Colombia has beautiful weather, world-class healthcare, and some of the best coffee in the world. Coupled with a low cost of living and inexpensive minimum income for a retirement visa, Colombia is one of the most enticing options for settling down abroad. Here is everything you need to know about obtaining a retirement visa for Colombia.
Applicants Must Have An Income Of $800 A Month
In order to qualify for the retirement visa, an applicant must have an income or pension that is three times the minimum legal monthly wage in Colombia, which, as of January 2021, is 908,526 Colombian pesos ($262.70 USD) per month. This translates to a retirement visa minimum income requirement of just under $800 USD per month. The Colombian government resets the minimum wage every year, so the exact income requirement for a retirement visa fluctuates annually.
This income can be an annuity from a bank, an insurance company, or a private business. Applicants must show proof of this income by providing a Social Security pension certificate, a statement from the bank, or a letter from the company that distributes their pension.
It is worth noting that many applicants for Colombia’s retirement visa find it much more difficult to receive approval for pensions from private companies. This makes using Social Security as proof of income the easiest process.
Applicants Can Include A Spouse And Dependents On Their Visa
Spouses and children can be included as dependents on a retirement visa, meaning retirees can streamline the visa application process by including their whole family on a single visa application. Dependents will be granted a beneficiary visa.
There are three types of approved dependents: spouses, children under the age of 25, and children with disabilities that prevent them from working/providing for themselves regardless of age. The application process will require additional documents for each dependent, including proof of relationship or kinship. Those living in the country on a beneficiary visa cannot pursue employment in Colombia, but they can attend school.
Applicants Can Submit Their Required Documents Either From Home Or From Colombia
Individuals interested in applying for the Colombia retirement visa can submit the required documents in two ways. They can either submit the documents from their home country via a local Colombian consulate or travel to Colombia, where they will work with an Immigration Office of Colombia.
The following documents are required for Colombia retirement visa applications:
- A completed visa application form
- The applicant’s passport, valid for at least another six months
- A photocopy of the first page of the applicant’s passport, which shows basic information such as full name, date and place of birth, passport number, etc.
- A photocopy of the page of the applicant’s passport with the most recent entry stamp to Colombia (if applying from the country) or the most recent exit stamp (if applying from home)
- A photocopy of any previous Colombia visas held by the applicant
- Proof of pension, presented via a government-issued certificate, bank statement, or likewise
- An international health insurance policy certificate
- At least two passport-sized photos of the applicant
- Payment for associated application fees
If including dependents, an applicant must also submit the following documents:
- Passports of the dependents
- At least two passport-sized photos of each dependent
- A civil registry document proving familial relation between the applicant and the dependent
- Documents proving economic dependence
- An application letter for each beneficiary, in which the applicant assumes responsibility for the dependent(s)
- Payment for associated application fees
After Obtaining A Visa, Applicants Must Then Apply For A Colombian Cedula
While visa applications can be handled either from home or from Colombia, the next step must be done in person at an Immigration Office of Colombia. Once granted a retirement visa, a retiree must obtain their Cedula de Extranjeria — an ID card for foreign nationals.
If the visa application process was completed in Colombia, an applicant has exactly 15 days from receiving the visa to register at an immigration office and receive their ID card. If an applicant obtained their visa from their home country, the 15 days do not begin to count down until after the retiree has entered Colombia.
The following documents are required for Colombia retirement visa applicants to get a Cedula:
- A completed Cedula application form
- The applicant’s passport
- A photocopy of the first page of the applicant’s passport, which shows basic information such as full name, date, and place of birth, passport number, etc.
- A copy of the applicant’s valid visa
- Payment for the associated application fees
The Visa Must Be Renewed
The retirement visa is valid for three years, after which it must be renewed. However, after five years of living in Colombia on a retirement visa, individuals are eligible to apply for a resident visa instead.
Considering retiring abroad? See all our retirement advice here, and, if you’re considering Colombia specifically, read up on