Post Study Work Options: How to Get a Work Visa in Colombia After Studies

Post Study Work Options: How to Get a Work Visa in Colombia After Studies

Colombia is a South American country located in the northern part of the continent. The country shares borders with Panama to the northwest, Venezuela and Brazil to the east, and Ecuador and Peru to the south. Colombia also has coastlines along the Caribbean Sea and the Pacific Ocean.

Colombia is home to just under 50 million people and is considered one of the most ethnically and linguistically diverse countries in the world. Colombia’s rich cultural heritage reflects its European, Middle Eastern, African and indigenous influences.

Colombia’s scenic attractions, diverse and breath-taking landscapes are hard to resist. From learning about coffee to hiking in the beautiful Tayrona National Park, there is plenty to do in this country. Colombia will never fail to excite you.

The country is steadily seeing an increase in international students from all over the world. Cities like Medellin and Bogota regularly host a number of international students, who come here for learning Spanish, doing internships, attending semester exchange and volunteering programs.

Colombian universities are widely recognised for their strength in engineering, administration, and social sciences courses.

Spanish is the official language of Colombia and is most widely spoken. By learning Spanish, you further enhance your skill sets which opens you up to a lot of different types of career avenues. 

Foreign nationals who have completed their study program need a job offer from a Colombian based employer to apply for a work visa. Student visas generally expire when you complete your studies and you need a valid visa to switch to another visa. 

Check your options in order to legally stay in Colombia after completing your studies or explore your other post-study options in the UK, USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, or countries in Europe, Asia, Africa and South America!

Visas Available in Colombia

Colombia changed its visa rules in December 2017 to create several different visa categories. The three main visa types include:

  • Visitor “V” type visa – This visa is meant for visitors entering or staying in the country temporarily
  • Migrant “M” type visa –  This is suitable for those who want to enter or remain in Colombia and live in the country temporarily.
  • Resident “R” type visa – This is a visa for individuals establishing themselves in Colombia permanently.

If applying for your visa in Colombia, you must show that your immigration status is confirmed and show the last stamp of entry, exit or safe conduct as the case may be.

These visas are usually valid for three years. However, certain exceptions exist, such as work visas which can be less than three years, depending on the length of employment.

You can apply for a work visa at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Bogota.

Technical Visitor Visa or Temporary Service Provider (Type – V)

This visa is valid for up to six months. This type of visa is directed to Companies with specific projects, which it requires the support of foreign personnel, to carry out Technical tasks for a short period of time. 

In the event that you change your employer, you must inform Migration Colombia of your situation immediately.

To apply, you need to prepare the following documents:

  • Valid passport
  • 2 photos (3cm x 4cm) on a white background
  • Resumen de contrato (summary of contract) form, established by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
  • Original contract provided by the company.
  • Motivation letter from the employer.
  • Bank statements of the employer corresponding to the 6 months prior to the request. 

* When the employer is a body or institution of the Colombian state, an international governmental body, a diplomatic mission or a consular office accredited in Colombia, only a visa request letter signed by the legal representative (or whoever acts in their stead) is required.

Work Visa for Colombia Type – M

The visa is a legal requirement for you to work in Colombia is an authorisation to perform remunerated activities in the National Territory. If you have the purpose of working and living in the country, you must take into account that one of the main requirements for your Colombian work visa, is to have a job offer, a legal company with domicile in Colombia and according to your profession and the position you are going to perform in the hiring company.

The type M visa will be valid for 3 years. When the duration of the contract is less than three years, the M type visa may have a reduced validity.

You can also have the right to apply for Work Visas in Beneficiary Quality to all members of your family (Father, Mother, spouse and children), which will allow your family member to remain legally. Your family member’s visa does not allow family members to work, only the holder who has the employment contract can perform a professional job.

To apply, you need to prepare the following documents:

  • Valid passport
  • 2 photos (3cm x 4cm) on a white background
  • Resumen de contrato (contract summary form)
  • Motivation letter from the employer.
  • Bank statements of the employer for the 6 months prior to the application. When the employer is a legal entity, the employer must demonstrate average monthly income of one hundred (100) legal monthly minimum wages in force. In the case of a natural person, employers must show an average monthly income of 10 legal monthly minimum wages in force.

In the event that you change employer, you must inform Migration Colombia of your situation immediately.

Business Visa for Colombia Type – M

Having formed a business company, or invested in the capital stock of a business company for the minimum amounts. The M type visa will be valid for 3 years.

There are two categories under this type of visa:

  • Owner/Shareholder of a Company Established in Colombia– The foreign partner or owner of a commercial company, with an amount not less than one hundred 
  • Real Estate Investment– Acquired property in Colombia for an amount not less than three hundred and fifty

Permanent Visa Type R

After staying in Colombia with a Type M visa for five (5) years, you can apply for this visa. The type R visa will be valid indefinitely. 

To apply, you need to prepare the following documents.

  • Valid passport
  • 2 photos (3cm x 4cm) on a white background
  • Copy of the visas and safe passages of which he / she has been the holder during the time of permanence in the Colombian territory
  • Migratory movement certificate issued by the Colombia Migration – Special Administrative Unit
  • Document certifying occupation and / or source of income
  • Document certifying or proving that the circumstances or conditions that gave rise to the granting of the last visa still remain

Naturalised Citizenship in Colombia

If you have been a permanent resident in the country for at least five years, you can apply for citizenship.

The residency period required is not always as long as five years. If you are married to a Colombian citizen or have a child with Columbian citizenship, then you only need to have lived in the country for two years. Latin American and Caribbean nationals are eligible to apply for citizenship if they have lived in the country for just one year and Spanish nationals are required to have lived there for at least two.  

Colombian citizenship entitles you to have a Colombian passport, hold public office, be commissioned as an officer in the Colombian military and vote in national elections.

Processing times and costs can vary depending on your nationality, so check with your local embassy or Colombian consulate for more information.

You are also expected to pass a test related to Colombian history, geography and the constitution. A Spanish oral test is also required. Those who have a Bachelor’s degree, have completed university in Colombia or are over 65 are exempt from these tests.

What are your thoughts on the Post Study Options in Colombia? Is there anything we missed or anything you need clarification on? Comment below.

IaM can help with your visa application to the United States, the UK & other countries

If you need help with a US visa, a UK Visa, or visa to Europe, including help with appointment booking obligations, IaM can help. For more information and advice on US immigration, UK immigration law and US visa applications or if you need any help or assistance please, reach out to your Visa Coordinator at IaM.

Charlie

 

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