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New Expat Visa Rules: Colombia & Ecuador Head in Opposite Directions

Just two months after Ecuador's more restrictive visa rules were published in English, an English-language article about less restrictive visa rules for Colombia has been published online, at www.medellinliving.com ....

Colombia will now offer 'M' visas -- changing from one year to three years the period of validity of the previously-designated TP visas favored by Expats.  The TP designation is being retired.

Until this year, Colombia TP visas based on pension income or certain investments had to be renewed annually .. and similar visas in Ecuador were good for life.  First-time-issue Ecuador visas based on such factors are now to be renewed after only two years.

The Medellín Living article and a link to the government source material for Colombia are available by googling:  medellinliving changes to visa rules.

cccmedia in Medellín, Colombia

An interesting divergence developing indeed!

Meanwhile, nearby Panama still maintains the Pensionado visa (and similar investment visa programs) for life (or until they decide to legislate otherwise) with no renewals.

In reference to Panama, not necessarily so....My buddy just got his cedula based on Friendly Nations program, and its a temporary good for a year......And it cost him over $3000 including the S.A. which that program requires, plus an $800 repatriation bond in case they have to deport you which you never get back....basically gifted to el gobierno........the jubilado visa is way easier and cheaper if youve got that status and provable irrevocable income.....I think Panama is undermining its advantages and its appeal.......Plus, culturally it offers very little.........Musically and in terms of cuisine, even less.......and the politics is a mess, but at least there is an active opposition, unlike in Nicaragua.......

dumluk :

In reference to Panama, not necessarily so....My buddy just got his cedula based on Friendly Nations program, and its a temporary good for a year......And it cost him over $3000 including the S.A. which that program requires, plus an $800 repatriation bond in case they have to deport you which you never get back....basically gifted to el gobierno........the jubilado visa is way easier and cheaper if youve got that status and provable irrevocable income.....I think Panama is undermining its advantages and its appeal.......Plus, culturally it offers very little.........Musically and in terms of cuisine, even less.......and the politics is a mess, but at least there is an active opposition, unlike in Nicaragua.......

As I am sure you know, the Friendly Nation visa is not the Pensionado or investor visa types I was referring to.  Nothing implied by me about the suitability of Panama or any other country for expats.  This is a personal decision based on each individual's desire and what they can afford.  Some people talk about "living" in a certain country and to me it sounds more like "existing." Personally, I don't care about culture (because there's not a lot outside the Kunas and other indigenous people) and would prefer urban living of Panama City in a high-rise condo over roughing in the rural areas.

Well good on ya mate........We are two trains passing in the nite.....Enjoy your high rise insulated artifical big city life style.......You might as well be in Honolulu......Its about the same price and its cleaner and safer, and even friendlier...........oh and might I add more polite.....

SawMan :

Nothing implied by me about the suitability of Panama or any other country for expats.  This is a personal decision based on each individual's desire and what they can afford.  Some people talk about "living" in a certain country and to me it sounds more like "existing." .

Good point. And this is one of the reasons why I personally prefer to know the actual costs of living rather reading someone’s ignorant claim that “cost of living is cheap here.” Because how subjective is that especially when such individuals are limited to the Mercado and almuerzo experiences.

In Quito it’s not cheap at all and the prices of going out, activities are similar to many other international cities around the world. I remember one comment in which a person said something along the line of “well I buy my beer in a crate and return the bottles for $10.” Well couldn’t anyone do that anywhere else in the world where you can buy a case of beer and get a good deal?

But how much is a beer in a restaurant/bar with big screen TVs in a comfortable setting in a nice area?

Answer: about $3.50-4.00 for local beer and $7 for import.

Those are the prices at a local bar in my neighborhood, a place frequented by professional Ecuadorians.

How much is a medium thin crust pizza?

Answer:  A vegetarian with 1 extra topping is $15, and if a person has an appetite one medium will be enough for one person. I was there with my wife the other night and we shared a pizza and had several beers and it was about $50. This is real cost of living doing normal casual stuff.

Sushi Noe which is at Mall Jardin, a 2 person platter with a couple of drinks is $70, and this platter will include only 5 slices of sashimi. A hiking trip a few hours away using public transport and with lunch can easily be $70. Two hours of bowling during the weekend for two people is $30 (4 games). A gym membership at a decent place with modern equipment will cost about $60 if you pay 6 months in advance. And this lifestyle is very much middle class and never mind the fallacies online that try to tell otherwise by stating that a person can live an "upper class" lifestyles by quoting prices cheaper than what I posted. Each and every single price that I post on this entire forum is from personal experience and can easily be verified.

Some people even go out of their ways to make it seem that places I post about are gringo places or touristic. That just proves the ignorance that people have or the misconception that they have about life in Quito. I live in an upper middle class neighborhood and frequent establishments frequented by middle class and upper middle class Ecuadorians. Rarely do I frequent Gringo places as I don't like that part of town. 

So for people's sake I hope they realize this and if they plan to be active with dining out, activities, traveling and so on then it’s not cheap in general by any means especially for a developing country.

dumluk :

Well good on ya mate........We are two trains passing in the nite.....Enjoy your high rise insulated artifical big city life style.......You might as well be in Honolulu......Its about the same price and its cleaner and safer, and even friendlier...........oh and might I add more polite.....

You really need to check Honolulu prices.  You're way off.  But, comparisons are difficult beyond cost of living.   A nice, modern El Congrejo or even a Balboa Avenue condo is less than a third the cost of a comparable Honolulu condo.

@ cccmedia > Thank you for this sharing of information about visa rules.

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@ vsimple and sawman > Your contribution is indeed very valuable. Maybe you can think about opening a cost of living thread to discuss more about it?

Here, it is better that we focus on the New expat visa rules :)

Have a nice day,

Priscilla
Expat.com team  :cheers:

My apologies if this question has already been asked but I am wondering if an Ecuadorian VISA for life which was obtained prior to this new law, must now be renewed after two years.  Does anyone know?

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