fbpx

Colombian Citizenship Through Investment

Who would ever have thought that relocating to Colombia would be a viable option for those looking to start a new life overseas. This is a place in the world which has been overshadowed for many years by corruption, criminal activity and drugs. However, this has suddenly cleaned up its act over the last decade. While there are still patches of crime, there is no doubt that the authorities have clamped down and taken decisive action against the criminals. So, what does Colombia have to offer? Colombia offers an excellent opportunity such as “second citizenship”.

Why Colombian citizenship?

Colombia is a country that is extremely bio-diverse. You have the right to live and work in Colombia once you obtain a residency in this country. However, there is a need to visit the country once a year for at least one day.

It only takes five years to become a citizen in Colombia and a Colombia passport gives you visa free access to the Schengen zone.

How to get a second citizenship in Colombia?

First of all, you mush obtain permanent residency through investment. The amount is of approximately US$150,000 real estate in Colombia or as contributions to a Colombian company. You may apply for naturalization together with your family after five years being a permanent resident.

Renouncing your current citizenship is not necessary in obtaining a Colombian citizen since Colombia allows dual citizenship. The country has the jus soli or right of the soil policy which means giving birth to children while in Colombia will have a Colombian citizenship at birth.

Why invest in Colombia?

Having investments in Colombia has become very captivating to international investors for many years already. In addition to this event of investor’s confidence, Colombia has many improvements especially in its public image since its focus was on the elimination of internal conflicts. So, this has developed a stronger perception of the country as a stable business opportunity. Also, this is another reason why investors are investing in Colombia.

Having investments in Colombia has become very captivating to international investors for many years already. In addition to this event of investor’s confidence, Colombia has many improvements especially in its public image since its focus was on the elimination of internal conflicts. So, this has developed a stronger perception of the country as a stable business opportunity. Also, this is another reason why investors are investing in Colombia.

On a global scale, the following are some of the reasons why investing sooner in Colombia is worth it than doing it later:  

  • Economic security: The economy in Colombia maintains a 4.25% average growth by early January 2018.  Also, its GDP growth is above the estimated average for Latin America.
  • Investor trust: Colombia moves from Baa3 to Baa2 on Moody’s rating system since 2014. This means obligations are subject to moderate credit risk. Also, this was endorsed by Standard & Poor’s and Fitch.
  • Investor protection: Colombia is considered that it has a good private bureau coverage and ranked as 2nd worldwide by IFC and the World Bank for getting credit. The same report recognizes the country to have ranked 16th for investor protection.
  • International market: For the time being, Colombia has 3 pending agreements and 10 free trade agreements in the making. This gives better access to over 45 countries and about 1,500,000,000 consumers in markets located in the European Union, Mexico, United States, Chili, Mexico and Peru. Also, Korea and Costa Rica are the nations that Colombia is negotiating with.
  • Qualified Workers: According to the 2014 ranking of IMD, Colombia gets the most skilled work in all of the countries in South America. Colombia surpasses countries such as Peru, Chili, Brazil, Venezuela and Argentina.
  • Competitive legal structures: Colombia is the Latin America’s benchmark for the reforms it has put in place for business development. According to Doing Business 2015 published by the World Bank, the country implements 29 reforms since 2005.

Colombia investment visas

There were two types of Colombian investment visas before Resolución 6045 went into effect. They were the the TP-7 temporary visa and the RE resident visa. Since December 2017, investors can still choose between resident or migrant types of investment visas. The type of investment visa that you may qualify certainly depends on the size of your property’s investment.

Resident visa (type R)

Obtaining a resident or a type R visa is your first option to invest in a local business or property in Colombia. In order to be eligible for a resident visa as an investor, you should make an investment of at least 650 times the Colombian minimum wage.

The monthly minimum wage in Colombia, as of 2019, is 828,116.00 COP – or around 265 USD. (828,116 x 650 + = 538,275,400, or about 172,369.24USD.)

This type of visa is valid for a total period of 5 years, after which, you may renew it and apply for citizenship. However, your visa will be invalid if you leave the country for more than two years.

Migrant visa (type M)

The type M or migrant visa is one of the most common types of Colombia investment visas for expats. Also, you have this option of visa as a prospective investor in Colombia. Aside from investments, there are a lot of other other situations that may qualify you for a migrant visa. This includes permanent employment with a Colombian entity, marriage to a Colombian national, or participation in a Colombian educational institution.

In order for an investor to qualify an M visa, he or she must invest in a Colombian property or business that is worth more than 350 times the country’s minimum monthly salary. As mentioned above, the Colombian monthly minimum wage in 2019 is 828,116. So, 828,116 x 350 = 289,840,600, which comes out to $92,842.58 USD.

This type of visa is validfor a total period of 3 years but becomes invalid if you are not present in Colombia for 183 days per year.

How to get the Colombian investment visa?

The processing of visa in Colombia is fairly easy and it’s done online. You can do it here. This application requires scans of all the below required documents in PDF files including the photo in jpg format.

Required documents:

  • Copy of  your biographical page of passport.
  • Copy of your passport’s page where the last stamp of entry or departure of Colombia is placed.
  • A copy of your previous Colombian visa, only if you have.
  • Documents outlined above under Colombian Investment Visa Requirements that serves as a proof to the  business or property investment in Colombia.
  • Passport style photo with a white background, the size is 3cm width X 4cm height, maximum size of 300kb jpg file for online application.

After the approval of visa, it is a requirement that you travel to Bogotá to get the visa in your passport. It is issued at the Ministerio de Relaciones Exteriores office in Bogotá. The location of this is at Avenida 19 # 98-03, Torre 100 Building, 3rd Floor.  It is open from 7:30am until noon.

Visa Agency

You can hire a visa agency to do the work for you if you don’t want to travel. A visa agency handles online applications and it will deliver your passport to Bogotá to get the visa in your passport. There are several visa agencies that you can find in Medellín. Also,  you can get visas at Colombian consulates around the world.  In U.S.A, Colombia has consulates Boston, Houston, Chigaco, Atlanta, Los Angeles, Newark, Orlando, San Francisco, New York and Washington DC.  You can immediately receive the visa with a higher investment for the resident investor visa.

Getting a Colombian Cedula

After receiving a successful Colombia Investment Visa, you get a maximum of 15 days to register your visa with MigraciĂłn Colombia. Also 15 days to get a Cedula de Extranjeria  or Colombian ID for foreigners. This should be done in person and you are given an alloted time frame to register your visa. Otherwise, you’ll end up paying a big fine of up to seven times the minimum monthly salary in Colombia. This would sum up to over $1,852.

When visa registration and cedula application, these should be done at one of the MigraciĂłn Colombia offices. You can find offices in major cities in Colombia.

Documents required:

  • Bogotá – Calle 100 #11B-27
  • Photocopies of: current passport’s biographical page, your visa, blood test result that shows your blood type and cedula only if you have a previous visa

Making an appointment with the Migración Colombia is necessary in registering your visa and applying for a cedula.  The current cost of a cedula is 196,000 Colombian pesos. This is payable through a credit card at the Migración Colombia office.

Summary

In the last ten years, Colombia has dramatically improved its foreign investment policies. Having its new trends such as the free trade agreements with the US that is always on the horizon, new legislation has accelerated the foreign investment process. Also, it has taken away the uncertain concerns among foreigners who previously had limited rights to property in Colombia.

Conclusion

In this day and age, having added tools such as a second passport creates potential access, open doors to various advantages and levers that you never considered possible before. In addition, having two or more passports is considered normal most especially if you are a homeowner in that second passport country.

Considering this as a strictly business move, a Colombian passport is increasingly becoming a more valuable travel document. For instance, Singapore starts to allow the Colombian citizens to enter visa-free. Also, Europe signed a bilateral agreement that allows Colombians to stay up to 90 days in the EU without a visa. The development of the latter was finalized last December 2, 2015 in Brussels. This does not include Ireland and the UK.

All the potential benefits such as potential rental income, capital appreciation, the privacy from tax authorities owning foreign properties and generally Colombia’s dynamic economic development, a real estate in Colombia is truly a great way to diversify yourself internationally with a single purchase. The Colombian citizenship through investment is relatively easy to get but is strictly intended for people people who invest in a business or properties in Colombia. Hence, getting such isn’t an expensive process outside of the actual investment.

(Visited 490 times, 4 visits today)
 

Leave a Comment