We provide an up-to-date guide to obtaining a Colombian passport. Colombian passports permit travel to 73 countries and territories visa-free or visa on arrival. Our guide to obtaining a Colombia passport is updated for 2021.
A Colombian passport is a travel document that is issued to citizens of Colombia for the purpose of international travel to other countries. Also, a Colombian traveling with a Colombian passport can travel to 37 countries without a visa and 36 countries where a visa is received on arrival according to Passport Index.
Note there are many countries that now have COVID-19 travel bans. Pre-pandemic with a Colombian passport you could travel to 129 countries and territories with a Colombian passport without a visa.
So, Colombians currently have visa-free or visa on arrival access to 73 countries and territories, which gives the Colombian passport a passport power rank of 41 according to Passport Index.
Several Medellin Guru readers have asked about how to obtain a Colombian passport. So, we provide a guide to obtaining a Colombian passport and updated for 2021. Note, the above photo is by Fredar89.
Why Do Foreigners Want to Know About How to Obtain a Colombian Passport?
Many foreigners that live in Colombia are married to Colombians and may be interested in traveling with their spouse to another country. Also, some foreigners may be interested in traveling with Colombian family or friends or Colombian girlfriends or boyfriends.
In addition, it is possible for foreigners to obtain dual citizenship after having a Colombian resident visa for two to five years.
Requirements for a Colombian Passport
Only Colombian citizens can receive a Colombian passport. The following are the requirements for a Colombian passport:
Passports for adults:
- Original cedula ciudadanía, in good condition and completely legible
- If you don’t have an original cedula, a contraseña with photo and fingerprint
- For contraseña for the first time, you must include a copy of your birth certificate (registro civil de nacimiento)
- For contraseña for cedula renewal, you must include the certificate of validity of the cedula, which can be obtained at any office of the National Registry
Passports for children:
- Identity card (tarjeta de identidad), birth certificate (registro civil de Nacimiento) and cedula of the father and / or the mother – only original birth certificates are accepted.
How to Obtain a Colombian Passport in Medellín
The following are the steps needed to apply for a Colombian passport in Medellín:
- Make an initial payment of 144,000 pesos for a Colombian passport online or Boloto or Efecty – see payment methods here.
- Obtain an appointment (cita) online here. You will enter your personal data and receive a confirmation of the appointment by email. They currently do a maximum of 210 appointments per day in Medellín.
- Go to the passport office, which in Medellín is located in the Alpujarra office complex in El Centro at Calle 42B # 52-106, office #103 and arrive by your appointment time. And you can ask the police at Alpujarra where the oficina de pasaportes is located. Also, bring your cedula or other identification listed in the requirements above and the confirmation of your appointment. In addition, COVID-19 biosafety measures are in place and wearing a facemask is required.
- Pay the second payment for the passport fee of 115,000 pesos (for a 32-page passport) or 205,000 pesos (48-page passport). Also, they will take your photo.
- Pick up the passport in about four business days. You should receive an email confirmation when the passport is ready to be picked up.
So, a 32-page Colombian passport in 2021 costs a total of 259,000 pesos. And a 48-page passport costs a total of 349.000 pesos. Furthermore, Colombian passports are valid for 10 years.
Colombian Passport Office Locations in Major Cities in Colombia
The following is a list of Colombian passport offices in several of the largest cities in Colombia:
- Barranquilla – Carrera 45 between Calle 39 and 40, Monday to Friday: 7:30 am to 3 pm.
- Bogotá – Avenida 19 # 98-03, Edificio Torre 100, Monday to Friday: 8 am to 3 pm.
- Cali – Carrera 6 between Calle 8 and 10, Monday to Friday 7:30 am to 3 pm.
- Manizales – Carrera 21 between Calle 22 and 23, Monday to Friday: 8 am to noon and 2 pm to 6 pm.
- Medellín – Calle 42B # 52-106, office # 103, Monday to Friday: 7 am to 7 pm, Saturday: 8 am to 1 pm.
- Pereira – Calle 19 # 13-22, Monday to Friday: 7 am to noon and 2 pm to 5 pm.
- Santa Marta – Carrera 1 # 22, Monday to Friday: 8 am to 11 am.
For a complete list of passport offices see the Cancilleria website here. Also, Colombian passports can be obtained in Colombian consulates in other countries. Here is a list of Colombian consulates.
After having an R resident visa for five years (or two years if married to a Colombian – see our Marriage Visa article) you can apply to become a citizen of Colombia. And you won’t have to give up your existing citizenship. Colombia permits dual-citizenship, as does the U.S. and many other countries.
And if you already have a R visa when you get married to a Colombian, you need to wait two years after being married to be eligible to apply to become a citizen of Colombia.
But if planning to become a citizen when you have the R visa and you are out of the country for more than a year then you reportedly aren’t eligible for citizenship.
Once you become a dual citizen with Colombian citizenship, you will no longer need to deal with visas anymore. Also, you will be able to travel to a few counties as a Colombian citizen without a visa such as Russia, which require a visa for U.S. citizens.
Also, if you have Colombian citizenship, this benefits you with the Mercosur trade block. Nationals of Member States (Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay) and Associated States (Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador and Peru) do not need a passport or visa to travel around the region, with only a national identity card required.
In addition, the Mercosur Agreement grants the right to residence and work for citizens with no requirement other than nationality. Citizens of the Member States and Associated States that are part of the agreement enjoy a facilitated procedure for applying for a residence visa, as long as they have a valid passport, birth certificate and a negative certificate of criminal record.
To become a citizen, Colombia requires a citizenship test, just like the U.S. does. You will be required to pass a test related to Colombian history, geography and the constitution. Also, a basic Spanish oral test is required. Those who have a bachelor’s degree from a Colombian university or are over 65 years old are exempt from these tests.
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
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 2020 to ensure they are up-to-date and are being updated again in 2021. In addition, all visa articles on this website will be kept up-to-date as new details are disclosed.
Using a Visa Agency for a Colombian Visa
If happen to be a foreigner in Colombia and are not located in Bogotá and are applying for a Colombia visa plus you don’t want to travel, you can use a visa agency to obtain a Colombian visa. A visa agency can handle the online application. And it will courier your passport to Bogotá to get the Colombia visa in your passport.
Medellin Guru has partnered with what we believe is the best visa agency in Medellín to offer Colombia visa services. Features of this service include:
- Online chat – get visa questions answered fast.
- Online quotes – get immediate visa quotes.
- Courier your passport to Bogotá to get the visa in your passport.
- Office in El Poblado in Medellín.
- Competitive price compared to other visa services.
The Medellin Guru visa service partnership was launched in March 2019. And in the 32 months, 492 visas have been successfully received by clients.
Also, our visa service renewed 56 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 586 clients of the Medellin Guru visa service in 32 months.
In addition, many more visas are in process – short, medium or longer term, depending on client needs.
Use the Medellin Guru Visa Service
We reviewed all the Colombia visa agency services in Medellín and found one agency that offers a more efficient visa service with more features and more comprehensive communications including online chat, WhatsApp, Skype, email and phone plus a low price and a convenient office in El Poblado.
Our visa partnership is an affiliate relationship (like the Amazon affiliate program). If you use our visa partner, Medellin Guru receives a small commission and you support the website. This is at no additional cost to you. The price remains the same, whether you use a button or affiliate link on this website or not.
Furthermore, the visa agency we partnered with offers visa services anywhere in Colombia. So, if you are located in another city in Colombia you can use this service.
The Bottom Line: Obtaining a Colombian Passport
A Colombian passport is relatively easy to obtain for Colombian citizens. Before I married my Colombian wife, I helped her obtain a Colombian passport so we could travel together to other countries in South America.
However, when I did this several years ago there there was no information available in English about how to obtain a Colombian passport. So, I had to figure this out. And now many years later there still is no information available in English about how to obtain a Colombian passport, until this article.
The bottom line is that Colombian passports provide visa-free or visa on arrival access to 73 countries and territories for Colombian citizens. Before COVID-19, a Colombian passport permitted travel to 129 countries and territories for Colombian citizens
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Editors note: updated on December 12, 2019 with the current process for obtaining a Colombian passport in Medellín, as the process has changed.
Editors note: updated on December 14, 2019 with information about the Mercosur agreement benefits of having Colombian citizenship.
Editors note: updated on January 22, 2020 with the new Colombian passport fees for 2020.
Editors note: updated on January 23, 2020 to add information that if you already have a R visa and get married you need to wait two years after getting married to be eligible for having Colombian citizenship.
Editors note: updated on March 2, 2020 to update the number of countries a Colombia passport holder can travel to.
Editors note: updated on January 25, 2021 with current information for 2021.
So Jeff, I have been a R for three years and married to a Colombiana for five. Where do I go to apply for Colombian citizenship? I am 73 years old so exempt from the tests, si o no? How much will the citizenship and pasaporte cost? Y Muchos Gracias! Larry
Hi Larry, yes, you should be exempt from the tests. I will do some research and in the future write a detailed article about becoming a Colombian citizen, likely in the next few months. Several readers have asked about this.
Hi Jeff, great article. Question regarding, “But if planning to become a citizen when you have the R visa and you are out of the country for more than a year then you reportedly aren’t eligible for citizenship.”
I know you wrote “reportedly” but is there a Visa/Passport agency that knows 100%? Is that 365 days out of Colombia in a row? Is that 365 days total spread out over 5 years or 2 years if you are a resident/marriage visa? Or just in any calendar year during your 2 or 5 year wait as an R Visa holder?
I leave Colombia for a few weeks on the 15th so will miss the meet up. I checked on https://www.cancilleria.gov.co but did not see anything about this.
If you could steer me in the right direction to some resource who knows about the above it would be greatly appreciated.
It is more than 365 days in a row out of Colombia. I was told this by two visa agencies. If you want to confirm you can contact the visa agency we partnered with here – https://visasincolombia.com/ with a chat at the bottom right.
Hi Jeff, Great and informative article. I was wondering if you could help point me in the right direction with some Passport/Visa advice. I’m having a child in Columbia through surrogacy. I am a British born citizen and will be a registered father. The surrogate is an unmarried Columbian national and the egg donor Columbian. My child will be British by descent as I am the biological father. I can get my child a Columbian passport for them very quickly. Do you know any info about how to obtain a child visa to get the child back to the UK quickly? the internet is not helpful at all. Any help, advice or references I would greatly appreciate.
The UK requires a visa for Colombian passports. And the UK does not have a policy that a child of a citizen born abroad acquires UK citizenship.
Children (under the age of 18) of UK citizens, are eligible for a visa. You will need to get a UK visa. See here for information about UK Family visas – https://www.gov.uk/uk-family-visa/child
I was born in Colombia but have lived in the US since I was 2 years old, and I haven’t been back since 1998. I’ll be traveling there for reunion and have been told I may be denied entry if I don’t have a colombian passport. Is there any truth to that?
Hi Carolina, I also have heard that Colombians need a passport to travel to Colombia. You can get a Colombian passport at any of the Colombian consulates in the U.S. There is a link to a list of Colombian consulates in the article.
I take it that if I have a good cedula estranjero I don’t need to write to New York City for my Birth Certificate. HASSLE and they send a funky photocopy only, not an original. Is that right???
You need to become a Colombian citizen with a cedula ciudadanía to obtain a Colombian passport.
I have two questions. I live in Cuenca, Ecuador but am planning to move to Colombia. The U.S. Consulate General from Guayaquil will be here in Cuenca next week. If I bring my SS Income Verification letter, will the “notarial” services he will be providing satisfy Colombia’s requirements of having the Income Verificatio letter apostilled? If it does, is there a date after the date of its authorization by the U.S. Consulate after which it will not be accepted? Thanks
See our guide to the Colombia retirement visa – https://medellinguru.com/retirement-visa/. And alternative to the apostille is a benefits verification letter from the U.S. Embassy in Bogotá. Our retirement visa article shows how to get this.
“And if you already have a R visa when you get married to a Colombian, you need to wait two years after being married to be eligible to apply to become a citizen of Colombia.”
If I received an R visa for the first time on marriage I need to wait 5 years now? Or is it still 2?
“But if planning to become a citizen when you have the R visa and you are out of the country for more than a year then you reportedly aren’t eligible for citizenship.”
Out of the country for more than a year all at one time or spread out over the 2 (or 5) years?
To become a citizen what needs to be provided and how long is the process – if you or anyone knows that would be great…
You have to get a marriage visa first for 2 years first before becoming eligible for a R visa – see our marriage visa article – https://medellinguru.com/marriage-visa/
And then an R visa for 2 years before becoming eligible for citizen if married to a Colombia. Also, can’t be out of the country for more than a year at one time.
To become a citizen, Colombia requires a citizenship test, just like the U.S. does. You will be required to pass a test related to Colombian history, geography and the constitution. Also, a basic Spanish oral test is required. Those who have a bachelor’s degree from a Colombian university or are over 65 years old are exempt from these tests. See our article about the Resident (R) visa – https://medellinguru.com/resident-visa/
We haven’t yet covered the process for becoming a Colombian citizen in detail, which will be covered in a future article.
I have a question how is it possible for a Colombian citizen to get a new passport if they lost it and they are living in the United States?
Contact the nearest Colombian consulate – here is a list in the U.S. https://www.cancilleria.gov.co/embajada-colombia-estados-unidos
Hi there, as a US born daugther to Colombian parents. Do I have have to apply for citizenship prior to applying for a Colombian passport? Or can I simply apply for a Colombian passport at the Miami consulate with required documents? Thanks in advance
You will need to ask at the Colombian Consulate in Miami. We haven’t researched this yet. Here is a link to the Colombian Consulate in Miami – http://miami.consulado.gov.co/
I am Colombian and married an American in the US (where we live) more than two years ago. We’d like to get his Colombian citizenship and passport without moving to Colombia. Is that possible?
Thank you in advance
Not possible. For an American in the U.S. to obtain Colombian citizenship first needs a marriage visa for two years – https://medellinguru.com/marriage-visa/ and then a resident visa for two years – https://medellinguru.com/resident-visa/. See the dual citizenship section in either our marriage visa or resident visa articles.
And would need to have lived in Colombia for part of the time during the marriage and resident visas.
I would like to change my biological name ” Garcia” that is on my Columbian Passport to my adoptive parents from America that is ” Reynolds” I tried to contact the Embassy and none of them replied or answered the phone. How can I do that without having any issue to travel to the country?
a small typing mistake (Callse instead of Calles) under the section passport offices in Colombia …. for Cali
Cali – Carrera 6 between Callse 8 and 10, Monday to Friday 7:30 am to 3 pm.
Thanks for catching the typos, fixed.
Hi Jeff, wondering if you know how long is the process once the application is submitted to obtain the Colombian Nationality and if you have any suggestions how to study for the test ….. Thanks