In last week’s episode, we featured a Latin American country – Ecuador – where buying property worth just around $45,000 can earn you a residency permit. (And we were very surprised by our readers’ enthusiastic responses!) So today, we feature another South American country with a cheap, property-based residency program: Colombia…
Colombia: Another Latin American country offering cheap Residency By Property Investment…
For most folks, Colombia is not the Plan B option that would spring to mind first – countries like Mexico, Argentina, Brazil and Costa Rica are generally more popular.
And that does make sense…
Because as recently as 30 years ago, Colombia still had a very bad international reputation as an international hotspot for drug cartels and violence.
But since then, the country’s fortunes have been changing.
Today, it attracts millions of international visitors annually. And for good reason: Colombia is (still) cheap, exotic, and full of beautiful beaches – all traits that appeal to tourists, retirees and digital nomads alike.
Colombians are also renowned as being friendly, welcoming people, and the country’s cultural DNA features a blend of indigenous, African, and European influences.
Colombia counts musical genres like salsa and cumbia, as well as world-famous novelist Gabriel García Márquez, among its cultural export products. In addition, Colombia’s cuisine, along with its coffee, is popular around the world.
And while the country’s Residency By Property Investment program is not quite as cheap as that of Ecuador – priced at around just $45,000 – it’s still an option that could fit inside a lot of people’s budgets, priced at only around $97,000.
Let’s have a look at the program’s basic requirements below…
The Colombian Residency By Property Investment program at a glance
|Minimum property investment amount
|Additional income requirement
|Minimum annual stay requirement to get permanent residency
|Path to Citizenship
1 day every 180 days for five years
(10 days in total)
|Yes, after ten years of residency in total
In Colombia, you can obtain residency via real estate investment via two types of Migrant (M) visas:
a) Investment in Real Estate Visa (RE M), OR;
b) Foreign Direct Investment Visa (FDI M).
The minimum investment amount for the RE M visa in 2023 is around $97,000. It’s calculated by multiplying the Colombian minimum wage (1,160,000 pesos in 2023) by 350 (i.e. 406 million pesos, or around $97,000, as of this writing).
And you are free to invest in any kind of property – residential, commercial or agricultural land.
The FDI M Visa has much higher requirements, hence the RE M Visa makes the most sense. (Previously, the FDI M used to offer PR right away, but since, this privilege has been taken away. Now, it offers temporary residency, too – so there’s no longer any point in choosing this route.)
Under the RE M visa, your initial temporary residency permit will be valid for between one and three years. (Reportedly, the awarded period will largely depend on the immigration official dealing with your case.)
To keep your temporary residency active (and to later qualify for permanent residency), you have to spend just one day in the country every 180 days – but you will have to meet this requirement – no exceptions allowed.
You will also need to hold your property until you become a permanent resident, however you are free to use it as you see fit.
You are, however, NOT allowed to be employed locally under this type of visa.
And after five years of holding temporary residency, you become eligible for permanent residency.
The good news is that the physical presence requirement is more lenient during the permanent residency stage. You must visit the country just once every two years to keep your PR active.
And as a permanent resident, you are free to sell your property if you wish to do so.
Plus, your Colombian residency can lead to a passport…
However, the naturalization timeline is ten long years, and the application process will take at least one more year (for a total of 11 years – or more…)
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Not everything is perfect in South America – and Colombia, in particular, still has a lot of catching up to do in terms of cleaning up its reputation for safety and cartel activity.
You can also expect less well-developed public infrastructure outside of major cities like Bogotá and Medellín… Along with an ineffective state bureaucracy – countrywide. In addition, heavy traffic congestion and noise pollution in the larger cities is a given; as are high levels of economic disparity
But despite these issues, Colombia has a lot to offer. And combined with a highly attractive Residency By Property Investment offering, it might just be an option to consider…