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Colombia Work Visas & Work Permits

Learn about the types of work visas for Colombia, how to apply for Colombia work visas, and other information to help you expand to Colombia

If your business is planning to expand to Colombia, you may also need to bring along employees from abroad to help with the setup and running of the operation. To do this, each employee will generally need Colombia work visas.

However, getting Colombia work visas can be a complex process, with various categories of visas to choose from, complicated regulations, and times all contributing to the complexity, and you could encounter unexpected delays.

At Horizons, our global expansion experts offer a range of Colombia work visa solutions, immigration support, and outsourcing to help your organization source and hire the best talent from across the world.

Hire and pay talents
with Horizons in
180+ countries.

Standard requirements for Colombia work visas

The different types of Colombian visas have differing requirements. However, for the most common work visa, the M visa, there are some standard requirements that applicants will generally need to fulfill, including:

  • A valid passport
  • Application forms and relevant fees
  • Proof of sufficient funds
  • Passport photos
  • Proof of qualifications and/or work experience
  • A job offer from a Colombia-based employer

Different types of work visas for Colombia

There are several different types of visas for Colombia to choose from, such as the V (visitor) visa, M (migrant) visa, and the R (resident) visa. Of these options, the M visa is the most commonly used by foreign workers. For those who wish to live and work in Colombia long-term or permanently, it is possible to upgrade to the R visa after holding the M visa for five years or more, and five years later they can apply to become a citizen of Colombia.

How to get a work visa for Colombia

Employees can file their applications and submit any relevant documents online via the website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, a Colombian government department. Once the visa application has been processed and approved, you/your employee will need to pay any fees that are requested and the visa will be issued.

Further considerations

Any of your workers who will be staying in Colombia for longer than three months will need to officially register and obtain a nation ID card from an authorized government office in Colombia. This must be done within 15 days, so it is important to book an appointment as a priority. There is a fee for the ID card and applicants will need to supply both their passport and their visa.

It is also always important to file any visa applications well in advance of needing them, as processing times can be as long as several weeks.

Any documents you submit as part of an application should be written in Spanish.

How can Horizons help?

At Horizons, our global expansion specialists help employers expand to Colombia and support them through the process of obtaining Colombian work visas. Our team offers tailored advice and outsourcing solutions to assist you through the country’s complex visa process. We ensure that you and your valued employees are in full compliance with Colombia’s immigration and employment regulations, save you time, and provide answers to any queries you might have about the process. Additionally, we offer extensive outsourcing services that cover recruitment, payroll, HR, administration, and more to help your company start expanding Colombia as rapidly and effectively as possible, even if you don’t have a registered entity in the country.