How to get Colombia Short-term visa?

Priyam Lahon 16 August 2021 0 views 6 min. read

Rich in nature, beauty and ecology, the country has so much to offer.

We are talking about Colombia, of course. Perfect for explorers and travellers alike, it’s no wonder why travellers travel to Colombia for their next holiday.

To travel to Colombia, you need to get to know a few of the basics first.

Who needs a visa for Colombia?

colombian visa stamp

All the foreign citizens who plan to travel to Colombia will need a visa for Colombia. However, it will depend on the nationality of the foreign citizens, if they need a visa for Colombia or not. Let’s find out who needs a visa for Colombia.

That said, there are a few Colombia visa free countries that can travel to Colombia without the need for a visa. The citizens of these Colombia visa free countries can travel to Colombia with an ID card only.

The foreign citizens of Colombia visa free countries can travel to Colombia and can stay in the nation for 90 days. They can also request permission to stay in Colombia for an additional 90 days; this means that these foreign citizens can stay in Colombia for 180 days without a visa. However, a second extension won’t be possible.

What are the visa requirements for Colombia?

committee reading a resume

So most probably, you are wondering what the visa requirements for Colombia are. To travel to Colombia, you need a visa, and which you can get if you follow the Colombia visa requirements listed below.

To apply for a Colombia visa, you need to submit several documents:

1. You need to have a valid passport. You must have a copy of the main page of your passport that holds all of your biological information. You should also make a copy of any previous Colombian visas if you have, and of the last stamp of entry or departure from Colombia, if any.

2. You should have a passport-sized picture of yourself. Its dimensions should be 3 cm x 4 cm, and it shouldn’t be larger than 300 KB. The passport-sized picture should be in JPG format if you plan to apply for a Colombia visa online. The background in the photo must be white, and your entire face has to be visible. Also, the photo must be taken within the last 3 months.

3. As proof of financial resources, you must have bank statements from the last 6 months.

4. An aeroplane ticket and travel itinerary is a must.

5. You must have proof of accommodation or address in Colombia.

6. You must have proof of family relationship or an explanation of your relationship if you plan to travel to Colombia to visit a family member or a friend.

7. You must have details of the event/activity, the program and agenda, duration, etc., if you plan to attend or take part in an event or activity.

8. If you plan to travel to Colombia for business, then you must have a letter of invitation from the company, details of what you will do there and the registration documents of the company.

9. The certificate of acceptance or enrolment is a must if you want to travel to Colombia for doing a course of study or training.

Apart from the above, based on the visa that you apply for and your nationality, you may be asked for additional supporting documents to fulfil the Colombia visa requirements to get a visa for Colombia.

Also, note that all the documents have to be in Spanish, and if they are not in Spanish, then get them translated by a certified translator by the Colombian government.

You have to legalize your documents through an Apostille stamp before you submit them. If you are not from a country included in the Apostille Convention/Treaty, you have to notarize your documents before a public notary and then go to the Colombian Consulate to have them signed.

You also have to legalize your documents through an Apostille stamp before you submit them. If you are not from a country included in the Apostille Convention/Treaty, then, to get a visa for Colombia, you have to notarize your documents before a public notary and then go to the Colombian Consulate to have them signed.

How to apply for a visa in Colombia?

apply for colombia visa

To get a visa to visit Colombia, you have to submit your Colombia visa application through the online application service, which is available on the Colombian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. 

To start the Colombia visa application process, you need to enter your name, passport number and your nationality, and make sure that the Colombia visa application process is finished in 30 minutes or the session will expire.

To apply for a visa in Colombia, the following listed steps are important:

1. First, complete the online Colombia visa application form.

2. There are many visas that the Colombia authorities’ offers to foreign citizens who want to travel to Colombia. Select the one that you need, the visa to visit Colombia.

3. Attach an electronic copy of the visa photo and all the PDF files of all the required documents.

4. Select the Colombia Embassy or Consulate where you want to submit the Colombia visa application. If, however, you plan to apply a Colombia visa application from within Colombia, you have to select Ministerio de Relaciones Exteriores (Ministry of Foreign Affairs) office in Bogota as the location for Colombia visa application.

5. Pay the Colombia visa fee.

6. Following this, you will get a notification by eMail about the status of your Colombia visa application if it is approved.

7. Go to the Colombia Embassy or Consulate or the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Bogota to receive your visa.

Note that the Colombia Embassy doesn’t have an online Colombia visa application service. In some cases, you will have to submit the Colombia visa application and the documents in person at the Colombia Embassy or Consulate.

Now that the basics are out of the way, let’s focus on the question at hand.

How to get Colombia short-term visa?

cartagena de indias

As of now, the Colombia authorities offer three types of visas to foreign citizens who plan to travel to Colombia.

- Colombia Visitor Visa, also known as a Tourist visa.

- Colombia Migrant visa

- Colombia Resident visa

Of the above three visas, the Colombia Visitor visa is known as a short-term visa, while the other two, the Colombia Migrant visa and the Colombia Resident visa, are known as long-term visas.

Also known as the Visitor (V) visa for Colombia and Colombia Tourist visa, the Colombia Visitor visa is issued to foreign citizens who plan to travel to Colombia and stay in the nation for a short period of time.

The Colombia Tourist visa is issued for a maximum of 90 days, but in some cases, it will be issued for up to two years. The decision rests on the Colombia Embassy or Consulate, who handles your Colombia visa application.

The Colombia Tourist visa can be issued for the following listed purposes.

- Tourism and leisure activities

- Airport transit

- Business purposes

- Taking part in a short-term academic exchange program, training, or other educational courses such as an internship

- To seek medical treatment (or accompany someone who is undergoing medical treatment)

- For work in a company as an inter-corporate transferee

- To foreigners entering under the working holiday program

- To volunteers in human rights projects or development cooperation projects

To get a Colombia Tourist visa, the requirements are the same as mentioned above; but of course, you may need additional documents which the Colombia Embassy or Consulate may ask for.

How long does it take to process a Colombia short-term visa?

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To process a Colombia short-term visa takes about 5 working days, but in case of any errors or missing documents, it can take up to 30 days.

Experts recommend that you apply well in advance.

What is the duration of a Colombia short-term visa?

man write plan

As mentioned before, a Colombia short-term visa is valid for 90 days.

However, in some cases, it can be issued for more than 90 days, but it can’t exceed more than two years.

Where to extend a Colombia short-term visa?

colombian flag

If you want to extend a Colombia short-term visa, you can do so by applying for an extension of your visa at the Immigration Authorities (Migración Colombia) nearest to where you are staying in Colombia. Note that there are Immigration centres in most major cities.

If you want to stay longer than your visa was issued, make sure that you seek an extension in advance of the expiry of the visa. If you apply afterwards, it will count as overstaying, and you will have to pay a fine or be deported.

Can you work in Colombia with a Colombia short-term visa?

With a Colombia short-term visa, it’s not possible to work in Colombia.

You must, at first, have permission to work in the nation, and only then you can work in Colombia; but of course, you also need to have certain visas first.

Note that all Colombia visas don’t give you permission to work in Colombia. You need to have certain visas, such as Work Visa, Marriage Visa, and Investment Visa, and only then can you work in Colombia.

Say, if you have a Student, Retirement, or Tourist/Visitor Visa, you can’t work in Colombia.

However, remember that getting permission to work in Colombia only applies to those who wish to work for a company/employer based in Colombia. Say, if you are a journalist or short-term transferee, and you receive your salary from abroad, then you can carry out your activities in Colombia.

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