Colombian immigration requirements
Applying for a visa in Colombia can be a lengthy process. However, if you’re entering as a tourist, you may be able to stay for up to 90 days from your date of entry without a visa.
Passport holders from the following countries don’t need a visa for a 90 day stay:
Argentina, Austria, Barbados, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Costa Rica, Chile, Denmark, Ecuador, El Salvador, Spain, United States, Finland, France, Great Britain, Guatemala, Italy, Japan, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Mexico, Norway, The Netherlands, Peru, Poland, Republic of Korea (South Korea), Germany, Sweden, Switzerland, Trinidad and Tobago, Uruguay, Venezuela and foreign residents of Canada and the United States.
Those who wish to travel to Colombia to study or for work purposes must apply for the relevant visa at their local Colombian consulate. Before travelling it is highly recommended you visit your nearest consulate to confirm your requirements, especially in more complicated cases.
Follow our tips to make sure you are in the know about what types of visas are available to you and how to obtain one, depending on your reason for stay.
Before moving to Colombia
If you are moving to Colombia, rather than taking a holiday, you need to check which visa is best for you before you go. Visas can be requested online, through Colombian consulates or Mon-Fri 7.30am - 12pm from the visa office in Bogata (Avenida 19 No. 98-03 100 Tower Building 3rd Floor).
You must bring the following documents with you to the visa appointment:
- Application Form DP-FO-67, which must be filled out for all the applications.
- A valid passport or travel document, in good condition, with a minimum of two blank pages.
- A copy of the information page of your passport.
- A copy of any previous Colombian visas obtained if applicable.
- Two passport sized photographs against a white background.
Types of Colombian visas available for potential expats
Appointments are not always necessary when requesting your visa from the visa office, however it is advisable to make an appointment at the consulate. It is also important to know which type of visa you require. There are three separate categories which the visa falls into:
- Temporary Visas (temporales) include visas for students, church members, spouses, refugees, NGO volunteers, crew members and parents of Colombian citizens.
- Business Visas (negocios) include business related to management, foreign trade and infrastructure for Colombia.
- Mercosur Visa (this visa is only available to citizens from Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile,, Ecuador, Paraguay, Peru, Uruguay and Venezuela).
A comprehensive list of the different types of visas can be found on the Ministry of Foreign Affairs website.
If your visa is for longer than a 90 day period, then upon entry to Colombia, it is important to register at the Immigration Office (Unidad Administrativa Especial Migración Colombia) within 15 calendar days.
Please note that American and Japanese citizens do not have to pay the fee for a business, student or temporary special visas, but must pay application fees.
There is such as thing as a courtesy visa which is given to visitors of recognised prestige, as agreed by the Colombian state. When applying for a courtesy visa, both the application process and the visa itself are free.