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Medellin Guru has received thousands of questions about Colombia Visas. So, we prepared a Colombia Visa FAQ: Frequently Asked Questions About Colombia Visas - Medellin Guru
Medellin Guru has received thousands of questions about Colombia Visas. So, we prepared a Colombia Visa FAQ: Frequently Asked Questions About Colombia Visas.

Colombia Visa FAQ: Frequently Asked Questions About Colombia Visas – 2023 Update

Medellin Guru has received thousands of questions about Colombia Visas. So, we prepared a Colombia Visa FAQ: Frequently Asked Questions About Colombia Visas.

The majority of the visa questions we get asked are answered in our visa articles. So, we recommend reading our articles on Medellin Guru before asking questions.

Our below Colombia Visa FAQ: (Frequently Asked Questions) About Colombia Visas list is in no particular order and includes the seven most common questions we are asked.

Colombia tourist visa stamps in a passport
Colombia tourist visa stamps in a passport

1. How to Extend a Tourist Visa?

Colombia offers tourist visas to citizens of many countries good for 90 days. It is possible to extend a tourist visa by 90 days for a total of 180 days. Follow our tourist visa guide to extend a tourist visa that is updated for 2023.

Colombia offers instant tourist visas to citizens of many countries that are good for 90 days. These “tourist visas” are really just a stamp in your passport and aren’t really visas. And it is quite easy to extend a Colombian tourist visa to enable staying in Colombia a maximum of 180 days in a year.

The current tourist rule is that you can stay in Colombia as a tourist for a maximum of 180 days in a calendar year (January 1 to December 31).

In addition, you can’t stay for more than 180 days consecutively, even if this is across two years. This 180-day limit is the time you actually spend in Colombia including arrival and departure days. This count isn’t the time stamped on your passport on the tourist permit stamp, it’s your actual time spent in Colombia.

We have a popular guide that covers how to extend a tourist visa online.

2. What Documents are Needed for a Colombian Visa?

Medellin Guru gets asked questions frequently about documents needed for different types of visas.

We have detailed articles about each visa type with lists of documents required for each visa. The following are the seven most popular visas for foreigners.

  1. Retirement visa
  2. Marriage visa
  3. Investment visa
  4. Resident visa
  5. Work visa
  6. Student visa
  7. Visitor visa

Also, we have looked in detail at three additional Colombian visas, which are less popular for foreigners:

3. Do I Need an Immigration Attorney for a Visa?

In Colombia, a lawyer is not really needed for most visa services. The application forms are relatively straightforward and the process and documents required are pretty well-defined.

Lawyers are typically only needed in more complex immigration cases in Colombia. And lawyers are not really needed for most visas that are relatively straightforward like student, retirement, marriage or resident visas.

Several visa agencies in Colombia exist that specialize in providing visa services at lower costs than the law firms in Colombia, as seen in our popular article about visa agencies in Colombia.

Also, Medellin Guru partnered with a visa agency to offer Colombia visa services to foreigners at a very competitive price. Over a period of 47 months, this visa service has helped 626 clients successfully obtain visas, passport renewals and tourist visa extensions.

Medellin Guru Visa Service

The visa agency we partnered with has helped 800 Medellin Guru reader

4. How Much Time is Needed to Apply for a Colombian Visa?

This is a common question that we answered in our article about visa processing times.

According to ExpatGroupthe visa agency we partnered with says that can now take 30 days or much longer to receive an initial response to a Colombian visa application submitted online.

The Foreign Ministry continues to respect a maximum of 30 calendar days for visa applications to be closed with one of these responses:

  1. A definitive response of approval
  2. Inadmission or denial
  3. Tacit withdrawal due to lack of documents or due to lack of time analyzing information provided, resulting in the foreigner needing to apply again.

Also, it is important to have good advice when applying for a Colombian visa.

Over half of the visa applications in Colombia do not have sufficient documentation when originally submitted. So, the Foreign Ministry asks for additional documentation, making the process take more time.

We recommend using a visa agency that is experienced in submitting Colombia visa applications instead of doing it yourself.  This will help ensure you visa application has all the required documents.

Applying for or renewing visas with insufficient time in advance is a common visa mistake.

Keep in mind that you need to apply for or renew a Colombian visa at least one or two months in advance. We now recommend trying to renew visas two months in advance in case problems come up. Also, visa processing has been slower during the pandemic compared to pre-pandemic.

5. How to Get a Quote for Visa Services?

Medellin Guru is a travel blog, but we get asked for visa quotes frequently. We cannot provide quotes for visa services.

However, Medellin Guru partnered with a visa agency to offer Colombia visa services to foreigners at a competitive price, which has helped 647 clients in 47 months.

It is easy to get a visa quote from Expatgroup, the visa agency we partnered with.

To use this service and get a quote, it is easy; just click on the blue  “Use the Medellin Guru Visa Service” button below. 

Medellin Guru Visa Service

The visa agency we partnered with has helped 800 Medellin Guru reader

And to get a visa quote, just fill in a few fields on the page to get a visa quote.

sample of cedula de extranjeria
Cedula de extranjeria

6. How to Apply for a Cedula?

Once you receive an email approval of a Colombian visa, you have a maximum of 15 calendar days to register your visa with Migración Colombia and apply for a Cedula de Extranjeria (Colombian ID for foreigners). Or if you received your visa at a consulate, you will have 15 calendar days after you arrive in Colombia to register your visa.

Due to being photographed and fingerprinted, this must be done in person at a Migración Colombia office. The only exception to going in person for an application is if you are applying for a duplicate Cedula de Extranjeria due to your cedula being stolen or lost.

Especially relevant, it is very important to register your Colombian visa within the allowed time frame. If not, you will be liable for a big fine of up to seven times the minimum monthly salary in Colombia. The minimum salary in Colombia is $1,160,000 COP per month in 2023. So, the fine is up to 8,120,000 COP pesos in 2023.

We have a popular guide to applying for a Cedula Extranjeria.

7. What are the Most Popular Colombia Visas for Foreigners?

The three most popular visas for foreigners, based on the experience of over 530 Medellin Guru readers over the past 34 months are the retirement visamarriage visa, and student visa.

Most popular Colombian visas, 865 Medellin Guru readers in 53 months
Most popular Colombian visas, 865 Medellin Guru readers in 53 months

These three Colombian visas represent 76/8 percent of visa received by readers with the retirement visa being the most popular, as seen in the above chart.

Next in polarity are the resident visa, investment visa and work visa. The least common visas are the beneficiary visa, Mercosur visa, rentista visa and visitors visas (except for the student visitor visa for studying Spanish).

Medellin Guru's Comprehensive Visa and Passport Series

The Colombian visa changes that went into effect in mid-October 2022 were significant. So, on the Medellin Guru site, we have a comprehensive series of visa articles that are kept up-to-date and should answer most visa questions. These articles include:

We have looked in detail at the seven most popular Colombian visas used by foreigners:

  1. Retirement visa
  2. Marriage visa
  3. Investment visa
  4. Resident visa
  5. Work visa
  6. Student visa
  7. Visitor visa

Also, we have looked in detail at three additional Colombian visas, which are less popular for foreigners:

In addition, we have a guide to Colombia tourist visas and how to extend a tourist visa. Also, we have a guide to renewing U.S. passports in Colombia and a guide to obtaining a Colombian passport.

Furthermore, we provide information about travel insurance that meets the insurance requirement for Colombian visas. And we have a guide to how apply for a cedula extranjeria in Colombia and a guide to using notaries in Medellín and Colombia. Finally, Medellin Guru has partnered with a visa agency to offer Colombia visa services.

All of our Colombia visa articles were updated in 2022 to ensure they are up-to-date and are being updated again in 2023. In addition, all visa articles on this website will be kept up-to-date as new details are disclosed.

The Bottom Line: Colombia Visa FAQ - Frequently Asked Questions About Colombia Visas

The majority of the visa questions Medellin Guru gets asked are answered in our visa articles. So, we recommend reading our articles before asking questions.

The above Colombia Visa FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) are the seven most common visa questions we are asked.

Also the visa agency we partnered with can answer visa questions. It is easy to contact Expatgroup, the visa agency we partnered with.

To contact Expatgroup, click here or on the blue  “Use the Medellin Guru Visa Service” button below. The visa agency we partnered with has helped 656 Medellin Guru readers obtain Colombian visas and renew U.S. passports.

Medellin Guru Visa Service

The visa agency we partnered with has helped 800 Medellin Guru reader

Editors note: updated on March 6, 2023 with updated information regarding new visa rules.

Editors note: updated on June 30, 2023, with new images.

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