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Visa & Residency Guide to Colombia

Published December 3, 2020 in Colombia , Visa & Residency Information - 0 Comments

Want to know how to live in Colombia on a tourist visa or with residency?

This article will provide you with the basics of how to achieve that.

 By first talking about living in Colombia on a tourist visa…

Then moving onto the nuances of that…

Such as the possibility of doing a visa run….

And also the consequences of overstaying your visa…

Before ending it on the topic of the temporary and permanent residency programs that exist.

For those who wish to live in this country longer than what a tourist visa allows…

And do to so legally and with more security.

So let’s get to it!

Tourist Visa in Colombia

You are allowed to live in Colombia on a tourist visa for 180 days per calendar year.

Meaning from January 1st to December 31st.

You will get a visa allowing for 90 days though upon entry and you can extend it again by another 90 days.

After those 180 days are over, you cannot extend your visa beyond the 180 days and will not be allowed in the country again until the next year begins on January 1st.

Overstaying the Visa?

You will be fined if you overstay your visa beyond 180 days.

It is based on the amount of days overstayed but really depends on the migration officer you are dealing with and how nice they feel like being with you.

So try not being a dick to the dude overlooking your overstay.

From what I have read though, the minimum they are likely to charge is about 120 bucks more or less or 350,000 COP pesos roughly.

Even if you overstayed by just a day.

If though you overstayed by a very long time such a few years or so, you could be charged with as much as 500 bucks.

Maybe even more since it really depends on the migration officer.

But maybe less if the person you are dealing with takes mercy on you.

Visa Runs?

Because you are not allowed to extend your visa beyond 180 days in any calendar year…

It is not really possible to do “visa runs” in the sense that you can just leave and come right back in…

Unless, by my understanding, that day you leave is December 31st and the day you come back is January 1st.

Otherwise, I’d recommend you either get actual residency or a visa that allows more than 180 days for Colombia…

Or you mix your time up in Colombia with some other country for those extra 6 months.

Like 6 months in Colombia and 6 months in Brazil for example.

Temporary Residency in Colombia?

So, from my limited understanding, it seems a lot of foreigners just go for the permanent residency in Colombia.

However, temporary residency does seem to exist if you fall into one of the three following groups:

  • Business visa
  • Temporary visa
  • Mercosur Visa

Otherwise, it seems most folks go for the permanent resident (RE) Visa.

So let’s just get to that.

The R Visa

So, upon review, the RE Visa was replaced by the R Visa.

Still permanent residency.

So, in order to get the R Visa, you need to spend roughly $443 USD.

There are 5 categories in which you can quality for an R Visa, such as:

  • You are a Colombian who renounced your citizenship and are returning to Colombia.
  • Have a kid who is Colombian.
  • You had a migrant visa category 1 to 3 for 2 years consecutively. Category M-3 is for those who are Mercosur citizens and M-2 is for a parent or kid of a Colombian through adoption.
  • Held an M visa with category 4 to 11 for 5 years consecutively. This includes those in retirement or looking for work or student visas.
  • You invested over 650 times the minimum monthly wage in Colombia. For 2020, that means 570,571,950 COP or 150,864 USD.

And that’s it!

Got any experiences or questions with this topic?

Drop them below in the comment section.

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Best regards,


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