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Colombia - Regulation for entry and stay

Based on the principle of State sovereignty and without prejudice to provisions of international treaties, the entry, stay, and/or exit of foreigners to and from Colombian territory is governed by provisions of decree 4000/2004, decree 2622 of July 2009, and the policies established by the national government.

Colombia, through its migration policy, guides immigration planning based on global or industry development plans, public or private, to determine the activities, professions, installation areas, contribution of capital and of other nature that foreigners must undertake when considering their admission to the country through planned immigration programs.

Immigration in Colombia is regulated according to social, demographic, economic, scientific, cultural, security, public law and order, sanitary, and other interest needs of the Colombian State. 

Preferential immigration in Colombia promotes the entry of immigrants that due to their experience, technical, professional, or intellectual qualification contributes to the development of useful or beneficial economic, scientific, cultural, or educational activities for the country, or incorporates to the economic development or international activities or programs defined by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, for which qualified nationals are not available or are insufficient to satisfy demand.

Immigration policy will also promote the entry of foreigners that contribute capital to be invested in the establishment of companies of interest to the country, or in productive activities that generate employment, increase or diversify exports of goods or services, or are deemed of national interest.

The classes and categories of visas are classified in the following manner:

Classes 

  • Courtesy
  • Business
  • Crew member
  • Temporary

Categories

  • Worker
  • Spouse or permanent companion of Colombian national
  • Member of religious order
  • Student
  • Special
  • Refugee or asylum seeker

Resident
Categories:

  • As family member of Colombian national
  • Qualified
  • Investor

Visitor
Categories:

  • Tourist visitor
  • Temporary visitor
  • Professional visitor