Departure to Bogotá


Passport, Visa & Permits to Bogotá


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This section is intended for reference only. We strongly recommend that you contact the embassy directly for the most up-to-date information that pertains to your specific situation.

Passport

A valid passport is necessary if you want to enter Colombia. People who hold the citizenship of any  country member of MERCOSUR (Argentina, Brasil, Chile, Guyana, Paraguay, Surinam, Uruguay and Venezuela) or of the Andean Community (Bolivia, Ecuador, Peru) may enter Colombia as tourists for a maximum of 90 days by showing their national ID card. All people who intend to stay in the country for more than 90 days must do so on the basis of a passport.

Passports are issued by your home country government, and the process of obtaining one may last longer. Before moving abroad, start the procedures for getting the passport and the visa early. Your passport must be valid 6 months beyond your intended stay. Minors are allowed to travel on their parents' passports up until aged 15 years.

Visas for Colombia

A visa is a stamp or endorsement placed by officials on a passport that allows the bearer to enter the country. This permission is called "entry clearance". Visas are obtained from the Colombian embassy or consulate in your home country or from the Ministry of External Affairs in Colombia.

A major reform has been implemented in December 2017, and all visa regulation have been updated and simplified. There have been significant changes in the types of visa, as well as in the documents requested and the procedure of obtaining a visa.

Visas in Colombia should be requested online. A form should be filled in on the Cancilleria website, and all mandatory documents should be enclosed in "pdf" format.

Depending on your specific situation, you might be called for an interview at the Cancilleria or at your local consulate.

For the most complete and up-to-date information, refer to the official website of the Cancilleria del Ministerio de Relaciones Exteriores.

Who needs a visa?

Citizens of over 90 countries may enter Colombia for tourism purposes for a maximum of 90 days (extendable to 180) without the necessity of a visa.

Refer to the Cancilleria website to check if your country is on the list. 

For any stays that exceed 180 days in any given 360-day period (not necessarily coinciding with a calendar year), as well as for visits that have a different purpose than tourism, a visa is required.

Following the 2017 migration reform, there are now three categories of visas that foreigners may apply for:

  1. Visitor visa
  2. Migrant visa
  3. Resident visa

Additionally, a special peace resident visa has been implemented for UN staff working in the implementation of the country's current peace deals.

Complete information on all visa categories can be found on the Cancilleria website.

All visa applications must be submitted online.

Visitor Visa

A visitor visa ("V type") is granted to foreigners who intend to visit Colombia for various purposes without planning to become permanent residents. The visitor visa allows the owner to perform the following activities:

  • Airport transit
  • Tourism
  • Business (short stay)
  • Academic exchange, arts and crafts or postgraduate studies
  • Medical treatment
  • Administrative or legal procedures
  • Ship or maritime crew member
  • Event attendance
  • Internship or volunteering
  • Audiovisual or digital production
  • Journalism
  • Temporary service provider
  • Intra-corporate transfer
  • Work-and-travel
  • Official representatives of a foreign Government
  • Courtesy visas offered by the Government for specific purposes
  • Other non-foreseeable activities

Specific requirements for a V type visa depend on the type of activity to be performed, but generally includes:

  • Valid passport of the applicant
  • A letter from the institution or company who will host the visitor for the event, internship, volunteering, work-and-travel etc, addressed to the Ministry of External Affairs.
  • Registration details of the inviting institution or company
  • A description of the activity to be performed, duration and location.
  • Copies of the institution's bank statements, accrediting its financial liquidity.

A visitor visa is granted for a maximum of 2 years.

The costs of a visitor visa (for medical treatment, administrative procedures, internships, volunteering, event participation, audiovisual and digital production, journalistic coverage and temporary services provider) are:

  • First payment: EUR 40 for applications made in the European Union and USD 52 for applications made in Colmbia and the rest of the world.
  • Second payment if the visa is granted: EUR 131 for visas granted in the European Union and USD 170 for the rest of the world.

Exceptions may apply.

The cost of other visas depends on the type of activity performed.

Resident Visa

A resident visa ("R type") is granted to foreign nationals who intend to reside permanently in Colombia and meet one of the following criteria:

  • Previous Colombian citizens who have lost or given up Colombian citizenship
  • Parents of Colombian citizens
  • Legal accumulated stay of over 5 years (for refugees, employees, freelance work, student, investor or retired person) or 2 years (for spouses or legal partners of a Colombian citizen)
  • Foreign direct investment of over 650 minimum legal salaries.

Requirements for a Resident visa include:

  • Copies of prior visas held by the applicant
  • Certificates of Migration Movements issued by the Colombian Migration Authority
  • Documents certifying occupation or income source
  • Documents certifying that the conditions on the basis of which the previous visa was granted are still in place (for applicants who have previously held Migrant visas).
  • Copies of the Birth Registry of the Colombian citizen the applicant is parent of (if applicable) together with a formal request from the other parent.

Resident visas are granted indefinitely.

The costs of a resident visa are:

  • First payment: EUR 40 for applications made in the European Union and USD 52 for applications made in Colmbia and the rest of the world.
  • Second payment if the visa is granted: EUR 301 for visas granted in the European Union and USD 391 for the rest of the world.

Exceptions may apply.

Migrant Visa

Migrant visas ("M type") are granted to foreign nationals that have the intention of becoming permanent residents of Colombia, but do not meet the criteria for an R Type visa.

The following situations qualify for a migrant visa:

  • Spouse or permanent partner of a Colombian citizen
  • Adoption parent of a Colombian citizen
  • Migrant under the Mercosur Arrangement
  • Refugee
  • Work
  • Entrepreneur
  • Freelance work
  • Religious work
  • Students of primary, secondary, medium school and undergraduate students
  • Real Estate investors
  • Retirees

M-type visas are granted for a maximum of 3 years.

Requirements for a migrant visa depend on the type of activity to be performed or situation applicable. Some of the most common situations are as follows.

M-type visa for work purposes:

  • A standard form with the summary of the employment contract
  • Motivation letter from the employer
  • Employer bank statements showing monthly income of over 100 minimum salaries (companies) and 10 minimum salaries (individuals)

M-type freelance visas:

  • Letter from the applicant
  • A minimum of three certificates demonstrating competence in the stated field.
  • Bank statements of the six months prior to the application, showing income of at least 10 minimum salaries.

M-type entrepreneur visas:

  • Registration details of the company established in Colombia
  • Proof of investment amounting to at least 100 minimum salaries

M-type real estate investor visas:

  • Land registry details of the real estate purchased in Colombia
  • Certificate obtained from the National Bank that an amount of at least 350 minimum salaries has been invested.

M-type student visas:

  • Own bank statements, or bank statements of the sponsoring individual or institution.
  • Admission certificate to a Colombian educational institution.

The costs associated with migrant visas (for work, investment, entrepreneurship, freelance and marital purposes) are as follows:

  • First payment: EUR 40 for applications made in the European Union and USD 52 for applications made in Colmbia and the rest of the world.
  • Second payment if the visa is granted: EUR 177 for visas granted in the European Union and USD 230 for the rest of the world

The costs for student visas are:

  • Visa study fee: EUR 12 / USD 16
  • Second payment if the visa was granted: EUR 40 / USD 51

Registration

All holders of a visa valid for more than 90 days have the obligation of registering it with the Migration authorities within 2 weeks from the visa issuance (if the applicant is already in Colombia) or from the arrival into the country, in order to obtain a local ID card (Cedula de Extranjeria). Failure to do this in the allowed timeframe will attract considerable penalties.

The local ID card must be requested by submitting an online form with Migracion Colombia, paying the respective fee and showing up for an interview at the Migrations office in Bogota.

Colombian Citizenship

Colombia allows dual citizenship. In this case, while you are in Colombia you will be treated like a Colombian citizen and you must enter the country with the Colombian passport.

There are several situations where Colombian citizenship can be acquired:

  • through birth from Colombian parents
  • through birth on Colombian territory, if at least one of the parents is a Colombian resident
  • through voluntary adoption of Colombian citizenship

In the latter case, the applicant must have resided in Colombia for at least 1 year (Latin American citizens), 2 years (Spanish citizens) or 5 years (others) starting from the issuance of a Resident Visa.

Citizenship should be requested with the Cancilleria.

The process consists of filing an online form, which will be analyzed by the authorities, and supporting documents will be requested.
If all the documents meet the legal requirements, the Cancilleria will perform background checks with the Migrations, Police, Tax and Legal authorities and will conduct a visit to the applicant's residence.

The applicant should then pass an exam on Spanish language (for non-native speakers), Colombian politics, geography and history.

For complete information, refer to the official website of the Cancilleria.

Update 20/08/2018


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