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Complete guide to obtaining a Columbia retirement (M) visa, the required documents, the application steps, and the best places for retirees

Colombia is a South American country that welcomes foreign retirees every year. One of the factors that make Colombia a famous destination among retirees is the low cost of living. As a retiree in Colombia, you can enjoy a decent life without spending much.

Everyone who chooses to make Colombia their new permanent home will live a comfortable and affordable life in a warm climate and astonishing landscapes.

To retire in Colombia, you will need to apply for a Colombian Retirement (M) Visa. The Ministerio de Relaciones Exteriores (Ministry of Foreign Affairs) office in Bogotá is responsible for issuing retirement visas.

What Is a Colombia Retirement M Visa?

A Migrant (M) visa is a type of visa that allows its holder to stay and live in Colombia for three years. The Colombia Retirement M visa (previously known as a TP-7 visa) is issued to elderly foreigners who choose Colombia as their retirement home and have the necessary financial income to support themselves. A Colombian retirement visa can be renewed continuously.

Eligibility for a Retirement Visa in Colombia

To apply for a retirement visa in Colombia, you have to meet the following criteria:

  • You must be retired, either receiving a pension or with a creditable periodic income 
  • You must be at least 65 years of age (if you are a man) or 57 years (if you are a woman).
  • You must have a minimum income of $800/month.

Colombia Retirement Visa Requirements

To apply for a Colombia Retirement visa, you have to enclose the following documents:

  • Completed and signed application form.
  • Original and valid passport.
  • Two recently taken photos. They must be in passport format (3x4cm), in color with white background. (max. 300 KB for online application).
  • Copies of the main page of your passport or travel document . The page must show your personal information (full name, date, and place of birth, passport number, etc.).
  • Copies of previous Colombian visas. (If applicable)
  • International health insurance policy certificate.
  • Payment of visa fee.
  • Proof of financial means. A certificate issued by a public entity or private company, recognized by the government, stating the paid or drawn income on your behalf. The amount of income should not be less than ten current monthly minimum required income.

How Can I Apply for a Colombia Retirement Visa?

You can apply for a Colombia Retirement visa in one of the following ways:

  • Online
  • At a Colombian consulate abroad
  • From within Colombia

Applying Online

Online application is one of the easiest and quickest ways to apply for a Colombian retirement visa. This is how you can apply online:

  1. Visit the official website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Read the instructions and provide your identification data (passport number, nationality, date of issue/expiration, etc.) and your personal data (full name, date of birth, country of birth, etc.).
  2. Scan your documents before starting with the application. Documents must be in PDF format, and the combined size of all scanned or uploaded documents must not exceed 3MGB.
  3. Pay the fee. You can pay the fee with a VISA Credit Card and MasterCard Card.
  4. After your visa has been approved, visit the consulate to get the visa stamp.

Applying at a Colombian Consulate Abroad

If you cannot apply online or in Colombia, you can start your application at a Colombian diplomatic mission in your home country. The procedure of application is as follows:

  1. Locate the nearest Colombian consulate in your country. Contact the embassy/consulate to set up an appointment.
  2. Visit the Consulate on the appointment date and start your application by completing the application form. Make sure you follow the instructions on how to fill out the application form correctly.
  3. Ensure you have all the required documents before attaching them to your application form. Check the list of required documents below.
  4. Submit the application and documents to the consulate.
  5. Receive the decision on your visa application.

Applying from within Colombia

If you are already in Colombia and want to apply for a retirement visa, you have to visit the Ministerio de Relaciones Exteriores office in Bogotá. Prior to visiting the office, make sure you have all the required documents and that your documents are legalized, apostilled, or properly translated by a certified translator.

The office in Bogotá will instruct you on how to proceed with the application once you compile all the documents.

How Much Does a Colombia Retirement Visa Cost?

The fees for a Colombian Retirement visa are presented in the table below:

Application form$52€40

How to Pay the Retirement visa fee?

You can pay the retirement visa fee in one of the following ways:

  1. Through the PSE – Electronic Service Provider
  2. Servibanca (at any SERVIBANCA ATM in Colombian territory).
  3. Banco GNB Sudameris (in cash and Colombianpesos).
  4. Payment at consulates.
  5. Payment with VISA Credit Card and MasterCard Card

After the Colombian Retirement Visa is Approved

After you are granted the retirement visa, you have to apply for a Cedula de Extranjeria (ID Card). The ID Card is issued by the Special Administrative Unit for Colombia Migration and serves as an identification of foreigners in the Colombian territory.

You will have 15 days to get your Cedula de Extranjeria.

After receiving your ID Card, you can join the Colombian healthcare system POS or Obligatory Health Plan.

What Is the Duration of a Retirement Visa for Colombia?

A Colombian Retirement visa is issued for a period of three years, and you can renew it after the expiration date.

Can My Family Join Me?

Yes, you can bring your dependents with you. When applying for a retirement visa, you must include your family members that want to join you in Colombia on a single visa application. Family members that can join you include:

  • Your spouse 
  • Your child under the age of 25.
  • Your child with disabilities that prevent them from working and providing for themselves (no specified age).

Your family members will be granted a beneficiary visa. This type of visa is issued to family members who are dependent upon the holder of a Colombian retirement visa (you). Your family will have the right to education but are not permitted to work.

Requirements for family members

To bring your dependents with you, you must submit the following documents:

  • Passport of your family members.
  • Two individual photos in passport format.
  • Document proving the relationship between you and your family member (spouse, child).
  • Documents proving economic dependence.
  • Payment of visa fee.

Health Insurance for Retirees in Colombia

The Colombian healthcare system has a coverage of 96% and ranks 22nd on the World Health Organization’s list. Hospitals in Colombia are among the best in South America, equipped with modern technologies and qualified staff. As an expat, you can choose between public health insurance (PBS) and private health insurance. 

  • EPS Colombia forms the public health system and is mandatory for every citizen of Colombia. EPS comprises companies that provide medical services, and citizens join EPS to get treatment in clinics and hospitals. These medical facilities treat them and do not charge patients a fee.
  • The PBS health insurance’s (formerly called POS) purpose is protecting your health, preventing and curing diseases, and supplement medicines. 

The PBS health insurance covers:

  • Emergency care.
  • General and specialized medical consultation.
  • Dental treatments (orthodontics, periodontics, and dental prosthetics are not included).
  • Laboratory tests and X -rays.
  • Joint replacements.
  • Surgical treatment for diseases of the heart and central nervous system.
  • Radiotherapy and chemotherapy treatment for cancer.
  • Dialysis for chronic kidney failure, kidney transplant, heart transplant, bone marrow transplant, liver transplant, corneal transplant, etc.

If you want to get private health insurance, you can go with one of many insurance companies in Colombia. Contact them and see what plan works best for you. 

Can I Get a Resident Visa in Colombia With a Retirement Visa?

A resident visa is issued to expats who want to enter the country with the purpose of taking up residence in it. 

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs issues resident visas to foreigners who have been holders of one of the TP (M) visas for five continuous and uninterrupted years.

If you are a holder of an M-11 retirement visa, you will be eligible to apply for a resident visa in Colombia after five years.

Benefits of Retiring in Colombia

Expats choose Colombia as their retirement home for many reasons. Here are the benefits of retiring in Colombia:

  • Cost of living. ou can live well without having to spend much on accommodation or groceries. 
  • Healthcare. You will not have to pay an enormous amount of money to get treatment in Colombia.
  • Great climate. The climate in Colombia is characterized by being tropical and isothermal, with each region maintaining an average temperature throughout the year.
  • Friendly locals. Colombians are welcoming and polite toward foreigners who move to the country.
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