Being a digital nomad is an exciting life, but choosing the right location with friendly visa policies can be daunting. One such haven for remote workers is Colombia which recently introduced its Digital Nomad Visa.
This blog will shed light on everything you need to know about this new visa designed specifically for digital nomads; from how to apply and eligibility criteria, to living experiences in vibrant Colombian cities.
The Colombia Digital Nomad Visa, officially named “Visa V Nómadas Digitales”, unlocks a great opportunity for freelancers, business owners, and remote employees worldwide. For a mere cost of USD 52 per application and a visa fee (USD 170-230) upon approval, you secure the right to live and work in Colombia for a span of two years.
Besides granting residency rights, this visa provides you with an official Colombian identification known as ‘Cedula de Extranjeria’. The eligibility criteria require applicants to have an average monthly income of COP 3.5 mil (USD 880).
An encouraging fact about this visa is that it does not restrict its availability based on nationality; individuals from countries such as the United States, Germany, Australia, and Canada are all welcome to apply.
You can refer to the official site here to see the full list of countries that are exempt from short-stay visas.
Meeting the eligibility criteria for the Colombia Digital Nomad Visa necessitates meeting certain conditions.
- Applicants should have a valid passport from a specified country.
- A steady remote income is essential, with applicants needing to earn at least USD 880 per month.
- Evidence of employment outside Colombia must be provided through an employment letter from your employer.
- Visa holders should not accept any offers to work or receive a salary from Colombian companies.
- Spouses and children are eligible to be included in the visa application as dependent beneficiaries, provided necessary proof of relationship documents are present.
The visa permits a stay of up to two years in the country. This period provides ample time for individuals to explore and work comfortably from different locations within Colombia.
After two years, if you wish to continue your digital nomad lifestyle in Colombia, it is possible to extend the visa’s duration under certain conditions. The long-term nature of this visa gives remote workers and freelancers stability while enjoying the rich Colombian culture and vibrant landscapes without constant concerns about visa expiry dates or renewal processes.
Photo by Darren Lawrence
How to Apply
To apply, you need to gather all necessary documents, complete the online application process, submit your paperwork, await visa approval, and then pay the required visa fee.
Collecting Necessary Documents
- Valid passport (minimum 6 months validity).
- Acquire a letter from your employer proving that you have employment outside Colombia.
- If applying together with family members like spouses or children, prepare their pertinent papers as well.
- Proof of income such as bank statements to support a monthly income of at least USD880.
- If you’re already in possession of Colombian identification (‘Cedula de Extranjera’), remember to include it in your collection of documents.
Online Application Process
- Visit the Colombian Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ online portal.
- Fill out the online form available on the website.
- Use your valid passport details to complete the form.
- Upload a recent color photo as per the given specifications.
- Digitally submit documents including bank statements, health insurance proof, and a letter from the employer.
- Include specifics about dependents if they are also joining for an extended stay in Colombia.
- Review all information thoroughly before submitting it to avoid delays.
Health and Travel Insurance
Securing health and travel insurance is a compulsory requirement for the Colombia digital nomad visa. This insurance must cover accidents, illnesses, maternity, disabilities, and hospitalization, plus repatriation in case of death. Start by researching providers that comply with Colombian visa insurance requirements. Examine policy details to ensure coverage for emergencies and consider consulting with a Colombian legal or visa expert to navigate the options effectively.
For comprehensive coverage tailored to digital nomads, SafetyWing is a recommended provider.
The document submission process is an essential step towards securing your Colombia Digital Nomad Visa. It requires careful attention to detail as you collect all necessary documents, which likely include proof of income, health insurance, and a valid passport.
Ensuring these documents are in order is vital as they play a key role in determining your eligibility for the visa. Completeness and accuracy of this paperwork will facilitate smooth processing of the application by immigration authorities.
Keep copies for your records as they may prove useful during or after the visa approval process.
Waiting Period and Visa Approval
The Colombian Ministry of Foreign Affairs assesses all applications for the Colombian digital nomad visa. This procedure includes a waiting period, which can range from two to three weeks but depends on individual circumstances.
After the evaluation process concludes, authorities notify applicants about their visa approval status via email, so it’s essential to provide an active email address during application registration.
Visa approval often comes swiftly for freelancers and remote workers who meet eligibility criteria and demonstrate sufficient proof of employment and financial solvency. It’s noteworthy that once approved, beneficiaries need to pay the visa fee promptly as delays could lead to complications or even cancellation.
Benefits of the Colombia Digital Nomad Visa
This section will highlight the multiple benefits of obtaining a Colombia Digital Nomad Visa such as its advantage over a tourist visa, the broad range of permitted activities, and access to services and benefits in Colombia.
Advantage Over Tourist Visa
A key benefit of the Colombia digital nomad visa is its clear advantage over a tourist visa when it comes to duration and flexibility. Unlike a typical tourist visa that limits your stay in Colombia, the digital nomad visa grants you up to two years.
There’s no need for periodic border runs or worry about overstaying your welcome; you can immerse yourself into Colombian culture at an unhurried pace.
What’s more, with the introduction of Resolution No. 5477 as a part of immigration legislation, holders of this new category of visa are eligible for a state ID known as ‘Cedula de Extranjeria’. This legal document makes access to services and benefits such as banking, healthcare, and education notably easier compared to those solely on a tourist visit.
Living in Colombia as a Digital Nomad
Explore the dynamic lifestyle of a digital nomad in Colombia, from cost-effective living and prominent hotspots to internet accessibility and safety measures.
Photo by Santiago Boada
Cost of Living
Living in Colombia proves to be an affordable option for digital nomads around the world. The Colombian peso’s lower exchange rate often results in a significantly reduced cost of living compared to other countries.
A furnished one-bedroom apartment in the heart of Medellín might cost around $500 per month while dining out can be as cheap as $5 per meal. Likewise, comprehensive health insurance plans through local providers are also inexpensive, further lowering living costs.
Public transportation and various entertainment options are also reasonably priced, providing ample opportunities to explore this vibrant country without breaking the bank. This low financial burden complements the benefits offered by the Colombia Digital Nomad Visa – from working remotely amid lush landscapes to savoring rich Colombian coffee at local cafés.
Top Destinations for Digital Nomads
Colombia offers a variety of attractive destinations for digital nomads worldwide. Here’s a list of top favorite spots:
- Medellín: Known as the city of eternal spring, this city has beautiful weather all year round and hosts regular events like Gringo Tuesday that attract expats and foreigners.
- Bogotá: Colombia’s capital, Bogotá provides excellent internet connectivity, which is crucial for remote work.
- Jardin: A small town known for its colorful houses and lush landscapes, perfect for those who prefer a quiet countryside retreat.
- Cartagena: This coastal city not only offers enchanting colonial architecture but also coworking spaces near beaches.
- Santa Marta: Digital nomads who love the seaside will find Santa Marta with its stunning Caribbean coastlines irresistible.
- Guatape: Famous for panoramic views after a climb up El Peñón rock, it’s an ideal destination for those seeking stimulating outdoors between hours of work.
Internet Accessibility and Coworking Spaces
Colombia offers reliable and affordable internet accessibility, a must-have for digital nomads. With an increasing number of coworking spaces cropping up throughout the country, remote workers find comfortable settings to carry out their tasks efficiently.
These shared workspaces come equipped with high-speed internet, and meeting rooms, and offer incredible networking opportunities. In cities like Medellín and Bogotá, you can try locally grown options such as Bloom Ecoworking or HubBOG.
The affordability coupled with abundant resources in these coworking spaces makes Colombia a favorable destination for digital nomad living.
Colombia’s efforts to improve safety have paid off, making it a safe destination for digital nomads. However, common sense and vigilance should never take a back seat to assurance.
Always be aware of the surroundings, especially in busy urban areas where pickpocketing can occur. Avoid flaunting expensive gadgets or cash in public places as this could attract unwanted attention.
Using authenticated taxi services or ride-sharing apps like Uber is advisable over hailing cabs on the street, particularly at night. Keep emergency contact numbers readily available and update loved ones about travel plans regularly for an extra layer of security during your stay in Colombia as a digital nomad.
The Colombia Digital Nomad Visa opens the door to a unique remote working experience, offering foreigners an opportunity to live and work in one of South America’s most beautiful and diverse countries.
With reasonable costs, vast attractions, and friendly locals, it’s no wonder that more digital nomads are making Colombia their temporary home. Embrace the chance to grow professionally while indulging in a rich culture and vibrant lifestyle today with this exciting visa option.
(Source: Colombian Ministry of Foreign Affairs)
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Cover Photo by Enrique Hoyos
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1. What is the Colombia digital nomad visa?
The Colombia digital nomad visa is a type of permit that allows foreign nationals to live and work remotely in Colombia for up to 2 years.
2. How can I apply for a Colombia digital nomad visa?
To apply, visit the Colombian Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ online portal, and fill out the necessary information.
3. Can US citizens travel to Colombia on this visa?
Yes! U.S. citizens along with those from Serbia, Uruguay, etc., can travel under this visa after completing application procedures set by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Colombia.
4. What healthcare facilities are available in Columbia?
In terms of healthcare facilities Colombian healthcare system provides universal public health insurance through Entidades Promotoras de Salud (EPS).
5. How do I extend my Colombia Digital Nomad Visa?
To extend your visa beyond the initial two years, submit updated documentation showing sustained income and ongoing remote work. Begin this process before your current visa expires to allow sufficient time for review and approval.
6. What is the expected processing time for the visa application?
The Colombia Digital Nomad Visa typically takes around 30 days to process. This timeframe may vary due to individual circumstances or during peak application periods.
7. In which currency are the visa fees paid, and what are the payment methods?
Visa fees should be paid in Colombian Pesos. Payment can be made via online bank transfer, credit card through PSE (Servicio de Pagos en Línea) for applicants in Colombia, or using international credit cards like VISA or MasterCard for those applying from abroad. Always check for possible additional charges when making international payments.