Colombian Visa TP7 Service, Step 3
At this point you’ve done your research. You may have decided to use a different legal service than I did. But the overall process should be similar for any of them. Even if you use a service, there are still some steps you will need to do yourself — like first getting your income proof (step 2) and afterwards getting your cédula identity card (step 5). But all the in-between steps the service should do for you.
I promised to tell you which service I used and why…
I used Langon Colombia, a firm based in both New York City and Medellin. I did look around a bit on the internet for other services and likely could have found one a little bit cheaper. But I picked this firm for a few reasons:
- They came recommended by International Living, a company that’s been providing advice and information to people wanting to relocate overseas for nearly 40 years. They’ve got lists of reputable service providers (for immigration, real estate transactions, starting a business, taxes, etc) all over the world. Langon was founded by Alan Gongora, a Harvard educated attorney.
- The list of services and practice areas of Langon is very comprehensive. Everything from starting a company in Colombia, labor laws, buying real estate, taxes, accounting services, immigration and more. In my eyes this increased their reputation. Plus if I ever needed any of their other services in the future, I’d already have a relationship with them.
- The visa information on their website was clear and all I needed to do was fill out a little form to receive a personal ote. They also had a variety of options for payment, like wire transfer, by COP cash deposit in Colombia, USD cash deposit in the States, credit card, etc.
- Another thing Langon offers is an additional service where they will explain to you all your visa options and assist you in picking the best choice for you. So if you want to work, start a business, etc. then you might need something other than the TP-7. I was already clear what I wanted, so I didn’t use this service, but it’s nice to know it’s available.
What I would have done differently
Since I wasn’t used to dealing with banks in Colombia, I decided to pay by deposit in the USA. Looking back, this is one thing I would have done differently. It cost me an extra fee for them to transfer the funds from the USA to Colombia, plus I got a slightly lower exchange rate.
I could have saved about $45 by simply using Colombian ATMs to withdraw cash and then going to any branch of Bancolombia and making a cash deposit into their account. Just make sure your bank doesn’t charge those nasty 3% foreign fees or that wipes out any savings!
Cost Summary *
|bank wire fee||$30|
|CO Gov fees||$260|
* Note that this was only the costs to get the TP7 visa. See Step 5 for cédula cost. I put these figures in USD to make it easier to get a rough idea of your costs. However, actual costs are all in COP. At the time of writing COP to USD exchange rate was about 3,000 COP to $1 USD.
Please tell them I sent you
If you decide to use Langon, then I would greatly appreciate it if you tell them “Suzann Larsen referred you”. For full disclosure I will tell you that they give me a small reward for sending business their way. But in all honesty, I will refer others to them regardless of whether or not I get a monetary reward. I really enjoyed working with them and will continue using them for future legal services.
Posts in Colombian TP-7 Visa series:
The TP-7 category I used. What I will share that may help you.
Simple basic research is the key to making the right choice for you.
Income needed. How to get your official proof-of-income letter.
What to expect using a visa service. Who I picked, why, costs.