requires a minimum of economic solvency for any person who wants to sponsor visas in category V.

The sponsor, then, must prove an income of 10 Colombian minimum monthly wages, around $200 USD per month. 

Natural persons will no longer have the power to sponsor work visas in the Migrant category, but it’s not yet clear if legal entities are in this faculty.

There is also a new visitor visa for seasonal agricultural workers.

The government is now limiting sponsorship of volunteer visas. Now, only organizations older than 5 years and with a high economic scope exceeding 100 minimum wages in Colombia can sponsor visas.

Visas and Personal Relationships

Personal Relationships

Permanent partners of Colombian nationals will no longer enjoy the same advantages as spouses. These people will only get visas with a validity of a year. Spouse visas are valid for up to three years, after which they can apply for a residence visa. 

Another thing to know is that the parents of the visa holder no longer get involved in beneficiary visas. Instead, a difference will be made to the migrant visa for foreigners married or in de facto marital union with a Colombian.

The New Visa Legislation in Colombia

In just under a month, resolution 5477 of July 22, 2022, will come into effect. This will generate major changes in visa laws for foreigners who want to enter Colombia for any type of activity. That’s true regardless of whether they’re short stays for tourism, residence, or study, among others.

Among the beneficiaries are the digital nomads who, presenting certificates of their work activities, can remain in the Colombian territory for up to 2 years! 

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