January 18, 2023
Migrating to a country can be a complex process, full of uncertainty and fear of being deported when the stay is irregular. Therefore, it is advisable to have the legal advice of immigration lawyers who can assess whether your profile fits within the conditions to apply for a visa in Colombia.
The Colombian Ministry of Foreign Affairs may grant different types of visas depending on the reason for entering the country and the condition in which you find yourself. Resolution 5477 of 2022 regulates everything related to the issuance of visas in Colombia. This new Resolution starts to apply from October 21, 2022, however, it is important to point out that visas issued under the previous regulations will remain in force.
In this article we will explain who can apply for the Migrant Visa or Visa Type M, the requirements and the procedure to start the application process.
The Migrant Visa (M) is an authorization granted by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Colombia to those foreigners who wish to enter and stay in Colombia with the intention of settling down and do not meet the conditions established in Resolution 5477 of 2022 to apply for a permanent resident visa.
The migrant visa has several categories, each with different validity periods and different additional permits that will be explained throughout this article.
Previously, it was granted 3 years of permanence in the country to foreigners holding a Migrant Visa to Colombia, unless the work contract of the visa holder was less than 3 years.
However, according to the new Resolution 5477 of 2022, effective as of October 21, 2022, the validity of the Migrant Visa (Visa Type M) will depend on the type of category to which it applies and in no case will it be longer than 3 years.
Likewise, the length of stay authorized in the migrant visa will be decided by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the entity in charge of issuing visas in Colombia.
Throughout this article, we will detail the validity stipulated by the Visa Authority for each of the categories of the M type visa.
Resolution 5477 of 2022 establishes fourteen categories of migrant visas to which foreigners who wish to settle in Colombia and meet any of the following characteristics and requirements may apply:
Those foreigners who have a marital relationship with a Colombian citizen and aspire to live with them in Colombia may apply for a migrant visa as a spouse, in which case the Colombian spouse must submit a letter of application requesting the visa for their foreign spouse, stating the effective cohabitation.
With the letter of application, the Colombian spouse must attach their identity card, power of attorney signed before a notary public authorizing the foreign spouse to apply for this type of visa and specify the contact telephone number, physical and electronic address. Additionally, both the foreigner applicant and the Colombian spouse must provide a certificate of migratory movements issued by 'Migración Colombia'.
It should be noted that, for control purposes, the visa authority may validate the existence of the relationship by means of a on-site, virtual or telephone interview only when deemed necessary.
The Migrant Visa, or Visa type M as spouse of a Colombian national, is valid for up to 3 years and grants an open work permit. In addition, it allows the principal holder to apply for a visa for beneficiaries, i.e., children up to 25 years of age or children with disabilities, as long as they are economically dependent.
This type of visa may be applied for by foreigners who have a de facto marital union with Colombian citizens, in which case the Colombian permanent partner must write a letter requesting the visa for their foreign partner. In this letter, the Colombian national must state that they have a single, constant, persevering and stable cohabitation with their partner, in addition to committing to inform the visa authority of any change in the circumstances of cohabitation.
According to article 68 of Resolution 5477 of 2022, a copy of the Colombian identification card, a copy of the public deed, court order or conciliation act in which a judge of the Republic declares the de facto marital union must be attached to the application letter. In this regard, it should be noted that the document that proves the union must have been formalized for more than 1 year at the time of the visa application.
Likewise, a power of attorney signed before a notary must be attached in which the Colombian national authorizes the foreign permanent partner to apply for this type of visa and specify the contact telephone number, physical and electronic address. Likewise, both the foreigner applicant and the Colombian permanent companion must provide a certificate of migratory movements issued by 'Migración Colombia'.
This type of visa is valid for up to 1 year and grants an open work permit, as well as entitles the principal holder to apply for a visa for beneficiaries.
This type of visa may be requested by foreigners who are parents or children under 25 years of age economically dependent of a Colombian citizen by adoption. To initiate the process, the Colombian national must send a letter requesting the visa and attach an authentic copy of the birth certificate or civil registry proving the relationship. On the other hand, the applicant will have to demonstrate economic solvency by means of averages in bank statements in the last 6 months and sources of income.
This type of visa is valid for up to 3 years, grants an open work permit, as well as entitles the principal holder to apply for a visa for beneficiaries.
Those foreigners who are parents of a Colombian citizen by birth may apply for this type of visa.
The Colombian citizen must submit the letter of request for the issuance of the Migrant Visa or Visa Type M for their father or mother, together their citizenship card and a copy of the Colombian civil registry of birth.
Likewise, the foreign parent must present the visa they held and which was valid at the time of the birth of the minor, together with the certificate of migratory movements and the bank statements proving economic solvency.
This type of visa is valid for up to 3 years, grants an open work permit, as well as entitles the principal holder to apply for a visa for beneficiaries.
Any foreigner may apply for a Mercosur Migrant Visa when they are a national of any of the states party to the agreement on Residence for nationals of the States Parties to the Mercosur, Bolivia, and Chile. In such event, the foreigner will have to make the respective application letter explaining the activity to be developed in Colombia and the means of subsistence they have.
In addition, they must have a passport with a minimum validity of 6 months and provide a certificate of judicial or criminal record from their country of origin or the place where they have resided during the 3 years prior to the application.
This type of visa is valid for up to 2 years and is granted only once, it also grants an open work permit and allows the principal holder to apply for a beneficiary visa.
This visa may be requested by nationals of the States parties to the "Andino Migratory Statute", in which case the applicant must have a passport valid for at least six months and must submit a copy of the entry stamp to the country or a copy of the migratory card if they are in Colombia. The requested documents also include a certificate of judicial and criminal record and, in the application letter, the purpose of establishing temporary residence in the country and the means of subsistence.
Like the MERCOSUR migrant visa, this type of visa is valid for up to 2 years and is granted only once, it also grants an open work permit and allows the main holder to apply for a visa for beneficiaries.
Those foreigners who have been recognized by the Colombian state as Refugees may apply for a Migrant Refugee Visa. In this case, the interested parties must prove their Refugee status by providing a copy of the act by which such recognition was granted.
This visa is valid for up to 3 years and grants an open work permit.
Foreigners who are interested in working in Colombia with a corporation by means of an employment contract, in any of its modalities, may apply for a migrant visa as a worker.
It should be noted that this type of visa is not granted to foreigners interested in working with a natural person. Also, this type of visa allows accumulating time for the Resident Visa.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs requires the following documents from persons in this condition:
This type of visa may be granted for up to 3 years, granting a work permit to the holder only for the position, entity, and profession for which it was granted.
This type of visa may be applied for by foreigners who have incorporated a company or acquired a share in the capital stock of a Colombian commercial company for a minimum amount of 100 legal monthly minimum wages in force.
In such event, the foreign entrepreneur must inform the corporate name, domicile, and Tax Identification Number (NIT) of the commercial company incorporated. In addition, it must be accredited that the commercial company maintains economic activity and solvency by means of bank statements of the last 3 months prior to the application, income tax returns, social security contributions, among others.
It is worth mentioning that in the case of companies in the energy mining sector, the corresponding mining title must be provided.
This type of visa may be granted for up to 3 years and grants a work permit applicable only to the company of which the holder is a partner, shareholder, or owner. In addition, it allows the holder to apply for a visa for beneficiaries and accumulate the time to acquire the Resident Visa.
At AGT Attorneys, we advise our clients to have the incorporation document of the company or the financial information of the company, since such information may be required by the Visa Authority in Colombia when it considers it pertinent.
If you would like legal guidance on how to incorporate a company in Colombia, do not hesitate to contact our lawyers, experts in Corporate Law, who will explain all the details and requirements necessary for this procedure. Likewise, we also have lawyers specialized in immigration law who will support you in the procedure to follow if you want to apply for the Migrant Partner or Owner Visa in Colombia.
We invite you to request legal advice to the following contact form, or contact us by WhatsApp to the following number 3105706331.
This type of Visa applies to those foreigners who aspire to exercise a regulated profession or an unregulated activity, as long as it is of interest to the country, with the financial condition of demonstrating income equal or higher than 5 legal monthly minimum wages in force, which must be accredited by providing the bank statements of the 6 months prior to the application.
For the granting of this type of visa, it is essential to submit a copy of the validation of the degree, presentation of the professional card or license, certifications that prove the suitability in the case of activities based on professional experience and prove that the applicant has health coverage in Colombia against all risks.
This type of visa may be granted for up to 3 years and grants a work permit applicable only for the activity or profession for which it was granted. It also allows the holder to apply for a visa for beneficiaries.
Leave us a message in the contact form if you would like one of our lawyers to contact you to provide legal advice on how to perform a certain profession in Colombia whose degree has been issued abroad.
This visa may be requested by a foreigner who receives a pension granted by the state or private fund for a minimum amount of (3) legal monthly minimum wages in force, in which case they must attach a certificate recognizing such minimum monthly payment, a medical certificate and prove that they have health coverage in Colombia against all risks.
This type of visa may be granted for up to 3 years and does not grant a work permit, nor does it allow the holder to be affiliated to the Colombian social security system except as provided in bilateral agreements. However, it allows the holder to apply for a visa for beneficiaries.
This visa may be requested by foreigners who have a master's, doctorate, or post doctorate degree in science, engineering, mathematics and related fields, provided that their profiles meet the needs of the country in public and private internationalization plans or for professionals required in the direction of consular migration affairs and citizen services. In the event that the foreigner is in this category, they must attach:
This type of visa may be granted for up to 3 years and allows the holder to apply for a visa for his/her beneficiaries.
This visa may be granted to those foreigners who invest in the country through the purchase of real estate for an amount equal to or greater than 350 legal monthly minimum wages in force, as long as they can prove that their foreign investment has been registered directly in Colombia.
However, in case of direct foreign investment, the amount must be higher than 650 legal monthly minimum wages in force.
This type of visa may be granted for up to 3 years and allows the holder to apply for a visa for its beneficiaries.
Foreigners who have been recognized as stateless persons, i.e., someone who does not have any nationality, may apply for this type of visa, in which case they must provide:
Additionally, the visa holder may apply for a visa for beneficiaries.
The migrant visa in Colombia grants a work permit only to holders who have obtained it for belonging to a certain category. This permit will have certain limitations depending on the condition for which the migrant visa was granted.
Notwithstanding the foregoing, holders of a migrant visa as retired worker, investor, stateless person or mother, father or child of a Colombian national by adoption will not have a work permit.
However, migrant visas granted as a worker or independent worker will have a work permit restricted to the position, entity, or profession under which the visa was granted or to the company of which the holder is a partner or shareholder. In other words, if you were granted a Visa Type M, by virtue of an employment relationship with a legal entity, you will only be authorized to work in the position and profession for which you were hired. On the contrary, the migrant visa granted as a partner or owner will only grant the holder a work permit exclusively in the company of which they are partners or shareholders.
Regarding the other types of visas, they will have an open work permit, so they may exercise any activity that is considered lawful in Colombia, that is to say, that is allowed by law and is not typified as a crime in the Colombian criminal code.
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