Stroll down Calle 10 in the El Poblado neighborhood of Medellin, Colombia, and you’ll notice many fellow pedestrians who don’t quite look like tourists on holiday, but certainly aren’t locals. The city, and El Poblado in particular, has become a major hub for digital nomads – those who work remotely and have the ability to travel the world as they please. The Colombian government is making it easier for the laptop-inclined set to spend more time in the country. On October 22, the country will debut a digital nomad visa that grants extended stays to those people can prove they work remotely and meet a specific set of requirements.
Currently, those arriving in Colombia from the United States, UK, and many other countries receive the general Visa on Arrival at the airport and are permitted to stay in the country for 90 days, with the possibility of renewing that visa for an additional 90 days. The new Colombia digital nomad visa ups that to two years (the same as Costa Rica’s new digital nomad visa), with a slew of additional perks designed to further the country’s authority in the remote work arena.
In order to qualify for the visa, one must meet the following requirements:
- Earn at least $684 per month (this is significantly lower than the income requirement for many similar visas worldwide, including Costa Rica’s digital nomad visa, which requires an income of at least $3,000 per month)
- Provide a letter from an employer, written in English or Spanish, proving remote employment or prove that you earn the required income through entrepreneurial or freelance work (your best bet, in this case, might be to ask a client to provide a letter for you if you don’t have an incorporated business outside of Colombia)
- Have a valid passport
- Obtain international health insurance
Unlike most digital nomad visas, Colombia’s comes with an incentive to start a business there, and though it’s yet to be formalized, this would seem to indicate that visa holders will be able to open a bank account in Colombia. More information is likely to come prior to the October release date. Applications for the visa are not yet open.