How is Colombia for Digital Nomad

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Visas in Colombia for Digital Nomads

One determining factor when considering Colombia for digital nomads is the visa situation. Unfortunately, Colombia has no formal plans to introduce a ‘digital nomad visa’ or ‘e-residency’ as many other countries have.

And while country-hopping was once a relatively easy and accepted way to bypass visa restrictions around the globe, in the post-pandemic world we live in today, that may prove to be more difficult than before.

While Colombia has yet to implement a formal ‘digital nomad visa,’ the country offers attractive options for passport holders of various nations. If you’re a national of the EU, USA, Canada, Great Britain, or a variety of others, you can stay in Colombia for up to 90 days without a visa.

The 90-day visa-free stay is renewable online for an additional 90 days. Nationals of these countries and regions are permitted to stay a total of 180 days per calendar year in Colombia, visa-free. It’s a pretty good deal! If you want to stay long-term and set up tax residency, the rules are slightly different (see below).

Countries that are exempt from visa requirements in Colombia:

  • Albania
  • Andorra
  • Antigua and Barbuda
  • Argentina
  • Australia
  • Austria
  • Azerbaijan
  • Bahamas
  • Barbados
  • Belgium
  • Belize
  • Bhutan
  • Bolivia
  • Bosnia and Herzegovina
  • Brazil
  • Brunei Darussalam
  • Bulgaria
  • Canada
  • Chile
  • Costa Rica
  • Croatia
  • Czech Republic
  • Denmark
  • Dominica
  • Dominican Republic
  • Ecuador
  • El Salvador
  • Estonia
  • Federated States of Micronesia
  • Fiji
  • Finland
  • France
  • Georgia
  • Germany
  • Greece
  • Grenada
  • Guatemala
  • Guyana
  • Honduras
  • Hong Kong
  • Hungary
  • Iceland
  • Indonesia
  • Ireland
  • Israel
  • Italy
  • Jamaica
  • Japan
  • Kazakhstan
  • Latvia
  • Liechtenstein
  • Lithuania
  • Luxembourg
  • Macedonia
  • Malta
  • Marshall Islands
  • Mexico
  • Moldova
  • Monaco
  • Montenegro
  • Netherlands
  • New Zealand
  • Norway
  • Palau
  • Panama
  • Papua New Guinea
  • Paraguay
  • Peru
  • Philippines
  • Poland
  • Portugal
  • Qatar
  • Republic of Cyprus
  • Romania
  • Russian Federation
  • Saint Kitts and Nevis
  • Saint Lucia
  • Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
  • Samoa
  • San Marino
  • Serbia
  • Singapore
  • Slovakia
  • Slovenia
  • Solomon Islands
  • South Korea
  • Spain
  • Suriname
  • Sweden
  • Switzerland
  • Taiwan
  • Trinidad and Tobago
  • Turkey
  • United Arab Emirates
  • United Kingdom
  • United States
  • Uruguay
  • Vatican City
  • Venezuela

 

There is one special, noteworthy exception to the visa-exempt countries to come to Colombia. If you are from Cambodia, China, India, Macao, Myanmar, Nicaragua, Thailand, or Vietnam and hold a valid visa from the USA or the Schengen area of Europe, you can enter Colombia without a visa.

It’s worth noting that if you are a national of one of these countries and do NOT have a US or Schengen visa, you are required to obtain an e-visa prior to arrival in Colombia.

The US or Schengen visa must be type-C or type-D and have 180 days remaining on the stay permit.

For many countries that do not allow a visa-free stay in Colombia, there is the option of obtaining an e-visa (electronic visa). According to the Colombian consulate, nationals of around 100 countries are eligible for e-visas. This includes most African, Middle Eastern, and South Asian countries, among others.

The Colombia e-visa fee is paid in two installments. The first payment is $52 USD while the second payment is $82 USD.

The first payment is to process your visa application and is made with the initial application.

The second payment is made after your visa is approved. If your visa, for whatever reason, is denied, you will lose the first payment of $52 USD and not be required to pay the second payment of $82 USD.

 

Countries that are eligible for e-visas to Colombia:

  • Afghanistan
  • Algeria
  • Angola
  • Armenia
  • Bahrain
  • Bangladesh
  • Belarus
  • Benin
  • Botswana
  • Burkina Faso
  • Burundi
  • Cambodia
  • Cameroon
  • Cape Verde
  • Central African Republic
  • Chad
  • China
  • Comoros
  • Congo
  • Cuba
  • Democratic Republic of the Congo
  • Djibouti
  • Egypt
  • Equatorial Guinea
  • Eritrea
  • Ethiopia
  • Gabon
  • Gambia
  • Ghana
  • Guinea
  • Guinea-Bissau
  • Haiti
  • India
  • Iran
  • Iraq
  • Ivory Coast
  • Jordan
  • Kenya
  • Kiribati
  • Kuwait
  • Kyrgyzstan
  • Laos
  • Lebanon
  • Lesotho
  • Liberia
  • Libya
  • Macau
  • Madagascar
  • Malawi
  • Malaysia
  • Maldives
  • Mali
  • Mauritania
  • Mauritius
  • Mongolia
  • Morocco
  • Mozambique
  • Myanmar
  • Namibia
  • Nauru
  • Nepal
  • Nicaragua
  • Niger
  • Nigeria
  • North Korea
  • Oman
  • Pakistan
  • Palestinian Territory
  • Rwanda
  • Sao Tome and Principe
  • Saudi Arabia
  • Senegal
  • Seychelles
  • Sierra Leone
  • Somalia
  • South Africa
  • South Sudan
  • Sri Lanka
  • Sudan
  • Swaziland
  • Syrian Arab Republic
  • Tajikistan
  • Tanzania
  • Thailand
  • Timor-Leste
  • Togo
  • Tonga
  • Tunisia
  • Turkmenistan
  • Tuvalu
  • Uganda
  • Ukraine
  • Uzbekistan
  • Vanuatu
  • Vietnam
  • Yemen
  • Zambia
  • Zimbabwe

 

Are you from a country that allows e-visas, yet you’d still like that sticker in your passport as a souvenir of sorts? Fret not, for you can also go to the local embassy or consulate for a visa sticker as well as the electronic visa.

Nationals of the remaining countries must go to their local embassy or consulate to apply for a visa. These are primarily smaller, island nations and territories.

 

Nations and territories that require a consular visa for Colombia:

  • Aland Islands
  • American Samoa
  • Anguilla
  • Antarctica
  • Aruba
  • Bermuda
  • Bonaire
  • British Indian Ocean Territory
  • British Virgin Islands
  • Cayman Islands
  • Christmas Island
  • Cocos Islands
  • Cook Islands
  • Curacao
  • Falkland Islands
  • Faroe Islands
  • French Guiana
  • French Polynesia
  • Gibraltar
  • Greenland
  • Guadeloupe
  • Guam
  • Guernsey
  • Isle of Man
  • Jersey
  • Martinique
  • Mayotte
  • Montserrat
  • New Caledonia
  • Niue
  • Norfolk Island
  • Northern Mariana Islands
  • Pitcairn Islands
  • Puerto Rico
  • Reunion
  • Saint Barthelemy
  • Saint Helena
  • Saint Martin
  • Saint Pierre and Miquelon
  • Sint Maarten
  • South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands
  • Svalbard and Jan Mayen
  • Tokelau
  • Turks and Caicos Islands
  • United States Virgin Islands
  • Wallis and Futuna

It should be noted that the aforementioned visas are applicable for purposes of leisure and tourism only. Establishing residency for tax purposes in Colombia is a completely different ball game.

 

Cost of Living in Colombia for Digital Nomads

Prices quoted in USD unless otherwise noted

 

One of the biggest draws for digital nomads to set up base in Colombia is the low cost of living. In comparison to many other countries around the world, the cost of living to quality of life ratio is very high.

The Colombian peso is the national currency. For reference, $1 USD is equivalent to approximately $3752 COP.

So, clearly, if you’re a digital nomad getting paid in USD or EUR, the COP goes a loooong way! With greater purchasing power comes greater freedom, stability, and comfort in this megadiverse, Latin American oasis.

With the current currency exchange, you can expect to pay around $5 for a meal at an inexpensive restaurant, $1 for a local beer, or $0.60 for a bottle of water. A solid date night at a moderate restaurant would cost around $20 for two, drinks included.

If you’re paying your own utilities or committing to a long-term rental, the average rent prices in Colombia go for $200-$500 per month.

This largely depends on which Colombian city you choose to live in, how many bedrooms, and proximity to the city center.

If you’re looking to spend less, consider renting an apartment further from the city center. Make sure you’re near a bus stop or taxi station if you choose this option.

Basic utilities, such as electricity, heat, air conditioning, water, and garbage will cost roughly $70 per month.

Many rentals in Colombia have rental terms of six months to one year. If you’re legally able to stay in the country for that long, it’s the cheaper option. If, however, you are restricted to the 90 days of a standard tourist visa with no intention of renewing, a long-term Airbnb would be your next best bet. That is unless you want to live in a co-living space with fellow digital nomads.

For long-term Airbnbs, you can expect to pay the least amount in Bogota for an entire apartment or loft (as low as $250 USD per month). Medellin is significantly more expensive, with rentals around $400-$600. If you want to stay by the beach, expect to pay a pretty penny in Cartagena – rentals in Cartagena are around $600 for the bare minimum and go upwards from there.

There are some incredible co-living spaces in Colombia to maximize savings even further. Granted, if you prefer your privacy, these may not be suited to that as well as your own apartment or Airbnb would be. The co-living spaces generally consist of living with anywhere from 5 to 25 other people and usually include fitness facilities, a pool or relaxation area, a communal kitchen and living room, and more. Many of these are pet-friendly as well, so if you’re thinking about bringing your four-legged furry friend, a co-living space could be a great option! Co-living prices range from $200-$2000 depending on the level of luxury you’d like!

If you’re a sports enthusiast or like to maintain a moderate level of fitness while nomading, the monthly gym clubs of Colombia are great. Expect to pay around $20 for a monthly gym membership, more if you want a personal trainer. Alternatively, you could always maximize the country’s mountains, coasts, and natural abundances to be the backdrop for your fitness routine.

Have kids? Childcare in Colombia is very affordable as well. The average price for daycare or kindergarten for one month (private, full-day) is a mere $160. For older children, the average price per year for international primary school is around $4500-$5000.

Public transportation is also a very affordable aspect of Colombia for digital nomads. A single ride on a city bus is about $0.60, while a monthly pass (unlimited) is $32. A liter of gas in Colombia is currently around $0.65.

The average monthly salary in Colombia for locals is a mere $327 USD, so you can imagine the purchasing power digital nomads have in the country if they’re getting paid in a favorable currency such as USD or EUR.

The cost of living in Colombia for digital nomads is definitely one of the country’s biggest draws. A couple can easily live off $1000 USD per month, and live a life of luxury for a little more than that. A single person can easily live off of a little less, though the sharing of rent by a couple is favorable.

Sofiann

Sofiann

I am a digital nomad. Not the kind of nomad that keeps travelling all the time though.

I tend to live for 6 months at home in France and 6 months abroad. In the last seven years, I have been living in 13 countries.

I created this blog so I can share some insights about the places I have been and how did I manage to work and travel at the same time. I hope you will enjoy it :)

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