Have you ever dreamed of living and working in Colombia, rich in culture and with an affordable cost of living? The Colombian Digital Nomad Visa might be the perfect solution to make that dream a reality. In this blog post, we’ll explore the ins and outs of this visa, its benefits and potential drawbacks, and practical tips for thriving as a digital nomad in Colombia. We will also discuss the digital nomad visa Colombia requirements, ensuring you have all the necessary information to embark on your adventure.
- Colombia’s Digital Nomad Visa offers the ability to live and work remotely in Colombia for up to two years.
- Applicants must meet nationality, income, health insurance requirements as part of the application process.
- Colombia provides digital nomads with a range of cities, cost of living options, networking resources, and more.
Colombia's Digital Nomad Visa Overview
The Colombian Digital Nomad Visa, introduced by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in October 2022, is a game-changer for digital nomads who wish to reside in Colombia but don’t yet qualify for more permanent visa options. This visa allows remote workers to stay in Colombia for up to 2 years while working exclusively for foreign companies.
The visa allows individuals to increase their stay per year from 180 days to not having to leave the country for up to 2 years. The Digital Nomad Visa provides a more stable and long-term option for remote work enthusiasts.
Visa Duration and Renewal
The Colombian Digital Nomad Visa is valid for up to 2 years, offering remote workers the opportunity to immerse themselves in Colombian culture fully. The visa can be renewed, providing a viable pathway to immigration and Colombian citizenship.
This flexibility opens up possibilities for digital nomads looking to establish a more permanent base in Colombia while maintaining their careers with foreign companies.
“We typically see that the visa is granted for however long the foreigner has obtained health insurance. Therefore, while not guaranteed, we believe that purchasing health insurance for 2 years will increase your chances of obtaining the visa for two years.”
Eligibility Criteria for the Colombian Digital Nomad Visa
Applicants interested in the Colombian Digital Nomad Visa must fulfill specific eligibility criteria such as nationality and income. Let’s examine these prerequisites and their implications for potential candidates.
The Colombia Digital Nomad Visa, also known as the Colombian Digital Nomad Visa, is available to applicants from more than one hundred nationalities who are exempt from tourist visas, thus making digital nomad visas accessible to a wide range of remote workers from around the globe.
This inclusivity further strengthens Colombia’s position as an attractive destination for digital nomads seeking new adventures and cultural experiences.
To be eligible for the Colombian Digital Nomad Visa, applicants must demonstrate a monthly income over the past three months that totals at least three times the Current Minimum Legal Monthly Wage (COP1,300,606), which is approximately $1,000 USD. Currencies fluctuate compared to the Colombian Pesos, so it is important to calculate right before applying.
This requirement ensures digital nomads have sufficient financial resources to support their stay in Colombia.
Various types of income are accepted for the Colombian Digital Nomad Visa, however, how you show this income changes based on how you apply for the visa.
If applying as an employee (You work remotely for a company): You will need to show bank statements and a letter of employment from the source of your income. If you work a full time job, this can be relatively straightforward. However, if you make income from a few different sources as a part time employee, this can be difficult.
If applying as a business owner (You own a business that you manage remotely): You will need to show business income and write a letter describing the nature of your business and how you are able to manage it remotely.
At Colombian Visa Services, we typically see issues arise and visas denied when someone is in a “gray area.”
Example: The individual has a business and is being paid by 5 clients, but each of those clients is paying them directly into their personal bank account rather than to a business account. Technically in the eyes of the government entity you are a 1099 worker and would need letters of employment from each client.
Required Documents for the Colombian Digital Nomad Application
Applying for the Colombian Digital Nomad Visa is a straightforward process that involves collecting necessary documents, submitting an online application, and keeping track of the processing timeline.
A Valid Passport
You will need a copy of the last entry stamp in your passport (If you are in Colombia at the time of application) as well as a photocopy of the information page.
Letter From Your Employer(s)
A Letter issued by one or several foreign companies for which you had rendered services, indicating the type of relationship and the type of remuneration received. If applying as a business owner you will need to write this letter yourself and describe the business and how you’re able to manage it remotely.
3 Months of Bank Statements
You must earn at least $1,000 (USD) or per month to be eligible, or at least 3x the Colombian monthly minimum wage.
International Health Insurance
In order to apply for the visa you will need to obtain international health insurance with coverage in Colombia.
As with all applications, the Colombian government has the right to ask for additional documentation throughout your application process. Additional information can include everything from company letter head to background check information.
Processing Time and Tracking
Once you’ve submitted your Colombian Digital Nomad Visa application, its progress can be tracked via the online form. The Colombian government entity can take up to 30 days to respond to your application, but you may hear back in as little as 5-10 business days.
Requirements for Applying as a Dependent
One of the significant benefits of the Colombian Digital Nomad Visa is the inclusion of family members, such as a spouse and dependent children, as beneficiaries of the visa. This allows digital nomads to share their Colombian adventure with their loved ones, making it a more fulfilling and enjoyable experience.
To apply for the visa as a dependent, the primary visa holder will first need to obtain their visa. Once the visa is obtained, you’ll need to submit your visa application with the same documents as the primary visa holder with the addition of proof of the relationship.
If married: You’ll need to provide a marriage certificate, duly apostilled and officially translated.
For children: You’ll need to provide birth certificates, duly apostilled and officially translated.
Potential Drawbacks of the Colombian Digital Nomad Visa
Despite the numerous advantages of the Colombian Digital Nomad Visa, it’s vital to be aware of possible drawbacks such as the exclusive remote work condition and tax implications. Let’s delve into an in-depth discussion of these potential issues.
Exclusive Remote Work
The Colombian Digital Nomad Visa only permits holders to work remotely for foreign companies, and they cannot seek employment within Colombia. This restriction may be limiting for some digital nomads who may wish to explore local job opportunities or work with Colombian companies during their stay.
It’s crucial to understand and adhere to this restriction, as working for a Colombian company while holding a Digital Nomad Visa could lead to legal complications and jeopardize your status in the country. Therefore, if you’re planning to work locally in Colombia, this visa may not be the right fit for you.
Digital nomads staying in Colombia for a period exceeding 183 days may become tax residents, which could affect their tax liabilities depending on their income sources. As a tax resident, you must declare all your income, including both domestic and foreign-source income.
While you must declare income and file taxes, Colombia has tax relationships with many countries preventing double taxation. It is important to consult with a accountant in both Colombia and your country of residence to determine a plan for your taxes well in advance of filing.
The Colombian Digital Nomad Visa offers remote workers an exciting opportunity to experience life in Colombia while maintaining their careers with foreign companies. With a low cost of living, diverse cities, and a supportive community, Colombia has become an increasingly popular destination for digital nomads. By understanding the eligibility criteria, application process, benefits, and potential drawbacks of the visa, you can make an informed decision and embark on a life-changing adventure in Colombia.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do I get a digital nomad visa in Colombia?
To obtain a digital nomad visa in Colombia, you need to submit a valid passport, health insurance, a letter from your employer confirming employment and salary, bank statements, and proof of legal entry on the Ministry of Foreign Affairs website. Once all of the required documents have been submitted, you will be granted up to a two-year stay in the country.
Is Colombia good for digital nomads?
Colombia is an ideal destination for digital nomads, with its low cost of living, diverse landscapes and rich culture. The country has recently introduced a digital nomad visa, further promoting it as a top choice for those seeking to work remotely while travelling the world.
Do digital nomads pay income tax in Colombia?
Digital nomads are not obligated to file income tax in Colombia unless they become a tax resident by spending over 183 days of the year in the country. Most foreigners are not double taxed and will only pay tax in their country of residence or Colombia but it is important to consult a tax professional.
Is the Colombian Digital Nomad Visa only for specific nationalities?
No, the Colombian Digital Nomad Visa is available to applicants from over 100 nationalities, meaning it's not restricted to specific nationalities.
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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