Visa Transfer Avoiding the expiration of my residency in Colombia

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With the entry of Resolution 5477 on October 20, 2022, the countdown of the transition regime began, which implies the mandatory processing of the visa transfer by any foreigner holding a resident visa in Colombia in force and whose issuance has been effective under previous regulations. 

Consequently, the Colombian Government determined that the process must be carried out within a grace period of two (2) years from the effective date of the aforementioned resolution. Within that time, all permanent residences that apply to this case must be reissued to prevent possible sanctions that may affect their validity.

The visa transfer by the transition regime for residency in Colombia has a deadline.
The visa transfer by the transition regime for residency in Colombia has a deadline.

At expatgroup.co, we have provided support to more than 2.800 clients regarding the various modifications introduced by the new resolution. However, we are concerned about the lack of awareness of the foreign community regarding the deadline for the visa visa transfer, as this could have consequences if not carried out on time.

In this blog, we will examine the crucial aspects of visa transfer introduced by the new resolution, so that you can comply with all regulations on time and ensure your stay in Colombia without inconveniences.

What is a visa transfer in Colombia?

For immigration purposes, visa transfer means a modification in the data contained in a stay permit through the issuance of a previously issued visa. 

This process can be performed with any type of visa, depending on each particular case, and constitutes an essential process to ensure that the information contained in it is real and reliable.

Article 105 of Resolution 5477 of 2022 introduces several cases in which you can carry out the visa transfer process:

Lost or Stolen Passport

If you lost the document with which you applied for the visa, you must start the process immediately after obtaining the new passport.

Change of passport

If you obtain a new passport, you can transfer your visa to this new document. This option is recommended and only applies to passports issued by the same country. If you wish to use another nationality, you will need to apply for a new visa with that citizenship, which will cancel the previous visa.

Correction of typing errors

If the visa was issued with errors and you did not request the correction within fifteen (15) days after its issuance, you will have to process the transfer.

Change of Contracting Party's Corporate Name

If you are the holder of a visa that requires an employment contract or a document linked to a company, and your employer changes the name of the company without changing the identification number, you will need to transfer your visa.

Inclusion of additional employer

If you are a holder of a visa that requires an employment contract and you wish to add a new authorized employer, it is necessary to perform the process. Please note that the activity of the new employer must be the same as the one related to your current visa.

Resident Visa Holders

All Resident visa holders must carry out a visa transfer every five (5) years, one month prior to the expiration date.

Do you want to start the process now?

Can my residency in Colombia expire if I do not transfer my visa?

Failure to comply with the process every five (5) years may result in the termination of the visa under Article 108, which states that the expiration date marks the end of the visa.

Furthermore, there is an additional case contemplated in Article 123 of Resolution 5477, which deals with the transition regime of the present Resolution and stipulates that, although residence visas issued under previous Resolutions will remain in force, all holders must complete the visa transfer within two (2) years after the entry of the Resolution.

In other words, if the entry into force occurred on October 20, 2022, the deadline to carry out the visa transfer is October 21, 2024.

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Remember that if the transition regime applies to your case and you do not complete the process before the deadline, the validity of the visa could be terminated in the same way as with the failure to transfer every five (5) years.

In both cases, Article 106 will be applied, which obliges the holder of a residency visa to present a Salvoconducto to advance the extemporaneous visa transfer after the deadline of the transition regime or the expiration date of the residency visa.

If the transfer process is not initiated, Article 111 states that, after the termination of the validity of a visa, you will have thirty (30) days in a regular migratory situation during which you must leave the country or apply for a new visa. If you extend your stay beyond the term of the self-cancellation of a visa, you will be imposed an economic penalty based on Article 13 of Decree 1067 of 2015, which demarcates this particular fact as a cause of moderate infraction.

Economic sanctions for immigration irregularities

Irregularity time

Approximate cost in COP

0 days$1.300.000
1 - 30 days

$1.820.000
31 - 60 days

$2.600.000
61 - 90 days

$3.900.000
91 - 120 days

$5.200.000
> 121 days$6.500.000

Don't miss the opportunity! We recommend starting the process before the deadline to avoid economic sanctions or your visa becoming invalid.

Please keep in mind that in 2024, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and expatgroup.co will increase their fees.

Do you meet the conditions for the visa transfer? Then don't wait any longer! Start the process now, before the costs go up. Don't let this opportunity pass by.

Visa transfer service of expatgroup.co

$ 220.00 USD
  • Includes immigration consulting.
  • Document preparation and visa application.
  • Visa registration / Application for "Foreign ID Card". (Appointment)

How is the visa transfer process?

Step 1: Verify that you meet the requirements and gather documentation

The first step is to make sure that you meet the requirements and are a holder of a residence visa in Colombia. In addition, your current visa must be valid at the time of initiating the process, and you must gather all the necessary documents for your application, which have been indicated by the Resolution in Article 106:

Copy of the visa you wish to transfer.

Copy of the foreigner's identity card related to the visa.

Certificate of Migratory Movements.

Document of certification or accreditation of the validity of the circumstances that gave rise to the issuance of the visa to be transferred (does not apply to processes related to Permanent Residence).

Letter of justification stating the reason for the transfer.

It is important to note that, even though the Resolution has indicated these requirements, The Ministry of Foreign Affairs under its discretionary power, could request additional documentation to proceed. Before initiating any procedure, we recommend that you seek advice from professionals specialized in immigration matters so that your application does not suffer any setbacks.

Get 20% OFF on the Visa Transfer service

Step 2: Complete the online application and make the corresponding payments

The next step involves completing the online application through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs web portal. Be sure to provide accurate and complete information. 

The visa transfer process involves an initial payment of the study fee, which must be paid at the time of application. Once the visa has been approved, you will be asked to pay the second visa issuance fee.

Visa Study Fee

54 USD

Visa Transfer Fee

54 USD

Step 3: Apply for a new Cédula de Extranjería (Foreign ID Card)

After completing the process, it is essential to apply for a new cédula de extranjería.

Cédula de Extranjería (Foreign ID Card)

61 USD aprox

FAQs about visa transfer process

What does visa transfer mean?

It involves changing or updating a visa by reissuing it to modify or add substantial data to it. In Colombia today, a visa transfer is also used to update residency visas issued under previous regulations to bring them up to date with the new Resolution 5477. This is necessary to maintain the legality and benefits of residency in the country.

When is the deadline of the visa transfer for residence visas in Colombia under the transition regime?
The deadline for the process is October 21, 2024.
Who is obliged to make the visa transfer?

All foreigners holding a residence visa that has been issued in previous Resolutions must carry out the transfer within two (2) years after the new Resolution becomes effective. Also, it is mandatory to carry out the process every five (5) years for all residence visas.

If my residency visa is valid for 4 years, but I have to make the transfer in less time due to the transition, will I lose the remaining time?

The Resolution in Article 123 clarifies that all visas issued under the previous Resolution will maintain their original validity. Basically, there is nothing expressed that indicates that the time of validity of the same will be modified at the moment of the transfer by the transition regime.

If I obtained a residence visa as an investor under the previous resolution but no longer have such investment, can I request a visa transfer to continue being a resident in Colombia?

Yes, since according to point 4 of Article 106 of Resolution 5477 of 2022, it is not necessary to provide documents proving the validity of the conditions that gave rise to the granting of the previous visa. 

 

Please note that the main mandatory requirement is not to have remained outside Colombia for more than two (2) continuous years. In addition, the government may request information related to your health contributions in Colombia (EPS), and proof of your source of income, as well as any other document it deems pertinent under discretionary power.

I obtained my residency after achieving the time with a spouse visa; but after acquiring the residency I got divorced, can I go through the visa transfer process?

Yes, because the resolution states that it is not necessary to demonstrate the conditions that gave rise to the previous visa, to apply for the transfer of a resident visa.  

However, remember that you must prove that you have not been out of the country for more than two (2) continuous years through a Certificate of Migratory Movements. Meanwhile the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, under its discretionary power, may request additional documentation.

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