Colombia is a beautiful country in South America. Its people have access to both the Atlantic and Pacific ocean. Colombia has gorgeous beaches, world-class cities, and tourism and immigration industries. In addition, Colombia is the second most bio-diverse country globally, and its coffee farms made it a major coffee producer in the world.
If you want to visit Colombia, you might need a Colombia visa under some circumstances. This article will cover topics related to Colombia visas, their requirements, the application process, and the visa exemptions.
Who Needs a Visa for Colombia?
Nationals of certain countries do not need a Colombia visa. They can initially enter and stay in Colombia without a visa for up to 90 days.
These nationals can submit an application to stay in Colombia for another 90 days; however, they can not ask for a second extension. Therefore, 180 days is the maximum number of days they get.
Here is the list of the mentioned countries:
|European Union citizens||Albania||Andorra|
|Antigua and Barbuda||Argentina*||Australia|
|Bosnia and Herzegovina||Brazil||Brunei|
|Honduras||Hong Kong (up to 180 days)||Iceland|
|New Zealand||North Macedonia||Norway|
|Palau||Panama||Papua New Guinea|
|Qatar||Russia||Saint Kitts and Nevis|
|Saint Lucia||Saint Vincent and the Grenadines||Samoa|
|Sovereign Military Order of Malta||Solomon Islands||South Korea|
|Trinidad and Tobago||Turkey||United Arab Emirates|
|United Kingdom||United States||Uruguay|
If you are from a national of the countries below and have a short-stay visa or residence permit from a Schengen country or the USA, you can travel and stay in Colombia for 90 days.
You must have at least another 180 days left before your short-stay visa or residence permit expires. There is an exception. Only people from Macau can stay up to 180 days in Colombia.
Colombia Visa Types
Colombian government issues three main types of visas:
- Colombia Visitor Visa (V)
- Colombia Migrant Visa (M)
- Colombia Resident Visa (R)
Colombia Visitor (V) Visa
The Colombia Visitor (V) Visa, also known as Colombia Tourist Visa, is an option for foreigners who will stay in Colombia for a short period. Foreigners can apply for this visa if their travel purpose is:
- Tourism and leisure activities
- To catch a connecting flight (Airport transit)
- Business affairs
- Taking part in short-term academic courses, exchange programs, and internships.
- To undergo medical procedures.
- If a foreigner is an inner-corporate transfer and wants to work for a company in Colombia
- To take part in the working holiday program.
- If a foreigner wants to volunteer for a human rights or a development cooperation project.
- For journalism
The Colombia Visitor Visa is usually issued for a maximum of 90 days but can also be issued for up to two years in some instances. After that, the decision is up to the Consular or Immigration authorities handling your visa application.
Colombia Migrant (M) Visas
The Colombian government offers Colombia Migrant Visa to foreigners who plan to live in Colombia. These foreigners usually want to live in Colombia for an extended period. They want to or apply for a temporary or permanent residence. Three years is the maximum time for a Migrant Colombia Visa. Fortunately, this visa is renewable.
Categories of Colombia Migrant Visa are:
Colombia Marriage Visa
Spouses or long-term partners of Colombian residents or citizens can apply for this visa.
Colombia Work Visa
This visa is for foreigners who have been able to secure a job in Colombia.
Colombia Student Visa
This visa is for accepted foreigners who plan to go to a Colombian educational institution or academic program.
Colombia Investment Visa
Foreign investors who want to invest at least 350 times the minimum wage in Colombia are eligible for Colombia Investment Visa.
Colombia Retirement Visa
Foreign retirees who have the necessary financial means to cover their expenses in Colombia can apply for this visa.
Colombia Religious Visa
Religious missionaries are eligible for this type of visa.
Colombia Refugee Visa
This visa is issued to refugees who seek asylum in Colombia.
Colombia Resident (R) Visas
Foreign nationals who meet one of these requirements are granted a Colombia Resident Visa. If a foreign national:
- had a continuous Migrant Visa for at least four years.
- has a Colombian child.
- gave up their Colombian citizenship in the past and are trying to reclaim their Colombian nationality.
- make a substantial investment in Colombia.
The Colombia Resident Visa is issued for five years at a time and can be renewed.
Colombia Visa Requirements
When foreigners apply for Colombia visas, they need to prepare and present the following documents:
- A valid passport
- Pictures (must be passport size)
- Evidence of financial means like a bank statement (must be from the last six months)
- Travel plans and airplane tickets
- Proof of a living place in Colombia (address of the place must be included in the application form)
- Evidence of family relationship or friendship for foreigners who are visiting a family member or a friend.
- In case a foreigner is attending or participating in an event or activity, they need to provide details about it, such as its program, plan, duration, etc.
- Foreigners will need the company’s registration documents if they are traveling for business: the letter of invitation you will receive from the company and what you will do there.
- The enrollment/acceptance certificate if the foreigner will attend training or a course of study.
- Any other additional documents requested by the Colombian embassy.
- All required documents must be translated by a translator certified by the Colombian government in Spanish.
- All required documents must be legalized. Foreigners can either legalize their documents via an Apostille stamp or notarize their documents then submit them to the Colombian Consulate to have them signed.
A passport picture must have the following specifications:
- Its dimensions are: 3 cm x 4 cm
- Must not be larger than 300 KB and in JPG format
- The background must be white
- Must be taken recently (for the last three months)
- The entire face must be clearly visible
Note: Applicants also need a copy of:
- The main page of the passport
- Information related to previous Colombian visas
- The last arrival or departure stamps for Colombia
How to Apply for a Colombia Visa?
Applying for a Colombia visa is online. Applicants can visit the Colombian Ministry of Foreign Affairs website to start their process. Applicants have 30 minutes to complete the process. Otherwise, their application will expire.
Here are the steps of applying for Colombia visa applicants:
- Enter your personal information and passport details.
- Complete the online form for the Colombia visa application
- Choose your type of visa.
- Attach an electronic copy of the visa photo.
- Attach the required documents (documents must be formatted as PDF)
- Choose the Colombian Consulate that is convenient for you to submit your application.
- Choose the payment method to make the Colombia visa fee.
- Colombian Consulates/ embassies will inform you about the status of your visa application using email. If your application is approved, you need to go to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs office in Bogotá to receive your visa.
- After receiving your Colombian visa, you need to visit the local immigration offices in most major cities and register your stay. This registration has to be done within 15 days of entering the country. You can get a Foreigners ID Card if the duration of your stay is longer than three months.
Some Colombian embassies do not offer online services, so you need to submit your application and documents in person.
Colombia Visa Fees
There are two separate fees for a Colombia visa
- The visa processing fee. The fee is:
- 40 Euros if you apply from Cuba or Europe.
- 52 Dollars if you apply from inside of Colombia or a non-European country
- Second Colombia fee if the visa application is successful. This fee depends on the visa type you apply for.
How long is a Colombia Visa Application process?
The Colombia visa application usually takes 5 working days. However, this process can take up to 30 days if there are any problems.
Can I Work With a Colombia Visa?
Foreigners need a work permit to do paid activities. Holders of Colombia Work Visa, Marriage Visa, and Investment Visa can get work permits.
Can I Extend a Colombia Visa?
You can ask for an extension before your current visa expires. You need to go to the immigration offices in major cities and submit your extension request. After your visa expires, you will be fined or deported if you apply.
How long is a Colombia Visa valid?
The validity for a Colombia visa is:
- Up to 90 days for a Colombia Visitor or Tourist Visa. It can be extended to two years but not more.
- Up to three years For a Colombia Migrant Visa. It can be renewed.
- For five years for a Colombia Resident Visa. It can be renewed.
Do I Need a Visa to Transit Through a Colombian Airport?
Transiting through a Colombian airport does not require an airport transit visa if:
- Your connecting flight leaves the airport in less than 24 hours.
- At the airport, you do not leave the international transit area.
- Documents are in order for your next destination.
Nationals from Cuba or with a Palestinian “Authority” passport do not benefit from these exemptions.
Let’s sum up …
The Colombian government offers different visas for nationals from different countries. We explained in detail about Colombian visas, their requirements, their fees, how to apply for them, and answered some common questions. If you like to learn more about visas from other countries, check out the bar at the top of the page.