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Colombia Visa and Check-MIG for Americans

US who want to visit Colombia should find entering the country relatively easy, since they do not need a visa if they travel as tourists.

This is especially true if they know what to expect before they arrive.

Here’s what American travelers need to know before they visit Colombia. Armed with this information, they should be able to enter the country and travel to their hearts’ content.

What Travel Permissions Do Americans Need to Visit Colombia?

American travelers who plan to enter Colombia as tourists and who plan to spend 90 days or less in the country do not need a visa.

All other American travelers to Colombia will need to get the relevant visa. There are several different types of visas that are popular among American visitors to the country.

Travelers will also need to fill out Colombia’s Check-MIG form before they travel. This is a screening form related to COVID-19.

Every visitor to Colombia needs to complete this form before they can travel to the country. If they do not, they will not be permitted to board a plane to Colombia.

Additional COVID-19 precautions and requirements are subject to change. Travelers need to make sure they know what is expected of them in this area before they travel to Colombia.

What is a Check-MIG and How to Fill It Out

The Check-MIG form asks travelers for their passport details, contact information both while in Colombia and at home, and travel details.

All of this information allows the Colombian government to contact people who might be in danger of contracting COVID-19. It also allows them to better track the disease in their country.

Travelers can fill out the Check-MIG form online, or they can download the app specific to the form. Either way, they can complete the requirement and get approved to travel electronically. 

The form asks for details like a passport number, an email address, and a phone number. It also asks for travel information like the person’s flight number, arrival time, and more. 

Regarding COVID-19, the form asks about symptoms of the disease, previous exposures and quarantines, contact with symptomatic people, and tests the traveler has taken for the condition.

The Check-MIG should be processed within 24 hours of submission, though some travelers will hear back immediately.

It should not be started more than 48 hours before the person departs for Colombia, so that the information it contains is accurate and updated. 

Travelers can print out their Check-MIG or they can show its approval on their mobile device.

What Do U.S. Citizens Need to Do to Enter Colombia?

Americans who do not need a visa can enter Colombia by showing only two documents: their passport and proof that they plan to leave the country.

Their passport needs to be valid for up to six months past the date on which they are entering Colombia. If it is not, the US government recommends that they renew it before their trip.

Proof of onward travel must be fully purchased. Reserved seats on a flight, for instance, will not qualify.

American travelers who need to get a visa to travel will need to show that when they enter Colombia, as well as their passport and Check-MIG form.

How to Extend a Stay in Colombia

Travelers who want to extend their tourist visa in Colombia can do so easily. The process can be completed online so they don’t have to visit an office or stand in line.

The Colombian Immigration Authority website has a section called “Permiso Temporal de Permanencia para Prorrogar Permanencia”. Travelers can click here to start the process.

There’s a simple online form that they will need to fill out. They will also need to upload photos of their passport with their Colombian entry stamp shown clearly. 

Finally, they will need proof of onward travel here, too. Once everything is uploaded, they will pay a small fee and submit the application.

These visa extensions are usually processed within 1-2 business days. Travelers will receive confirmation of their visa extension by email.

They should save this email so they can show it if there’s any confusion about their stay in Colombia. Most visa extensions double the length of the original tourist visa.

Popular Types of Colombian Visas for Americans

Americans who need visas to Colombia generally get one of the following types.

Work Visa

In order to get a work visa for Colombia, Americans need to have applied for and received a contract for a job in the country.

Once they have this, they can apply for the visa online. 

They will need to provide a copy of that contract, a copy of their passport, a passport photo, and proof of their prospective employer’s earnings.

The most complicated part of the application is this: applicants need to provide a copy of their academic degree or certificate, along with a document certifying it as legitimate.

Both of these items need to be translated into Spanish, too. 

There is also an application fee that must be paid. 

Note that travelers can enter Colombia as tourists, then convert their visa to a Work Visa later. This gives them time to find the right job.

Visitor Visa

A visitor visa allows American citizens to visit Colombia more than once over the course of the visa, or to stay for longer than 90 days (or 180 days on an extended tourist visa). 

It also allows them to do a few more things than what is permitted on a tourist visa.

For instance, they can manage business affairs, participate in an academic exchange, pursue medical treatment, volunteer, complete an internship, and more.

Travelers will need to submit a copy of their passport and a photo, along with proof of what they are doing in Colombia.

This will vary based on the activities they hope to undertake in the country. The amount of time the person can stay will also vary based on what they are doing in Colombia.

Resident Visa

Americans who want to reside in Colombia long-term can apply for a resident visa.

They may qualify based on having a Colombian father, investing a certain amount of money in the country, accumulating time in Colombia, or marrying a Colombian citizen.

People who renounce their Colombian citizenship but want to remain in the country will also need to get this kind of visa to do so.

Applicants may need to submit their passport, a photo of themselves, and proof that they qualify for their Resident Visa. The proof submitted will vary based on their qualification reason.

Resident Visas will not be issued for any longer than 5 years. They must be renewed at the end of the term if the person still desires to reside in Colombia.

Retirement Visa

People who want to retire in Colombia can get a Retirement Visa.

In addition to submitting a copy of their passport and a photo of themselves, they will need to show that they are receiving a pension, either from the government or a private one.

They will also need to demonstrate that they have health insurance that will cover them in Colombia for at least a year.

These visas are valid for up to three years and must be renewed if the retiree desires to stay in Colombia.

American Embassies and Consulates in Colombia

The United States’ embassy in Colombia is located in Bogota. They also have a consulate office in Barranquilla. Americans can visit these or contact them as needed.

See list of Colombian embassies.

Why Visit an Embassy or a Consulate

Travelers in Colombia might contact an embassy or a consulate office for many reasons.

For the most part, these offices serve people who are in distress. 

Travelers might contact an embassy or consulate if they are the victims of a robbery, if they need to replace their passport, or if there’s an emergency and they need aid.

Embassies will also help citizens in the event that someone in their party dies while in Colombia. They can expedite the process of getting a body back home and dealing with local authorities.

Embassies can also help with legal trouble. For instance, if someone gets arrested in Colombia, the embassy may help them get out of jail or hire legal counsel.

In general, any citizens who have trouble while overseas or who need help can contact their embassy for help. The embassy personnel will do all they can to remedy the situation.

Visiting Colombia is simple for Americans, especially if they have all their documents in order. With the right paperwork, they shouldn’t have a problem entering the country or traveling there.

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