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Colombia Visa and Check-MIG for Canadians

Canadian citizens can enter Colombia without a visa, as long as they do not plan to make money and plan to stay for 90 days or less.

Here’s what Canadians need to know about visiting Colombia. This information should make it easier for them to cross the border and enter the country.

Travel Permissions that Canadian Citizens Need at the Border With Colombia

Most Canadians will not need a visa, but some will. If they are planning to make money while in the country or have an extended trip in mind, they should get a visa before they travel.

If a visa is required for their trip, they will need to show that they have it before authorities will allow them to enter Colombia.

Canadian citizens will also need to show an approved Check-MIG form before they cross the border. They can submit this form online and receive approval before they travel.

Finally, Canadians will need to demonstrate that they are in compliance with Colombia’s current COVID-19 travel restrictions.

These change as the disease progresses and changes, so travelers will need to check for updated information before they travel.

They should do this in plenty of time to get test results if Colombia is requiring negative ones in order to cross the border.

Canadian Travelers Should Fill Out the Check-MIG Form

Canadians can find the Check-MIG form online, or they can download the mobile app specific to the form. This was designed by the Colombian government to make it easy to find the form. 

The form pertains to health information related to COVID-19. It may ask about previous travel, infections, vaccinations, negative test results, and more.

It will also ask travelers where and how they can be contacted while they are in Colombia. This is in case they are exposed to COVID during their travel to the country.

Travelers should wait until they are 48 hours or less from their departure for Colombia before they submit the form. They should have an approved form within 24 hours of submission.

Note that most airlines will not allow people to board if they do not have the correct Check-MIG permission in place.

Paperwork Canadian Citizens Should Bring When They Try to Enter Colombia

Canadian citizens who plan to get a 90 day travel visa should bring two important documents with them when they go to enter Colombia.

The first of these is their Canadian passport. This not only needs to be valid on the day they are entering, but should be valid for at least six months beyond that date.

If it is not valid for that long, they should consider renewing it before they travel. 

Secondly, Canadians who want the short-term travel visa need to bring proof that they plan to leave Colombia before that visa expires.

The best way to show this is to have already purchased an airline ticket that departs Colombia. Note that reserved tickets don’t qualify; they must be paid for by the time they are used as proof.

Canadian citizens who plan to enter Colombia for reasons other than tourism should have their relevant visa in hand, too. Immigration officials will not let them enter without this document

How Canadian Citizens Can Spend Even More Time in Colombia as Tourists

If Canadians find that they want to extend their stay in Colombia beyond 90 days, they can apply to extend their tourist visa for an additional 90 days. 

This can only be done once, and they must once again supply proof that they plan to leave the country before that extended visa expires. 

They will also need to submit photos of their current Canadian passport, as well as pictures of their entry stamp from when they came into Colombia.

There is a small fee associated with extending the visa, too.

Travelers can apply to extend their visa online, at the website for the Colombian Immigration Authority. They can click on “Permiso Temporal de Permanencia para Prorrogar Permanencia”.

Once they do that, they only have to follow the directions on the screen to fill out the application. After submitting it, they should plan to hear back within 1 or 2 business days. 

They will receive notification of their visa extension by email. Travelers should keep this email easily accessible in case there are questions or confusion about their visa status.

Other Common Visas Canadian Citizens Use to Enter Colombia

Canadian citizens who do not get the 90-day visitor visa usually enter Colombia using one of the visas listed below.

All visa applicants will need to submit a copy of their passport as well as photos of themselves. Other requirements will vary based on the type of visa they are requesting.

Visitor Visas

Travelers from Canada who want to remain in Colombia for longer than 90-180 days or who want to visit for certain purposes will need to get a visitor visa before they leave.

These visas are good for a number of purposes, such as seeking medical treatment in Colombia, participating in an academic project, completing an internship, and more.

Applicants will need to demonstrate their need to be in Colombia for an extended period of time. This may take the form of a formal letter inviting them or a contract.

These visas vary in the time they allow people to stay in Colombia. This will be based on the amount of time required to complete their purposes in the country. 

Some visitor visas can be renewed, while others cannot be.

Retirement Visas

Canadians who want to retire in Colombia may be able to do so on a retirement visa. They will need to demonstrate that they meet a couple of qualifications.

First, they will need to prove that they have adequate medical and health insurance to meet their needs while they are in Colombia. This will need to be valid for the duration of the visa.

Secondly, they will need to show that they have either a government-issued or a private pension. They may also be able to show that they have independent wealth. 

Retirement visas are usually valid for 1-3 years, depending on a few factors including how long the applicant’s passport remains valid. They can usually be renewed or extended.

Work Visas

Work visas will only be issued to Canadian citizens who have a contract in place with a qualifying employer. Most employers know if they qualify to hire people from overseas.

Getting a work visa in Colombia can be difficult. Applicants need Spanish translations of their academic qualifications and of a letter certifying these as valid.

Many times, employers will help their foreign staff get visas. This can expedite the process and can make it easier for people to get into Colombia quickly.

Resident Visas

Canadians who want to stay in Colombia for an extended period of time may qualify for a resident visa.

If they were previously citizens of Colombia but renounced that, they can get this visa. 

They can also qualify for this kind of visa if they have married someone who is a citizen of Colombia or if they have a Colombian father.

They will need to show that they qualify and provide documentation to prove it. The documentation required will vary based on their qualifying reason.

Resident visas are issued for periods between 1 and 5 years and can be renewed if the Canadian citizen wants to remain in Colombia after that period.

Canadian Embassies & Consulates in Colombia

Canada maintains an embassy in Bogota, Colombia, as well as a consulate office in Cartagena. Travelers who need help can make their way to one of these to get aid.

What Embassies/Consulates Have to Offer Travelers Overseas

Embassy and consulate staff help travelers who are having problems while they are overseas. Trouble can vary from illness to being the victim of a crime to legal trouble to losing a passport.

Consulate employees are even trained to help when citizens of their home country die overseas, or if there is a natural disaster and evacuation becomes necessary. 

It’s a good idea to register a trip officially. That way, the embassy in the country the traveler is visiting will know they are there and will contact them if necessary.

Most visitors don’t want to think about something bad happening while they are traveling. However, if a crisis does occur, the embassy staff are there to help.

Canadians can travel to Colombia quickly and enter the country easily, as long as they keep these things in mind. Then they can complete their business in Colombia without any problems.

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