The m-type Colombian freelance visa is granted to expats who want to practice their profession independently within national territory.
It was created to give foreign nationals the legal right to work remotely whilst living in Colombia for Colombian businesses and organizations. For expats who want to develop professionally whilst not being tied to any one enterprise, the Colombian freelance visa is now one of their most commonly applied for visas.
With this in mind, we’ve taken a look at how to apply for a Colombian visa as a freelancer in 2020, and the best way to guarantee a successful application.
Let’s begin by taking a look at some of the most common misunderstandings around what the Colombian freelance visa is and who can apply for it.
Colombian Freelance Visa Misconceptions
Before you apply for the Colombian freelance visa, it’s important to consider your current working status as a freelancer, and whether you’re likely to have sustained work for the duration of the visa.
For example, if you’re an international development consultant working on a short-term project with an NGO (non-governmental organization), the Colombian freelance visa will only permit you to work in a consultancy capacity. If you want to change to work full-time for the same NGO, you’d need to apply for the Colombian work visa. For more information on how to apply for the Colombian work visa in 2020, make sure you check out our comprehensive guide here.
Also, it should be acknowledged that the term Colombian freelance visa is a bit misleading. While this m-type visa will allow you to work independently for a Colombian organization, this does not extend to international, non-Colombian institutes which have no presence in Colombia.
Many people confuse the Colombian freelance visa for an opportunity to work remotely in Colombia for foreign companies, yet this is not the case.
If you’re unsure whether you’re eligible to apply for the Colombian freelance visa, consult with an experienced visa solutions agency who knows the ins and outs of the m-type visa process.
What are the Colombian Freelance Visa Requirements?
The process for applying for the Colombian freelance visa begins with submitting an electronic application to the government visa site la Cancilleria.
The process takes around 30 minutes to complete and requires you to submit the following information:
- A scanned copy of the first page of a valid passport. Also, a scanned copy of the entry stamp to Colombia, and copies of any previously held Colombian visas
- A passport-style photo with a white background and 3 x 4cm dimensions
- A visa application letter detailing your intentions of being an independent worker in Colombia, for how long and why
- A professional resume detailing your experience and background within your occupation
- Scanned copies of at least 3 certificates that show your educational and professional attainment for your occupation. These documents must be apostilled, translated and/or legally recognized by an appropriate authority.
- References from Colombian employers who have an interest in procuring your independent services.
- The previous 6-months of your personal bank statements. These must show that you’ve been earning over 10-times the Colombian minimum monthly wage ($877,903 COP). This means that you must be able to show an amount of $8,779,030 COP (roughly $2350 USD) every month.
Some of the following documentation will be easier to get than others. As you can see, applying for the Colombian freelance visa is no cakewalk, as the Colombian authorities take the validity of migrant visa applications very seriously.
If applications are submitted to la Cancilleria incomplete or erroneously, the Colombian government may ask for more information or entirely reject an individual’s visa application. To avoid any mistakes and make the process as stress free as possible, entrust this task with a Colombian visa expert who’s already helped lots of foreign nationals get the freelance visa.
How much does the Colombian Freelance Visa Cost?
There’s an initial mandatory visa application free of $52 USD that’s non-refundable even in the case of rejected applications. If your visa process is successful, a further $230 fee must be paid to have your visa stamped in your passport.
There are four methods for paying for the Colombian freelance visa:
- Servibanca ATM
- Banco GNB Sudameris (This can only be done in the headquarters of Migración in Bogotá at Avenida Carrera 19 No. 98-03, Edificio Torre 100, 1st Floor. Payments must be made in cash by pesos. During quarantine, you may only visit Migración headquarters by special request)
- Visa Credit/Debit card
It’s worth noting that this does not cover fees for acquiring supplementary documentation for the visa application, the transportation of your passport to the Migración (Colombian immigration) headquarters in Bogotá, nor your Colombian ID (la cédula extranjería).
For passport courier services and getting your Colombian ID, reach out to a visa service specialist.
Can I Still Apply for the Colombian Freelance Visa During COVID-19?
Yes, if you’re still on Colombian soil.
The Colombian government issued a national quarantine on March 25th, as a responsive measure to the novel COVID-19 pandemic. This has meant travel to and from different parts of Colombia have been heavily restricted or stopped altogether.
What does this mean for the Colombian expat community?
That leaving the country has become extremely difficult, while entering it has been impossible.
As a result, Migración are only accepting visa applications from foreign nationals already in Colombia. Individuals applying for the Colombian freelance visa through a consulate or embassy in another country will be denied.
Apply for the Colombian Freelance Visa through an Experienced Agency
The Colombian freelance visa is ready to be applied for right now.
Many in the expat community have already secured their legal right to practice their profession independently in Colombia. The majority of these successful applications are done through a quality visa services agency.
1). Quality visa services agencies are experienced in Colombian administration processes
2). Quality visa services agencies are bilingual, meaning they can clearly explain the application steps to you in English while taking care of any communication with Colombian authorities in Spanish.
3). Quality visa services agencies get results for their clients.
If you’re looking for the above, and for someone to take away the headache of applying for a Colombian visa, why not reach out to us today for a free consultation by booking a call?