How can I get an M-11 Visa based on my self-employment income?

I've been searching far and wide about this so hopefully someone here can help me out.

I'm a self-employed American, and all my clients are in the United States. Currently, I'm living in Bogota on a tourist visa. I would love to stay in Colombia long-term, so I've been checking out my visa options.

The visa that seems to fit my situation best is the M-11 Rentista Visa, which requires at least 10 times the minimum wage in Colombia per month. I've read that the minimum wage in Colombia right now is about $263, so I would easily qualify. My two potential problems are:
-My income isn't exactly the same every month. While it's always more than the minimum, I'm wondering if not having a fixed income amount could disqualify me.
-I've read from some sources that income doesn't qualify you for this visa, and that it needs to be something passive, like money from rental properties or a pension. Is this correct?

I think I could get around the first problem by setting up an S Corp in the US. If I did that, then I could pay myself a fixed salary from the S Corp. I'm not sure what to do if my income won't qualify me for the visa, though.

Does anyone have suggestions on how to qualify for this visa, or are there alternative options I should look at? I know that I could sign up at a school and get a student visa, but I'd really rather avoid that. I don't need schooling at this point and it would just cost me time and money.


Dear LD,

Welcome to the Colombia forums of ....

You may be woefully uninformed about the Colombia Rentista visa.

I had the Rentista visa from 2017-2018.

Various concepts you expressed about qualifying with rental income or using a USA S corporation or qualifying with self-employment income probably do not comply with the real qualifications. 

Contact Langon Colombia law firm or attorney Christophe Moeller aka Moller .. to sort out your situation for the best results.

Your best move may be to invest about 25,000 US into Colombia rental real estate that is specially packaged for visa-seekers to meet the investment minimum threshold.

Snowbird option:  avoid potential worldwide taxes on your income by living in Colombia about 180 days a year.  If you already pay hefty USA income taxes, that's likely deductible in Colombia, negating the need for snowbird living.

cccmedia in Bogota

Hello cccmedia,

Thanks for the reply and the suggestions. I am confused about the requirements for the rentista visa. MedellinLawyer and MedellinGuru both say that payments from rental properties would qualify but salaries would not. The Cancelleria de Colombia simply says that this visa requires income certified by a public entity or private entity, hence why I thought that creating my own company may suffice.

Since you've gotten this visa before, do you know what kinds of income sources would qualify?

Run this question by the attorney, but I strongly doubt that self-payments or rental income is legit for this purpose.

Rental income is affected by the realities of deadbeat tenants, vacancies, evictions, etc. and is thus not reliable in the same way as annuities or trust income.


This space reserved for future upgrades.

"Visa eligible" investments in packaged real estate, starting at 25,000 US, (as discussed in my first post on this thread) can be found at ...


Thanks again! I sent an email to the Cancelleria about what type of pay works for this visa, I'll see what they say and also check with the lawyers you mentioned.

I'm considering the investment package option as well. It would be more of a hassle because I'd have to see other investments, but if that's my only option then that's what I'll do.

I received a Rentista visa last year using my self-employment income and my Canadian corporation. I did it all myself and it was fairly straightforward. The letter is the most important part and having it translated, notarized, and legalized was the most difficult step for me.

I would suggest setting up a corporation, adding a friend or family member as a director, and writing a letter signed by your director saying that the corporation is paying you a set amount each month.

In my case, I was the sole director of my corporation so I added a friend temporarily as a director and had him sign my letter. You could also just write the letter on your own behalf, but I don't think it'll look as legitimate.

You would then have the letter translated and legalized/apostilled for the Colombian government to accept it.

For supporting documentation, you should include the articles of incorporation and bank statements.
You should include 6 months of bank statements which show you receiving the amount from the corporation. The supporting documentation does not need to be translated or legalized.

It would be easier prove you are receiving this income if you have a secondary business bank account paying your main personal account.

Appparently you can do.most of your visa aplicación online one and dont need a lawyer or even. a facilitator if you live in Bogota. … visa-guide

BTW for a rentista visa you have to document  that you have 11 times salario mínimo.Documentation from invoices, bank accounts and  /or financial institutions have to be notarized in US and apostolized or autheticated by the Colombian condulate.
All documents, including financial statements and passport have to be translated by Colmbia Government approved translator

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