What Are the Colombian Visa Requirements for US Citizens? – 2024 Update


According to data from Migración Colombia, more than 1’100.000 US visitors entered Colombian territory during 2023, which accounts for over 25% of all foreign visits to Colombia as of last year. 

Number of tourist that entered Colombia in 2023
Number of US Citizens that entered Colombia in 2023

Outside of the relatively short travel distance between the US and Colombia, as well as the tropical weather, there are many reasons why Americans choose to flock to the country of Vallenato and Empanadas.

Whether it’s about finding new job opportunities, property to invest in, a place to retire, or simply a new culture, Colombia has tempted millions of its northern neighbors to come to explore its breathtaking hills and beautiful rainforests. 

So, when it comes to having your visa information in order, there are plenty of questions. Do US citizens need a visa for Colombia? Are there specific US visa requirements in Colombia that differ from those in other countries? 

To keep you abreast of all the latest Colombia—US visa information, we’ve created a comprehensive article on the visa requirements for US citizens traveling to and staying in Colombia permanently.

Do US citizens need a visa to travel to Colombia?

Entry stamp to Colombia for 90 days
Entry stamp to Colombia for 90 days

US citizens with valid US passports don’t need a visa prior to traveling to Colombia. As a tourist, you can spend 180 days in Colombian territory per calendar year.

When you arrive on Colombian soil, immigration will give you a tourist stamp lasting 90 days. This tourist stamp can be extended for another 90 days if you don’t wish to exit Colombian territory. If you already have a valid Colombian visa that hasn’t expired, immigration will allow you to enter Colombia on that particular visa.

Before traveling to Colombia, US citizens must have proof of forwarding passage to their next destination, be it a return journey to the US or to a different country in Latin America. Failure to prove your travel plans after visiting Colombia could mean that you’re denied entry to the country. 

Valid documentation that proves forward passage would include flight, boat, or bus tickets leaving Colombia. Be aware that flight reservations—as opposed to booked seats—are not accepted as valid proof of forward passage. 

If you’re worried about any of your documentation before you arrive in Colombia, make sure to consult an experienced migratory services company prior to traveling.

What to do if you want to remain longer in Colombia, passed your 180 days as a tourist?

Many US visitors decide to extend their stay in Colombia passed their 180 days as a tourist.  Fortunately, the current resolution regulating visas in Colombia brought several changes. The most relevant, perhaps, is the introduction of a new Visa type V: the Digital Nomad visa. 

Not only US Citizens, but other nationalities that don’t require a tourist visa to enter Colombian territory, can also apply to this visa category. 

After the COVID-19 Pandemic, remote working has maintained its hype. Many countries welcoming digital nomads from around the world to their cities, embracing this way of living. Colombia, naturally, considered a paradisiac destination by many, hasn’t been the exception. 

Colombia has cities for all tastes and needs of digital nomads
Colombia has cities for all tastes and needs of digital nomads

Therefore, if you are a remote worker, or owner of an organization overseas, you might be eligible to apply for this visa, which you can do so from Colombia directly and can be granted up to 2 years, allowing you to remain for that time without leaving the territory and getting the benefits of being a holder of a Colombian Cédula de Extranjería (Foreigner’s ID). 

Other popular Visa types and categories among US citizens are the Visa type V Student, Visa type M Retirement and the Visa type M Business. We will be providing more information about this visa types below: 

Download the official guide on the Colomabian tax regime

Can US citizens study in Colombia?

After enjoying a well deserved rest from their vacations, many Americans decide to embark in the journey of learning Spanish. Maybe their middle school and high school Spanish classes were a good start. Nonetheless, when they come to Colombia they find themselves surrounded by a culture that is constantly feed by an always changing language full of colloquialisms and mannerisms that lack meaning when the context is not fully understood by non-Spanish speakers. 

After becoming enamoured by Colombian culture and having a true desire to understanding it fully, US citizens can apply for a Visa type V Student, by enrolling in a Spanish course approved by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. 

Can US citizens retire in Colombia?

US citizens can retire in Colombia
US citizens can retire in Colombia

Yes, US citizens and pensioners from other nationalities can retire in Colombia by applying for the retirement visa. This visa allows the holder to accumulate time to later on apply for the Visa type R: Resident. 

One of the requirements to apply for this visa category, is to receive a for-life-pension of more than 975 USD per month, that can come either from private funds or from the US Government (for US citizens). 

Under the current legislation, there is only one category of the retirement visa and, since October of 2024, the Colombian Government requires among other things a travel health insurance that covers the holder of the visa in case of accidents within Colombian territory and repatriation services. 

It is important to note, that visa holders will be required to get the Cédula de Extranjería, but won’t be able to access the Colombian EPS system, a change from the previous legislation. 

For more information on the requirements to apply for this visa, make sure to check out our article detailing the full process for how to acquire the retirement visa in Colombia

The visa application can be done online, from Colombian Territory. However, the consulate may require an online, in-person, or telephone interview.

Unfortunately, the Colombian retirement visa for US citizens does not preclude them from filing out tax returns to the IRS and should be handled with extreme care. Whether you will receive double taxation or not is something that you should consult organizations like American Overseas for more details.

What about Health Insurance for all these types of visas?

Colombia’s updated regulations in 2022 ask that medical insurance be obligatory for individuals with Visitor (V Type), including Digital Nomad Visa, and some Migrant (M Type) that provides extensive coverage for a wide range of potential risks, including accidents, illness, maternity, disability, hospitalization, death, or repatriation.

From this perspective, and resonating with the advice of our partner, Medellin Guru, Assist Card stands out as the best option. It provides coverage plans that fulfil all the stipulations demanded by Resolution 5477. 

The best part is the convenience of purchasing your insurance online. We suggest acquiring your insurance through Assist Card, choosing your travel dates, paying virtually, and instantly receiving your insurance voucher to apply for your visa.

At expatgroup.co we have the best alliance with well-known insurance company's recognized and
endorsed by the Colombian government for visa applications.
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assist card logo
10% OFF if you contract the visa service with expatgroup.co

What do US citizens need to apply for a Colombian Business visa?

US citizens can open businesses in Colombia
US citizens can open businesses in Colombia

Many US citizens decide to invest in Colombia after their stay in the country. Under the current legislation, a foreigner can apply to the Visa type M Business if they invest more than 32,500 USD in a Colombian organization, which has to be legally registered at the Chamber of Commerce. 

One of the benefits of this type of visa is that it also enables the holder to accumulate time for the Visa type R Resident

For starters, an American can either start a business of their choosing in the country, or investing in an already created organization and becoming a partner. 

For more information about how to start a business in Colombia, we invite you to take a look at our blog about this topic. 

Summing Up 

The process of acquiring a Colombian visa for US citizens isn’t particularly different to foreign nationals applying from other countries. 

Remember though, if you’re ever in doubt about aspects of your visa application, it’s always best to consult specialized Colombian migration agencies. Companies like these who’ve processed hundreds of visa applications for Americans are well-equipped to guide you through any doubts or queries you may have regarding visas in Colombia. 

Let your processes in expert hands

With more than ten years of experience and close to 3000 visas approved at expatgroup.co, we make sure to carry out processes with professionalism, quality, and attention to detail to achieve successful results.

Consult with our experts, and we will guide you through the process of collecting documents; we make the visa application, we are attentive to any requirement by the government, and we help you apply for your foreigner identification card (cédula de extranjería).

With more than 10 (ten) years of experience and more than 2,800 visas processed in expatgroup.co, we ensure that your process is carried out professionally and with great attention to detail under the highest quality standards and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs requirements, thus increasing the chances of success in your application process.

We encourage you to consult with our experts. We have experience in digital nomad visas with successful processes, where expats recommend us. We invite you to watch Josep Manier’s testimony and his experience with our service.

Why should I use expatgroup.co services?

Visa Services expatgroup.co

$ 220.00 USD
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  • Visa submit and registration
  • Registering visa / requesting “Cédula de Extranjería”

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