ALFA International’s member firm in Colombia outlined the updated requirements for the Digital Nomad Visa application. The pandemic permanently changed the way we performed everything from the most basic to the most complex tasks. Not only did alter the way we interacted as human beings, but it brought profound changes, some of them temporary and others that are here to stay.
One of the thousands of changes we experienced was in our work life. Although teleworking was not a new concept in Colombia, since in 2008 there were stated regulations that laid the foundations for this work modality, the great impulse that allowed increasing the numbers of teleworkers in Colombia arose as a result of the health crisis and mobility restrictions that began during the first quarter of 2020. During 2020, 209,173 employees became teleworkers, fostering a 71% increase over 2018, when there were only 122,278.
An unprecedented phenomenon in the labor world which occurred globally and led workers in various sectors of the economy to abandon the old labor models thus creating new trends and regulatory needs in the matter. This created a boom in our territory of the so-called “cross-border teleworkers” who perform their work in a country other than that in which the service is received. For this reason, and due to the current needs in migratory matters, Resolution 5477 of 2022 issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs came into force in Colombia on October 21, 2022, which added the now known “Digital Nomad Visa.”
This type of visa will be part of the Type V (Visitor) category and will allow the legal stay of those individuals who wish to develop their work activities in our territory for natural or legal persons located abroad. This resolution allows foreigners of nationalities exempted from short term visas, to enter Colombia and to apply for this visa which would be valid for up to (2) years. However, it is necessary to clarify that regardless of the length of time granted by the immigration authorities, the digital nomad may stay in Colombia for a maximum of 180 days in a year.
The specific requirements for this application are as follows:
1. Hold a passport issued by any of the countries or territories exempted from short stay visa, according to the Resolution.
2. Letter in Spanish or English, issued by one or more foreign companies for which the foreigner renders his/her services, indicating the type of relationship and the type of remuneration received by the applicant. In case of having a contract with such company, provide it, or prove that he/she is a partner or co-owner of a company abroad and a letter indicating that his/her work for the company is performed remotely.
3. In the case of entrepreneurs, present a motivational letter explaining their entrepreneurial project and the financial and human resources they have or aspire to have for their venture.
4. Demonstrate by means of bank statements to have a minimum income equivalent to three (3) Colombian Minimum Monthly Legal Minimum Wages in Force (SMLMV) during the last 3 months.
5. Health policy with coverage in the national territory against all risks in case of accident, illness, maternity, disability, hospitalization, death, or repatriation, for the time foreseen for their stay in the country.
Finally, the current restrictions for this type of visa are the impossibility to work or develop a remunerated activity for a legal or natural person domiciled in the national territory.