colombian retirement visa


The Ministry of Foreign Affairs issued Resolución 5477, which updates the regulations and procedures for the different types of Colombian visas. On October 2022, these changes came into effect. See the new requirements below if you want to apply for your retirement visa.

The M type – Retirement Visa is one of Colombia’s most special and recurring visas. Probably, based statistics-wise, most applications are for American citizens; because of this, Colombia has become an increasingly great place to spend your retirement years.

The International Living newsletter, for more than 40 years, has been the best reference for choosing paradises abroad where the slogan is: «Live better, for less.»

What does 'International Living' say about Colombia?

According to International Living’s Global Annual Retirement Index 2024, Colombia ranks tenth position on the list of global destinations for foreign retirees. 

Overview of the top countries in the Annual Global Retirement Index by International Living
Overview of the top countries in the Annual Global Retirement Index by International Living

Among the advantages of retiring in Colombia, you can find the following:

Second most biodiverse country

You can easily find any climate and environment that suits your taste.

Easy to get a Pensioner Visa

Getting a retirement visa to live in Colombia is also quite easy.

Low costs and health assistance

You can enjoy of a low cost of living and a high quality but affordable healthcare.

Warm and welcoming people

Colombian people are friendly and hospitable, with a culture of sharing and supporting others.

Why Medellín is one of the best cities to retire in Colombia?

First of all, Medellín is a charming city and is one of the jewels of the Official Tourism Site of Colombia. It has been known for decades as «the city of eternal spring» due to its climate and its people. Besides, Medellín has a great cultural, gastronomic, landscape, and fun offer to all its visitors.

Furthermore, International Living, once again, gives us valuable information for foreigners who are considering moving to Medellín, mainly for those who are going to retire here and want to learn about the city’s features and opportunities.

The city of flowers

In the article ‘The city of flowers’, International Living explains how the lifestyle in this city is. Most noteworthy is that Medellín has a comfortable temperature that does not require heating or air conditioning, with low humidity and an insect-free environment.

It also mentions the advantages of having a pioneering transport system: Sistema Integrado de Transporte del Valle de Aburrá (SITVA), its cosmopolitan air made up of universities, museums, theaters, restaurants, and sports centers, among others, in addition to its world-famous festivals.

Besides, here we find a standard example about the cost of living in Medellín, a proposal of 10 interesting things to do in the city, information on whether Medellin is a safe place to live, and other interesting details for foreigners who are thinking about choosing Medellín as their retirement place.

To sum up, for these reasons and more, Medellín is at the top of the places to retire in Colombia. You can find other details in this popular Medellin Guru article: «12 Reasons Why Medellín is a Top Foreign Retirement Location».

What about the cost of living in a city like Medellín?

In the above-mentioned Medellin Guru article, Jeff talks about his ex-pat experience with a family of three that live very well on a monthly budget of less than $ 1,200 USD. And thanks to the exchange rate in Colombia, life has become increasingly cheaper in Medellín in terms of US dollars.

However, if you want to know more information about the reality of the budget to live in Medellín according to your particular case, we invite you to review the following articles:

Everything we have seen so far has made the retirement visa one of the protagonists and the 2nd most processed visas by the specialist team.

Why get a Colombian retirement visa?

Obtaining a retirement visa in Colombia will allow you to enjoy a magical paradise at a low cost. The retirement visa is one of the easiest and fastest visas to process. It takes about one month to have your visa approved and your Colombian ID card for foreigners (Cédula de Extranjería).

Download the OFFICIAL guide to request your Cédula de Extranjería

With the cédula de extranjería, you can open bank accounts and obtain a driver’s license, among other benefits. Remember that this is a visa to stay legally in Colombia. Still, as per the current legislation, you are not permitted to work in Colombia or become affiliated with the Colombian EPS system with this visa. 

You can enter and exit Colombia without any problem, but to keep your visa valid, you mustn’t stay outside of Colombia for more than 180 continuous days on the same departure. The retirement visa could be issued for one to three years, and you will always have the possibility to renew it. You can finally become a permanent resident when you accumulate five continuous years with this kind of visa.

What are the new requirements according to Resolución 5477 to apply for the Retirement visa?

To apply for a retirement visa, it is necessary to meet the Ministry of Foreign Affairs requirements based on the new Resolution Resolución 5477 of 2022. So, you will need to have the following documents:

Passport with at least 6 months validity and 2 blank pages.

Document that accredits legal permanence. If in Colombia: Copy of tourism stamp, tourism extension, safe-conduct, or valid visa and foreigner's identification card (as applicable).

Recent digital photograph 3x4 cm, white background, without accessories or glasses, fully facing the camera, neutral expression, and ears uncovered.

All documents issued outside Colombia must have an apostille and official translation. Expatgroup offers additional apostille service USA and official translation so that you can apply for the Retirement visa without any inconvenience.

FBI Background Check

FBI Background Check Service

The FBI Background Check service of, consists of intermediating with the FBI to obtain a digital background certificate for American citizens, that is valid before the Colombian government for visa applications from Colombia.

Updated psychophysical medical certificate (physical and mental condition), issued by the medical authority of the home country and/or residence according to the case.

Health Insurance policy with coverage in Colombia (all risks and repatriation).

Get the best insurance service with our Medellin Guru Partnership

Now, it's possible to buy any type of insurance online through our exclusive partnership with medellinguru.comA trusted and reliable source for all our customer needs.

Costs, Validity and Restrictions

Other matters related to Retirement Visa

Does the Retirement visa allow to have beneficiaries?

Yes, the Retirement visa in Colombia allows applying for a visa for beneficiaries as long as they are economically dependent on the visa holder for:

How long does it take to get a retirement visa approved in Colombia?

As we mentioned previously, the average time to process this type of Visa is one or two months.

Usually, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs that studies the application takes four weeks. If there are no additional requirements and everything is correct, the Visa will be approved in this period of time. After that, you will be able to get your Cédula de Extranjería.

Apply for your Retirement visa with

If you want to minimize the risks, increase your chances of success, and have professional assistance during the whole process of your Colombian visa as a retired person, you can hire the services of a specialized agency, at, we are an interdisciplinary team with more than 10 years of experience in services for foreigners, including the complete Colombian visa process.

Why should I use services?


$ 220.00 USD
  • Includes migratory advisory
  • Visa submit and registration
  • Registering visa / requesting “Cédula de Extranjería”

Do you want to get the step-by-step guide to apply for your Cédula de Extranjería?

At, we know that it is essential to have everything in order so that you can access all the benefits as a foreigner in Colombia. Therefore, we invite you to fill in your information to obtain the step-by-step guide to apply for your Cédula de Extranjería.

The step-by-step guide to apply for your Cédula de Extranjería

Contact us

52 comentarios en “Retirement Visa in Colombia: How to get it, costs and more – 2024 Update

    1. My retirement visa expires in January. I have been in Colombia almost a year.

      Can I get a medical exam in Bogotá for immigration instead of flying back to the USA – saving me time in waiting for an appointment, getting the medical exam translated and apostilled.

      I have my current Colombian Police certificate from October using my cedular number. Is this sufficient for my police check ?

      1. Hello, Geoff. A pleasure to greet you. Initially, the new Resolution indicates that you will be required to take the country of residence exam, meaning that you can start the application by presenting this exam, but taking into account that the Colombian government may request a medical certificate from your country of origin.

    1. Hi, David,

      To apply for the Retirement Visa, it is not necessary to have a specific age, the basic requirements are:

      -Pension certificate showing an income higher than three minimum salaries

      -Medical insurance policy

      If you want to start your process, do not hesitate to contact the leading agency in immigration and legal services in Colombia contact us at +19547993692

  1. Concerning the retirement visa, what if you can’t show a pension but have cash saved in your bank account? Enough to live on for the rest of your life? Can you get a retirement visa based on wealth?

    1. Hello Rob, thank you for writing to us, as the pension certificate is a necessary requirement to be able to apply for the Retirement visa it would not be possible. However, you can apply for other types of visas such as investment or business visas.

      Book an appointment with one of our experts to guide you on the best way to get your Colombian visa

    1. I hope you are doing well, Piero. Of course, first I inform you that currently the visa application is suspended until October 24, but we can start the process by gathering the documents and leaving them ready once they can be applied again.

  2. My previous m visa expired about 18 months ago and I have been outside colombia since then. When I reply for another one will they accept the old proof of pension docs and translation or do they go stale?

    1. Hi, Gerry, thank you very much for writing to us. No, when applying, you must have updated documents and remember the new requirements. Contact us, and we will help you step by step to apply for your Colombian visa.

  3. I received some information that retiree visa applications are currently frozen. Is that true? If it is possible to proceed, I would like to get a quote for TOTAL costs. I have my documentation prepared except for apostille. Thanks in advance.

    1. Hi, Ronald. I hope you are doing great! It is correct. Currently, the visa application is suspended by the government, but we can advance the documentation study so that everything is in order when the platform is enabled again.

  4. I have been living in Colombia in the past…Things have changed for getting an M type visa…What is a psychophysical certificate? How do I get it?

    Also, how do I get a criminal history record from the Colombian authorities?

  5. Hello, if a person obtains this Retirement visa, must the person pay tax on their foreign pension? I have read that the Colombian will charge 35% on all foreign pensions, but this seems a little extreme. Thank you

    1. Hi, Al, at the moment we have no information that the Colombian government is going to tax foreign pensions. In this case, I advise you to consult with your accountant.

    1. Hi, Craig! We know that to apply for renewal, you must have an insurance health policy. We must wait for future indications from the government related to eps. We will be attentive to inform you.

  6. I used your service for my Retirement Visa and found it to be excellent. I will need to renew it next year. Is that process any different than the original Retirement Visa?

    1. Hello, George, I hope you are doing well. As such, the visa renewal process has changed due to new requirements that pensioners must meet. For example, you must present a health Insurance policy, a background certificate, and a certificate of mental and physical health. We will gladly advise you so that you can have a successful process.

    2. Hello, George, I hope you are very well. As such, the visa renewal process has changed due to new requirements that pensioners must meet. For example, you must present a health Insurance policy, a background certificate, and a certificate of mental and physical health.

  7. I am going to retire early next year. I also own property in Medellin that was bought for more than COP 650,000,000 (which was the minimum for investment visa earlier). I plan to apply for a visa next year and am wondering which would be best for me, retirement visa or investment visa. Is one more difficult to get than the other and is there a benefit for one over the other? Thanks!

    1. Hello, thank you very much for writing to us. Either of the two visas is a great option. Still, before giving you a specific answer, we would have to study your case and verify, for example, if the purchase of the house was made correctly and if, on the other hand, you meet all the requirements to apply for a pensioner visa.

      I advise you to make an appointment with our experts so we can advise you on which is the best visa for you.

    2. Hi, Tinku. Either option is viable if you meet the requirements. Therefore, I advise you to book a consultation with our experts to guide you through the process and help you verify the best visa for you.

  8. Good morning, Richard, nice to greet you. When starting the process of renewing your visa, you must have a Health insurance policy to comply with the new requirements of Resolution 5477.

    1. Hello, there are several reasons for foreigners to pay taxes, on the one hand, if they own property, and on the other, if they bring money into Colombia. I invite you to consult with an accounting expert. Regards

  9. Hi, I am getting ready to move back to Colombia at the end of year around the 30th of December. I lived in Colombia for over 8 months during lock down in 2021. I am wondering if I need to police report for all the countries I have lived in. USA, Mexico, Colombia, Ukraine, Albania. lived in all for a time. I am living in Mexico now on a tourist visa. Also I see that insurance is required, I turned 76 this year so may not get insurance. I keep a $1,000 in bank to fly back to USA if I get sick or have problems. Have great insurance in USA but it only covers that country.

    1. Hello, Donald. As stated in article 5477, the records must be issued from the country where you have been residing for the last three (3) years with the formalities of apostille or legalization and translation. In this case, you could present the background of the countries where you have resided in the last 3 years. On the other hand, the health insurance policy must have coverage in Colombia and cover all risks. Age is not a problem, we currently have alliances with two of the best insurance companies so that you can comply with this visa requirement

  10. Hi, I am going to move to Colombia on the 30th of December. I just turned 76 this year, have lived in USA, Mexico, Colombia, Ukraine and Albania, I am now living in Mexico. I not sure if I can get insurance at my age. I have great insurance in USA but it does not care to any other country. So I just leave around $1,000 to fly home if something happens. So can I get a retirement visa.

    1. Good morning, Dave, although for some types of visas the Colombian government requires a criminal record for the last three years, it is at the discretion of the Colombian government to approve or not the visa. It is always a good idea to try to apply and comply with all application requirements to increase your success.

      1. Hi

        Can I apply for a pension visa in Columbia?

        Do I have to stay in Columbia while the application is being processed?

        Can I add my wife as part of the application?

        1. Hello, Sebastian. I hope you are doing well. To apply for the Colombian Retirement visa, you can do it in Colombia or from the country of origin. If you do it from Colombia, you must ensure that you have the estimated time for the visa process (we advise two months). On the other hand, if the visa is approved, you can apply for a beneficiary visa for your wife.

          We will be glad to help you in your process; don’t hesitate to get in touch with us

  11. I’m exploring options to retire outside of the US. Does Resolution 5477 prevent expat retirees from buying into EPS? Many retirees may not qualify for private insurance due to age or pre-existing conditions.

    1. Hi, Julia, it is correct according to Resolution 5477 if you apply for a Retirement visa you will not be able to access eps, that is why it’s necessary to have a Health Insurance

        1. Good morning Ken. Thank you very much for choosing to start your process with us. We are very happy to hear from you. During the day, your assigned agent will contact you to provide you with all the step-by-step instructions so you can successfully obtain the M-type retirement visa.

  12. Hello,

    Could you clarify something for me? Article 77 of resolution 5477 says the following:

    1,) Demostrar que cuenta con cubrimiento de salud en Colombia, o
    2.) con póliza de salud con cobertura en el territorio nacional contra todo riesgo en caso de accidente, enfermedad, maternidad, invalidez, hospitalización, muerte o repatriación, por el tiempo previsto para su permanencia en eI pais;

    This a case of either or, or one or the other.

    To me, enrolling in EPS, demonstrates that a persona has health coverage in Colombia. In other words, to me, EPS meets the requirement «Demostrar que cuenta con cubrimiento de salud en Colombia».

    So my question is: Where in Resolution 5477 does it say EPS doesn’t qualify for the renewal of a pensioners’ visa?


    1. Hello, Barley greetings. Thank you for writing to us. In the Resolution, you will find the validity that says, «This visa will not allow its holder to affiliate with the Colombian Social Security System» (Está visa no le permitirá a su titular afiliarse al Sistema de Seguridad Social colombiano), which refers to the eps. For the moment, those who are going to renew or apply for the visa for the first time will not be able to affiliate with the Colombian eps. For this reason, it is necessary to have health insurance that complies with what is described in the Resolution: coverage throughout Colombia against all risks, including death, repatriation, etc.

  13. Hello,
    My husband has a M visa as my spouse and it’s valid until June. I can’t find any information about how to renew his visa. What’s the process to renew the M visa?

  14. I have only been back in the US for two years, and the country I was in before is nearly impossible to get such documents from. Does this mean I cannot get a retirement visa for Colombia?
    Also, what do I have to do to get a psychological certification? Do I have to see a psychiatrist here before I travel to Colombia? Is there some kind of document from my regular medical doctor that will suffice? If so, what exactly must the doctor include?

    1. Good morning, Mr. Jeff. We understand that the new requirements may seem very difficult to obtain; as indicated in the resolution, it is important to attach the criminal record of the country where you have resided for the last 3 years (if you do not have this document, it will be a very complex application). On the other hand, physical and mental tests can be done with your trusted doctor. To solve all your doubts so that you can start a successful process, we invite you to schedule an appointment with our experts, we will help you.

  15. I have so many questions. I am a US citizen and planning to apply for a retirement M visa for Colombia. I can print out the PDF file from Social Security showing my monthly benefit but there are no signatures on it. I have no idea how to get a mental health statement or a criminal background check or from whom. I see that I can buy health/travel insurance through Assist Card but do I pay for an entire year even though after I receive the visa and the cedula card I am then eligible for Colombias health insurance? I plan to apply when I return to Colombia in the Fall of 2023. Approximately how long does this process take to receive the M Retirement visa. I was in Bogota in January & February this year (58 days) and when I return in October I want to receive the retirement visa so I do not need to leave at the end of the 90 days I am allowed as a tourist.
    I have also read that at the moment, even AFTER I receive the retirement visa and the cedula card, I am now NOT eligible to receive Colombian national health care. There seem to be a LOT of conflicting information

    1. Good afternoon, John. Thanks for leaving us all your questions. One of our specialists is going to contact you soon to help you walk through your process. Have a great rest of your day!

  16. I am in the beginning steps to apply for a retirement visa. I can get a Benefit Verification letter from the US Social Security Administration but there is no signature as is shown in the sample document on your website.

    1. Good afternoon, John. We hope that you are doing well. If there’s no signature on the letter, it could work as long as an official entity has issued it and it shows the amount of income you make with your retirement payment. If you need any help throughout your process, you can book an appointment with us; we will be happy to help you!

  17. Hi, can you become a citizen of colombia after staying in the country for a certain amount of years on a retirement visa? And if yes, how many years does one have to be in colombia till being able to ably for citizenship? I am 49 and retired btw. Am I eligible for a retirement visa at this age? Thank you.

    1. Hi David! Thank you for your comment and for being a part of the community. If you have all the required documentation and you are retired, then you’re eligible for a retirement visa. Also, with this visa you can accumulate time to apply for the residency in Colombia. if you need professional advisory, please follow this link:

      Have a great day!

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