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Colombia – Visas

Visa Regulations for Entering Colombia

  • Requirements for entry:
    To enter Colombia, a foreign national must have a valid passport, visa and, in some cases, a return ticket, proof of sufficient funds and proof of health insurance coverage.

  • Validity of visa:
    Visas must be used within their validity period, which ranges from 90 days to 5 years, and the holder must enter Colombia before the expiration date.

  • Important rules:

  1. Visitors who overstay their visa or engage in unauthorized activities may be fined, deported or banned from entering Colombia in the future.
  2. A visitor who intends to work, study or reside in Colombia must obtain a relevant visa before entering the country.
  3. It is prohibited to engage in activities that are deemed harmful to the Colombian government or public order.
  4. Visitors who are found carrying drugs or counterfeit goods will be severely punished.
  5. A foreign national may be required to undergo a security check before entering Colombia.

Successfully Navigating Regulations:

  1. Research visa requirements and choose the appropriate visa category for your visit.
  2. Check the validity period of your visa and make sure you have sufficient time to complete your planned activities.
  3. Provide accurate information on your visa application, as any false statements can result in visa denial or cancellation.
  4. Ensure that your passport is valid for at least six months from the date of entry into Colombia.
  5. Familiarize yourself with the prohibited activities in Colombia and avoid engaging in any that may lead to legal consequences.

Types of Visa

  1. Tourist visa: Issued to those who visit Colombia for sightseeing, visiting friends or relatives, and other personal affairs. Validity: 90 days.

  2. Business visa: Issued to those who visit Colombia for business, trade, or other commercial activities. Validity: 90 days.

  3. Work visa: Issued to those who work in Colombia, including foreign experts, employees of foreign companies, and international students. Validity: up to 1 year.

  4. Study visa: Issued to those who study in Colombia, including degree students, language students, and short-term students. Validity: up to 1 year.

  5. Family visit visa: Issued to those who visit their family members in Colombia, including spouse, parent, and child. Validity: up to 1 year.

  6. Resident visa: Issued to those who intend to reside in Colombia for more than 180 days. Validity: up to 5 years.

Visa Exemptions

  1. Citizens of Mercosur and Associated countries, Andean Community and Mexico are exempt from tourist visa for a stay up to 90 days.

  2. Citizens of some countries, including the United States, Canada, Australia, and European Union member countries, can enter Colombia without a tourist visa for a stay up to 90 days.

Relationship Between Visas and Residency Status

A foreign national who intends to reside in Colombia for more than 180 days must obtain a resident visa before entering the country. The resident visa allows the holder to work, study, or engage in other activities in Colombia for up to 5 years.


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Reliable Information on Visas for Entry into Colombia

  1. Colombian Consulate or Embassy in the home country
  2. Colombian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Immigration (https://migracioncolombia.gov.co/)
  3. Colombian immigration lawyer or agent (https://www.abogados.com/inmigracion/colombia)

To enter Colombia, foreign nationals may require a visa depending on the purpose and length of their stay. Before applying for a visa, it is important to check if you require one by visiting the website of the Colombian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

The visa application process can be completed online through the e-Visa system or through the Colombian consulate in your home country. It is recommended to apply for a visa at least 2-3 months before your intended travel dates.

Where to Apply for a Visa for Colombia

For US citizens, visa applications can be submitted at the Colombian consulate in Washington D.C. or at the Colombian embassy in New York City. UK citizens can apply at the Colombian consulate in London.

It is also possible to apply for a visa online through the e-Visa system, which can be accessed on the website of the Colombian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Documents Required for a Visa Application

The following documents are required for a visa application:

  • Passport with at least 6 months validity remaining
  • Completed visa application form
  • Recent passport-sized photo
  • Proof of financial stability
  • Proof of health insurance coverage
  • Proof of accommodation
  • Proof of purpose of visit (e.g. letter of invitation, hotel reservation, tour itinerary)
  • Return ticket or proof of onward travel

Additional information and requirements can be found on the website of the Colombian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. All documents must be submitted in Spanish or with a certified translation.

Processing Time and Cost

The processing time for a visa application depends on the type of visa and the consulate processing the application. On average, a tourist visa can take 2-3 weeks to process, while a business visa can take up to 4 weeks.

The cost of a visa for Colombia varies depending on the type of visa and the consulate processing the application. On average, a tourist visa costs around $80, while a business visa costs around $200.

There may also be additional costs associated with obtaining a visa, such as visa application fees, courier fees, and health insurance costs. It is recommended to check with the relevant consulate or embassy for a comprehensive list of fees.


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