Colombia, a vibrant South American country with a rich cultural heritage, has quickly become a sought-after destination for digital nomads seeking a unique work-life balance. With its diverse landscapes, welcoming communities, and growing remote work infrastructure, it’s no wonder that the Colombia Digital Nomad Visa is gaining popularity among location-independent professionals. But what exactly does this visa entail, and how can you make the most of your Colombian digital nomad experience?
In this comprehensive guide, we will explore the ins and outs of the Colombia Digital Nomad Visa, from eligibility criteria to the application process, and tips for a successful digital nomad experience in this captivating country. So, whether you’re already sold on the idea of working remotely from Colombia or just exploring your options, this article has got you covered.
- Colombia Digital Nomad Visa offers a straightforward application process and the ability to bring dependents.
- Eligibility criteria include valid passport, proof of remote work, minimum monthly income of just $700-$900 USD per month (equivalent to three (3) Current Minimum Legal Monthly Wages or 3.480.000 COPS.
- Benefits include networking opportunities in vibrant digital nomad community with access to healthcare services & legal entry for up 2 years with budget travel tips & accommodation options available.
Colombia Digital Nomad Visa Overview
The Colombian Digital Nomad Visa, introduced in October of 2022, offers the following benefits:
- Allows remote workers to stay for up to 2 years
- The minimum income requirement is just 3.480.000 COPS.
- Possibility to bring dependents
- Access to a vibrant digital nomad community
It’s no wonder that this visa is becoming increasingly popular among location-independent professionals, including those working with foreign companies.
Nevertheless, it’s worth mentioning that the visa has its drawbacks, such as the need to renew the visa every 1-2 years and strict guidelines. Despite these drawbacks, the Colombia Digital Nomad Visa remains an attractive option for those working remotely to explore the country’s unique culture and lifestyle.
Eligibility Criteria for Colombia Digital Nomad Visa
Eligibility for the Colombia Digital Nomad Visa mandates that applicants hold a valid passport, establish proof of remote work, and earn a minimum monthly income of $700-$900 USD (3.480.000 COPS). This relatively low-income requirement ensures that many digital nomads can qualify for the visa and enjoy the benefits of working remotely in Colombia.
While the requirements may seem straightforward, it is important to check with an immigration attorney or migration official to make sure you have the easiest path toward your visa. The current eligibility criteria make the Colombia Digital Nomad Visa an accessible option for many remote workers looking to experience life in this beautiful South American country.
The income requirements for the Colombia Digital Nomad Visa are relatively low, making it accessible to a wide range of digital nomads. Applicants must demonstrate a minimum income of three times the Current Minimum Legal Monthly Wage, which is 3.480.000 Colombian Pesos, over the past three months.
This means you need to show bank statements showing you've received a salary from an employer or employer, no less than $700-$900 USD (depending on exchange rates).
This income requirement ensures that digital nomads have sufficient financial resources to support themselves while working remotely in Colombia. Given the low cost of living in the country, this minimum income should provide a comfortable lifestyle for digital nomads and their families.
Beyond income stipulations, applicants for digital nomad visas must provide the following:
- Be the holder of a passport issued by one of the countries or territories exempt from a short-stay visa, according to the Resolution.
- Letter in Spanish or English, issued by one or several foreign companies for which the foreigner provides his services, indicating the type of relationship and the type of remuneration received by the applicant. This is typically a signed letter of employment.
- In the case of entrepreneurs, submit a motivational letter explaining your entrepreneurship project and the financial and human resources you have or aspire to have for your venture;
- Through bank statements, demonstrate a minimum income equivalent to three (3) Current Minimum Legal Monthly Wages ( SMLMV) during the last 3 months.
- Health insurance with coverage in the national territory against all risks in case of accident, illness, maternity, disability, hospitalization, death or repatriation for the time foreseen for your stay in the country.
The visa also calls for a valid passport with at least six months of validity, a passport-style photo, and the last entry stamp of your passport if you're in Colombia while applying for the visa. Additionally, it is important to remember that the government entity can ask you for additional documentation throughout the application process.
Application Process for Colombia Digital Nomad Visa
The Colombian Digital Nomad Visa application process consists of three main steps: document preparation, online application submission, and visa approval. This streamlined process makes it easy for digital nomads to apply for a visa and start planning their new life in Colombia.
Although the process seems uncomplicated, it’s key to meticulously address the requirements, preparing and submitting all requisite documents correctly. The subsequent sections will examine each application process step in greater depth.
Before beginning the online application process, gathering and scanning all necessary documents is important. This includes:
- A valid passport
- A 2x2-inch color photo with a white background
- A letter or contract from a non-Colombian employer confirming employment and salary
- A passport with at least six months of validity
- Bank statements demonstrating a monthly income of three minimum wages
Preparing these documents well in advance can facilitate a seamless application process while enhancing your chances of success. Remember to double-check all information, including financial and human resources, and ensure your documents are up-to-date and accurate before submitting your application.
Online Application Submission
Once you have collected and scanned all your documents, you can proceed to the online application submission. The online application process is straightforward and can be completed in about 30-60 minutes. During this step, you must provide your personal information, passport details, and any other required documents.
After completing the online application form and paying the visa fee of $52 USD, you can submit your application. Remember, it’s vital to thoroughly verify all information and documents prior to application submission to prevent potential complications or delays.
Visa Approval and Processing Time
The Colombian Digital Nomad Visa can take up to 30 days to get approved and processed. Submitting your documents earlier can help speed up this process. You may receive updates on your application through email and the online portal during this time. It’s essential to monitor your application status and promptly provide any additional documents or revisions if requested by the authorities.
Upon visa approval, you'll be asked to pay an additional fee of $177 USD. Once you pay, you receive your visa and learn how long the visa has been approved for.
With your visa, you’ll be permitted to legally enter and reside in Colombia for however long your visa was granted. The digital nomad visa can be renewed, so be sure to renew your visa 1-2 months before it expires.
Life as a Digital Nomad in Colombia
Living and working as a digital nomad in Colombia offers a unique opportunity to strike a balance between work and leisure. The country’s top cities for digital nomads, including Medellin, Bogotá, and Cartagena, provide a wealth of coworking spaces, networking opportunities, and cultural experiences.
Moreover, Colombia’s diverse landscapes and rich cultural heritage allow digital nomads to explore the country during their downtime. From the bustling streets of Bogotá to the laid-back Caribbean vibes of Cartagena, there’s no shortage of adventures and experiences awaiting digital nomads in Colombia.
Top Colombian Cities for Digital Nomads
Some of the top Colombian cities for digital nomads include:
- Santa Marta
Each city offers unique experiences and resources for remote workers, catering to a diverse range of preferences and lifestyles. For example, Medellin is known for its cost-effective lifestyle, efficient transportation system, and thriving startup environment, while Pereira offers a tranquil atmosphere, reasonable living expenses, and a pleasant climate for those seeking a more serene environment.
In addition to these popular cities, digital nomads in South America, especially in Colombia, can also explore lesser-known destinations, such as the picturesque beaches of the Caribbean coast near Santa Marta or the vibrant coffee culture of the country’s interior regions. No matter your preferences, Colombia’s diverse cities and regions will surely have something that suits your digital nomad lifestyle.
Healthcare and Insurance
Healthcare in Colombia is of good quality, with the country ranking 32nd in the 2021 Legatum Prosperity Index for healthcare. However, it’s important to note that digital nomads must provide proof of valid health insurance coverage as part of their visa application.
Therefore, it is common for digital nomads to enroll in international healthcare for their visa application and then cancel and enroll in Colombia's healthcare system after approval.
This requirement ensures that digital nomads can access adequate healthcare services during their stay in Colombia. Valid health insurance coverage can also provide peace of mind, knowing you’re protected in emergencies or unforeseen medical expenses.
Taxation and Legal Considerations
Understanding the associated taxation and legal considerations is critical if you anticipate working as a digital nomad in Colombia. If you stay in Colombia more than 183 days per year, you are considered a tax resident. However, Colombia has tax relationships with many countries preventing double taxation.
This means that even though you must file taxes in Colombia, you'll likely only pay taxes in your home country. Typically, you're paying taxes in Colombia only if you purchase property or work for a Colombian employer.
Tips for a Successful Colombia Digital Nomad Experience
For an enriching digital nomad experience in Colombia, consider practical tips like researching cost-effective travel options, discovering diverse accommodation alternatives, and participating in networking and community-building activities. These tips can help you save money, make valuable connections, and fully immerse yourself in the Colombian culture and lifestyle.
The following sections will delve deeper into each of these tips, offering practical advice for a fruitful digital nomad journey in Colombia.
For accommodation in Colombia, digital nomads have a variety of choices at their disposal, including hostels, Airbnb, and Couchsurfing. Additionally, long-term rental options like apartments and houses can provide a more stable and comfortable living situation.
One of the benefits of the Digital Nomad Visa is that you'll be eligible for a Cedula De Extraneria, making it significantly easier to rent an apartment long-term and have a bank account in Colombia.
Consider coworking spaces with accommodation facilities for those looking to combine work and accommodation. These spaces often offer discounted stays for members, providing a cost-effective solution for digital nomads seeking a productive work environment and a place to call home.
Networking and Community Building
Establishing a network and fostering a community is key to a successful digital nomad journey in Colombia. To foster connections and exchange experiences, consider attending local events, joining digital nomad groups on social media platforms, and participating in online forums.
Connecting with other digital nomads and locals can help you build valuable relationships and provide insights into the best coworking spaces, accommodation options, and local attractions. You can make the most of your digital nomad experience in Colombia by actively engaging in networking and community-building activities.
In conclusion, the Colombia Digital Nomad Visa offers remote workers an incredible opportunity to experience life in a diverse and vibrant South American country. With its relatively low eligibility requirements, straightforward application process, and a wealth of resources and experiences available in top Colombian cities, it’s no wonder that more and more digital nomads are choosing Colombia as their remote work destination.
So, consider Colombia as your next adventure, whether you’re a seasoned digital nomad or just starting your location-independent journey. Its unique blend of culture, natural beauty, and remote work infrastructure makes it the perfect place to create lasting memories and grow personally and professionally.
Frequently Asked Questions
Does Colombia offer a digital nomad visa?
Yes, Colombia offers a digital nomad visa known as the “Visa V Nómadas Digitales” which was introduced in October 2022.
The visa allows remote workers to live and work in Colombia for up to two years.
How do I apply for the digital nomad visa in Colombia?
To apply for the Colombian digital nomad visa, access the Ministry of Foreign Affairs website, fill in the application form, and submit the required documents electronically.
You must also pay the visa fee, take out travel insurance, and provide proof of income to apply.
What type of visa is the digital nomad visa for Colombia?
The Digital Nomad Visa for Colombia is a type V Visitors visa, with a validity of up to two years.
Do digital nomads pay taxes in Colombia?
Digital nomads, as non-residents, are not required to pay income tax in Colombia since they are not considered tax residents.
If they stay for more than 183 days, they will be considered a tax resident and have to declare any national source income and wealth obtained in Colombia.
What is the maximum duration of stay allowed by the Colombia Digital Nomad Visa?
The Colombia Digital Nomad Visa offers a maximum duration of stay of 2 years.
Daniela Cordoba is a lawyer specializing in immigration and commercial law. Daniela Cordoba has helped individuals and businesses live and operate in Colombia for over a decade. She also has training in compliance with the respective accreditations to serve as Compliance Officer.
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