colombian retirement visa

The M type – Retirement Visa is one of Colombia’s most special and recurring visas. Probably, based on statistics-wise, most applications are for American citizens; Because of, 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 2020, Colombia ranks the fifth position on the list of global destinations for foreign retirees. Certainly, it has a privileged position ahead of countries like Ecuador, Malaysia, Spain, France, and Vietnam.

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

Colombia is the second most biodiverse country in the world, so you can easily find a climate and environment that suits your taste.

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

The low cost of living.

The high quality but affordable healthcare.

Warm and welcoming Colombian people.

Overview of the top 10 countries in the Annual Global Retirement Index by International Living

If you want more information, you can read the article: “The World’s Best Places to Retire in 2020".

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 of 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: “11 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 which 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 budgets to live in Medellín according to your particular case, we invite you to review the following articles:

Thereby, everything we have seen so far has made the retirement visa one of the protagonists and most processed visas by the specialist team.

How to get a Colombian retirement visa?

Visa Type M_Retirement

You only have to show that you are entitled to a lifetime pension income of three times the Colombian minimum wage, which represents in Colombian pesos $ 2,633,409 and in American dollars an approximate figure of USD 700. Please keep in mind that this amount may be higher or lower according to the changes in the official TRM and the exchange rate established by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs every four months.

Later we’ll explain exactly what documents are necessary for the application. But if you meet these monthly pension criteria, you may already consider retiring in Colombia and applying for a retirement visa.

Why to 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 stamped in your passport and your Colombian ID card for foreigners (Cédula de Extranjería).

With the cédula de extranjería you can access the health system, open bank accounts, obtain a driver’s license, among other benefits. Keep in mind that this is a visa to stay legally in Colombia but you are not permitted to work in Colombia.

You can enter and exit Colombia without any problem, but to keep the visa you mustn’t stay outside of Colombia for more than 6 months in the same departure. The retiree visa could be issued from one up three years and you will always have the possibility to renew it. When you accumulate five continuous years with this kind of visa, you can finally become a permanent resident.

What are the documents required for the Colombian retirement visa?

To apply for a retirement visa, it is necessary to meet the requirements of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. So we will need to have the following documents:

  1. Valid original passport with at least two blank pages. We’ll need a photocopy of the data page.
  2. Photocopy of the document that demonstrates your legal stay in Colombia or in the country in which you will apply for your visa (if it is to be requested through a Colombian consulate).
  3. Good quality digital picture 3×4 cm, white background without accessories.
  4. Pension certificate updated, apostilled, legalized and/or translated, if necessary, showing a monthly income above three (3) legal monthly minimum wages (USD 700 approximately).
  5. International Health Insurance Certificate: This must have a coverage of at least USD 70,000 and its duration must be a one-year minimum. Keep in mind that the duration of this visa will depend on the validity time of this health insurance policy.

Proof of pension must normally be apostilled; However, if you have a pension from the American government, we can easily help you obtain the official certificate from Colombia.

How long does it take to approve a retiree visa in Colombia?

As we mentioned previously, the average time to process this type of visa is one month.

Normally, it takes 2 weeks to get the pension certificate ready to start the visa application, then the Ministry of Foreign Affairs studies the application for 5-6 business days, if there are no additional requirements and everything is correct, the Visa will be approved and in one week more, you can obtain the visa stamped on your passport and your cédula de extranjería application.

How much does a retirement visa cost?

The costs of the retirement visa include two fixed fees from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs: $ 52 USD for the visa application and an additional fee of $ 230 USD for the approval and the issuance of the visa.

Also, 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, a private attorney, or a law firm. The prices of the service can range between $ 160 USD and approximately $ 500 USD depending on what you choose.

At, we are an interdisciplinary team with more than 10 years of experience in services for foreigners, including the complete Colombian visa process. If you want to know the detailed prices of our services, you can click below, fill out the small form and you will receive an automatic quote in a couple of minutes by email:

Why choose us as your specialized visa agency? Rating Rating
  • We have the best rating in  Google Business .
  • Automatic Budgets: You can get a quick and complete budget with the requirements and prices of the service you need. Completely online  here .
  • Virtual advice, scheduling of calls or in-person appointments to discuss visa requirements and process. ( request for appointments )
  • Chat online through the website and enabled online to get quick tips through WhatsApp.
  • Office of attendance and correspondence reception in El Poblado, in the city of Medellín.
  • English advisor if required.
  • Competitive price compared to other visa agencies. (Visa Agencies: 2020 Guide for Visa Agencies in Medellín and Colombia)
  • Document preparation, completed forms, and professional document review to increase your chances of success.
  • Online visa application.
  • Visa stamping service in Bogotá: when your visa is approved, we will take care of stamping it in your passport and returning it to you.
  • Assistance with visa registration before  Colombia Migration  and request to obtain your “foreign identity card" (identification card).

If you’re ready to get started or want to contact one of our advisors, tap the button below.

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