Visa Requirements and Length of Stay

During my short visit home from work, I did a little reseach on visa needs. I figured that my break would be the best time to do it in case I needed to call the Colombia Consulate. The Colombian Consultate webpage has an online visa application, it was while I was going through this process that I learned two things. First, I learned that Americans do not need tourist visas to enter Colombia. They will stamp us upon arrival for up to 90 days. This 90 days can be extended another 90 days. The second, and more important, thing I learned is that an expat can only stay 6 month in Colombia a year on a tourist visa. Once you hit 6 months in a year, you must leave Colombia for the rest of the year.

A little internet research on this subject gave us two options to stay year round. The first is to get a student visa. There are schools setup where we can learn spanish that are specifically made to receive this type of visa. The second is to get a business visa. We were planning to try and open a business once we got down to Medellin so this is probably the better of the two options. We will need to open a local bank account, we will need to start an SAS (similar to the US LLC) and we will need to decide on a business to open, but the good news is we have 6 months to figure it out.

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