Business Investor Visa Changes In Colombia
Expat Alert! The visa process changed again!
We already made a video about the Visa Process in Colombia, a few months ago.
But they recently changed the process again, unfortunately without letting people know. Our accountant found it out by coincidence, luckily we already finished our process at that time.
Back in the days a Business Investor Visa was one of the best solutions when not you’re not getting a pension. You just had to open a company and make it seems like you did something on the businesses bank account 6 months before you would apply for the visa extension. THAT CHANGED!
Now you really need to prove that you’re doing business, otherwise they will most likely reject your next visa application.
See the video for more info.
This info is firsthand from our lawyer Alan Gongora more here:
Re the Company Owner visa process, note that you have to invest approximately US$28k into your own company and actually, truly engage in business (there used to be a time that you could just “pretend” that you were doing business and you could get this visa but no longer). This means invoicing clients, booking legit business expenses, possibly leasing office space, hiring employees, etc…
Currently, the issue is when do you apply AFTER you have registered your company. You have two options:
OPTION 1: APPLY ASAP. Note that normally they will request company activity info (receipts, bank statements, invoices, payments to employees) over a 6-month period. They want to know that the company is actually active (that you are not “pretending” that you have a company in order to get a visa). But if you apply immediately after you make the investment you won’t have this 6 month activity ready. This may mean a lot of push back from the Col gov. If you do actually get a visa you may only get 1 year instead of the 3 they normally give applicants, forcing you to prove that you have business activity later on when you apply again in 12 months.
OPTION 2: APPLY IN 6 MONTHS. You could also start business immediately, wait 6 months to show all the company activity mentioned above and then get 3 years on this visa. The problem (a true “chicken for the egg” problem) is always the same: you will need someone to act as a legal rep that has a cedula (national ID card) in order to open a local bank account. And you need this bank account in order to develop the activity they are requesting for this visa application. You could normally be the legal rep for your own company but you don’t get a cedula until AFTER you get a visa. If you get someone to be a legal rep for the company they need to be trustworthy and available to sign documentation on a regular basis locally. In case you have such person, fantastic. If not we can serve as legal reps short term until you get your cedula.