Colombian visa processing times: we look at how long it takes to get a Colombian visa and what percentage of visas are approved in Colombia.

Several Medellin Guru readers have asked if the processing time for Colombian visas increased during the coronavirus pandemic and how long does it take to get a Colombian visa.

Also, some readers have asked what percentage of Colombian visas are approved.

So, we look at the processing times for Colombia visas and at the approval rate of Colombian visas in this article. Note the statistics in this article are courtesy of ExpatGroup, the visa agency we partnered with.

Colombian 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 more to receive an initial response to a Colombian visa application submitted online.

However, 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 sue to lack of time analyzing information provided, resulting in the foreigner needing to apply again.

So, 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.

What Percentage of Colombian Visa Are Approved

According to statistics from Asuntos Legales in the below graphic, between January and October 2020, there were over 42,000 visa applications in Colombia.

Colombian visa statistics from January to October 2020, source: Asuntos Legales

Colombian visa statistics from January to October 2020, source: Asuntos Legales

As seen in this graphic, the number of visa applications dropped substantially in Colombia from over 6,000 visa applications in January 2020 to a low of only 1,650 visa applications in April 2020 during the start of the coronavirus pandemic in Colombia.

In addition, more than half of these Colombian visa applications required additional documents. And 1.7 percent were denied and 13.7 percent were inadmissible. That mean 15.4 percent of visa application were not successful and 84.6 percent were approved. This reportedly is a lower approval rate than prior to the pandemic.

Inadmission means the foreigner can reapply for a visa but needs to pay the visa study fee again. And a visa denial means the visa application was denied and the foreigner is restricted from applying for another visa for six months.

Changing Requirements for Colombian Visas

The Foreign Ministry does not necessarily include all visa requirements in its resolutions and website officially. For example, there is now a health insurance requirement for visas, which is not listed in visa requirements.

In some visa cases, according to the visa agency we partnered with, the Foreign Ministry may ask for detailed information about family and even the house type where foreigners live in Colombia and abroad. In addition, the government may ask for lease contracts, evidence of trips taken or a letter explaining why he/she wants to obtain the visa.

In addition, for some visas, the government may ask for information about the social networks that the foreigner has. The Colombian government may be interested in reviewing this information that can also be done in the U.S.

Using a Visa Agency to Obtain a Visa

If you are in Colombia you can use a visa agency to obtain a Colombian visa. A visa agency can handle the online application. 

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 28 months, 411 visas have been successfully received by clients:

Also, our visa service renewed 53 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 502 clients of the Medellin Guru visa service in 28 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.

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:

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 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.

Obtaining a Colombian Visa

Obtaining a Colombian Visa

The Bottom Line: How Long to Get a Colombian Visa? Colombia Visa Processing Times

How long to get a Colombian visa? The bottom line is the processing time for Colombian visas has increased during the pandemic. It may now take over 15 days to get an initial reply for a visa application.

However, the Foreign Ministry continues to respect a maximum of 30 calendar days for Colombian visa applications to be closed

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 longer.

The biggest challenge with doing a Colombian visa yourself is that you won’t benefit from the experiences of a visa agency, which has processed hundreds of visas and knows exactly what is needed for each type of visa.

So, we recommend using a visa agency to ensure your Colombian visa application has all the required documents, which can reduce the time required to get a Colombian visa.

The visa agency we partnered with has helped 502 Medellin Guru readers obtain visas, tourist visa extensions and U.S. passport renewals.

Use the Medellin Guru Visa Service

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