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Visa for investors in real estate in Colombia

March 20, 2023

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Visa for investors in real estate in Colombia

Foreigners who decide to buy a house or apartment in Colombia can 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 that you allocate for the real estate investment.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs is in charge of coordinating the expedition of visas in Colombia. Consequently, this entity regulates all the procedures that foreigners must follow to apply for a visa to invest in goods in Colombia and is also in charge of studying and approving the application.

At AGT attorneys, we have lawyers who are experts in processing visa applications for real estate investors. Additionally, they can provide personalized advice on the viability of the purchase of real estate 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 opening a bank account for payment in Colombian pesos, signatures before the notary, and 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 for which an investor of property in Colombia can apply, the requirements, and the respective procedure, among other important aspects.

What is the Colombian Property Visa?

The investor visa for property in Colombia consists of the authorization granted by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to foreigners who make foreign direct investments in the country through the purchase of the real estate. The Investor Visa (M) is established in Resolution 5477 of 2022 and allows the foreigner to enter and stay in Colombia.

What type of Visa can a Property Investor apply in Colombia?

The Resolution 5477 of 2022, which came into force on October 21, 2022, contemplates two foreign investment visa types. These are:

    Type M Visa for Investor:

    applies to the foreigner who has made Foreign Direct Investment or has acquired a property of his own and maintains the investment during the term of his visa. The foreign investment made must exceed a value of 650 minimum monthly legal wages in force.

    Type M Visa for partner or owner:

    which has as a condition to have constituted or acquired a participation in the capital stock of a Colombian commercial company in the minimum established amounts. This acquisition of capital or participation cannot be less than 100 minimum monthly legal wages in force.

How can I Prove Colombian Residency as a Real Estate Investor?

The type M visa for Investor and Partner or Owner allows for accumulating time to apply for the Resident Visa. The terms to apply for it are set forth in article 90 of Resolution 5477 of 2022.

Visa type R for accumulated time may be requested by foreigners who have remained in the national territory with certain type M visas. The time to be accumulated varies according to the type of visa held by the foreigner.

TYPE AND VISA CATEGORY Minimum length of stayrequired as visa holder
(M) Spouse of a Colombian national 3 years
(M) Mother r father of a Colombian national by adoption 2 years
(M) Father or mother of a Colombian national by birth 2 years
(M) Mercosur Migrant 2 years
(M) Andean Migrant 2 years
(M) Stateless Migrant 2 years
(M) Permanent partner of Colombian national 5 years
(M) Refugee 5 years
(M) Worker 5 years
(M) Partner or Owner 5 years
(M) Independent Professional 5 years
(M) Retired 5 years
(M) Promoting Internationalization 5 years
(M) Investor 5 years
(R) Beneficiary 5 years

Therefore, for the Investor (M) Visa, a minimum time of permanence as a visa holder is required in order to begin the process of the (R) Visa for accumulated time. Likewise, it will also be 5 years for the (M) Partner or Owner Visa.

The requirements for the Visa (R) application are the following:

  • Copy of previous visas and safe-conducts.
  • Certificate of migratory movements.
  • Letter of the request for the visa, where it is explained its current economic situation of income and its previous visas.
  • Copy of the foreigner's identity card.

What are the Requirements for the (M) Investor and Partner/Owner Visa Application?

    The applicant for the Type M Investor Visa must comply with the following specific requirements:

  • To provide registration of the Foreign Direct Investment, such registration is issued by the Bank of the Republic, in which it is stated that such investment was made in the name of the person and for an amount greater than 650 minimum monthly legal wages in force.
  • When the investment is for real estate, the Certificate of Tradition and Freedom must be provided. It must be in the name of the applicant foreigner and for a minimum value equivalent to 350 minimum monthly legal wages in force.
  • Presentation of bank statements.
  • Health policy.

    The Type M Partner or Owner Visa requires compliance with specific requirements:

  • Application letter that includes the company's name, address, and Tax Identification Number (NIT) of the commercial company and the main activity of the company.
  • Proof of participation, incorporation, or acquisition of capital of a commercial company for an amount greater than or equal to 100 monthly legal wages in force.
  • Bank statements of the commercial company.
  • In the case of stock companies, the participation in the company must be evidenced by means of a certificate of shareholder composition signed by a public accountant. The participation cannot be less than 100 monthly legal wages in force.
  • If it is a company of the energy mining sector, provide the title.

What is the Foreign Investment Registration? Why is it needed to apply for an Investor Visa in Colombia?

The Foreign Investment Registration consists on the procedure to be carried out by foreigners who have made foreign capital investments in Colombian territory. The foreign investment can be made on several assets, including the purchase of real estate in Colombia.

The respective registration may be made through the electronic forms provided by the Bank of the Republic. Once this procedure is done, Bank of the Republic will issue a Foreign Direct Investment certification that certifies that the holder.

Can holders of Investor Visas in Colombia have Beneficiaries?

Resolution 5477 of 2022, grants a series of benefits to the holders of the (M) Investor and (M) Partner or Owner visas.

The acquisition of both types of visas grants the principal holder the ability to apply for a beneficiary visa. The beneficiaries are defined in article 3 of said resolution. Therefore, a beneficiary is:

    Beneficiary or Beneficiary Holder, refers to the following family members, provided they are economic dependents of the principal visa holder: spouse or permanent partner; children up to 25 years of age; or a child with a mental disability".

Therefore, they may have as beneficiaries the members of their household who are economically dependent on them. The visa as beneficiary will have the same validity as the visa of the principal holder and may not exceed the validity of the holder.

To apply for a visa as a beneficiary, family members must present the following documents:

    1. Copy of the principal holder's visa of which he/she wishes to be beneficiary.
    2. Authentic copy of the Civil Registry or Certificate that certifies relationship, marital or family relationship with the main holder.
    3. Written communication signed by the principal holder in which he/she requests the beneficiary 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 reaches 25 years of age without being on disability.

    4. Documents verifying economic dependence.
    5. Beneficiary's passport.

How do I apply for a Real Estate Investor Visa in Colombia?

The foreigner may apply for the Investor or Partner/Owner Visa (M) in Colombia by filling out the electronic visa application form. Likewise, he/she must pay the application fee within the time period established for this purpose.

The following documents must be submitted with the visa application:

  • Valid passport, travel document, or Laissez Passer, in good condition and with free space for visas.
  • Copy of the main page of the valid passport, travel document, or Laissez Passer.
  • 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, except for 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 issuance of visas is a discretionary decision made by the President as Head of State, Head of Government, and Supreme Administrative Authority, and therefore he is in charge of Colombia's international relations. This power was delegated to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, so it will be under the discretion of the Ministry whether the visa is granted or not.

The Ministry will be in charge of reviewing the requirements and the application for its eventual issuance or rejection. In some cases, it verifies the applicant's judicial record in the database of the National Police and other databases. In some cases, the applicant may be asked to provide the background of his or her country.

The admission, inadmissibility, or refusal 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 visa holder may request a correction by providing the correct data.

It is important to have lawyers who are experts in immigration procedures, since they will be able to guide you with all the requirements and documents that must be submitted. Likewise, they are in charge of meeting the requirements made by the visa authorities at 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 in the following Contact Form.

In what cases can the "M" or "R" visa of Real Estate Investors in Colombia be Expired or Cancelled?

The (M) Investor Visa is valid for up to 3 years, however, it has a particularity. The Visa Authority must be informed of any change in the investment, since the visa itself will depend on it.

On the other hand, the (M) Partner or Owner Visa will also be valid for up to 3 years and is subject to the maintenance of the shareholding in the company.

However, there are also the following grounds for early termination of visas:

  • Death of the holder.
  • Automatic expiration when absent from Colombian territory for a period of time greater than 180 days during a consecutive year.

On the other hand, the cancellation of the visa is a procedure by which the validity of a visa is terminated for serious cases and forces the foreigner to leave the country.

If you have any doubts about the visa process in Colombia, do not hesitate to contact us at AGT Abogados. Our firm has excellent lawyers in immigration and investment law that will guide you in the selection of the visa that best applies to your type of investment and business activity.

What are the obligations for investors in Colombia with an Type M Investor or Partner/Owner Visa?

It is important to note that, according to Article 10 of the Tax Statute, investors in assets 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.

In other words, they must comply with tax obligations such as the filing of income tax returns, consisting of reporting the income generated in Colombia and abroad. Likewise, they must declare their patrimony, for example, specify the real estate acquired in Colombia and abroad.

However, there are some exceptions for not being tax residents in Colombia. If you need detailed legal advice on the tax obligations of investors in assets in Colombia, do not hesitate to contact our law firm.

In addition to the above, there are also the following immigration obligations:

  • Obligation to register as a foreigner: The holders and beneficiaries of the aforementioned visas must register in the Registry of Foreigners of the Special Administrative Unit of Migration Colombia within 15 calendar days following the entry into the country or the date of issuance of the visa.
  • Apply for the foreigner's identification card: Visa holders 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 three (3) working days thereafter at the latest.
  • To comply with the requirements of the Migratory Authority.
  • To process a safeguard when required.

Do you need to apply for a Visa as a Real Estate Investor in Colombia?

At AGT Attorneys we have legal professionals, experts in Immigration Law, with extensive experience in processing visas for foreigners who invest in the purchase of real estate in Colombia or make any type of foreign investment. Our lawyers are in charge of registering the foreign direct investment and obtaining the investment certificates before the Bank of the Republic and start 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. We will be happy to assist you!

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Categories: Visa to Colombia

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