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.
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 2022.
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.
Also, we have looked in detail at three additional Colombian visas, which are less popular for foreigners:
- Rentista visa (annuity visa)– for foreigners with a fixed income
- Beneficiary visa– for relatives of visa holders
- Expertise visa– for professionals
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 34 months, this visa service has helped 626 clients successfully obtain visas, passport renewals and tourist visa extensions.
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 ExpatGroup, the visa agency we partnered with, before the pandemic, the Foreign Ministry took five business days to provide an initial response to any visa application submitted online.
According to this visa agency, it can now take 15 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:
- A definitive response of approval
- Inadmission or denial
- Tacit withdrawal due to lack of documents or sue 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 with a Colombian visa.
Over half of 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 547 clients in 30 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. This will take you to a page with a chat box on the bottom right where you can chat directly with the visa agency. A box at the bottom right will show “We are online” if they are currently online. Also, there is a WhatsApp chat at the left.
And to get a visa quote just fill in a few fields on the page to get a visa quote.
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 15 calendar days allotted time frame. If not in time, you can be liable for a big fine of up to seven times the minimum monthly salary in Colombia.
We have a popular guide to applying for a Cedula Extranjeria.
7. What are the Most Popular Colombia Visas for Foreigners?
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-December 2017 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:
- Colombia Visa Guide: Ultimate Guide How to Get a Colombian Visa
- How to Obtain a Colombian Visa with Up-to-Date Info – an overview of all the Colombian visas
- Popular Colombian Visas for Foreigners: Which Visa is the Most Popular?
- Coronavirus Impacts on Colombian Visas and Tourist Visas
- Visa Agencies: A Guide to Visa Agencies in Medellín and Colombia
- 7 Common Colombian Visa Mistakes: How to Avoid Them
We have looked in detail at the seven most popular Colombian visas used by foreigners:
Also, we have looked in detail at three additional Colombian visas, which are less popular for foreigners:
- Rentista visa (annuity visa) – for foreigners with a fixed income
- Beneficiary visa – for relatives of visa holders
- Expertise visa – for professionals
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 2021 to ensure they are up-to-date and are being updated again in 2022. In addition, all visa articles on this website will be kept up-to-date as new details are disclosed.
First 36 Months Statistics for The Medellin Guru Visa Service
The Medellin Guru visa service was launched in March 2019. In this time, 555 visas have been successfully received by clients:
- 204 Retirement visas
- 147 Marriage/partner visas
- 86 Student visas (visitor visas)
- 39 Resident visas
- 26 Investment visas
- 14 Work visas
- 5 Beneficiary visas
- 4 Mercosur (M) visas
- 4 Rentista visas
- 26 other visas
Also, our visa service renewed 63 American passports in Bogotá using our passport renewal service and provided visa stamping service to 10 clients (getting the visa in a customer’s passport who applied for a visa himself before the pandemic). In addition, 28 clients extended tourist visas using our tourist visa extension service.
So, in total we had 656 clients of the Medellin Guru visa service in 36 months.
In addition, many more visas are in process – short, medium or longer term, depending on client needs.
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 via 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 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.
The visa agency This will take you to a page with a chat box on the bottom right where you can chat directly with the visa agency. A box at the bottom right will show “We are online” if they are currently online. Also, there is a WhatsApp chat at the left.
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Editors note: updated on January 26 with more current information.
Editors note: updated on March 10, 2022 with current visa partnership stats.