The country of Colombia is a popular destination for many digital nomads due to its low cost of living and excellent weather most of the year.
From the benefits of being a digital nomad in this beautiful country to the visa application process, read on to learn more about how you can move to Colombia and work abroad.
Benefits of getting a digital nomad visa in Colombia
Remote work-friendly environment
Columbia is a country in Latin America that’s seeing rapid population growth along with an improving infrastructure that’s supportive of digital nomads.
Significant improvements in high-speed Internet connectivity are spreading all over the country, ensuring that reliable access is now readily available in more areas. Major cities like Bogota provide remote workers with a variety of co-working spaces where fellow nomads can gather to meet, network, and share ideas.
The Colombian culture is vibrant and diverse, with a mixture of indigenous people and locals who hail from Spanish and African heritage.
This country’s Caribbean influence is strong, and guests enjoy participating in colorful, enthralling festivals like Carnaval de Barranquilla. Dancing, colorful clothing, and a love of football are common themes here.
With a Colombia nomad visa, foreign nationals have amazing opportunities to immerse themselves in the language and Colombia’s many interesting cultures. It’s also an excellent way to explore the local cities and the country’s natural beauty and enjoy many exciting amenities, celebrations, and activities.
Cost of living advantages
Many Colombian cities have a reasonable cost of living, and a single person can live comfortably here for anywhere from just $950 to $1,200 a month.
Compared to other digital nomad hotspots, Colombia is cheaper than Brazil, Bali, Costa Rica, and Ecuador. This means you’ll get a higher quality of life and better value for your money if you choose to make Colombia your temporary home.
Eligibility criteria for the Colombia digital nomad visa
Defining digital nomads
Digital nomads work remotely and love to travel to various locations all over the globe. Foreign companies employ these tech-savvy workers with skills that cross a wide range of industries and professional fields.
While the job titles can vary greatly, many digital nomads are book or blog writers, web programmers or designers, photographers, and marketing professionals, to name a few. These talented workers can enjoy a versatile, flexible work-life balance as long as the work can be done online and from anywhere.
If you want to apply for a digital nomad Colombia visa, you’ll need first to demonstrate that you have a stable income from a foreign company. The current minimum income threshold is 3,480 COP (Colombian peso), or approximately $800 per month.
You must submit official bank statements for the previous three months with your application to prove your minimum monthly income.
Health insurance coverage
You must have an active, valid international health insurance plan to be approved for Colombia’s digital nomad visa. The policy should clearly show that you’re protected against risks in the event of an illness, accident, disability, pregnancy, hospitalization, death, or repatriation.
The health insurance plan must cover you for the entire duration of your stay. Include a copy of your health insurance policy when you apply for the visa since it’s part of the required documentation. Ensure that the international policy specifically includes wording showing you are covered in Colombia.
Before you fill out the application form, ensure you have all the necessary documents required for Colombian visas ready.
Double-check your application on the foreign affairs website to confirm that it’s complete and 100% accurate and that you have all the necessary documents ready before you click submit.
Here are the documents you’ll need to include when applying for a Colombia digital nomad visa:
- A valid passport issued with a full-color passport photo that has been valid for at least six months before you submit the visa application
- Proof that you are a remote worker arriving as an employee, business owner, or freelancer who is earning income from outside of Colombia
- Three months’ worth of bank statements proving that you meet the minimum income threshold
- An active and valid international health insurance policy
- Written proof from your employer called a “letter of intent” that proves you are a remote employee. You should be able to ask your employer’s human resources department to write one for you.
- If you are bringing dependents with you, then you must show proof of their relationship to you via a birth or marriage certificate
Submitting your Colombia digital nomad visa application online is the fastest way to get approved. You can complete the form using the Colombian Foreign Ministry of Foreign Affairs online portal.
Follow the instructions carefully, and ensure you include all of the pertinent information and all the required documentation before you submit it.
An application fee of $52 is currently required when you submit an application for a new digital nomad visa. You may pay the fee using a credit card or any other specified payment options mentioned on the portal’s website. The fees and requirements for other visa types, like a tourist visa or a short-stay visa, will vary.
Aside from the application fee, the Colombian government requires you to pay a visa fee once your digital nomad application is approved. Your approval notification will specify how much the fee is, but it’s typically between $170 and $230. The amount due is based on factors like whether or not you’re bringing dependents.
Living and working in Colombia
Choosing a city or region
Once you’re ready to join the ranks of your fellow digital nomads, it’s important to find Colombian cities or regions that suit your lifestyle preference and support an ideal work-life balance. Here are some of the most popular areas that digital nomads prefer when working in Colombia:
- Cartagena: This colorful city is old, but it has a range of modern amenities, a fun, laid-back vibe, and beautiful beaches to explore outside the city limits.
- Medellin: With access to the Metro system, this Colombian city features a bustling atmosphere with a big focus on art and creativity.
- Bogota: This is Colombia’s capital city and features an array of shopping, cafes, and restaurants, along with beautiful mountains for hiking and exploration.
- Cali: Warm weather all year and a thriving coffee industry make this modern city popular among digital nomads.
Before you decide which city you want to live in, research rental prices for homes and apartments. Choose a place with high-speed Internet already available or conveniently located near coworking spaces. Use online platforms to help in your search, including popular options like Encuentra24, Metrocuadadro, and Vivastreet.
As the nation of Colombia expands, access to high-speed Internet is also increasing. The country’s two main Internet service providers are Claro and Movistar, but other companies also offer affordable broadband access. Generally, the larger cities have better Internet connections and more access to public co-working spaces.
Renewal and extension process
A Colombian digital nomad visa has a valid period of two years. No minimum stay is required, meaning you can stay for as briefly or as long as you’d like until the visa expires. You may request to renew or extend your visa, but this request must be made before the current visa expires, or your request will be denied.
You must comply with the immigration authority and immigration laws of Colombia to ensure that your visa remains valid. If anything changes, such as a new status in income, or if your dependents leave the country, you must notify the Colombian Foreign Ministry as soon as possible.
If you become an employee of a company in Colombia, you may need to obtain a separate Colombian work visa.
Exiting and re-entering
If you want to leave and return to Columbia during the active visa period, you may do so as long as you have a valid stamped passport. The passport must also show proof of an exit and entry stamp every time you come and go. Make sure that your visa status remains active for seamless travel.
Challenges and solutions
Language, cultural, and remote work considerations
Whether you’re adapting to using a new currency or the language, there are a few challenges to be aware of when working as a digital nomad in Columbia.
- Address language barriers if you’re a non-Spanish speaker by learning some language basics and looking for helpful resources for support.
- Learn to adapt to Colombian customs and be aware of local etiquette practices.
- Search for resources that will help you with seamless cultural integration to ensure you’re participating in community engagement.
- Manage time zone changes and keep communications with your clients or colleagues open.
- Explore new networking opportunities by connecting to the local digital nomad community.
In today’s tech-savvy world, the rise of digital nomads is reaching unprecedented levels. These hard-working travelers get to explore the world using digital nomad visas while doing a job they love from anywhere they choose.
Thanks to a beautiful climate and exciting culture, along with an affordable cost of living, Colombia has quickly become a hot spot for digital nomads.
Use the tips from our guide to help you navigate the process of applying for a Colombia digital nomad visa so you can reap the benefits of working in this fascinating country.
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