A student visa is a legal authorization issued by the Ministry of foreign affairs of the government of Colombia to foreign students who want to enroll in various academic programs offered by schools and universities in the country. To be eligible for a Colombian student visa, foreigners must get admitted to a Colombian government-approved school or college. Note that most universities in the country are recognized by the government.
Here’s what foreign students should know about the Colombian student visa and its benefits.
Foreign students, irrespective of their nationality and citizenship, are required to have a Colombia student visa to study in the country for a year or more. The country has privately run educational institutions and publicly funded ones. Foreign students should enroll in a recognized institution and must take classes for ten or more hours a week to be eligible for this visa.
A type M (migrant) student visa is granted by the Colombia foreign affairs ministry to foreign students who wish to enroll for a bachelor’s degree or a post-graduation course. This visa is issued for a maximum period of three years. In a majority of cases, the visa is issued for a period longer than one year. The Type M student visa loses its validity if the applicant stays outside the country for more than six months during the visa period. The cost and processing fee for a type M student visa varies from consulate to consulate and is around 67 US dollars.
A type V (visitor) student visa is issued to foreign students who take up short-term courses, including Spanish language programs offered by various educational institutions in Colombia. It is reported that a type V student visa to study Spanish is issued for a maximum period of six months. However, the Colombian government has the authority to take the final call on this. Applicants are advised to check with the nearest Colombia mission about this. Foreign students arriving on a type V student visa cannot extend or apply for a new visa type while they are in Colombia.
They have to apply for a new visa in a Colombian consulate or embassy of a foreign country. The government of Colombia also issues a beneficiary’s visa to the spouse, parents, and children of a student visa holder if they are economically dependent on him/her. Note that a beneficiary cannot work in the country, and his/her occupation must only be taking care of the family.
Holders of a Colombian student visa (both type M and type V) cannot work in the country. Foreign students arriving in the country either need a sponsor or enough funds to support themselves during their stay in the country. If they are found to be engaged in paid employment, they may have to face legal action, including fines.
International students enrolled in student or academic exchange programs are qualified to apply for a student visa for Colombia. They can learn the art and crafts of the country or get training in these areas.
Foreign students who are planning to attend postgraduate-level courses are eligible for this visa. Foreigners who are coming to Colombia for internships or training programs can apply for a student visa. Such visas will have a maximum validity of two years. Minor students can get a Colombian student visa to attend primary, middle, and high school or preschool.
A Colombian student visa is valid for the duration of the course. The type M student visa is issued for up to three years, and the type V visitor visa validity varies from six months to two years.
Applicants for a student visa for Colombia have to complete an application form. Most Colombia missions offer online application forms. However, applicants coming under the jurisdiction of a few missions may have to fill in a physical application form.
They have to go to the Colombia mission to submit the application form along with their identity and travel documents. They also may have to submit biometric information and attend an in-person interview. If the applicant is in Colombia at the time of application, they can visit the foreign affairs ministry’s office in Bogota.
Following are the documents to be submitted while applying for a Colombia student visa:
The low cost of living and the quality of life outside the campus make Colombia a good place for college education, especially for international students from other Latin American nations. Over 40 Colombian universities were featured in a recent ranking of the best 300 universities in Latin America. They are also known for specialized academic programs in indigenous customs and traditions.
They also actively promote student exchange programs with foreign universities. The government of Colombia promotes Spanish, its official language, through various universities that offer short-term programs in the language for foreign students. Some of the famous universities in the country are Pontificia Universidad Javeriana, University of the Andes Colombia, and Universidad Nacional de Colombia.
Overseas students should remember that obtaining a Colombia student visa is crucial to pursue their education there. By understanding the application process, visa requirements, and necessary supporting documents, students can ensure a smoother experience. It is important to consider visa fees, processing times, and the duration of the stay permitted.
Students should also know about visa renewal procedures, health insurance, financial proof requirements, university enrollment, and language course options. Furthermore, knowing the rules regarding part-time work permissions, accommodation options, and visa interviews will help students better prepare for their educational journey. Additionally, students should familiarize themselves with visa extension procedures, including dependents and family members, student visa conversion, temporary residence permits, and any travel restrictions that may apply.