Have you ever dreamed of swapping your home office for the lush landscapes and vibrant cities of Colombia? Good news for digital nomads: In Oct 2022 Colombia rolled out a Digital Nomad Visa, designed specifically for those of us who love to merge work with wanderlust.
This visa not only opens the door to the rich culture and breathtaking scenery of Colombia but also caters to the practical needs of remote workers, allowing you to stay for up to two years in this spectacular country.
In this post, we’ll dive straight into what you need to know about the requirements and application process for securing this golden ticket to your next adventure. Whether you’re a seasoned nomad or just starting to explore the possibilities of location independence, this guide is your first step towards a Colombian escapade.
The Colombian Digital Nomad Visa, also known as “Visa V Nómadas Digitales,” allows remote workers and foreign nationals to live and work in Colombia for up to 2 years provided they meet the criteria, which includes, a passport from a country exempt from a short-stay visa, a letter from a foreign company detailing their work and remuneration, for entrepreneurs a motivational letter explaining their business ideas, plans, and intentions, bank statements showing income, and health insurance with national coverage.
Colombia’s warm hospitality, affordable cost of living, and diverse scenery make it an ideal destination for digital nomads seeking both inspiration and adventure. Whether you’re a budding entrepreneur, a freelance creative, or a tech professional, the Colombian Digital Nomad Visa opens the door to a dynamic, fulfilling lifestyle that combines productivity with the thrill of discovery.
The Colombia digital nomad visa is a fantastic opportunity for remote workers looking to experience Colombian life while continuing their digital ventures.
Here are some of the main benefits of this visa;
- Extended Duration of Stay – The Colombia digital nomad visa grants legal entry for up to two years, a substantial increase compared to the typical short-stay visa or tourist visa. This extended period allows digital nomads to fully immerse themselves in Colombian culture and lifestyle without the hassle of frequent visa renewals.
- Simplified Application Process – The application process for the Colombia digital nomad visa involves a straightforward application form, available on the Colombian foreign affairs website. Digital nomads must gather all the necessary documents, including a valid passport, passport photo, bank statements, and a health insurance policy, to ensure a smooth and efficient process.
- Affordable Living Costs – Living in Colombian cities comes with the advantage of low cost when compared to many Western countries or even other Latin American countries like Costa Rica. The favorable exchange rate of the Colombian peso enhances the financial feasibility of digital nomads.
- Tax Exemption Benefits – As a digital nomad using the visa, income from your remote work or business outside of Colombia is exempt from local taxes. However, if you establish a co-working space during your stay as a digital nomad and earn income from it, you are required to the taxed for local revenues generated from it.
- Access to Vibrant Coworking Spaces – Colombia, especially its major cities, boasts an array of coworking spaces. These spaces provide an ideal environment for remote work and offer opportunities for networking and collaboration with other digital nomads and local entrepreneurs.
- Fewer Financial Restrictions – Unlike some digital nomad visas in Latin America, Colombia’s version requires proof of income equivalent to a certain threshold but is generally considered low cost in terms of application fee and visa fee. This makes it accessible for a wider range of remote workers, from those in the early stages of their entrepreneurship project to established professionals.
- Healthcare and Insurance Ease – Applicants must submit a health insurance policy as part of their visa applications, ensuring that their health needs are covered. Colombia’s healthcare system is robust, adding a layer of security for digital nomads residing in the country.
- Cultural and Geographic Diversity – Choosing to be a digital nomad in Colombia opens up opportunities to explore diverse landscapes and cultures within the national territory of this South American country. From the Andean mountains to Caribbean beaches, the geographical diversity is vast.
- Strong Support for Entrepreneurs – The Colombian government and local business communities are supportive of foreign entrepreneurs. Whether your digital nomadism involves an information technology venture or another form of digital business, Colombia provides a conducive environment for growth.
- Legal Work Status – The Colombia digital nomad visa offers a clear legal status to work remotely for a company abroad or your own foreign company. This clarity in foreign relations and immigration law is crucial for long-term planning and stability.
- Networking and Community Building – Being a remote worker in Colombia means joining a growing community of like-minded individuals. The interaction with local and international entrepreneurs enhances human resources and knowledge exchange.
The Colombia digital nomad visa is not just an entry visa; it’s a gateway to a vibrant and enriching experience in one of South America’s most dynamic countries. The entire application process, from gathering all your documents to receiving the visa grants, is designed to be as seamless as possible, catering to the unique needs of the digital nomad community.
The Colombia Digital Nomad Visa is applicable throughout the country without any specified regional restrictions. This means digital nomads can live and work in any part of the country. As for safety, Colombia has significantly progressed from its troubled past associated with the drug trade. The country has taken substantial steps to improve security and is now considered much safer for tourists and expatriates.
The Colombia Digital Nomad Visa has specific requirements for applicants:
- Passport valid for 6+ months. The passport issued must be from a country exempted from needing a short-stay visa.
- Photocopy of passport’s personal details page.
- Passport-size photo (3 cm x 4 cm) on white background, under 300 kb in JPG.
- Proof of legal entry into Colombia.
- Letter from foreign employer detailing role and earnings, in Spanish/English.
- Explanatory letter for entrepreneurs, outlining their business idea.
- Recent bank statements show income 3x Colombia’s minimum wage which is $900 per month.
- Comprehensive health insurance is valid in Colombia.
- Gather all required documents, including a valid passport, employment letter from a foreign company, motivational letter indicating business details for entrepreneurs, bank statements, and health insurance coverage in Colombia.
- Complete the visa application form, available online through the official website of the Colombian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, along with information needed from the following documents.
- Pay the fee of $52 during the application process through the Colombian Ministry of Foreign Affairs visa application platform. After completing the application form, applicants are directed to a payment portal where the fee can be paid using accepted online payment methods.
- Submit your application and wait for processing, which can take up to 30 days.
- Once approved, pay the visa fee via the Colombian Ministry of Foreign Affairs portal, which ranges between $170 and $230. Payment is usually made as part of the final steps in the visa application process, after receiving the approval notification.
- Receive your visa, typically issued within 10 business days after approval. The applicant typically receives it in the form of an e-visa. This e-visa is sent directly to your email address provided during the application process. You can then print the e-visa for travel and entry purposes.
When applying for a Colombia Digital Nomad Visa, the costs include:
- Application Fee: Approximately $52.
- Visa Fee: Between $170 and $230 upon approval.
- Comprehensive Health Insurance: Cost varies based on coverage.
- Document Preparation: Potential costs for obtaining and translating documents.
- Internet and Communication: For completing the online application.
- Travel Expenses: If required for embassy visits or relocation.
These costs cover both mandatory and incidental expenses associated with the visa application process.
The average cost of living in Colombia can vary widely depending on the city, lifestyle, and personal spending habits. Here’s a general overview based on the latest economic figures in Colombia that could serve as a reference:
- Housing: Rent is often the most significant expense. In major cities like Bogotá, Medellín, or Cartagena, a one-bedroom apartment in the city center can range from $300 to $600 per month, while outside the city center it can be $200 to $400. Prices can be lower in smaller towns.
- Utilities: Monthly utilities (including electricity, heating, cooling, water, and garbage) can cost around $50 to $70 for a standard apartment.
- Food: Grocery costs can vary, but on average, a person might spend around $150 to $250 per month. Eating out at restaurants will increase this budget, with meals at inexpensive restaurants costing around $3 to $7.
- Transportation: Public transportation is relatively inexpensive. A monthly pass for local transport might be around $30 to $50. Taxis and rideshare services are also affordable compared to North American and European standards.
- Internet and Mobile Phone: Internet and a mobile phone plan can cost around $20 to $40 per month, depending on the service provider and plan.
- Entertainment and Leisure: This can vary greatly but expect to spend around $50 to $100 per month for moderate social activities.
- Health Insurance: Private health insurance can range from $30 to $100 per month, depending on the coverage and provider.
Colombia Digital Nomad Visa- Resources to Stay Up to Date with Visa Changes
Yes, if you want to embrace a digital nomad lifestyle in Colombia, a country known for its vibrant culture and stunning landscapes.
The visa facilitates your seamless transition to Colombian life, allowing you to enjoy the country’s beauty while staying legally compliant. Keep updated with the latest requirements from the Colombian immigration authority, especially if you plan to work with foreign companies while in Colombia.
Remember, the successful completion of your application hinges on having all your documents in order and understanding the entire application process. With this visa, your dream of a tropical work-life balance in a vibrant South American country is within reach.
Known for its pleasant climate and innovative spirit, Medellín is a favorite among digital nomads. The city offers a blend of modern amenities, coworking spaces, and a thriving expat community.
Look for accommodation in El Poblado or Laureles for quick access to coworking spaces and cafes. Engage with the local digital nomad community through meetups and events.
As the capital of Colombia and one of the largest cities in South America, Bogotá is a bustling hub with diverse cultural experiences and business opportunities, especially for those working with foreign companies.
Chapinero is a great neighborhood for nomads, offering a vibrant nightlife and a variety of dining options. Be prepared for cooler temperatures due to the high altitude.
Cartagena is perfect for those seeking a tropical climate and historical ambiance. Its beautiful beaches and colorful streets provide a relaxed lifestyle for digital nomads.
Stay in the Getsemani neighborhood for a more authentic experience. Reliable internet can be found in various cafes and any coworking space found all around the city.
Cali offers a warm climate and a lower cost of living. It’s ideal for nomads who love music, dance, and a laid-back lifestyle.
San Antonio is a popular area with a bohemian vibe, great for creative nomads. Don’t miss out on the salsa clubs to experience the local culture.
Santa Marta is a smaller, less crowded option. It offers beautiful beaches, national parks, and is close to the famous Lost City trek.
Taganga is a great spot for beach lovers and divers. The town is also a gateway to exploring the nearby Tayrona National Park.
Colombia has long been a magnet for digital nomads, drawn by its affordable cost of living, stunning landscapes, and solid infrastructure that caters well to remote work.
With the introduction of the Digital Nomad Visa, the country is now even more accessible for those looking to immerse themselves in its vibrant culture and natural beauty for an extended period. This visa represents a fantastic opportunity to explore Colombia’s offerings more deeply, from its bustling cities to its tranquil beaches and everything in between.
Before packing your bags, remember the key considerations for a successful application: ensure your passport has ample validity, secure a letter from your employer or proof of your entrepreneurial ventures, and have your bank statements ready to show financial stability.
The application process is user-friendly and designed with the global nomad in mind, making it easier than ever to embark on your Colombian adventure. Embrace this chance to enhance your nomadic lifestyle by experiencing all the wonders Colombia has to offer.
If you’re intrigued by the prospects of living and working in Colombia or other destinations around the globe, here’s some more articles that may interest you;
- 71 Countries With Digital Nomad Visas (or Similar) in 2024
- Italy Digital Nomad Visa
- Spain Digital Nomad Visa
- Portugal Digital Nomad Visa
- Costa Rica Digital Nomad Visa
- Bali Digital Nomad Visa
Discover more about making the most of your remote work experience and living your dream as a global citizen.
Yes, Colombia offers a digital nomad visa, specifically tailored for individuals who wish to live in Colombia while working remotely for a company abroad or managing their entrepreneurship project. This visa is part of the Colombian visa system and provides legal entry for remote workers and digital nomads into the national territory.
The application process for this visa involves submitting an application form, found on the Colombian Foreign Affairs website, along with all the necessary documents. These include a valid passport, a recent passport photo, bank statements to prove an income equivalent in Colombian pesos, and a comprehensive health insurance policy. The entire application process is designed to be straightforward, providing an opportunity for digital nomads to immerse themselves in Colombian life while continuing their work.
Digital nomads on a digital nomad visa in Colombia are typically not required to pay income tax in Colombia, as long as their income comes from a foreign company and they stay in the country for less than 183 days in a calendar year.
However, it’s important to consult with a tax professional regarding your specific situation, as tax laws can vary and may be subject to change. Additionally, digital nomads should remain compliant with tax regulations in their home country or the country where their company is based.
Working remotely in Colombia on a tourist visa is not legally permitted. While a tourist visa allows for visiting Colombia, it does not authorize the holder to engage in any professional activities, even if the work is for a foreign company and done remotely.
For legal work status, a digital nomad visa or an appropriate entry visa is required. This ensures compliance with Colombian immigration authorities and foreign relations policies.
Obtaining a digital nomad visa is worth considering for those who want to experience living in a South American country while working remotely. This visa grants the holder the flexibility to reside in Colombia for up to two years, with the potential for renewal. It offers the opportunity to explore Colombian cities, enjoy coworking spaces, and experience the local culture, all while maintaining a professional connection to your work.
The cost of the visa, including the application fee and visa fee, is relatively low compared to other destinations like Costa Rica, making it an attractive option for many. However, one must weigh the benefits against a few restrictions and requirements, such as the need for a comprehensive health insurance policy and sufficient financial resources.
For the digital nomad visa, the Colombian authorities require a comprehensive health insurance policy. This policy must be valid for the duration of your stay in Colombia and cover all potential medical needs. The health insurance policy is a critical component of the application process, ensuring that digital nomads can access healthcare without burdening the country’s financial and human resources.
Immigration officials will check the validity of your health insurance upon entry, and it’s advisable to have all your documents, including the insurance policy, readily available.