Emigration to Colombia

Emigration to Colombia

Area: 1,138,980 km²
Residents: 49,120,881 (March 2017)
Population density: 43 E / km²
Form of Government: Republic
System of Government: Presidential democracy
Neighboring countries: Panama, Venezuela, Brazil, Peru, Ecuador

Capital: Bogotá

National languages: SpanishEnglish (on the Islands of San Andrés and Providencia)

Religions: 70% Roman Catholic 20% Various Evangelical Religions 0.35%

Jehovah’s Witnesses Currency: Colombian Peso (COP)

1 COP = 100 Centavos
Exchange rates:
1 EUR = 4,317.54 COP
1,000 COP = 0.23 EUR
1 CHF = 3,973.89 COP
1,000 COP = 0.25 CHF
(exchange rate from 02/22/2021)
Telephone area code: +57
Time zone: UTC -5
Mains voltage: 110 V (60 Hz)

In 2020, 278 Germans officially emigrated to Colombia and 486 came back to their homeland. Within the 10 years from 2010 to 2019, 3,572 Germans officially emigrated to Colombia and 4,502 moved back to Germany. Almost 80% of the population lives in the Andes region and the Caribbean lowlands, which means that a good half of Colombia is only very sparsely populated.

According to best-medical-schools, Colombia is considered the most beautiful country in Latin America. It offers an unimagined variety of natural beauty and culture. Mention should be made of its many coffee plantations, breathtaking dense rainforests, the spectacular mountain world of the Andes, the romantic colonial style and the magic of the tropical Caribbean with its offshore coral reefs.

In the west of Colombia are the Andes. The two highest mountains are each 5,775 meters high. The two largest rivers, Cauca and Magdalena, which flow into the Caribbean Sea, also arise between the mountain ranges. The Colombian east is densely forested plains and in the southeast is the Colombian part of the Amazon, i.e. dense rainforests.

Although Colombia is in the tropical climatic zone, it has four different climatic regions depending on the altitude. The lowlands have a tropical climate with over 24 ° C. At an altitude of 1,000 to 2,000 m there is a temperate tropical climate with 17 – 30 ° C. A cold tropical climate with 12 – 17 ° C is found at an altitude of 2,000 to 3,000 m and from 3,000 m, i.e. in the mountain regions, there is a high alpine glacier climate with less than 12 ° C. So you should know which area you want to visit before you start your journey and take the appropriate clothing with you.

Immigration, residence permit, permanent residence

In order to be able to stay in Colombia longer than 180 days, you definitely need a corresponding visa. Below we present them.

Visa for pensioners (TP-7 visa, “pensionados”)

To do this, you must be able to provide evidence of a gross monthly pension of at least COP $ 2,213,151 (currently EUR 660, as of May 31, 2018). The pensioner / retiree visa is valid for one year. You can apply for a new pensioner visa about one month before your visa expires. Anyone who has held a Colombian pensioner visa for 5 years can apply for a permanent residence permit (visa de residente).

Work Visa (TP-4 Visa)

Foreigners who want or have to work in Colombia need a work visa. An exception applies to foreigners who already have another valid visa for Colombia that allows them to take up work (e.g. spouse visa, resident visa).

Before applying for a work visa, one must have a signed employment contract from a Colombian employer. The work visa is only valid for this employer. If you change employers, the work visa must also be changed.

In the case of fixed-term employment relationships, the visa is issued for the duration of the employment relationship, but not for longer than 3 years. In the case of an open-ended employment relationship, the visa is valid for between 1 and 3 years. If the work visa has expired, you can apply for a new work visa.

If the employment relationship is terminated, the visa automatically expires. Then you have to leave Colombia or apply for another visa within 30 days.

Self-employed visa (visa de migrante como independiente)

The self-employed visa is used by independent web designers, language teachers, consultants, graphic designers, etc. The application for a self-employed visa requires official recognition from the Colombian state for self-employment. A distinction is made between regulated professions (profesión regulada) and non-regulated professions (profesión liberal no regulada).

For regulated professions, such as doctor, architect, accountant, engineer, you have to present your official Colombian license (Colombian engineer ID, architect ID). Alternatively, there is also a temporary ID card for exercising a regulated profession in Colombia (permiso provisional). You have to apply for this beforehand at the responsible chamber (e.g. medical association, architectural association, engineering association, etc.). The temporary ID expires after 6 months.

Anyone wishing to pursue a non-regulated profession in Colombia (graphic designer, business consultant, language teacher or web designer) must present a certificate from the Colombian Ministry of Education. This shows that his foreign educational qualification was checked and officially recognized in Colombia (convalidación). The recognition process can take up to 6 months. This leads to problems for self-employed foreigners who do not have an educational qualification specifically for the job.

Resident visa (visa RE, “residencia)

The resident visa is unlimited and is a preliminary stage for acquiring Colombian citizenship. It gives unlimited entitlement to work and self-employment in Colombia. Below are the requirements for obtaining a Colombian resident visa, of which at least one requirement must be met.

Colombian children father

If you have a child with a Colombian national, this child automatically acquires Colombian nationality at birth. After the child is born, the foreign parent can apply for a resident visa.

If two foreign nationals, one of whom has a valid Colombian resident visa, witness a child, the child automatically receives Colombian citizenship at birth. The other parent who does not yet have a resident visa can then apply for one.

5 years temporary visa

Anyone who has held one of the following types of visa for 5 consecutive years:

  • Student Visa (TP-3)
  • Work Visa (TP-4)
  • Visa for Representatives of Religious Communities (TP-5)
  • Investor visa, self-employed visa, pensioner visa, privateer visa, etc. (TP-7)
  • Refugee Visa (TP-9)


A foreign direct investment of at least 650 Colombian monthly minimum wages (COP $ 448,145,750) can apply for a resident visa immediately. For example, it can flow into a Colombian company as start-up capital or you can purchase a property. The investor must properly register the investment with the Colombian Central Bank as a direct investment.

Anyone who holds a resident visa and does not stay in Colombia for a continuous period of more than 2 years will lose their resident visa!

Emigration to Colombia


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