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CoColombia Visas
& Permits.






Country Capital



Colombian peso (COP)

Colombia’s economic growth makes it an attractive location for companies looking to scale in South America. If your company is taking advantage of this opportunity, you’ll need to obtain Colombia work visas for all international employees. However, not all companies have the time or expertise to efficiently get a work visa in Colombia.

Types of work visas in Colombia

Colombia most recently changed its visa rules in October 2022 to create several additional visa categories. Visa options include:

  • Visitor eVisa (V): An electronic travel authorization that allows eligible non-citizens to enter Colombia for up to 90 days for tourism, business or medical treatment purposes.
  • Migrant “M” type visa: This type of visa is a temporary resident visa that allows individuals to stay in Colombia for an extended period of time, either for work or family reunification purposes and up to 2 years.
  • Resident “R” type visa: A visa for individuals establishing themselves in Colombia permanently. The requirements include proof of financial stability, a criminal record check, and a health certificate.
  • Technical visa: This visa is mostly applicable to technical practitioners intending to enter Colombia to provide urgent technical services to public or private entities. A letter from the entity assuming the responsibility of the service required must be provided. The validity period of this visa is up to 2 years, allowing a maximum of 180 continuous or cumulative days in a 265-day period.
  • Digital nomad visa: A visa for individuals employed outside of Colombia to live and work in the country for up to 2 years.

M visas are the most common among expats for reasons such as marriage, investment, retirement, work, and studies. Individuals must meet certain requirements to obtain an M visa, such as having a spouse or partner who’s a resident of Colombia, maintaining permanent employment, or coming to Colombia as a missionary. These visas are typically valid for 3 years. However, certain exceptions exist, such as category 5 work visas and category 9 student visas, which can be less than 3 years, depending on the length of employment and studies.

As of June 2023, a new resident visa for eligible Venezuelan nationals has been introduced. This residence visa grants permanent residence after 5 years of having held a Special Stay Permit or Temporary Protection Permit.

Requirements to obtain Colombia work visas

The requirements for a working visa in Colombia vary by visa type. With that said, most require a job offer from a local employer to start. Once the employee and employer sign a contract, they can start the application process. In addition to the employment contract, applicants will need a letter of motivation from the employer, 6 months of bank statements, a photocopy of their passport, and a passport-style photo. Although the visa application process is online, visas are issued in person at the Ministerio de Relaciones Exteriores offices in Bogota.

In October 2022, Colombia implemented stricter requirements for visa applications including:

  • A 6-month validity requirement for applicants’ passports.
  • Proof of medical insurance for most visa types.
  • An apostilled or legalized translated bachelor’s degree diploma for M visas.
  • Applications filed internationally must be submitted from the country where the applicant is a citizen or holder of a residence permit.

After holding an M visa for at least 5 years, individuals can receive an R visa. Once an individual holds an R visa for 5 more years, they can apply to become a citizen of Colombia. Since the country permits dual citizenship, individuals won’t need to deal with visas or give up citizenship in another country.

Colombia is part of the MERCOSUR agreement. This means that nationals of Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Ecuador, Paraguay, Peru, and Uruguay may apply for a Migrant Visa for MERCOSUR nationals after their arrival to Colombia. Such visa is not sponsored by any employer.

Application process

When employees need a working visa, they must fill out the application form for the type of visa they require. They can register online on the Ministerio de Relaciones Exteriores website by uploading all relevant documents. Once the application gets filed, reviewed, and approved, applicants must follow the authorities’ directions for payment.

Employers must provide:

  • Bank statements corresponding with the 6 months before the visa application.
  • Proof of average monthly income of 100 times the legal monthly minimum wages.
  • The previous year’s income statement.
  • A certificate of suitability for the applicant.
  • Relevance of the employment contract.
  • Academic support of the visa applicant

In October 2022, Colombia increased the processing time for visas. Employers can expect a longer wait for work and residency permits.

Other important considerations

Every individual with a visa good for more than 3 months needs to apply and obtain a Colombian Identity Card at a regional office. They must obtain the card within 15 days of entering Colombia or 15 days after their visa was issued. They’ll need a copy of their passport and M visa.

Keep in mind that obtaining the Colombian Identity Card requires an appointment either online or in person. All applicants must file the right documents, pay the fee, then go to the office to pick up the physical ID card.

Discover how G-P can help you manage your global teams.

At G-P, we’re committed to breaking down barriers to global business, enabling opportunity for everyone, everywhere, and helping companies tap into the fullest potential of their workforce. We help you maintain full compliance with local laws and ensure everything from hiring and onboarding to paying your team is quick and easy, regardless of where they are in the world.

Find out more about how our Global Growth Platform™ can help you grow your team across the globe.

At this moment, G-P does not offer support processing work visas or permits in this particular location.


THIS CONTENT IS FOR INFORMATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY AND DOES NOT CONSTITUTE LEGAL OR TAX ADVICE. You should always consult with and rely on your own legal and/or tax advisor(s). G-P does not provide legal or tax advice. The information is general and not tailored to a specific company or workforce and does not reflect G-P’s product delivery in any given jurisdiction. G-P makes no representations or warranties concerning the accuracy, completeness, or timeliness of this information and shall have no liability arising out of or in connection with it, including any loss caused by use of, or reliance on, the information.

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