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Resident Visa to Colombia | VISA TYPE R

January 19, 2023

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Resident Visa to Colombia | VISA TYPE R

Nowadays, a great number of people wish to know new cultures, create businesses or establish commercial relations in other countries, which creates the need to cross borders and travel to other countries for different reasons. Based on the above, entering a country to stay temporarily or permanently, commonly requires an authorization called "Visa" which is granted by the immigration authority of a given state.

In Colombia, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs is the entity in charge of regulating all matters concerning visas in Colombia and the issuance of such visas.

Resolution 5477 issued on July 22, 2022 regulates all visa provisions. This new Resolution repeals the previous Resolution 6045 of 2017 and becomes effective as of October 21, 2022, introducing changes in the categories of the Permanent Resident Visa to Colombia and in the mandatory requirements.

In this article we will explain what the Permanent Resident Visa in Colombia consists of, as well as its new categories stipulated in Resolution 5477 of 2022, requirements, specific documents and the procedure to apply for it.

What is the Permanent Resident Visa to Colombia– Visa Type R?


The permanent Resident Visa to Colombia is one of the 3 types of authorizations granted by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Its applicants are foreigners whose objective is to settle permanently in Colombia or to establish their domicile in the country as long as they are within the conditions stipulated in Resolution 5477 of 2022.

It should be noted that permanent resident visas issued before the entry into force of Resolution 5477 of 2022, i.e., issued before October 21, 2022, will remain in force.

Similarly, it is important to note that holders of Visa Type R granted under Resolution 6045 of 2017 or previous regulations must apply for the new issuance of the same within the following 2 years counted from October 21, 2022, date of entry into force of the new Resolution 5477 of 2022.

What types of Permanent Resident Visa can a foreigner apply for in Colombia?


Any foreigner may apply for a Permanent Resident Visa to Colombia when they are in any of the following situations contemplated in Article 22 of Resolution 5477 of 2022:

Resident Visa to Colombia for Renunciation of Nationality

  • Any person who has been a Colombian national, either by birth in the country or by adoption, who has renounced his nationality, may apply for the Permanent Resident Visa to Colombia.
  • The foreigner in this situation must submit a letter of request in which they explain the means of subsistence they have to survive in the country, and must also provide a certificate of renunciation of Colombian nationality or the respective letter of naturalization in a foreign country.
  • Additionally, with this type of visa, the main holder has the right to request a visa for his beneficiaries, i.e., their spouse or permanent partner, children up to 25 years of age or children with a disability, as long as they are economically dependent on him.
  • It is important to specify that the person who renounces their Colombian nationality while in the national territory must inform 'Migración Colombia' of their new condition as a foreigner in order for their stay to be considered regular. In this event, they will have 90 days to leave the national territory or to apply for the corresponding visa according to their migratory status.
  • Permanent Resident Visa to Colombia for accumulated time of stay in the country

    The foreigner who has remained in Colombia as holder of the Migrant Visa in its different categories, accumulating the minimum required time of stay for each one, may apply for the Resident Visa, provided that the respective Visa Type M has been granted before the expiration of the preceding visa. In this regard, it is crucial to clarify that the laissez-passer does not constitute a continuity factor for the calculation of accumulation of time.

    According to article 90 of Resolution 5477 of 2022, the minimum required periods of stay as holder of the Migrant Visa to Colombia for the application of the Permanent Resident Visa are the following:

    1. Minimum time of 2 years of permanence in Colombia with the Migrant Visa in the following categories: as mother or father of a Colombian national by birth or adoption, or as a MERCOSUR, Andino or stateless migrant.
    2. Minimum time of 3 years of permanence in Colombia with the Migrant Visa in the condition of spouse of a Colombian national.
    3. Minimum time of 5 years of permanence in Colombia with the Migrant Visa in the following categories: As a refugee, worker, partner or owner, independent professional, retired worker, investor, permanent partner of a Colombian national or, as a promotion to internationalization.

    Likewise, foreigners who have been in the country for 5 years as beneficiaries of a Permanent Resident Visa may apply for the Permanent Resident Visa to Colombia as principal holder, as long as they are over 18 years of age and can prove their independence and economic solvency.

    The foreigner holder of the Migrant Visa who complies with the minimum periods of stay mentioned above, must submit a letter of application for a Permanent Resident Visa in which they explain the source of income for the support of themselves and their beneficiaries in the country, as well as the circumstances that gave rise to the granting of the previous visas.

    Additionally, they will have to attach a copy of the foreigner's identification card, a copy of the visas and safe-conducts of which they have been the holder during the time of permanence, as long as they have remained valid during their validity, and the certificate of migratory movements.

    Now, in the case of foreigners with a Migrant Visa in the category of spouse or permanent partner, the Colombian spouse or permanent partner who supported the migrant visa must make the respective letter of request in which they state that their relationship and cohabitation persists with the applicant. In addition, they must specify their physical address, e-mail address, telephone number and must attach a simple copy of the citizenship card and a special power of attorney granted before a notary for the foreigner to apply for such visa.

    It should be noted that compliance with the requirement of accumulated time as holder of a migrant visa does not guarantee the granting of a permanent resident visa. Likewise, the visa authority has the power to verify the applicant's compliance with social security obligations.

    Resident Visa by Application of the Temporary Protection Status for Venezuelan Migrants

    Venezuelan citizens under the Temporary Protection Estatute for Venezuelan Migrants may apply for a Permanent Resident Visa to Colombia, in which case they must prove that they were holders of a Special Permit to Stay or Temporary Protection Permit in force for 5 years or have completed 5 years of accumulated time between both permits.

    Those interested in applying for a Permanent Resident Visa under this category may do so as of June 1, 2023. Likewise, it should be noted that this allows the principal holder to apply for a beneficiary visa.

    At the time of filling out the visa application form, Venezuelan citizens may present, instead of the passport, the valid temporary protection permit issued by 'Migración Colombia'.

    Special Peace Resident Visa to Colombia

    Those foreigners former members of the FARC-EP, who have completed the process of Abandonment of Arms and have submitted to the Final Agreement for the Termination of the Armed Conflict and the Construction of Peace, may apply for a Permanent Resident Visa to Colombia.

    In this event, they must prove that they have a regular stay in the country or, failing that, attach a valid residence permit issued by 'Migración Colombia;'. Additionally, they must attach a certification issued by the Office of the High Commissioner for Peace, stating the condition of having belonged to the FARC-EP and having completed the respective process of laying down their weapons.

    This visa gives the principal holder the possibility of requesting a visa for his beneficiaries. However, it is important to note that the beneficiary visa does not grant permission to work in the country.

    What is the validity of a Resident Visa?

    The previous Resolution 6045 of 2017 contemplated an indefinite validity for the "R" type Visa. However, with the entry into force of the new Resolution 5477 of 2022, the Permanent Resident Visa is valid for 5 years, i.e., its holder may be in the country permanently and legally for a period of 5 years.

    The holders of the Permanent Resident Visa must request the transfer of this visa every 5 years and in any case 1 month before the expiration date.

    It is important to point out that any immigration authority may request proof of your Colombian residence for immigration control purposes, so you will be able to prove your status through the foreigner identification card or Permanent Resident Visa granted.

    However, when the residence has been granted abroad, for the first trip to the national territory, the foreigner may also prove his residence status with the e-visa, a digital document containing the main data of the issued visa.

    What are the benefits of being a Permanent Resident Visa Holder in Colombia?

    The Resident Visa to Colombia grants an open work permit that allows the holder to perform any lawful activity in the general territory that produces money, except for pensioners.

    That is to say, if you are a holder of a Resident Visa, you will have the possibility of being linked to a company by means of a work or service contract without any type of inconvenience, or you will be able to exercise any other activity as long as it is allowed by law, and it is not considered as a crime in Colombia.

    Notwithstanding the foregoing, compliance with the regulations foreseen for the exercise of a profession or activity must be taken into account.

    Additionally, the permanent resident visa in Colombia allows its holder to carry out studies during the validity of the visa

    How do I apply for a Permanent Resident Visa in Colombia?

    To start the visa application process, you must fill out an electronic form through the website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, attaching the required general documents:

    • Recent digital color photograph with white background no larger than 300 kb.
    • Valid passport or travel document.
    • Copy of the main page of the passport with the most recent entry stamp or, failing that, copy of the entry authorization or safe-conduct that proves regular stay in Colombia.
    • The specific documents for each type and category of visa in digitalized form, in PDF and black and white.

    Resolution 5477 of 2022 establishes the documentation that must be submitted to apply for a visa in each specific case. However, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs may request additional documentation or conduct interviews when it deems appropriate. Likewise, the fulfillment of all the requirements does not presume the granting of the visa, since this decision is totally discretionary on the part of the Colombian immigration authority.

    When the applicant has filled out the electronic form and digitalized the required documents, the applicant must make the payment corresponding to the study of the visa, which has two stages of payment. The first corresponds to the study of the application, which must be paid within 10 calendar days following the generation of the reference number in the platform, so that the application process is not terminated.

    Once said fee is paid, the visa application is considered to be submitted in due form and authorized for review. In this regard, it should be noted that the payment of the application fee does not guarantee the granting of the visa. Likewise, the applicant must pay another fee corresponding to the issuance of the visa only when it is approved, having a term of 10 calendar days to do so under penalty of being interpreted as withdrawal of the application.

    However, citizens of nationalities exempted from short stay visa who apply for any type of visa in a territory other than that of their nationality must provide a copy of the document proving legal, regular or authorized stay by the immigration authority of that country.

    Once the application has been completed and all the requested documents have been provided, the authority in charge of issuing visas will have a term of up to 30 calendar days to issue an opinion on the foreigner's application, authorizing the issuance of the Permanent Resident Visa to Colombia, denying it or rejecting it. However, the term will be longer when it is necessary to consult with other entities for document verification purposes.

    In any case, the decision will be communicated to the personal e-mail address registered by the applicant at the time of filling out the application form.

    Finally, it is worth mentioning that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs may, at its sole discretion, verify online the judicial record of the visa applicant in the database of the National Police. Likewise, it may request the visa applicant to provide the background of his or her country of origin.

    If you want our immigration lawyers to study your case and perform the entire process of visa application and collection of documents, please contact us through the following Whatsapp number: +57 310 5706331.

    What decisions can the visa authority issue regarding a foreigner's application?

    The visa authority may issue 3 rulings on the application for a visa in Colombia. Notwithstanding the decision issued, no administrative appeal may be filed due to the discretionary power of the Colombian State to authorize the entry and stay of foreigners in the country.

  • Issuance of the visa application. Visa applications may be approved by the visa authority when they meet all general and specific documentary requirements and, in the judgment of the visa authority, the application is reliable and in the national interest.
  • Inadmissibility of the visa application. Visa applications may be inadmissible when the visa authority decides not to authorize its issuance, in which case, the process is terminated without prejudice to the interested party submitting a new application. According to article 98 of Resolution 5477 of 2022, the application may be inadmissible in the following circumstances:
    • When the applicant is in a situation of migratory irregularity, that is, when they do not have a valid visa, safe-conduct or permit for temporary protection.
    • When the applicant has incurred in infractions to the migratory regulations.
    • When the applicant does not comply with a requirement within the following 10 calendar days.
    • When the application does not comply with the requirements or there is an inconsistency between the activity that the applicant intends to perform and the type of visa requested.
    • When the applicant files his application before a Colombian consular authority without being in a regular migratory situation within its jurisdiction, or when he files it in Bogotá without being in Colombia.
    • When the visa authority decides to reject the application at its discretion.
  • Denial of visa application. A visa application may be denied based on the discretionary power of the Colombian State.
  • In this event, the visa authority must record the substantive reasons for the denial of the visa. Likewise, the foreigner will have a period of 30 calendar days from the day following the notification of the authority's decision to leave the country.

    With the denial of the visa, the applicant foreigner will not be able to register a new application within 6 months following the denial and the new application must be processed from their country of nationality or permanent legal residence.

    What must be taken into account when applying for a resident visa in Colombia?


    When applying for a Resident Visa to Colombia, it is necessary to verify that all documents to be provided for the visa application, other than identity or travel documents, have an issue date no more than three months prior to the registration of the application.

    On the other hand, all documents to be submitted by the applicant that have been created or issued abroad must have an apostille or legalization and an official translation into Spanish when they are not in this language. However, the paragraph of article 21 of Resolution 5477 of 2022 establishes that certifications or bank statements may be submitted without apostille or legalization and without official translation into Spanish, as long as their content is in one of the official languages of the Organization of American States (OAS).

    Likewise, it should be noted that the visa authority may require the applicant when the documents provided in the digital platform are incomplete or illegible or when the photo does not meet the technical requirements, as well as request a personal, virtual or telephone interview. In any case, such requirement must be complied with within 10 calendar days in order for the application not to be denied or inadmissible.

    Additionally, foreigners who are in Colombia at the time of making the visa application must ensure that they remain in a regular migratory status during the entire time it takes to process the visa, either having a valid visa, a safe-conduct or a residence permit, depending on each specific case.

    What Obligations Does a Resident in Colombia Acquire?

    A resident in Colombia acquires the following obligations in the country:

      Tax obligations

      For tax purposes, a foreigner who remains in the country continuously or discontinuously in the country for more than 183 days in a period of 1 year is considered a tax resident in Colombia. In such event, the foreigner acquires the status of taxpayer in Colombia, for which they must comply with all formal and substantial tax obligations established by the tax authority of the country called "DIAN".

      Among these obligations is the filing of income tax returns and the payment of this tax when the minimum amounts required by the Tax Statute are evidenced. Likewise, they must file a declaration of their patrimony in which they declare all the properties and other assets they have both in Colombia and abroad.

      Registration of foreigners and application for a foreigner's identification card

      The holder of the Resident Visa to Colombia must register in the Register of Foreigners of the Special Administrative Unit of 'Migración Colombia', and also acquires the obligation to apply for the foreigner's identification card within 15 calendar days following the entry into the country or the date of issuance of the visa.

      The foreigner identification card is the identification document granted to those foreigners who have a visa for more than 3 months.

      Obligation to inform change of activity, occupation, or trade.

      Foreigners holding a Permanent Resident Visa to Colombia, by virtue of having an open work permit, have the obligation to inform 'Migración Colombia; of any change of activity, position, occupation, or trade that they carry out in Colombia within 15 calendar days following the occurrence of the change.

    Important aspects to consider for the Permanent Resident Visa to Colombia


    Termination of the validity of the Permanent Resident Visa. The Permanent Resident Visa will immediately lose its validity in the event that the holder of the same is absent from the national territory for two consecutive uninterrupted years.

    Transfer of the Permanent Resident Visa. According to paragraph 6 of article 105 of Resolution 5477 of 2022, the main holder or beneficiary of the Visa Type R must request its transfer every 5 years and at least 1 month before the expiration of its validity through the website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
    In other words, they must request the new visa , as long as they use the same nationality with which they obtained it.

    Request personalized advice from immigration lawyers who are experts in processing resident visas in Colombia.

    In our firm, we have a team of lawyers who are experts in immigration law and in all the immigration processes required to obtain a Resident Visa to Colombia.

    Our lawyers will be in charge of evaluating the situation in which you are in Colombia, reviewing your documents, and guiding you regarding the viability of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to grant you your visa or not. Likewise, they are in charge of registering foreign direct investment and obtaining the investment certificates before the Bank of the Republic starts with the application process.


    Write to us on our Contact Form, schedule your legal appointment with our lawyers through the following link or contact us at +57 310 5706331.

    Want to know more about visa types in Colombia? Read our blogs about Visas in Colombia.

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