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Unsponsored immigration

Highly skilled individuals

What unsponsored immigration routes are available for highly skilled foreign nationals to seek employment in your jurisdiction? What are the eligibility criteria, application procedures and maximum period of stay for each?

If the foreign individual is eligible for a visa waiver, they may enter Colombia with a temporary visitor permit (PIP-6), which authorises them to participate in recruitment processes. Under this type of permit, the foreign individual may stay in Colombia for up to 180 days per year. The PIP-6 permit can be requested directly at the port of entry by the foreign individual.

Citizens from Argentina, Brazil, Bolivia, Chile, Ecuador, Paraguay, Peru and Uruguay may apply for an M visa – Mercosur visa, which grants a temporary residence permit and allows foreign nationals to perform any occupation or activity in Colombia. Under this type of visa, the individual may stay in Colombia for the period that the visa is valid. The process to request this visa is outlined under the application and entry section above.

Foreign individuals married to Colombian nationals may secure a spouse’s M visa, which grants a temporary residence permit and allows individuals to perform any occupation or activity in Colombia. Under this type of visa, the foreign individual may stay in Colombia for the whole period that the visa is valid. The process to request this visa is outlined under the application and entry section above.

Foreign individuals who have children with Colombian citizenship may secure an R visa, which grants an indefinite residence permit and allows individuals to perform any occupation or activity in Colombia. Under this type of visa, the foreign individual may stay in Colombia for the whole period that the visa is valid. The process to request this visa is outlined under the application and entry section above.

Foreign individuals who make a foreign investment in Colombia of 650 times the statutory monthly minimum salary (for 2018, Ps507,807.300) or above may secure an R visa, which grants an indefinite residence permit and allows foreign nationals to perform any occupation or activity in Colombia. Under this type of visa, the foreign individual may stay in Colombia for the whole period that the visa is valid. The process to request this visa is outlined under the application and entry section above.

In all of the above cases, immigration regulation provides specific requirements for each visa. Even though the issuance of visas is entirely at the discretion of the Colombian government, if all supporting documentation is properly provided to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the chances of having the visa application rejected are remote.

Entrepreneurs

What unsponsored immigration routes are available for entrepreneurs seeking to establish a business in your jurisdiction? What are the eligibility criteria, application procedures and maximum period of stay for each?

If the foreign individual is eligible for a visa waiver, they may enter Colombia with a temporary PIP-6 permit, which authorises them to carry out business-related activities. Under this type of permit, the individual may stay in Colombia for up to 180 days per year. The PIP-6 permit can be requested directly by the foreign individual at the port of entry.

Foreign individuals may request a V visa for business purposes if they intend to carry out:

  • business-related activities;
  • market studies;
  • studies and plans to make direct investments;
  • the incorporation of a legal entity in Colombia;
  • agreement negotiations; or
  • commercial representation acts.

Under this type of visa, the individual may stay in Colombia for up to 180 days per calendar year. The individual entering Colombia under a V visa for business purposes cannot take residence or receive a salary or compensation in Colombia.

Citizens from Argentina, Brazil, Bolivia, Chile, Ecuador, Paraguay, Peru and Uruguay may apply for an M visa – Mercosur visa, which grants a temporary residence permit and allows foreign nationals to perform any occupation or activity in Colombia. Under this type of visa, the individual may stay in Colombia for the whole period that the visa is valid. The process to request this visa is outlined under the application and entry section above.

Foreign individuals married to Colombian nationals may secure a spouse’s M visa, which grants a temporary residence permit and allows them to perform any occupation or activity in Colombia. Under this type of visa, the individual may stay in Colombia for the whole period that the visa is valid. The process to request this visa is outlined under the application and entry section above.

Foreign individuals who have children with Colombian citizenship may secure an R visa, which grants an indefinite residence permit and allows foreign nationals to perform any occupation or activity in Colombia. Under this type of visa, the foreign individual may stay in Colombia for the whole period that the visa is valid. The process to request this visa is outlined under the application and entry section above.

Foreign individuals who make a foreign investment in Colombia of 650 times the statutory monthly minimum salary (for 2018, Ps507,807.300) or above may secure an R visa, which grants an indefinite residence permit and allows them to perform any occupation or activity in Colombia. Under this type of visa, the foreign individual may stay in Colombia for the whole period that the visa is valid. The process to request this visa is outlined under the application and entry section above.

In all of the above cases, immigration regulation provides specific requirements for each visa. Even though the issuance of visas is entirely at the discretion of the Colombian government, if all supporting documentation is properly provided to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the chances of having the visa application rejected are remote.

Investors

What unsponsored immigration routes are available for foreign investors seeking to invest in your jurisdiction? What are the eligibility criteria, application procedures and maximum period of stay for each?

See previous response.

Ancestry

Are any immigration routes open to foreign nationals based on ancestry or descent?

Yes, foreign individuals who have children with Colombian citizenship may secure an R visa, which grants an indefinite residence permit and allows them to perform any occupation or activity in Colombia. Under this type of visa, the individual may stay in Colombia for the whole period that the visa is valid. The process to request this visa is outlined under the application and entry section above.

Foreign individuals whose parents or children have obtained Colombian citizenship by adoption (ie, for cumulatively holding specified types of visas) may secure an M visa, which grants a temporary residence permit and allows them to perform any occupation or activity in Colombia. Under this type of visa, the individual may stay in Colombia for the whole period that the visa is valid. The process to request this visa is outlined under the application and entry section above.

Foreign individuals whose parents are Colombian nationals by birth are eligible to register as Colombian nationals. 

Other routes

Are there any other unsponsored immigration routes?

No.

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