Designed and intended for those making investments in Colombian property and business, getting a Colombian investors’ visa allows a foreigner to live permanently in the country. Keeping reading and learn how your investment in Colombia can provide you with the opportunity to gain residency in Colombia.
Why invest in Colombia?
Did you know that Colombia is one of only two countries from Latin America (alongside Panama) to have not seen any full year negative economic growth since the turn of the millennia? In fact, it’s remained consistently above the 2% growth threshold. It’s this that allows this happy nation to offer a stable economic environment, allowing investors to comfortably develop their projects with access to international markets of over 1.5 billion consumers through regional trade agreements. Colombia’s various cities all offer something slightly varied in regards to viable commercial opportunities. From Cartagena’s historically unique tourism to the entrepreneurial hub that is Medellin all the way to the country’s latest wide-scale international involvement in medicinal marijuana, Colombia is a nation growing in confidence and diversity, further asserting its dominance as an international global force.
Your Colombian Investors’ Visa
There are two broad types of investors’ visas These are:
- Migrant (M) Visa
- Resident (R) Visa
Both have varying requirements as they are visas intended for different purposes, with the Resident visa indicating a more permanent stay for the foreseeable future. Qualifying for your desired visa depends on the weight of your investment relative to the Colombian minimum monthly salary. As is obvious, your nominal investment will fluctuate depending on the exchange rate with the COP, so always keep an observant eye out.
Investors’ visas are relatively easy to obtain once you’ve already invested in Colombia, and the best way to obtain your visa is through local support from a Colombian legal firm.
Investing in an Existing Company or Your Own Colombian Business
Investing the right amount of capital in a Colombian business will make you eligible for an investors visa. This visa can be obtained through either investing in an existing Colombian company or through the formation of your own Colombia company (for which 100% foreign ownership is permitted), and investing the required capital in this company.
Migrant (M) Investor Visa
- Investing in an existing business: For many investors, this is a safe choice with the investment being made in either the stock market or into a privately-owned company.
- Creating your own company: Also a viable option given Colombia is full of attractive business opportunities. Forming your own company will allow you to take advantage of all that the local market has to offer.
What else will I need for my Migrant Investor visa?
In addition to the quantitative investment requirement above, you will need to have a letter of request and, for stock investments, a certificate of share composition, both of which are relatively simple to arrange through the help of a local law firm.
Investing in Colombian Property
Foreign are allowed to legally purchase property in Colombia. These property investments, unlike with solely business investments, allow for foreigners to obtain either a Migrant (M) or Resident (R) property owner visa. The length of this visa is either (3) or (5) years, depending on how much money you invest (i.e the price of the property).
MIgrant (M) Property Owner Visa
Obtaining a migrant property owner visa requires a larger investment into Colombian real estate, worth at least 350 times the minimum monthly salary.
Resident (R) Property Owner Visa
Given that your stay in Colombia is perceived to be more permanent, this visa permits lawful employment without restriction. Please note that R visas require larger investments than M visas. This must be an investment in Colombian real estate in an amount greater than 650 times the minimum monthly salary.
What else will I need for my M or R visa?
Similarly to the Migrant (M) investor visa, you’ll need some additional documentation before you can obtain your (R) property owner visa.
KEEP IN MIND: To obtain a visa through a real estate investment, you must provide proof of the investment (purchase) with the Colombia Central Bank ‘Department of International Exchange of the Banco de la Republica’.
‘Q n A’ regarding the Colombian Investors’ Visa
How long is my investors’ visa valid for?
- M visas are valid for a total period of 3 years but become invalid if you are not present in Colombia for 183 days per year.
- R visas are valid for a total period of 5 years, after which, you may renew it and apply for citizenship. Leaving Colombia for more than 2 years during that period will invalidate your visa.
Do I need to come to Bogota to complete the visa process?
- Yes. The final stage of the visa process is completed in Bogota so your passport will need to pass through there in order to receive the visa stamp.
Will I need a ‘cédula de extranjería’ in addition to my visa?
- Yes. After being issued, you have 15 days to register your visa and obtain your ‘cedula de extranjería’ with Migración Colombia or, if received from a Colombian consulate abroad, 15 calendar days after your next arrival in Colombia. This must be done in person due to the photographing and fingerprinting process necessary. This process must be completed in a Migración Colombia office. You can find a complete list of those offices here.
Interested in Obtaining Your Colombian Investors’ Visa?
The terrain is diverse, the people are warm and the commercial opportunities are present. Owing to its stunning natural beauty and stable home for your investment needs, it’s indeed the perfect place to invest, work and live.
At Biz Latin Hub, we have a team of professional lawyers who are specialized with investment and immigration law ready to help with any queries you may have. For more on why to invest in Colombia and tips on incorporating a business here, reach out to Oliver at [email protected].
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