Requirements to open a bank account in Colombia
Foreigners and Colombians not residing in Colombia have the possibility of opening bank accounts but must meet certain requirements. One of the most important requirements is to have an identity document valid in the Colombian territory, which must be: citizenship card (in the case of non-resident Colombians) or foreigner’s identity card and in some cases passport (in the case of foreigners). Without an identity document, the opening of the account will not be possible. The other requirements may vary according to the bank where you wish to open the account.
It is important to consult the requirements according to the bank where the account will be opened. Some Colombian banks that allow foreigners to open bank accounts in Colombia are:
- Banco de Bogotá.
There are also international banks that allow this option such as:
- Banco Santander.
Requirements may vary depending on the bank you choose but some general requirements are:
- Foreigner’s identification card.
- Proof of residence in Colombia.
Some banks also request a certificate of income and require that the process be done in person, as they do not allow the process to be done by proxy, so it is important to first consult with the bank about this type of procedure.
For this procedure you must choose a bank and consult the documentation required by the bank. Subsequently, the documentation must be presented and the forms requested by the bank must be completed and finally the account must be activated.
Some banks in Colombia
In the case of banks that allow this process to be carried out virtually, you must verify that you have all the necessary documentation, fill out the online forms, send the documentation and wait for the application to be approved.
BBVA bank allows Colombians who do not reside in Colombia to open bank accounts virtually. This procedure requires the ID card, a device with a camera (which will validate the person’s identity) and, in the case of an employee, the NIT and basic company data (telephone, address, among others). The accounts that can be opened through this modality are savings or payroll accounts and bring multiple benefits such as free transfers to any national bank. However, when making international transfers, a commission of approximately US$15 is charged. To open a bank account at BBVA you can access through the following link: https://www.bbva.com.co/personas/productos/cuentas/herramientas/formulario-solicitud/.
Bancolombia allows foreigners not residing in Colombia to open bank accounts but requires that the procedure be done in person, so the foreigner will have to go in person to a physical branch of the bank. This bank charges an international transfer fee of approximately US$35. The following documents are required to open the account:
- Identity document (visa, passport or foreigner’s identity card).
- Document with a photo other than an identity card.
- Employment letter with company name, income and period of permanence (in the case of employees).
Banco de Bogotá also allows Colombians not residing in Colombia to open accounts digitally. It is a requirement to be of legal age and be Colombian. This bank has no minimum amount. The international transfer fee charged by this bank is approximately US$20. To choose the type of account and make the respective registration and subsequent opening of the account you can access through the following link: https://abretucuenta.bancodebogota.com.co/account-selection?utmUuid=14c00e7b-2213-4c40-8e3f-abadd911d3d0
In the case of Itaú bank, the account can also be opened through a completely virtual process. To do so, only the citizenship card is required (you must be a Colombian citizen). The international transfer fee is approximately US$25. The link to open an account in this bank is as follows: https://www.itau.co/sites/default/files/abrecuentas/
The duration of the process varies according to the chosen bank, it can take approximately one month. In the case of the virtual procedure, it may take approximately one week. To avoid delays in the process, you must be very precise with the required information and documentation.
The cost of this procedure varies according to the bank where you wish to open the account, as some may charge higher opening and maintenance fees. Some banks require a minimum deposit ranging from $7,000 to $25,000.
- (2022, December 16). Can I open an account in Colombia if I am a foreigner? Rankia. https://www.rankia.co/blog/cuentas-bancarias-corrientes-ahorro-nomina/4713366-puedo-abrir-cuenta-colombia-si-soy-extranjero
- (n, f.). What do I need to open a Foreign Account? https://www.bancolombia.com/centro-de-ayuda/preguntas-frecuentes/requisitos-abir-cuenta-bancolombia-extranjeros
- (2023, January 12). Best bank accounts in Colombia for foreigners. Rankia. https://www.rankia.co/blog/cuentas-bancarias-corrientes-ahorro-nomina/4714272-mejores-cuentas-bancarias-colombia-para-extranjeros
- Editorial La República S.A.S. (2022, July 25). Banks that allow you to open dollar accounts through foreign subsidiaries. La República newspaper. https://www.larepublica.co/finanzas/los-bancos-que-le-permiten-abrir-cuentas-en-dolares-a-traves-de-filiales-en-el-exterior-3409013
- BBVA COLOMBIA. (2023, January 24). Open a savings account. https://www.bbva.com.co/personas/blog/educacion-financiera/cuentas/abrir-cuenta-ahorros.html
- Learn about the requirements to open your savings account. (n, f.). Banco de Bogotá. https://www.bancodebogota.com/wps/themes/html/digital/cuenta-ahorros/requisitos.html
- Savings Account / Itaú. (n, f.). https://www.itau.co/personal/cuentas/cuenta-de-ahorro