Since yesterday, August 11, 2022, the Benefits Verification Letter Service through the American Embassy in Colombia was completely suspended.

Why was the Benefits Verification Letter Service suspended by the Embassy?

This suspension measure is a completely ARBITRARY decision accordingly by the American Embassy. It was notified by email yesterday with IMMEDIATE effect.

Official notification from U.S. Embassy by email
Official notification from U.S. Embassy by email.

Who is affected by the suspension of the Benefits Verification Letter Service by the Embassy?

The suspension of the issuance of the income certificate endorsed by the American Embassy in Colombia, therefore, affects all Americans who already have retirement visas and need to renew them.

Therefore, it also affects all those who are in Colombia as tourists and want to obtain their retirement visa for the first time.

What should I do if I need the Benefits Verification Letter from the United States while in Colombia?

Overall, the ONLY option will be to carry out the authentication and apostille process directly from the United States on the updated benefit letter.

Moreover, it will be necessary to carry out the extra process to get the official translation into Spanish before being able to submit the document to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for the procedures of Visa Type M – Retirement.

What are the implications of the suspension of the Benefit Verification Letter Service by the American Embassy?

The suspension of the Benefits Verification Letter Service for American citizens in Colombia is a completely recurrent and necessary service for an extensive American population that lives in our country or that has the desire to settle and reside here.

This represents a great affectation from various perspectives:

1) Higher costs to obtain the certificate of benefits.

2) Increase in the time required for the complete benefits certification procedure, in order to comply with all the requirements of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs regarding documents issued outside of Colombia.

3) In many cases, difficulty in carrying out the procedure from Colombia and the need to leave the country to carry out the procedure from abroad.

4) Risks of loss of legal permanence in Colombia and payment of high fines with Migración Colombia if the certification is not obtained in time to carry out the corresponding visa process.

How can I help the community of Americans affected by the suspension of the Benefits Verification Letter Service?

If you are one of the affected Americans, or even if you are not directly affected but want to help, we invite you to write and submit a complaint about this arbitrary decision through the following email:

IMPORTANT: Please explain the inconveniences that this decision represents. Also, to emphasize that the purpose of the American Embassy should be to help Americans in Colombia and not make things more difficult.

What happens if I have the wrong benefit certification process?

It is significantly important to keep in mind that if you do not have the complete and correct legalization chain on your benefit letter, your visa application may be inadmissible or denied by the Colombian government.

How can I make sure to properly legalize my benefit letter from the United States to be used in Colombia?

In sum, to ensure that the Benefits Verification Letter process is acceptable to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in your Retirement M Visa process.  We advise you to seek the help of experts.

At we know and handle the benefit certificate apostille service. We will be happy to help you obtain it if you decide to contract our Visa Type M Retirement service.

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