Visa for investors in real estate in Colombia
September 07, 2022
Foreigners who decide to buy a house or apartment in Colombia have the possibility to access a residence permit as a resident or migrant as long as the value of the property purchased meets the minimum amount established by Colombian Law. In this sense, obtaining a visa will depend on the capital you allocate for the real estate investment.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs is in charge of coordinating the issuance of visas in Colombia, that is to say that this entity regulates all the procedures that foreigners must follow to apply for a visa to invest in real estate in Colombia and it is also in charge of the study and approval of the same.
At AGT, we have expert lawyers to process visa applications as a real estate investor and to provide personalized advice on the viability of the purchase of the property through a title study, in order to ensure that the property is free of mortgages, liens or other encumbrances that may affect the assets of the future owner. In our firm we take care of all the formalities of the purchase, such as the opening of a bank account for payment in Colombian pesos, the documents to be registered in the notary's office, the registration of the public deed, among others. Contact us at the following contact form, or contact us by WhatsApp at the following number: +57 310 5706331
In this article we will explain the types of visas to which a real estate investor in Colombia can apply, the requirements, the respective process and other important aspects.
What does the Real Estate Investor Visa in Colombia consist of?
The real estate investor visa in Colombia consists of the authorization granted by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to foreigners who make foreign investment in the country through the purchase of a real estate property allowing them to enter and stay in Colombia for being within one of the conditions of Resolution 6045 of 2017.
What are the Visas for which a Real Estate Investor in Colombia can apply?
Resolution 6045 of 2017 contemplates two types of visas for real estate investors in Colombia. Each of these visas have different terms and requirements:
1. Migrant Visa as a Real Estate Investor "Type M"
This visa applies to foreigners who purchase real estate for an amount equal to or greater than 350 current legal monthly minimum wages. The minimum wage in Colombia for the year 2022 is one million Colombian pesos ($1,000,000).
Therefore, if the value of the real estate acquired is equal or higher than Three hundred and fifty million pesos ($350.000.000.000 COP) then you may apply for this type of visa to enter and stay in the country for a term of 3 years.
- This type of visa does not grant a work permit.
2. Resident Visa "Type R":
This visa applies to foreigners who purchase a real estate property for an amount greater than 650 legal monthly minimum wages in force. Therefore, if the value of the property purchased is more than six hundred and fifty million pesos ($650,000,000 COP) then you may apply for the type R visa in order to have a residence permit in Colombia.
The Type R visa allows permanent stay in Colombia, since it is granted for an indefinite period of time. Likewise, this visa grants a work permit, that is to say, it allows foreign residents to render paid services as long as they perform lawful activities in the country and that are not contrary to the provisions of Colombian Law.
How can I prove my Colombian residency as a real estate investor?
In order to prove Colombian residency, you can present the foreigner's identification card or the Type R resident visa to the authorities that require it.
However, foreigners under 7 years of age will have to have a visa sticker stamped in their passport or travel document to prove their resident status. The validity of the Type R visa sticker is 5 years, renewable for equal periods.
Foreigners may prove their status as Colombian residents with the "E-Visa", a digital document containing the Type R visa when it has been granted abroad and is not held in a physical document.
What are the Specific Requirements for the Type M and Type R Visa Application?
The applicant for the Type M visa must comply with the following specific requirements:
- The amount of the purchase of the real estate must be equal to or greater than 350 minimum monthly salaries in force.
- Registration of the direct foreign investment of the purchase of real estate. The foreigner applying for the Type M visa must present a communication from the International Exchange Department of the Bank of the Republic, where it is accredited that the foreign direct investment of the purchase of the real estate has been registered.
- Present the Certificate of freedom and tradition of the acquired real estate. This is a public document that registers who is the current owner, therefore, it proves the ownership of the property before the visa authority.
The Type R residence visa only requires the fulfillment of two specific requirements:
- The amount of the purchase of the real estate must be higher than 650 minimum monthly salaries in force.
- To provide documentation from the International Exchange Department of the Bank of the Republic showing the registration of the foreign direct investment in its name for the established amount.
What does the Foreign Investment Registration consist of in order to apply for a Real Estate Investor Visa in Colombia?
The registration of foreign investment consists of the procedure to be carried out by foreigners who have made foreign capital investment in Colombian territory. The foreign investment may be made on several assets, including the purchase of real estate in Colombia.
The respective registration may be made through the online forms provided by the Bank of the Republic. Once this procedure is completed, the Bank of the Republic will issue a foreign direct investment certification that accredits the holder.
Can holders of Investor Visas in Colombia have Beneficiaries?
According to article 26 of resolution 6045 of 2017, the holders of Type M and Type R visas may have as beneficiaries the members of their family nucleus who are economically dependent on them (spouse, permanent partner, parents, children under 25 years of age or older when they have a disability that prevents them from being economically independent).
The Type M or Type R visa as beneficiary will have the same validity as the visa of the principal holder. The beneficiaries of these visas are not allowed to work in Colombia.
To apply for a visa as beneficiary, family members must present the following documents:
1. copy of the visa of the principal holder of which he/she wishes to be a beneficiary.
2. Authentic copy of the Civil Registry or Certificate that certifies kinship, marital or family relationship with the main holder.
3. Written communication signed by the principal holder in which he/she requests the beneficiary's visa and makes a declaration of dependence and economic responsibility for the expenses of the beneficiary's trip or stay in Colombia.
It should be noted that the beneficiary's visa will expire when he/she ceases to be economically dependent on the principal holder, when he/she loses the status of spouse or permanent partner of the principal holder or when the beneficiary child turns 25 years old without having a disability.
How do I apply for a Real Estate Investor Visa in Colombia?
The foreigner may apply for a visa to invest in goods in Colombia by filling out the electronic visa application form. Likewise, he/she must pay the application fee within the time specified for this purpose.
Along with the visa application, the following documents must be submitted:
Valid passport, travel document or Laissez Passer, in good condition and with free space for visas.
Copy of the main page of the passport, valid travel document.
Foreigners requesting a visa while in Colombia or in the territory of a State other than that of their nationality, must provide a copy of the document proving their authorized legal stay.
The documents submitted must have an issue date no more than three months prior to the registration of the application, with the exception of identity documents.
It is important to note that Colombian regulations establish the requirements to apply for visas. However, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs may request additional documentation or conduct interviews when it deems it necessary. Likewise, the approval of the visa is a discretionary decision of the authority, therefore, the fulfillment of all the requirements does not mean that the visa will be granted, it simply serves to study the merits of the visa application.
The visa authority in some cases verifies the applicant's judicial record in the database of the National Police and other databases. In some cases they may ask the applicant to provide the background of his or her country.
The admission, inadmissibility or rejection of the visa will be communicated to the applicant within 5 days from the date on which the application was made. When the visa is approved, an issuance fee must be paid within 30 days. In case the visa has errors, the holder may request the correction by providing the correct data.
We recommend you to count on expert lawyers in migratory procedures, since they will be able to guide you with all the requirements and documents that must be presented. Likewise, they are in charge of meeting the requirements made by the visa authorities in the indicated times in order to guarantee the issuance of the visa and avoid inadmissibility.
If you would like legal advice, please contact our firm AGT attorneys in the following contact form.
In what cases can the Type M or Type R visa of Real Estate Investors in Colombia expire or be cancelled?
The visas type M and type R allow the constant and uninterrupted stay of the holder and beneficiary of the visa in Colombia during the term of validity that each one contemplates, that is to say, continuously. Therefore, if the real estate investor with a type M visa is absent from Colombia for 6 continuous months, then his visa will expire. If the absence from the country is for a period of 2 continuous years, then the type R visa will expire.
The period of absence is counted from the date of departure from the national territory as stated in the passport or immigration records.
However, there are also the following grounds for early termination of visas:
- Death of the holder or due to obtaining Colombian nationality.
- Issuance of a new visa.
- When the conditions for which the migrant visa type "M" was granted are extinguished, for example, in case the foreigner sells the acquired property.
- Cancellation of visas due to deportation or expulsion of the holder.
- Cancellation of visas when the applicant performs fraudulent acts to mislead in the study of the visa application.
What are the obligations of real estate investors in Colombia with a Type M or Type R visa?
Investors in real estate in Colombia who remain continuously or discontinuously in the country for more than 183 days in a period of 1 year, will be tax residents in Colombia. This means that they must comply with tax obligations such as filing an income tax return, consisting of reporting the income generated in Colombia and abroad.
Likewise, they must declare their patrimony, i.e., specify the real estate acquired in Colombia and abroad.
In addition to the above mentioned, there are also the following immigration obligations:
- Obligation to perform the alien registration. The holders and beneficiaries of Type M or Type R visas must register in the Foreigners Registry of the Special Administrative Unit of Migration Colombia within 15 calendar days following entry into the country or the date of issuance of the visa.
- Apply for the foreigner's identification card. Holders of Type M and Type R visas must apply for the foreigner's identification card before the Special Administrative Unit of Migration Colombia at the time of registration of foreigners or within the following three (3) working days at the latest.
- To comply with the requirements of the immigration authority.
- Process safe-conduct when required.
Do you need to apply for a Visa as a Real Estate Investor in Colombia?
At AGT Attorneys we have legal professionals with expertise in Immigration Law, with extensive experience in processing visas for foreigners who invest in the purchase of real estate in Colombia. Our lawyers are in charge of registering the foreign direct investment and obtaining the investment certificates before the Bank of the Republic to start the application process.
You can contact us at +57 310 5706331
or by filling out the following Contact Form
, we will be happy to assist you!
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