Table of Content
For some past months, there has been discussion about possible changes regarding Colombian visas, and precisely, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has just issued a new resolution that will become effective as of October 20.
Resolution 5477 of July 22, 2022, will replace the 2017 resolution, bringing as a consequence the implementation of new visa categories, new mandatory requirements, and some changes of major impact.
If you want to know the main updates of the new resolution, continue reading. Also, we invite you to subscribe to ourNewsletter to be among the first to receive our next articles. We are working on all the explanatory material about the new Colombian regulations for the application and granting of visas in accordance with resolution 5477 of 2022, you won’t want to miss it!
When will the new resolution 5477 be implemented?
⚠️ IMPORTANT! Resolution 5477 of July 22, 2022, will start to be fully implemented as of October 20, 2022. However, it is possible that the Colombian government will start the transition as early as now by requesting some of the new requirements. So if you are in the process of applying for a visa or wish to start a visa process soon, we recommend you to read this article carefully and ask for specialized advice.
Will the visa types change?
No. The new resolution keeps the same types of visas as the current V (Visitor), M (Migrant), and R (Resident), but with some changes in the granting times, requirements, and permits, among others. In addition, the new visa resolution comes with the update that some visa categories are modified (change from type V, M, or R) and also introduces new options for the development of certain specific activities.
How does the new Resolution 5477 affect foreigners who are already holders or beneficiaries of a current visa?
The visas that allowed accumulating time for residency under the previous regulation will be added for the counting of time under the new regulation as long as at the time of the resident visa application they have accumulated at least 2 years of effective permanence in Colombia under the previous visas.IMPORTANT:
Resident visa holders must make the transfer within 2 years after the entry into force of the new resolution.
What are the changes brought by the new visa resolution 5477?
Below, we share with you the complete list of visa categories and we will soon publish articles dedicated to the development of each one of them, so if you are interested in understanding and applying to any of them in particular, leave us your opinion in the comments at the end of this article and we will put it as a priority!
|Type||Nº||Visa Category||Maximum grant time||Minimum length of stay as a visa holder required to apply for residence for accumulated time.|
|Visitor Visa |
|1||Airport Transit||30 days||Do not accumulate time to become a resident|
|4||Student - Read more>||2 years|
|5||Medical Treatment||1 year|
|6||Administrative Proceedings||1 year|
|7||Ship's crew member||1 year|
New (Read more)
|9||Event Participant||1 year|
Category change (Read more)
|13||Audiovisual Production||1 year|
(New) Read more
|15||Journalistic Coverage||1 year|
New (Read more)
New (Read more)
|18||TLC business visa||2 years|
|19||Non-accredited officials||2 years|
|20||Holidays and work||1 year|
|21||Work internships||1 year|
|22||Temporary Services Provider - Read more||2 years|
|23||Promotion of internationalization |
New (Read more)
|24||Rentista / Annuity|
(Category change) Read more
|Type V Courtesy Visa||1||Foreign government official||2 years||Do not accumulate time to become a resident|
|2||ICETEX Program||2 years|
|3||International agreements||2 years|
|4||Video producers||2 years|
|5||Supplementary measure||1 year|
|Visa de Migrante (M)||1||Marriage||3 years||3 years|
|2||Mother or father of Colombian national by adoption||3 years||2 years|
|3||Mother or father of Colombian national by birth - Read more||3 years||2 years|
|4||Mercosur||2 years||2 years|
New (Read more)
|2 years||2 years|
|6||Stateless person||3 years||2 years|
|7||Permanent partner of a Colombian national (Domestic Partnership)|
(New) Read more
|1 year||5 years|
|8||Refugee||3 years||5 years|
|9||Work||3 years||5 years|
|10||Business||3 years||5 years|
|11||Freelancer||3 years||5 years|
|12||Retirement||3 years||5 years|
|13||Promotion of internationalization||3 years||5 years|
(Category change) Read more
|3 years||5 years|
|Visa de Residente Permanente (R)||1||By renunciation of nationality||5 years||NA|
|2||Accumulated time in Colombia||5 years|
|3||For application of the Temporary Protection Statute for Venezuelan Migrants |
(New) Read more
|4||Peace process resident |
(New) Read more
The safe-conducts (Salvoconductos) do not constitute continuity of visas and will not contribute to the calculation of the continuity of the accumulated time at the moment of applying for a residence.
The visas granting time is decided by the Colombian government, the maximum times of granting indicated in resolution 5477 and described in the previous table, do not constitute obligatory for all the cases. The government may issue the visa with a shorter duration.
About types of visas
Type V - Digital Nomad
This category will be part of the visa type V (Visitor) and will allow the legal stay in Colombia, of many foreigners who wish to enjoy our country although their activities are performed remotely for people or companies abroad.
Type M - Domestic Partnership (spouse or permanent partner)
It will be differentiated between those couples who have a civil marriage and those couples who have their bond declared through a Domestic Partnership Union. This means that a new category of visa M – Permanent partner of a Colombian national is created, for which the couple must have formalized the bond through a Domestic Partnership for at least 1 year.
Type M - Father or mother of a Colombian national by birth
Will no longer be eligible directly for a permanent residence visa but will have to apply first for a type M visa for COLOMBIAN CHILD. Changed from type R (Resident) to type M (Migrant).
Type V - Rentista ‘Annuity’
Demonstrate that you own property in Colombia from which you receive an income equal to or greater than 10 SMMLV, which opens the door to obtaining a visa as a RENTISTA.
Type V - Student
The student visa M for primary and undergraduate studies disappears, and all studies regardless of whether they are of short or long duration, will be categorized within the visa type V STUDENT. In addition, virtual or distance studies will be valid, in addition to in-person studies.
Type V - Temporary services provider, Type V - Religious, and Type V - Voluntary
The obligatory nature of foreigners who are holders of residence to carry out the process of TRANSFER of visa every 5 years, before the expiration of the visa, returns.
Having a medical insurance or health policy with coverage against all risks in Colombia, becomes one of the most recurrent requirements, and in fact, it will be mandatory for almost all types V (Visitor) visa categories.
The passport again must have a minimum validity of 6 months at the time of visa application.
For some visas, it will be mandatory to present a criminal record from the country of origin or residence. For example, for the pensioner visa.
About the application process
Payment of the study fee
The maximum period to pay the study fee and for the government to start reviewing the application will no longer be 15 days but a maximum of 10 calendar days.
Time to study the application
Previously, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs indicated that the first pronouncement was issued within 5 days; However, it has been evident during the last few months that the government is taking longer and longer to review applications. Therefore, the new visa resolution 5477, specifies that the Visa Authority may take 10 calendar days to issue a pronouncement and up to exceed 30 days of study before issuing its final response in cases where it is required, for example, if it needs to make internal consultations to other entities.
A maximum of 3 requirements are established within a visa application study before issuing a final response. The visa authority may grant a period of up to 10 calendar days for the foreigner to comply with the requirement. If he/she does not comply within this time, the government may inadmit or deny the application.
A foreigner whose visa is denied must leave the country within 30 days of the denial and may not apply for a new visa until after 6 months and must do so from his or her country of origin or residence.
The maximum term to make the payment of the fee for the issuance of a visa after being approved, goes from 30 days to only 10 calendar days. If the foreigner does not make the payment within this time, the visa will be withdrawn and must start a new process from scratch.
It will be sent by e-mail within 10 working days following the payment of the fee. The electronic visa will continue to be a valid document since the physical stamping in the passport will not be required unless the Ministry of Foreign Affairs deems it necessary.
Visa change from Colombia
Foreigners whose nationalities have restrictions on entering Colombia first must apply for a visa through the consulate, when entering the country being holders of a TOURIST visa or any other type V category, will not be able to make the change of visa type/category from Colombia, but must return to their country of origin or residence and apply through consulate again.
The new immigration regulations through Resolution 5477 of 2022, although it represents the loss of category for several typical visas and greater severity in the requirements, also opens the way to new categories that could increase the possibilities of many foreigners who have projects in Colombia, and until now, their profiles did not fit in the list enabled by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
It is clear that the Colombian government is increasingly adjusting its immigration policies. We continue to be a very attractive country for foreigners, with requirements for obtaining long-stay visas that are increasingly more demanding, but strategically are still accessible.
Therefore, the recommendation is to leave the interpretation of the rule and its correct application to increase the chances of success of the visa process, in the hands of professionals and experts in the field. In expatgroup.co we offer our team of specialists and our personalized advisory service to our clients and the foreign community in general.
1. Does the medical certificate have to be done in the U.S., or can I have it done here (in Colombia)?
The medical certificate can be issued by a Colombian authority or by the medical health authority of the country of origin. This may depend on where the foreigner resides and where the foreigner will apply for the visa.
2. What should my physical and mental examination include?
It should be a comprehensive examination that evaluates in a general way the different aspects of the foreigner’s physical and mental health. Remember that being in good psychophysical condition will favor the government’s decision regarding the acceptance of your Colombian visa process.
3. Where can I take my Medellin physical and mental health exam?
For residents in Medellin, we advise you to take the exams in the diverse hospital network of the city (Hospital Pablo Tobon Uribe, Clinica Las Vegas, etc.). However, these exams can be performed by private doctors and psychologists who must have their respective professional licenses.
4. How can I obtain my criminal record from the FBI?
5. How long will my civil marriage be to apply for a Marriage visa?
The new Resolution needs to establish a minimum amount of time that the marriage certificate must be valid for the start of the visa process. However, keep in mind that for Marriage visas, proving a more extended period of relationship will always be a positive factor.
6. Can I cancel the medical insurance after my visa is approved and stay only with my EPS, or should I keep both?
To apply for a Colombian visa, you must have a health policy that covers the entire stay in the country, so it is not advisable to cancel the medical insurance. On the other hand, Resolution 5477 specifies that holders of a type M pensioner visa cannot be affiliated with the Colombian Social Security System.
7. Where can I take my fingerprints in Colombia to apply for a criminal record?
If you are in Medellin, we recommend the company inveatentos.com which has a home service in the metropolitan area of Medellin.
8. If I have a type R visa, will I keep my Resident status when I renew it?
Type R visa holders are required to undergo a procedure called Visa Transfer. When requesting the transfer, the government will initially respect the resident status as long as the foreigner complies with the necessary conditions to maintain the continuity of their residence in the country.
9. The background information submitted with the visa application must be issued by which authority?
The antecedents may be judicial, criminal, or police issued by the country’s authority where the foreigner has stayed during the last three years.
10. What is the use of the Salvoconducto now? Will I be able to use the time these to accumulate time, or if I have a Salvoconducto, will I lose all the accumulated time I already have?
The primary function of the laissez-passer is to preserve and demonstrate legal stay in the country. However, according to the new Resolution, the laissez-passer does not constitute a continuity factor for calculating time accumulation.
11. What information must the letter with my company have if I want to apply for the digital nomad visa to be accepted by the Colombian government?
The letter submitted must include the type of relationship and remuneration and must specify that the functions are performed remotely.