Covisas: Assistance Plan for Expatriate Visa Applicants in Colombia - Medellin Advisors

Covisas: Assistance Plan for Expatriate Visa Applicants in Colombia

Covisas provides professional advice on insurance and assistance for expatriates applying for Colombian visas.

Requirement of Insurance or Comprehensive Plan for Colombian Visas - Current Regulations

Resolution #5477 dated July 22, 2022, issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Colombia, has formally established a fundamental requirement for foreigners wishing to apply for various categories of Colombian visas.

This mandatory requirement demands insurance or an assistance plan that provides broad coverage in cases of accidents, illnesses, disability, hospitalization, repatriation, death, and maternity for women. 

Resolution number for colombian visa applications
Resolution #5477 dated July 22, 2022, establishes the mandatory requirement for comprehensive health insurance or plan for foreign applicants of Colombian visas

Why does Colombia Require this of Foreign Visa Applicants?

The relevance of this provision may be debatable for some people. However, it was imposed after the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, when the Colombian healthcare system was put to the test and felt the strain due to a growing demand for services from positive cases.

The country had to assume significant medical expenses and even repatriate hundreds of foreigners who were in Colombia at the precise moment when the government decreed mandatory quarantine. Chaos ensued for several weeks as many students and foreigners ran out of sufficient funds to cover their expenses. Therefore, Colombia, like other countries, established the requirement for insurance or assistance plans for travelers worldwide to anticipate future financial or health risks. 

Covid Test
The COVID-19 crisis in 2020 served as a catalyst for the regulation of insurance issues for travelers and expatriates in Colombia and other countries

The Challenges for Compliance with the Insurance or Comprehensive Plan Requirement for Colombian Visa Applicants

Despite the importance of tourism for the economy, as well as the growing globalization of businesses and the opening of borders as recent trends in Colombia, complying with the requirement of insurance or health plans for foreigners applying for different types of visas can be challenging, particularly when individuals have recently arrived in the country and do not yet possess any defined migratory status or Colombian documentation, such as the “Cédula de Extranjería” or “Permiso Especial de Permanencia (PEP)”.

This is because insurance companies, for the most part, are unaware of this expatriate market and also show a high level of reluctance to create products and services tailored to these needs due to the level of risk involved in contracting with people from other countries (Non-residents legally).

Most insurance companies and providers are unaware of or ignore the new regulations governing visas according to Resolution #5477 of 2022
Most insurance companies and providers are unaware of or ignore the new regulations governing visas according to Resolution #5477 of 2022

Another problem we have observed with concern is the presence of agents and insurance brokers with little experience or who, in their eagerness to earn commissions, offer policies and assistance plans without even reading the regulations or understanding the necessary coverages required by Colombian authorities regarding visas. Additionally, some offer contracts with little or no technical rigor, which does not fully comply with the requirement established by Resolution #5477.

The DIAN has set rules for horizontal properties to repot beneficial owners to the RUB.
There are few professional agents who are knowledgeable about Colombian visa matters according to Resolution #5477 of 2022

It is important to note that local insurance companies are typically not authorized to sell contracts to foreigners without legal residence in the country, making contracts offered under such conditions (without analyzing the legal situation of visas) null and void, as they do not effectively support the coverages required by Resolution #5477 of 2022. Another problem is the proliferation of offshore companies without a license or representation in Colombia offering insurance and travel assistance products, without understanding the rigor of migratory regulations. We believe this poses a risk to clients. In conclusion, until recently, there was a significant gap in terms of appropriate and accessible solutions for visa applicants.

Quality healthcare for expats in Medellin
Choosing a good plan or insurance abroad is key for any expatriate and long-stay visa applicant

Covisas: It is a Specialized Service to Assist Foreigners With the Requirement of the Colombian Visa Plan or Insurance

Given this scenario, in 2023, in Medellín Advisors, aware of this need, launched a new specialized service in the field of insurance and assistance, complemented by legal services, to provide support to the growing population of expatriates and Colombian visa applicants.

Thus, Covisas was born, based in Medellín and with national coverage, as the ideal solution to provide support to this community requiring professional advice and appropriate solutions in the areas of visas and insurance.

To date, we have reputable providers in the national and international market, recognized by the Colombian government, to ensure coverage for foreign visa applicants, fully complying with the provisions established in Resolution #5477 of 2022.

Plan Covisas
Covisas is born to meet the demand for specialized solutions for foreign applicants of Colombian visas, in accordance with current regulations.

Advantages of Covisas as a Health Plan or Assistance for Visa Applicants in Colombia

Pacho Viloria, Director of Medellín Advisors and promoter of Covisas, highlights some advantages of this solution: “Our offered plans have no competitors, as they allow obtaining authorizations for long-stay visas and can be contracted for periods of 1, 2, or 3 years. This is uncommon in the market, but we have obtained the license and authorization to offer specialized services to the foreign community, allowing them to live in Colombia with longer visas. This avoids the need for annual renewal, which always incurs costs in paperwork, government fees, and fees for visa agents or lawyers.”

Covisas is a Plan that complies with the Full Insurance Requirement established in resolution #5477 of 2022.
Covisas enables foreign visa applicants in Colombia to meet the required prerequisite by obtaining a comprehensive plan with appropriate coverages

Interview with Pacho Viloria, Director of Covisas

Mathew: Pacho, tell us: How has the reception been for this new service from COVISAS?

Pacho Viloria: “The reception has been highly satisfactory. According to our studies, the approval rate for long-term visas managed by Covisas’ comprehensive plans is higher than that of most companies serving expatriates. We are very pleased because, as of now, over 95% of our clients have been approved thanks to our valid guarantees. This is due to several months of intense work towards creating specialized health and assistance plans that truly guarantee this requirement for the foreign community.”

Mathew: What do you think is the result of the work you have done in favor of the foreign community during this time?

Pacho: “I believe that the most important result, and what encourages us to continue forward, is being able to optimally, sincerely, and professionally assist people from all over the world, firstly, in complying with immigration regulations and at the same time, providing them with peace of mind in case they require assistance in unexpected situations.”.

Repatriation covers the return to the country of origin of the traveler due to illness or death
The plans offered by Covisas fully comply with Colombian visa regulations for foreigners

Mathew: What coverage does Covisas offer to meet the requirements established in Colombian visa regulations?

Pacho Viloria: Our plans allow Colombian visa applicants to guarantee these coverages from $35,000 per year and include all aspects required by Resolution #5477 of 2022 in cases of accidents, illness, hospitalization, disability, maternity, repatriation, or death. Additionally, we have managed to reduce the average cost of similar insurance policies or assistance contracts through direct partnerships with top-tier national and international providers, enabling us to offer reduced rates. We even provide special offers tailored to each client for long-term contracts or family groups. Moreover, additional discounts are available for visa applicants.”

 

Covisas also has an alliance with specialized lawyers in Colombian visas.

Covisas also offers the recommended Legal Services in Migration, which can be contracted together or optionally, which is a key element for applications to have a higher approval rate.

Pacho comments: “The issue of specialized lawyers is crucial, therefore, we have created an alliance with lawyers with extensive experience in Colombian migration law, which increases the chances of success in visa processes. We are also opening a channel of allies for the best Visa Agencies and law firms that need to guarantee these valid coverages to their clients, thus teamwork increases the chances of success for everyone.”

Real estate agent in Medellin
Covisas provides professional advice on insurance and assistance for expatriates applying for Colombian visas

Covisas is comprised of professionals with over 20 years of experience and offers 24-hour service channels

Mathew: Why do you believe Covisas is the best option for foreigners applying for Colombian visas? What contact channels do you have for foreigners needing professional advice on visa insurance and assistance?

Pacho: “I believe that having over 20 years of experience in the financial and service industry gives us a favorable starting point for clients. Thus, we offer specialized professional advice on insurance and assistance, at no cost, 24 hours a day through the following channels:

WhatsApp: (+57)324 367 5333

Email: franciscoviloria.com@gmail.com, 

Or simply by filling out an online Request Form.

This way, we guarantee compliance with visa application requirements and provide peace of mind for our clients while they are in Colombia.”

Questions, comments? Contact me today and I will be happy to discuss any of these issues further with you. 

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