Colombia Visa

Colombia Visa

Traveling to Colombia

With the fourth largest economy in Latin America and a vibrant tourism industry, Colombia is a popular destination for studying abroad, expanding business opportunities, and engaging in leisure activities.

Visa requirements to enter Colombia will depend on the traveler’s nationality and the purpose of their trip. Many nationalities are eligible to enter Colombia visa-free for short stays. Other nationalities can enter the country visa-free, provided they meet certain conditions stipulated by the bilateral agreements between their country and the Colombian government. Other nationalities must apply for a visa to enter Colombia. 

The validity period of a Colombia visa is likewise dependent on the visa type and the applicant’s reason for visiting the country. Visitor Visas are designed for short stays, while Migrant Visas can be valid for up to three (3) years. 

Colombia visa types

There are several categories of Colombian visas that travelers can select from. Each category has many sub-types for different travel purposes.

The following are the available Colombian visa types: 

Visitor Visa (Type V):

  • Visa types in this category are issued for short to medium stays. Each type is intended for a specific activity or purpose. Some Visitor Visa types allow visa holders to work, while others do not.
  • The following are all types of Visitor Visas:
    • Airport transit
    • Tourism
    • Business
    • Student
    • Medical treatment
    • Administrative and/or judicial procedures
    • Crewman
    • Seasonal farm worker
    • Events
    • Religious
    • Student/Religious Volunteer
    • Volunteers or collaborators
    • Large format film or documentary productions.
    • Digital Nomad
    • Journalistic Coverage
    • Permanent correspondent
    • Technical assistance
    • TLC Entrepreneurs
    • Unaccredited officers
    • Vacation and Work
    • Work practice
    • Service Provider-work or labor
    • Promotion of internationalization
    • Rentier

Courtesy Visa (Type V):

  • Courtesy Visas are issued to holders of diplomatic, official, or service passports traveling to Colombia on official business. These visa types may also be issued to regular passport holders in circumstances where it would be considered international courtesy.
  • The following are the types of Courtesy Visas:
    • Diplomatic
    • ICETEX Program
    • International agreement
    • film law
    • Complementary measure

Migrant Visa (Type M):

  • This visa category is for foreign nationals who wish to settle in Colombia. Migrant Visas are valid for up to three (3) years. In many cases, the holder is issued a work permit as well with the same validity period as the visa. If the holder is absent from Colombia for more than 180 days out of 365, their Migrant Visa can be terminated.
  • The following are the eligible types of applicants for the Migrant Visa:
    • Spouse of a Colombian national
    • Permanent companion of a Colombian national
    • Mother or father of a Colombian national by adoption
    • Father or mother of a Colombian national by birth.
    • Mercosur Migrant
    • Andean Migrant
    • Refugee
    • Worker
    • Partner or Owner
    • Independent professional
    • Pensioner
    • Promotion of internationalization
    • Investor
    • Stateless

Resident Visa (Type R):

  • Foreign nationals who intend to settle in Colombia permanently can apply for this visa type, provided they request a visa transfer (extension) every five years. This can be done only through the official website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Holders of a Resident Visa are issued an open work permit that permits them to undertake any lawful employment in Colombia. If the holder is absent from Colombia for two (2) consecutive years, their Resident Visa can be terminated.
  • The following are the eligible categories for a Resident Visa:
    • Renunciation of nationality
    • Accumulated time spent in Colombia
    • Applicant for the Temporary Protection Statute for Venezuelan
    • Migrants
    • Peace Special

Beneficiary Visa:

  • There is a special visa category for dependents who are financially reliant on the main holder of a Colombian visa. Holders of a Beneficiary Visa are not permitted to work in Colombia. 
  • Eligible dependents include the main holder’s spouse or permanent partner, their children under 25, or their children over 25 with a disability, provided they are financially dependent on the main visa holder.
  • The following categories are eligible to apply for a Beneficiary Visa:
    • Dependents of all Type R Visas (Resident Visas)
    • Dependents of the holders of the following Migrant Visa types:
      • Spouse
      • Permanent companion 
      • Father, mother, or child of a Colombian national by adoption
      • Father or mother of a Colombian national by birth
      • Mercosur Migrant
      • Andean Migrant
      • Worker
      • Partner or Owner
      • Independent Professional
      • Pensioner
      • Promotion of internationalization 
      • Investor
      • Stateless Individual
    • Dependents of the holders of the following Visitor Visa types:
      • Postgraduate student
      • Religious
      • Volunteer or Cooperator
      • Digital Nomads
      • Permanent correspondent
      • TLC Entrepreneurs 
      • Unaccredited officials
      • Service Provider-work or labor
      • Promotion of internationalization
      • Rentista
      • Courtesy of Visiting Diplomats
      • Complementary Measure to Refugee (at the request of the Advisory Commission for the Determination of Refugee Status)

Colombia visa requirements

To apply for any Colombia visa type, it is necessary to submit some required documents. The list of documents will vary depending on the visa type and the purpose of travel.

The following are the basic requirements for all Colombian visa types:

A valid passport and photocopy

All applicants must have a valid passport or travel document that is valid for at least six (6) months and has blank visa pages. Applicants must upload a photocopy of the main bio-data page, with all primary identification information clearly shown, to the visa application platform (SITAC) during the application process.

Personal photo

A color photograph must be attached to the SITAC platform digitally in JPG format with a maximum size of 300 kb. The photo must be recent and clear with a white background. The applicant must appear centered with eyes open and a neutral expression. The size of the photo should be 3cm x 4cm.

Application form

The application form must be completed online on the official website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Payment of visa fees

Two visa fees must be paid: the study fee and the issuance fee. The study fee must be paid before the application is processed by the Visa and Immigration Authority, while the issuance fee can be paid after the application is approved. Both fees must be paid within ten (10) working days or the application could be terminated.

Colombia visa application

Applying for a Colombian visa is a straightforward process that can be completed online. Applicants can take the following steps to submit their visa application:

  1. Complete the visa application form

    Application forms can be found on the official website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Applicants must be sure to select the correct visa category and type. They must also ensure they choose the nearest Colombian Consular Office to their place of residence when prompted.

  2. Upload the required documents

    Documents can be attached through the SITAC platform. Files must be in PDF format. Photographs must be in JPG format with a maximum size of 300 kb. All documents, except passports, should have been issued within three (3) months of the application date.

  3. Pay the visa fee

    o Once the application form is submitted, the applicant will receive a reference number. They may use this number to pay the application study fee within ten (10) days. If the payment is not made, the application process will be terminated.
    o Fees can be paid via one of the following options:
    • PSE payment service
    • Servibanca
    • GNB Sudameris Bank
    • Payment at consulates
    • Payment with VISA credit card and MasterCard card

  4. Await visa decision

    Once the application is submitted and the study fee is paid, the Colombian Visa and Immigration Authority should take five (5) business days. However, the processing time may take up to 30 calendar days if the Authority requests additional documents or other complications arise. 

  5. Pay the issuance fee

    o   If the visa application is approved, the applicant has ten (10) working days to pay the issuance fee. If this fee is not paid, the visa application can still be terminated.
    o   If the payment for the visa issuance fee is approved, the Visa and Immigration Authority will issue the electronic visa to the email address the applicant registered in their application within ten (10) business days.

Where to Apply for Colombia Visa

All applicants for Colombian visas can apply online through the official website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Applications must be completed thoroughly, and all required documents must adhere to the digitizing requirements as specified by the Ministry.

Colombia Visa Processing Time

The processing time for a Colombia visa will depend on the visa type, the complexity of the application, and the applicant’s nationality. The application process will also depend on how quickly the applicant pays the study and issuance fees. Applicants should receive an answer from the visa office within five (5) business days. If, however, the authorities require an interview or any additional document, it may take up to 30 calendar days to process the application. 

Colombia Visa FAQ

Do I need a visa to travel to Colombia?

Nationals from the following list of countries are required to obtain a Colombia visa before entering the country:
Afghanistan, Algeria, Angola, Armenia, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Belarus, Benin, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cambodia, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Central African Republic, Chad, China, Comoros, Congo, Congo (Dem. Rep.), Cote d'Ivoire (Ivory Coast), Cuba, Djibouti, Egypt, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Eswatini, Ethiopia, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Haiti, India, Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Kenya, Kiribati, Kosovo, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Laos, Lebanon, Lesotho, Liberia, Libya, Macao, Madagascar, Malawi, Malaysia, Maldives, Mali, Mauritania, Mauritius, Moldova, Mongolia, Mozambique, Myanmar, Namibia, Nauru, Nepal, Nicaragua, Niger, Nigeria, North Korea, Pakistan, Palestinian Territories, Rwanda, Sao Tome and Principe, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Somalia, South Africa, South Sudan, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Syria, Taiwan, Tajikistan, Tanzania, Thailand, Timor-Leste, Togo, Tonga, Tunisia, Turkmenistan, Tuvalu, Uganda, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, Uzbekistan, Vanuatu, Viet Nam, Yemen, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.

How much does a Colombian visa cost?

The cost of a Colombian visa will vary depending on the visa type and the purpose of travel to Colombia. Applicants should note that there are two fees involved in the process: the study fee, which is paid before the final decision is made, and the issuance fee, which must be paid once the application is approved. Failure to pay either fee will result in the termination of the application.

Can my family members join me on my Colombian visa?

Yes, in many cases, dependents are eligible to join the main visa holder by applying for a Beneficiary Visa, provided they fall into one of the eligible categories. Eligible dependents include the main holder’s spouse or permanent partner, their children under 25, or their children over 25 with a disability, provided they are financially dependent on the main visa holder.

Can I work while on a Colombian Visitor Visa?

Whether or not you can work while holding a Colombian Visitor Visa will depend on the type of Visitor Visa you apply for. Some Visitor Visa types do not permit employment or lucrative activity of any kind, while others allow the holder to engage in specific types of work.

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