How do I get an investor visa in Colombia?
Foreigners wishing to invest in any city in the country need to obtain an investor visa.
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Colombia has become a country with a high potential for foreign investment, being the third largest economy in Latin America and one of the most economically stable countries in the region. Over the last six years, the country's economy grew on average above 4%, according to figures from the Foreign Ministry.
"During 2014, the economy grew above the total of Latin America and the Caribbean; while the country grew 4.3%, the region grew by 2.6%. The middle class increased, coming to represent approximately 25% of the Colombian population. The Colombian middle class is expected to be 44% of the population by 2020 and 60% by 2025," reads the Colombian Foreign Ministry's web page.
Given the country's growth, a solid legal framework has been established for foreign and local investors. The only difference for foreign investors is that they must apply for an investor visa with some specific requirements to be able to participate in the Colombian economy.
There are also some economic activities off limits to foreigners when applying for an investor visa, such as: defense activities, security or surveillance companies and the handling of toxic waste produced outside the country.
The investment visa was formerly known as the TP-7 visa and was divided into two categories. The TP-7 visa was a temporary visa and the resident investor visa also known as the RE visa, and was a permanent resident visa. The RE visa required a large investment in local real estate.
In December 2017, Colombia changed its visa laws. Now, the TP-7 visa is known as migrant (M) category 10 (M-10) visa for investing in property. The RE visa is now known as a resident (R) visa.
The real estate investment visa (M-10) is valid for three years. Although this visa allows multiple entries into Colombia, it loses its validity if you remain outside of Colombia for more than six consecutive months.
The resident visa (R) which requires a large investment property, is valid for five years. You may enter or leave Colombia as many times as you wish with the visa, but you cannot stay outside Colombia for more than two consecutive years. If you do so, you will lose your resident visa.
What is required to apply for an M-10 visa?
The general requirements to apply for an investor visa in Colombia are as follows:
- Passport with at least three months of validity and with two blank pages to stamp the VISA.
- A copy of the passport with all the information of the person and a copy of the last stamp of the Colombian immigration office.
- If the procedure will be carried out by a proxy, he/she must have the power of attorney that enables him/her for such purpose.
- Certificate of criminal record, with a validity of up to 3 months.
- Certificate of existence and legal representation.
- Fill out the electronic form on the website of Cancillería Colombia.
There are other specific documents that you will need depending on the modality in which you will apply for the investor VISA.
For further information, please visit the web page of the Colombian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.