Colombia Investment Visa: A Guide to Buying Property in Colombia as a Foreigner

Colombia Investment Visa: A Guide to Buying Property in Colombia as a Foreigner and its Visa Requirements – 2022 Update

Introduction: In this article, we will indicate the specific steps to buy a Home/Property/Lot in Colombia, and the correct legalization of the currencies to obtain a type M Investment Visa (Property Owner) with a value higher than 350 SMMLV ($92,000 USD) or type R (direct investment) 650 SMMLV ($171,000 USD) according to the regulations of the Colombian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

The Titles Inquiry (Estudio de Títulos), is the verification of the legal history of the property by analyzing the Tradition and Freedom Certificate (Certificado de Tradición y Libertad) of the property to buy and its derivatives. 

The first step to buying a property in Colombia is to establish a clear negotiation of the property to buy, verifying various legal issues of the property before making the purchase that we indicate below:

The Titles Inquiry (Estudio de Títulos), is the verification of the legal history of the property by analyzing the Tradition and Freedom Certificate (Certificado de Tradición y Libertad) of the property to buy and its derivatives.

a. Preliminary Study: Review the Certificado de Tradición y Libertad to validate if it has affectations, encumbrances, domain limitations, resolution conditions, precautionary measures, etc.

b. Definitive Legal Study: Review deeds, offices, judgments, and others to verify the ability of people in the property titling chain, that there are, among others, false tradition, huge injury, sale of something else, hidden defects, resolution conditions, etc. Review space and boundaries and finally, support in the writing process.

C. Certificado de Tradición y Libertad: This document is issued by the Superintendency of Notaries and registration (Superintendencia de Notariado y Registro), which allows knowing the legal situation of the property, including the following characteristics:

-Description of the property with its land and boundaries: Total gross area built, location, nomenclature, etc.

     - Property Registration: Unique identification of the property in Colombia.

– Annotations: History of purchases and sales of the property, with their deeds of the property in the respective notaries, with the value of the negotiation.

In this link, you can buy the certificate of freedom and tradition here.

Purchase and Sell Promise (Promesa de Compraventa). This document is of utmost importance, since, with this, the completion of the business is guaranteed, so it may contain clauses that allow the collection of sums of money by way of criminal clause (early appraisal of the value of damages, in case one of the parties retracts from the celebration of the business).This document must be clear and express enough that it contains all the characteristics of the property and the business that it is intended to carry out; In addition, it is always advisable to be signed by a notary to give more formality to the process.Many times with this contract, a deposit agreement is also signed whereas a guarantee, an advance amount of money is agreed upon and delivered.It must be signed by the buyer and the seller, if in the case the buyer is not in the country, he must send an apostilled power of attorney and officially translated it into Spanish to a proxy.

Once the Promesa de Compraventa has been made where the negotiation amounts and dates were agreed, the buyer must send the money on the agreed date to the seller directly from his home bank.In this step, two important documents are carried out to obtain the Investment visa type M (Property Owner) or Type R (direct investment).a. Trading table and F4: The seller’s Bank receives notification from the buyer’s bank to negotiate the currencies and legalize them through the declaration form to exchange F4 for property purchase.

b. Bank of the Republic of Colombia Certificate: Document issued by the Bank of the Republic (Banco de la República), detailing the history of investments made by a foreign person in Colombia.

Important points: The money sent from the bank of origin to the bank account must be in the name of the foreign person, and must be sent directly to the seller. Triangulations of money are not allowed, that is, the buyer cannot send the money to a bank account local in Colombia and then send it to the seller.

  • The copy of the current deed.
  • The Promesa de Compraventa.
  • The Certificado de Tradición y Libertad (Validity no longer than 30 days).
  • The last property tax canceled.
  •  Valuation tax payment if the property has been valued. In the case of Bogotá Paz and except for recovery issued by the IDU.
  • Chamber and Commerce Certificate (Cámara de Comercio) if the property has a mortgage. Membership minutes, as appropriate.
  • Copy of the horizontal property certificate.

 

  • Payment solvency certificate (Paz y Salvo) payment of the administrator if it is in a horizontal property.
  • National Cadastral Certificate indicating that the owner has the property registered in the cadastral database.
  • Manifestation of civil status.
  • Photocopies of the seller’s and buyer’s cédulas.
  •  If any of the parties are empowered, they must carry the Power.
  • Declaration of eligibility.

 

These documents must be filed so that the notary can prepare the public deed that takes between 1 or 2 working days to call the parties to sign (this is variable, according to the notary).

  • a. Notarial charges 
    •  At the moment that the public deed is ready, the parties must approach the notary to sign and assume the deed expenses that are generally made equally between the seller and the buyer.
    • The deed expenses are 0.54% of the sale value.
    • Another value to be paid is the Withholding Tax, which is 1% of the sale value.
  • Formalization of the sale in the Public Instruments Registry Office (Oficina de Instrumentos Públicos).  
    • When the notary has finished the Public Deed and it has been signed by the two parties, he will deliver an authenticated copy to the interested parties to deliver it to the Oficina de Instrumentos Públicos (in this case it must be done before the southern instruments office of public instruments, located at Carrera 52 # 42-75 La Alpujarra Administrative Center, Medellín (Antioquia) Telephone: 3852760, 3851000. Hours: MONDAY TO FRIDAY: 8:00 AM to 4:00 PM).

From this act, the buyer is understood as the owner, who, from that moment, must assume the expenses of the property.

IMPORTANT: The buyer only owns the property at the time of registration of the public deed in said office. From this moment on, the property sale contract will have been officially perfected.

It should be clarified that the sole celebration of the promise and subsequent purchase agreement do not improve the business and does not generate rights or obligations on the part of the buyer regarding the property being negotiated.

The process of applying for an Investment visa type M (Property Owner) or type R (Direct Investment) in Colombia is carried out before the Foreign Ministry of Colombia in Bogotá and once the visa is approved, the immigration certificate is requested before Migration Colombia of the corresponding city of residence.

The requirements for applying for an Investment visa type M (Property Owner) or Type R (Direct Investment) are as follows:

  • Time granted type M (Property Owner): from one (1) to three (3) years.
  • Time granted type R (Direct Investment): from one (1) to three (5) years.

Requirements:

  • Original valid passport with at least 2 blank pages.
  • 1 digital photo 3 x 4 cm white background without accessories. Printed/physical photos are not accepted.
  • Certificate from the Banco de la República showing the registration of direct foreign investment for the purchase of property in the name of the foreigner requesting the visa, for an amount greater than 350 SMMLV (approximately $92,000 USD) for type M (Property Owner) or an amount greater than 650 SMMLV (approximately $171,000 USD) for type R (direct investment).
  • Public deed of the property duly updated and issued by the notary.
  • The certificate of tradition and freedom granted by the respective Public Instruments Registry Office issued less than one (1) month ago.

Once the visa is approved, the Cédula de Extranjería must be requested on the Colombia Immigration page, Follow the step-by-step here

The Cédula de Extranjería is the identification document for foreigners in the national territory issued by Migración Colombia. This document is issued to foreigners holding a visa of more than 3 months and its use must be in accordance with the visa that has been authorized.

If you need to obtain your Immigration Certificate for the first time or need a duplicate due to loss, damage, or other reason, please let us know to help you with the process.

At expatgroup.co, we are not only known for being the leading agency in legal and immigration services for foreigners in Colombia. We are also known for being a caring and familiar company that is happy to know that we contribute to the dreams of foreigners. And when these dreams can come true because of our services, our greatest goal is fulfilled.

This was the case of Thomas and Charles; an American and a Colombian who developed a beautiful project of Casa Galú. boutique hotel on the Colombian Caribbean coast.

Here is where tranquility, eco-sustainability, adventure, comfort, and unforgettable experiences can be found in one place: Casa Galú, a hotel located in Capurganá, a municipality in the Department of Chocó, a small town characterized by its crystal-clear waters, dense jungle, and exciting nature adventures.

 This Caribbean landscape created and managed by Thomas and Charles intends to preserve the natural environment, and conserve natural resources to offer a more sustainable operation while providing a luxurious and meaningful experience for each guest.

Where it all started

This idea is a dream of a lifetime, it all started with Charles’ father who moved to Colombia in the ’70s and fell in love with this magnificent country, its landscapes, jungles, and coasts, and transmitted this same love for nature to Charles, who always accompanied him in his adventures in the deep jungles of Chocó.

 Upon his return to Colombia after studying Industrial Design in the United States, Charles started working on his dream in Capurganá and together with Thomas developed what today is a perfect balance between comfort, tranquility, and nature.

“Galú” means “sacred land” in the language of the native Kuna Yala people who inhabited the area. This terminology is very important to Casa Galú, as its vision is to build in harmony with the land, conserve its natural surroundings, and operate with minimal environmental impact.

 To this end, Thomas Kalchik, with a degree from the U.S.’s first School of Sustainability, joined Casa Galú with a true passion for introducing sustainable and regenerative practices into the business’s daily operations. His professional experience in both sustainable food chains and the hospitality industry allows him to integrate his skills to help the natural environment thrive while still providing a memorable and meaningful experience for each guest.

An eco-sustainable place

Charles designed each building to optimize the connection with the jungle and privilege the view toward the sea, all without disturbing nature. Each building is elevated off the ground and appears to be integrated into the topography. The main guest building and each cabin, therefore, project from the mountain through the jungle. The contact elements between the hillside and the building – such as the wooden decks – were molded to respect the existing terrain, and the main structure touches the ground with only pillars.

Casa Galú
Casa Galú uno con la naturaleza
Casa Galú uno con la naturaleza

Now, what can the creators of Casa Galú tell us?

Thomas tells us a little about the development of this Caribbean paradise and his relationship with expatgroup.co.

How did the Casa Galú project come about?

Charles grew up visiting the deep, pristine jungles of Colombia. Since then, his dream developed to be surrounded by nature and share its beauty with others. I have a degree in Sustainability and worked professionally in hospitality, specifically focusing on sustainability initiatives within hotels. With this, our two dreams combined. His passion for conserving the pristine jungle, with my professional experience in sustainable tourism and hospitality aligned perfectly with Charles’ lifelong vision.

Why did you choose Colombia and Capurganá?

Charles is a native Colombian, and the Caribbean is such a spectacular coast with many untouched areas. Thomas became enthralled by the Colombian culture and its immensely diverse landscapes and biodiverse settings. Seeking to be located right on the sea with plenty of natural beauty all around, we settled on Capurganá.

There is a lot of potential in Capurganá and more incredible Colombia for increased awareness around sustainable development within tourism. This inspired our mission to conserve our natural surroundings and responsibly encourage our guests to experience this pristine nature. Capurganá has a lot of natural and cultural wealth to offer, and we look forward to learning from and interacting with these offerings. Casa Galú is excited to use our business and our land to make a positive impact on our natural surroundings and provide our guests with a meaningful and impactful experience at our hotel, and the destination as a whole.

Why should we go to Casa Galú?

Casa Galú offers unique accommodation unlike any other in Capurganá. Built harmoniously in the treetops overlooking the Caribbean Sea, we provide an unexpected level of luxury. We always strive to provide the top-notch service that each guest deserves, and we thrive on creating meaningful memories during your stay with us.

Casa Galú is your ‘home in the sacred land.’ Here you will find all the wildlife and greenery you could ask for! Monkeys, iguanas, toucans, dart frogs, and more. Endless amounts of plants, flowers, trees, etc. define the biodiverse Colombian jungle. Located on the quiet side of Capurganá, Casa Galú is just a few minute’s walks to local beaches, town, and nature hikes, and can offer suggested itineraries during your stay.

How did you hear about expatgroup.co?

Whenever I researched “how to get a Colombian visa”, Expatgroup always appeared. Whether it was linked through Medellín Guru or through its sources, Expatgroup always showed great promise in terms of getting the visa process completed correctly and quickly. And that’s exactly what they did for me!

How was the visa process?

Smooth; simple; they were very willing to work with us. I had many questions throughout the process, and they were very attentive and timely with their answers. I also had some additional services needed beyond just the visa and they saw me through that process with ease, going above and beyond what was expected of them.

Would you recommend expatgroup.co legal and immigration services?

I absolutely recommend expatgroup.co to anyone seeking the services they provide. They are a fantastic group of people that will help put you at ease during these tricky processes.

We know that with everything you read here you will be eager to visit Casa Galú, and enjoy this magical paradise, with relaxing experiences and in harmony with nature.

Just like Thomas, at expatgroup we have helped hundreds of expats to get their Colombian visas successfully processed and fulfill their dreams of living in Colombia, Contact us now and start living wonderful experiences.

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Over time the country has excellent advantages for foreigners to consider investing in Colombia and doing business. Its strategic location allows the entry and exit of merchandise in the two oceans (Atlantic and Pacific), and its economic stability, workforce affordable, and tangible and intangible resources.

Additionally, other positive aspects are the easy procedures to start a business, the time, and the cost, not counting the favorable exchange rate for foreign investors.

For this reason, business experts “put their eyes on it” when it comes to investing in Colombia and doing business because they know that it is a country full of opportunities.

Now, within the different investment initiatives, expatgroup considers the five best businesses to invest in Colombia in 2022

Food and Beverage Industry

The positive results generated by the food and beverage industry make this sector one of the most dynamic for doing business and investing in Colombia. The beverage industry in Colombia has a long history and has established itself as an essential sector that generates employment and taxes. According to ANDI, it contributes 0.8% to the national GDP and 7% to manufacturing.

Thus, investment options can be analyzed from small businesses such as cafes, typical food restaurants, fast food businesses, bakeries, and pastry shops; This type of business requires a minimum investment % and a quick return on investment.

Furthermore, it is also possible to invest in franchises whose commercial strategy is already indexed in the market and can ensure the arrival of fixed customers; This type of business requires a higher investment %, but with a fixed, fast, reliable degree of return.

Real Estate

Variations in the dollar exchange rate are favorable for foreigners interested in investing in Colombia through Real Estate. Although a high degree of investment is required, it is even more profitable today because you can buy a home with a price up to 30% lower than what was obtained a few years ago.

According to BBVA Research, real estate investment is expected to grow by 10.6% in the real estate market in Colombia by 2022, and this growth would be driven predominantly by the excellent behavior of low and medium-value housing, obtaining extraordinary profits in the medium and long term.

Expatgroup advises following the current models left by the pandemic, investing in spaces that facilitate remote work with options such as coworking, loft-type spaces, and eco-sustainable properties are some of the alternatives.

At expatgroup, we are experts in this type of investment, we have helped hundreds of foreigners not only helping them to invest calmly and intelligently in the country, but also, advising them in the creation of a company, guiding them to make the best investments according to their needs and expectations, and finally, facilitating the process to obtain the Colombia Investment Visa to enjoy a legal stay in Colombia.

Creative industries

The creative industries have been slow to reactivate, but they are recovering well and will grow more with investment promotion. Within the orange economy policy framework that involves investments from the cultural sector and Ministerio TIC, el Ministerio de Comercio, Industria y Turismo, and Bancóldex, the country has managed to mobilize $22 billion in the last two years.

Additionally, through the Social Investment Law, companies that are part of the orange economy areas (cultural, creative, and technology-based activities) will access the benefit of income exemption. This benefit means that entrepreneurs who promote creativity and generate employment for the country do not pay income tax for seven years.

The Creative and Content Industries contribute 3.3% to the National GDP and 5.8% contribution to the country’s economic development, so investing in this type of industry, such as film, publishing, photography, computer programs, architecture, and others, brings excellent tax benefits that translate into more significant and better profitability.

Mining

Our country is an essential source for developing this type of investment thanks to the potential of our mineral reserves since Colombia is the first producer of coal, the second in nickel, sixth in copper and gold, and is the double world exporter of emeralds.

In 2021, Colombia achieved a record gold production reaching 2.5 million an ounce, representing an increase of 66.6% compared to the 1.15 million ounces produced in 2020, a production that was not seen in the country for ten years.

Therefore, it is not surprising that, in the annual survey of mining companies of the Fraser Institute, Colombia has been located in the 29th place in the world ranking of attractive countries for mining investments.

Technology

According to the Doing business in Colombia 2021 report, the country’s software and IT services industry was a great investment attraction, obtaining an average growth of 3% between 2015 and 2019, reaching 229.1 million dollars, consolidating the country as a platform to reach different markets.

Among the investment opportunities in the technology sector in Colombia are:

  • Fintech
  • Blockchain
  • Ecommerce
  • Development of mobile applications, software, and digital content
  • Creation of software factories
  • Maintenance of software applications

To sum up

Colombia is a country that continues to grow. It not only offers foreigners a destination for rest or adventure, but our country also has an attractive offer in various sectors for investment.

Our country has different business ecosystems, the attractiveness of tax incentives, and continuous economic development. In addition, qualified companies can accompany expats to create companies or advise on investing in Colombia. This makes us wonder less why Colombia is a great destination to invest and do business.

Book an appointment with our specialists, and don’t miss the opportunity to make a successful investment in Colombia.

 

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