Travelers planning to visit Colombia this year, they should ensure they have all the necessary documentation ahead of their trip. Many visitors to Colombia need to secure a valid visa before their journey, which allows them to enter the country for leisure or business purposes.
Currently, a Colombia Check Mig is required for entry, a measure introduced in response to the COVID pandemic.
Colombia provides an extensive array of visas for tourists and business travelers. Depending on the purpose of their stay, visitors must choose the appropriate option. This guide will cover everything individuals need to know to prepare for their upcoming trip to Colombia.
Colombia became an independent country in 1922, following its separation from Spain. It has one of the oldest democracies in Latin America, and countries such as the US have worked with the country to help improve its security and governance.
For the majority of visitors from across South America and the world at large, a visa is not required for visiting Colombia for a stay of up to 90 days. However, there are various exceptions and rules that apply to individual countries and regions.
The majority of visitors to Colombia, won’t need a visa to enter for up to 90 days. However, if they are traveling for business, to study, or for another purpose, they’ll want to see if their visit is covered under the standard entry policy.
For those countries that do require a visa, some citizens can now apply online for an eVisa, but otherwise, they’ll need to head to their local embassy to complete the process.
Citizens of Nicaragua residing in the North or South Caribbean Coast Autonomous Regions don’t require a visa, but elsewhere in the country, one is needed. Citizens from Cuba and passport holders from Palestine require a transit visa to pass through the country.
Some travelers are able to use visas or residence permits from the US or Schengen Area to enter Colombia without getting a visa.
When it comes to visa options in Colombia, they are split into three categories: visitor, resident, and migrant.
Colombia migrant visas are often used by individuals from overseas who are looking to invest in the country, marry a Colombian citizen, retire to Colombia, work, or study in the country.
Each visa type has its own set of requirements, and applicants need to provide proof of their partnership, work, or enrollment in an education program in the country to apply for a visa in this category.
Resident visas are for individuals who previously held an M visa category, have a large investment in the country, are the parent of a Colombian national, or are returning Colombians.
Ultimately, the Colombian visitor visa is designed for those seeking leisure and tourism opportunities, as well as for individuals who wish to conduct business in the country. This visa is frequently utilized for academic exchange programs, medical consultations, events, temporary services, and business engagements for those employed by a Colombian branch of a company.
Each visa comes with its own set of requirements and restrictions on the length of stay, so it is essential for applicants to determine the most suitable option for their circumstances before proceeding with the application process.
If one requires a Colombian visa before their trip, they need to make sure they leave enough time to apply in advance. While it may be possible to apply for a tourist visa online, securing any of the other visas mentioned above will likely necessitate contacting the local Colombian embassy in one’s home country for assistance.
One’s passport must be valid for at least six months upon entry into Colombia, irrespective of the visa type being applied for. When scheduling an appointment with the local consulate, the individual will attend a meeting during which they will submit all necessary documents for their specific visa.
At this stage, the visa issuance fee is paid, and upon approval, the visa sticker will be affixed to the passport.
The documentation requirements for obtaining a Colombian visa can be quite stringent, so individuals must ensure they submit the appropriate documents for the specific visa category they are applying for. They will need a copy of their main passport page and proof of any previous Colombian visas or entry stamps.
Additionally, they must provide a passport-size picture taken within the last three months. Evidence of the upcoming trip is necessary for entry into the country, such as a travel itinerary, accommodation, or address, and proof of relationship if staying with a family member.
Bank statements are typically required to demonstrate that they have sufficient resources to support themselves while in Colombia.
When traveling for an event, they need to provide the agenda for the trip, and traveling for business requires a letter of invitation from the company. If going to Colombia for a course or education, they need to show their acceptance or enrollment certification. It is crucial to verify the requirements for the specific visa type to prevent any delays at the consulate or upon arrival in Colombia.
As demonstrated, there are numerous factors to consider when applying for a Colombian visa. With a wide variety of visa categories available, it can sometimes be overwhelming for visitors to determine the most suitable option. For those visiting for leisure or tourism, many travelers do not require a visa and can explore this beautiful country for 90 days without a visa. Regardless of whether a visa is needed, individuals should review the current health and safety requirements to avoid any issues upon entering Colombia.
If travelers are not eligible to enter Colombia with a visa stamp at the border or they want to stay in the country longer than 90 days, they will need to get a visa.
Most of the time, they will need to apply for these visas before they leave home, though some of the visas can be obtained while in the country. Colombia groups its visas into a few large categories. Under each category, though, there are a variety of subcategories.
Travelers will need to make sure that they choose both the right category and subcategory when applying for a visa to Colombia.
Every visa type or subtype for Colombia has fees associated with it. Travelers will need to pay these fees when they submit their applications because the visa cannot be processed without them. Nationals of some countries will not need to pay fees for some or all Colombian visa applications.
These laws are subject to change, so travelers should check at the time they submit their application. That way, they can pay the proper fees to expedite their visa process.
Consulates in different countries will accept payment differently, so travelers should research and be ready to pay in an accepted manner. Direct deposit and credit/debit cards are usually accepted.
The visitor visa is for people who want to visit Colombia temporarily but who do not have any intention of settling in the long term.
Visitor visas can be issued for people who want to take extended vacations in the country or for transit purposes. It’s also good for business travelers who will not be employed in Colombia.
There are visitor visas for studying Spanish in Colombia, for seeking medical treatment there, and for people participating in short-term exchanges.
Visitor visas also cover journalists, volunteers, and people working as part of the crew on a boat or a cruise. Those participating in an inter-corporate transfer can also get a visitor visa. Travelers will need to submit documentation that proves their purpose in traveling to Colombia.
This can include letters of invitation, acceptance into programs, letters from the business they are representing, and more. Visitor visas are usually good for stays of up to 180 consecutive days in Colombia, but they may be issued for up to 5 years in some cases.
Some visas will be single entries, while others will allow for multiple entries. The details will depend on the purpose of travel and the traveler’s nationality.
The migrant visa is for people who want to live in Colombia but who do not (or do not yet) qualify for a resident visa.
These visas are good for up to three years, but the exact length of the visa depends on the traveler’s purposes in Colombia and their nationality. There are a number of categories of M visas in Colombia.
Foreigners who are married to Colombian citizens qualify for a migrant visa, as do parents and children of Colombian citizens and adoptive parents or children. Foreigners who are members of Mercosur (South America’s trade block) or who are entering Colombia as refugees can get M visas.
People who have obtained jobs working for Colombian companies, those who are experts in a field and wish to start a business in Colombia, and students can also get M visas.
Investors who are investing at least 10 times the Colombian monthly minimum wage or those investing in real estate above a certain amount also qualify for migrant visas. Religious workers can get migrant visas, too, as can people who want to retire in Colombia and who qualify financially.
All foreigners wishing to get migrant visas will need to present documentation proving that they qualify under one of the categories listed above. They may also need to show that they have the financial means to cover their time in Colombia.
People wanting retirement visas will need to show that they have an established pension that gives them at least three times Colombia’s minimum wage. They can also show that they have other investments that pay at least 10 times Colombia’s minimum wage.
Resident visas are for people who want to live permanently in Colombia and are especially for those pursuing a path to citizenship in the country.
These visas can be issued to people who once had Colombian citizenship but renounced it and who now want to return to the country.
They can also be issued for people who have at least one Colombian citizen for a parent and investors who invest at least 650 times Colombia’s monthly minimum wage in the country.
People who have continuously held a beneficiary visa for 5 years can be eligible, as can those with migrant visas. People with spousal or refugee migrant visas qualify for a resident visa after holding their migrant visas for at least 2 continuous years. Other people with migrant visas will need to hold those for five continuous years before they can get a resident visa.
All applicants for a resident visa in Colombia will need to show proof that they are eligible to apply under one of the categories listed above. The resident visa allows for permanent residence in Colombia, though those who leave the country for more than two consecutive years will have their visa invalidated.
The Special Resident Peace Visa is specifically for former members of the FARC-EP. These were rebel forces who fought against the Colombian government for many years.
In 2016, the FARC and the Colombian government signed a peace deal. In 2017, the FARC disarmed itself and handed all weapons over to representatives from the United Nations.
The RES visa was developed as part of that peace process. It is for foreigners who were members of the FARC and who now want to settle permanently in Colombia. To qualify for this visa, people must be named on official lists presented by the FARC and approved by Colombia’s government. This visa provides for permanent residence in Colombia. Visa holders can work and stay in Colombia indefinitely.