We look at renewing passports in Colombia. If you are in Colombia and need to renew a passport from the U.S. or other countries we provide a guide updated for 2021.
So, you are in Colombia and realize your passport is about to expire – panic attack! Not really, renewing a passport in Colombia is something that is done fairly frequently.
Several readers asked about renewing U.S. passports in Colombia and if you can renew passports during the coronavirus pandemic. So, in this article, we look first at how to renew a passport from the U.S. and then we look at how to renew passports from a few other countries.
The U.S. Embassy in Bogotá stopped renewing U.S. passports for a while during the quarantine in Colombia. But the visa agency we partnered with indicated that by July 2020 the U.S. Embassy resumed renewing passports.
Also, the visa agency said in January 2021 they have an alliance with the embassy and every week they can renew passports, perhaps even quicker than in the past. According to the U.S. embassy in the past, passport renewals can take up to 2-3 weeks.
Also, the U.S. Embassy in Bogotá resumed issuing benefits certificates that can be used for the Colombia retirement visa to certify Social Security income for a visa. The U.S. Embassy can issue a benefits certificate that is acceptable for visa.
This document from the embassy is sometimes called a “benefits letter”, a “proof of income letter” or a “proof of award letter”. So, there is not need to obtain an apostille in the U.S. for a SSA Benefit Verification letter.
Renewing Passports from the U.S. in Colombia
To do this yourself in Bogotá you need to make an appointment at the embassy and you have to be in Bogotá. Appointments are also needed at the U.S. Consular Agency in Barranquilla.
The passport renewal can be done in person or by an agency using the DS-82 form only if your most recent U.S. passport:
- Is undamaged and can be submitted with your application
- Was issued where you were age 16 or older
- Was issued within the last 15 years
- Was issued in the exact same name as your previous passport or you can legally document your name change with original or certified copy of your marriage certificate or other government-issued document evidencing your legal name change under federal or state law
If you answered no to any of the above statements, you cannot use the DS-82 form and instead must use the DS-11 form and apply in person using the DS-11 form.
What is Needed When Applying for a U.S. Passport Renewal?
The following are what is needed for a U.S. passport renewal using the DS-82 from at the U.S embassy in Bogotá:
- Your most recent passport
- One recent color photo with a white background that measure 5 x 5 cm (2 x 2 inches)
- Passport renewal fee of $110 USD
- DHL delivery fee of 19,200 pesos on June 1, 2019.
- Your address in Colombia to deliver the new US passport and DHL will want a postal code in Colombia. See our article about finding Colombian addresses including postal codes.
Also, you will need a secondary ID (e.g. drivers license or Colombian cedula), which will act as your deposit for the visitor’s badge for the embassy.
How to Get to the U.S. Embassy in Bogotá
There is a Transmilenio station near the U.S. Embassy in Bogotá – Quinta Paredes on the K line. Or provide the following address to a taxi driver:
U.S. Embassy Address: Calle 24 Bis #48-2 a 48-98, Bogotá.
There are multiple entrances into the U.S. Embassy in Bogotá. Coming from the Transmilenio, the first entrance gate you will see is for staff, official state visitors, or the like. Keep walking and look for the entrance gate for American Citizen Services (ACS).
Once at the entrance gate, the security guard will write down some information from your passport in their book and open the door for you. Then you walk into the first building to the right, where you will need to turn in your phone and an ID for a green plastic fob and a visitor’s badge before going through a metal detector.
Exit that building and walk 50 meters to the actual embassy building where you will pass through another metal detector to enter.
You will then have to wait for your appointment. And there is a DHL booth to pay for delivery service to deliver your passport to you. Once you apply, the passport renewal officially takes a few weeks and your passport will be sent to you via DHL.
Using a Visa Agency to Renew Your U.S. Passport
Renewing a U.S. passport yourself in Colombia requires a trip to Bogotá or Barranquilla if you are not located in Bogotá or Barranquilla. But you can avoid taking a trip by using a visa agency to renew your U.S. passport.
However, during the quarantine in Colombia it is VERY difficult to travel between cities in Colombia. So, it is best to use if visa agency for renewing a passport.
Several visa agencies in Medellín and other cities in Colombia offer U.S. passport renewal services. With this service they will courier your passport to Bogotá and apply for your passport renewal for you at the U.S. Embassy. So, you avoid the cost and time for traveling to Bogotá or Barranquilla and going to the U.S. Embassy in Bogotá or U.S. Consular office in Barranquilla.
Several of the visa agencies we reviewed in our article about visa agencies in Colombia offer services to renew a U.S. passport.
Medellin Guru has partnered with what we believe is the best visa agency in Medellín to offer Colombia visa services and passport renewal 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 visa agency we partnered with also offers a service to renew U.S. passports.
The Medellin Guru visa service partnership was launched in March 2019. And in the first 23 months, 314 visas have been successfully received by clients. Also, 31 clients successfully renewed U.S. passports.
Also, our visa service provided visa stamping service to 10 clients (getting the visa in a customer’s passport who applied for a visa himself). In addition, 28 clients extended tourist visas using our tourist visa extension service.
So, in total we had 393 clients of the Medellin Guru visa service in the first 22 months.
In addition, many more visas are in process – short, medium or longer term, depending on client needs.
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.
Also, you can get a rapid online quote for U.S. passport renewal service using the above button. If you use the Medellin Guru passport renewal service, your passport will be returned to the Expatgroup.co office in El Poblado and they will notify you when you can pick it.
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.
Do You Need to Transfer Valid Visas to a New Passport?
After renewing your passport, do you need to transfer valid visas from your old passport to the new passport? The answer is “no”. You don’t really need to do this.
You can carry both passports, your old passport with the valid visa and your new passport. I have talked to several foreigners that travel to Colombia with their new passport plus an old passport with a valid visa plus their new passport.
Renewing Passports from Other Countries in Colombia
You can renew passports from many other countries in Colombia. And this needs to be done at the embassies of the countries, which are located in Bogotá.
Renewing a U.S. passport is one of the most common foreign passport renewals typically done by foreigners in Colombia. So, visa agencies have services for this. But for renewing passports from other countries the visa agencies appear to not be set up for this until there is more demand.
Below we look at renewing passports from Canada, Australia and Germany in Colombia.
Renewing a Passport from Canada in Colombia
To renew a Canadian passport in Colombia, you must be a Canadian citizen and this can be done at the Canadian embassy in Bogotá. In addition, to renew a Canadian passport, your current passport must:
- Not be damaged
- Never have been reported lost or stolen
- Have been issued with a 5-year or 10-year validity
- Be valid or has been expired for no more than one year
- Have been issued when you were at least 16 years of age
- Have the same name, sex, date of birth and place of birth that you would like to appear on your new passport
You need to provide you most recent passport, fill out a passport renewal form, provide two photos and the fee. The fee is $190 CAN for a 5-year Canadian passport or $260 CAN for a 10-year Canadian passport. And passport photos must meet these Canadian passport photo requirements.
Canadian passport renewals take about 20 business days. And you need proof of travel for more urgent service.
Canadian Embassy Address: Carrera 7 # 114-33, Bogotá
Renewing a Passport from Australia in Colombia
Australian passport renewal applications can only be done in person at the Australian embassy in Bogotá. Australian passport applications are not accepted by mail or courier.
Australian passport renewal applications are done online. The online application will validate your previous passport details and determine if you are eligible for a streamlined renewal process.
If you are eligible, you will only need to print and the form and bring it along with two new photos and your previous passport to apply. Your previous passport will be physically cancelled when you apply.
Here are the Australian passport photo requirements. And the 5-year Australian passport costs $148 AUD and the 10-year Australian passport costs $293 AUD. In addition, there is a $215 AUD overseas surcharge.
Australian Embassy Address: Carrera 9 # 115-06, Bogotá
Renewing a Passport from Germany in Colombia
German passport renewal applications can be done at the German embassy in Bogotá or at German consular offices in Cali, Cartagena or Medellín.
For a German passport renewal, a passport application, two biometric photos and the fee is required. The passport fee is €81 EUR with an additional fee of €22 EUR for 48 pages added. Also, there is a surcharge of €45 EUR to use the German consular offices in Cali, Cartagena or Medellín
German Embassy Address: Calle 110 # 9-25, 11th floor, Bogotá
For other country passport renewals, you can look on the embassy websites and there typically are instructions for renewing passports. There are over 50 embassies in Bogotá. So, it’s possible to renew passports from many countries in Colombia.
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
- 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 early 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.
The Bottom Line: Renewing Passports in Colombia
It is possible to renew passports from many countries while in Colombia due to there being embassies from over 50 countries in Colombia.
One of the most frequently renewed passports in Colombia are passports from the U.S. So, several visa agencies in Colombia offer U.S. passport renewal services. By using a passport renewal service, a trip to the U.S. embassy in Bogotá to renew a passport is avoided – saving time and money and the challenge and risk of travel between cities in Colombia during coronavirus pandemic.
The visa agency we partnered with has helped 41 Medellin Guru readers successfully renew U.S. passports.
We looked at renewing passports for an adult in this article. There are other procedures to follow for getting a new passport if your passport is stolen or to get a passport for a child, which can be found on embassy websites.
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Editors note: updated on July 8, 2020 with information that the U.S. embassy in Bogotá has resumed the service of renewing U.S. passports.
Editors note: updated on January 29, 2021 with current information for 2021.