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Unlocking New Horizons: Evaluating the Benefits of the Colombian Digital Nomad Visa

Digital co-working space, used in the article, Unlocking New Horizons: Evaluating the Benefits of the Colombian Digital Nomad Visa
Co working space.

After about 4 years of consideration the Colombian digital nomad visa became formalised in October 2022. As 2023 progresses, requests for this visa have been on the increase.

Digital nomadism is on the rise, challenging the conventional notions of work and travel.

With advancements in technology and an increasing number of jobs that can be performed remotely, people are no longer confined to their desks.

Instead, they are embracing a lifestyle that allows them to work from anywhere in the world.

It’s a liberating concept that promises freedom, flexibility, and the chance to experience different cultures first hand.

But what exactly does Colombia’s digital nomad visa entail?

Who is eligible, and what are the benefits?

In this article, we will explore these questions and more.

Overview of Colombia’s Digital Nomad Visa Program.

Understanding Colombia’s Digital Nomad Visa.

Colombia’s digital visa definition is as follows:

To provide remote work or teleworking services, from Colombia, through digital media and the internet, exclusively for foreign companies, as an independent or labor-related, or to start a digital content or information technology venture of interest to the country.

Cost of the Colombian Digital Nomad Visa.

A USD$50 application fee then an issuance fee of USD $177.00 is to be paid.

Expect it to take about 30 days if there are no issues.


This type of visa does not allow you (the foreigner), to be employed by Colombian companies or nationals.

Another restriction is, these visas are not granted to all nationalities. *More on that below.

Eligibility criteria and Application Process.

The specific requirements you need to meet are:

  1. Be the holder of a passport issued by one of the countries or territories *exempt from a short-stay visa, according to the Resolution.
  2. Letter in Spanish or English, issued by one or several foreign companies for which the foreigner provides his services, indicating the type of relationship and the type of remuneration received by the applicant. In case of having a contract with said company , provide it, or demonstrate that you are a partner or co-owner of a company abroad and a letter indicating that your work for the company is carried out remotely.
  3. In the case of entrepreneurs, submit a motivational letter explaining your entrepreneurship project and the financial and human resources you have, or aspire to have for your venture;
  4. **Demonstrate through bank statements to have a minimum income equivalent to three (3) Current Minimum Legal Monthly Wages ( 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 your stay in the country.
  6. Proof of relationship to dependents (if applicable).

*This restriction, is that these visas are not granted to all nationalities. They will only be granted to those who have an approved nationally as per resolution 2069 of 2020 of which there are more than 100 approved nationalities.

** Colombia has not been immune from the inflation bubble that is affecting countries throughout the world, and at the time of writing this you would need around USD$800:00 per month minimum.

The exchange rate is variable, but from my experience, (if you are single), you would need about COP $5,000,000 per month if you are into dining out and visiting places, IMHO.

Application Process.

You can check all the rules and eligibility requirements, here.

It can be done online by starting here.

Benefits and Privileges Offered to Digital Nomads in Colombia.

A white sandy beach at Tintipan Island Colombia. Used in the article,  Unlocking New Horizons: Evaluating the Benefits of the Colombian Digital Nomad Visa
Tintipan Island Colombia.

If you have family you can include them on your application.

There is no need for each family member to have separate applications.

The visa is good for 2 years, and you can use it to get official state identification known as ‘Cedula de Extranjeria’, which is needed for utility services, a drivers license, sign up for a phone contract.

 It means that you have the freedom to move wherever you want while working.


Disclaimer: This is not tax or legal advice. As always do your own due diligence.

If you stay in Colombia for 180 (183?) consecutive days or more you will be classified as a resident for tax purposes and will be required to submit a tax return.

Woman enjoying a beer with her boyfriend. Used in the article, Unlocking New Horizons: Evaluating the Benefits of the Colombian Digital Nomad Visa
How much tax you paying? A bar somewhere along the Magdalena. Image: author.

For most, this should not be an issue if you are also filing in your home country, as you will be able to offset tax paid in Colombia against your liability in your home country.

This does not apply for all countries though, so check if you are going to be double taxed before deciding to work here.

Talking of tax, there is a 20% value added tax (VAT), on everything you buy in Colombia.

Cost-effectiveness and Quality of Life for Digital Nomads in Colombia.

Affordability of living expenses and housing in Colombia.

Colombia uses a rating system called “Estrato” for the various suburban areas of a city.

Estrato 6 is the richest area of a city, Estrato 1, obviously is the poorest (possibly most dangerous), section of the city.

living Expenses:

For some, dining out is probably a better option than doing a weekly shop at the supermarket.

But! sometimes we like to cook, and going to the supermarket or mall can be as good a day out as any.

Don’t be surprised though, if you find some things that are the same price or more expensive here, than in your own country.

Particularly meat.


You need to be careful with this.

Rather than me ramble on here about Colombian rental laws, and scams, join an expat group (this is a good one), before you arrive, and ask questions.

Just going to some random site and renting a B&B isn’t going to cut it.

Make a list of questions. For instance.

  • How much are you paying for water and gas and electricity per month?
  • What are school fees for a “x” yr.old girl?
  • Is it cheaper to buy a car or lease one?
  • Best bus lines to use for intercity transfers?
  • Best place to buy meat?
  • Best place to buy internet?
  • Anything else you can think of.

Many of the major motel chains have long stay options, and many of the hostels have co-working spaces.

Googling <<co-working<<“Colombian city”<< should deliver a stack of options.

You can find co-working spaces in malls as well.

My tip: Become involved with an online expat group. They will be able to give you real life experiences, and provide details on people they use for different things, handy man work, cleaning, teaching Spanish etc.

Do Not pay anything for accommodation until you have had a chance to look at it and talk with the agent or owner (you may need an interpreter) . No holding deposit, nothing.

Access to Reliable Internet Infrastructure and Digital Nomad-Friendly Spaces.

A smiling young woman at a table with a laptop and glass of orange juice. A coffee cup can also be seen at the left side of the laptop. Used in the article, Unlocking New Horizons: Evaluating the Benefits of the Colombian Digital Nomad Visa
Happy Woman at work

The power network can be a problem at times, particularly if you are along the Caribbean coast during the rainy season, June thru September.

Colombian communication networks are quite good.

Many go with Claro, but I have Movistar and I have had no issues with them at all.

Medellin is the most popular city for digital nomads in Colombia.

The weather, the parties, the costs, and ease of access from basically anywhere make it the go to city in Colombia.

Other cities are: Cali, Cartagena, Bogota, Santa Marta, Barranquilla, and Pereira (in the coffee country).

All the above cities and more, have co-working spaces and good internet infrastructure.

Enhanced Cultural Experience and Lifestyle in Colombia.

There are so many places to visit, so many things to do and see.

Often I just stumble upon things. Like the amputee soccer game above.

I like Colombia because of the inhabitants.

They are friendly, funny, love sport, love a beer, and are generally all-round good people.

But, that could probably be said for any of the inhabitants in any of the towns and cities across Colombia, as every town has its own personality.

I didn’t find Bogota’s personality enticing though.

Cartagena interesting and be a little expensive.

Santa Marta is touristy but not as in your face as Cartagena.

What happens in Barranquilla after the carnival? Lots of things.

If you stay the full 2 years you will have the chance to at least see the Barranquilla carnival once.


Recap of the benefits and opportunities provided by Colombia’s digital nomad visa.

Compared to other near-by Caribbean countries, Colombia’s Digital Nomad Visa should satisfy most digital nomads.

It is not expensive, it is family friendly, the country is fairly laid back, and there are any number of natural attractions you can go and visit.

Some Thoughts on the Potential Impact of Digital Nomadism on Colombia’s Economy and Society.

Crime is an evergreen topic when Colombia is mentioned.

Currently the average “digital nomad” visiting Colombia, is someone on a tourist visa who stays for about 6 weeks and goes to some other country.

There are people here who are a little “misguided” of the impact “digital nomads” have on the economy and how they affect the cost of everyday goods.

A series of 4 posters protesting digital nomads in Spanish in a park at Medellin Colombia. Used in the article, Unlocking New Horizons: Evaluating the Benefits of the Colombian Digital Nomad Visa

Without getting into an argument about economics, the majority of expats stay in the wealthier areas and don’t displace anyone.

Sure they may have been some in the poorer areas, who had some development happening and had to move some people on.

But that happens with Colombian companies as well as foreign companies.

So the impact of digital nomads on development will be very little.

Compared against their input into society rent, utilities, food, tours, haircuts, taxis, dining out, etc; then, their contribution is well and truly a positive one.

So come to Colombia by all means, wherever you go keep your wits about you, and you will be fine.

Thanks for reading.

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