Colombia’s student visa is intended for foreigners engaged in an academic program at a school in Colombia. The Colombia student visa is relatively easy to get. And a student visa is a good way to stay longer in Colombia than the six-month tourist visa permits. We provide 2023 updates to the Colombia student visa rules.

To be eligible for a student visa you need to be enrolled in a public or private educational establishment that is recognized by the Colombian government. Most universities in Colombia are approved. In addition, you need to be taking at least 10 hours of classes per week.

The Colombia student visa used to be known as the TP-3 visa. The student visa is typically valid for the time you are enrolled in an approved school. I previously had two TP-3 student visas that were valid for one-year each when I was taking Spanish classes at Universidad EAFIT in Medellín.

In the past, there were two categories of visas for students The Migrant (M) and Visitor (V), but with Resolution 5477, only the Visitor (V) category remained as the only one for university studies and non degree programs. 

Also, we have this article about the Colombia student visa in Spanish.

The Language School building at Universidad EAFIT in Medellín

The Language School building at Universidad EAFIT in Medellín

Colombia changed its student visa category

Colombia changed its Colombian visa rules in late 2022. And these new visa rules went into effect on October 21, 2022.

So, student visas have changed, previously, there was the Migrant visa (M) for undergraduate and graduate studies and the Visitor visa (V) for non-degree courses such as Spanish classes.

Due to the new Resolution 5477, there is now only one category for any study in Colombia, either at a university or at a language institute.

In fact, with this new change, online classes are also allowed in order to obtain the Colombian V student visa.

The validity of this visa can be up to two years, but if you remain outside Colombia for more than 90 days, you will automatically lose the validity of the visa. So, in 2023 the cost of the Student visa is 63 USD, including study and approval fees. 

New Visa Resolution Impacts

Has the visa process changed in Colombia due to the new Resolution 5477?

According to ExpatGroup, the visa agency we partnered with, tells us that with the new resolution, the government has introduced new application requirements, in addition to having eliminated some visas, such as the M student visa, and changed the category, for example, the R type visa for Colombian child, it is now M category.

The visa agency we partnered with has helped many foreigners obtain visas, including retirement visas, marriage visas, student visas, investment visas, and resident visas.


Applying for a Colombia student visa

Applying for a Colombia student visa

How to Apply for a Colombia Student Visa

You can apply for a Colombia student visa online. In addition, you can obtain Colombian visas at Colombian consulates around the world. In the U.S., Colombia has consulates located in Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, Orlando, Newark, New York, San Francisco and Washington DC.

The Colombian visa process is fairly easy as it’s done online. You can apply for a Colombia visa online here. This application will require scans of all required documents in PDF files plus the photo in jpg format. In addition, a detailed guide for applying online is found here.

Visas in Colombia are issued by the Ministerio de Relaciones Exteriores. Since the coronavirus, all visas are issued electronically, so you do not have to travel to Bogota for the stamp.

I successfully obtained three Colombian visas that I applied for my own in the past (including two TP-3 student visas) that were good for a total of five years.

But the biggest challenge with doing a Colombian visa yourself is not benefiting from the experiences of a visa agency, which has processed hundreds of visas and knows exactly what is needed for each type of visa.

Also another big benefit of using a visa agency is that they help you gather all the information and documents necessary for the student visa application. The cost of the service includes immigration advice, visa application, visa registration, and application for a foreigner identification card.

So, for my latest visa received in 2018, a Colombia resident visa, I used a visa agency. And I found the experience painless and now highly recommend using a visa service instead of doing a Colombia visa application yourself. The bottom line is with a visa agency you are less likely to run into problems.

Spanish Schools in Medellín That Offer Student Visas

There are at least three universities normally offering Spanish language programs in Medellín that qualify for a student visa:

  1. Universidad EAFIT located in El Poblado,
  2. Universidad Pontificia Bolivariana (UPB) located in Laureles and
  3. Universidad de Medellín in Belén.

Universidad EAFIT reportedly has the largest university Spanish program for foreigners in Medellín and Colombia.

In addition, there are at least two private schools that qualify for a student visa: OLSA International and Elefun

Medellin Guru Partnered with OLSA International

Medellin Guru reviewed all the Spanish schools in Medellín and selected OLSA International as our recommended Spanish school partner.

Features of the OLSA Spanish School Partnership

  • Ability to obtain a Colombian student visa
  • Lower prices for Spanish classes than at Universities
  • Only Spanish program in Colombia based on U.S. University Spanish curriculums
  • Curriculum emphasizes conversational Spanish, so you learn to speak faster
  • Location in Estadio is convenient to two metro stations
  • Owner of OLSA is from the U.S and has 25 years of education experience in the U.S.

Take Spanish Classes at OLSA

New 2023 requirements

Documents required for student visa now are: 

  • Photocopy of the first page of your passport with a minimum validity of 6 months where your personal data is displayed.
  • Photocopy of the page of your passport with the last stamp of entry or departure of Colombia is located.
  • If you’ve had a previous Colombian visa, a photocopy of this visa.
  • Certificate of admission or enrollment to studies of elementary school, high school or higher education in undergraduate school authorized in Colombia.
  • In the case of student internships, paid or unpaid, communication from the educational institution that endorses it and stating the duration of the activity.
  • Authorization of the parents and designation of the person responsible for the student during his/her stay in Colombia, authenticated by a Colombian notary or consul in the case of minors.
  • Mandatory health insurance policy that covers Colombian territory, all risks, death, and repatriation. This policy should be valid for at least the duration of the study.
  • A letter (in Spanish) from the person with economic responsibility for the student guaranteeing the expenses of the student and documents showing economic solvency. If you are the student, the letter should say you will be financially responsible for yourself while in Colombia. To show “economic solvency” you could use a bank “certificate” showing the average balance over the past six months is greater than 10 times the legal minimum wage in Colombia or 11,600,000 pesos in 2023. And this certificate should be notarized and translated. Or you can provide six months of bank statements with no need for translation in my experience. Also, credit card statements which show a sufficient available balance could be used.
  • In case of a previous visa, attach the certificate of class attendance and grades.
  • Passport style face photo with a white background, sized at 3 cm width X 4 cm height, maximum size of 300 kb jpg file for online application.

Note that the student visa to study Spanish or degree programs are now Visitor Visa (V)

Use the Medellin Guru Insurance Service

Using a Visa Agency for a Student Visa

If you are in Colombia and not located in Bogotá and you don’t want to travel, you can use a visa agency to obtain a Colombia student 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.
  • Bilingual team. 
  • 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 47 months, 855 visas were successfully received by clients including 106 student visas for Medellin Guru readers, which included two in February 2023.

Also, our visa service renewed 112 American passports in Bogotá using our passport renewal service . In addition, 28 clients extended tourist visas using our tourist visa extension service.

So, in total we had 997 clients of the Medellin Guru visa service in 47 months.

In addition, many more visas are in process – short, medium or longer term, depending on client needs.


Use the Expatgroup 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.

New entrance to Migracion Colombia in Medellín, on Calle 19A

New entrance to Migracion Colombia in Medellín, on Calle 19A

Getting a Colombian Cedula

After you have successfully received your Colombia student visa, you have a maximum of 15 calendar days to register your visa with Migración Colombia to get 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.

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.

To register your visa and apply for a cedula this must be done at one of the Migración Colombia offices. You can find Migración Colombia offices in major cities in Colombia.

  • Barranquilla – Carrera 42 # 54-77, Barrio El Recreo
  • Bogotá – Calle 100 #11B-27
  • Cali – Avenida 3 norte # 50N-20
  • Cartagena – Carrera 20 B # 29-18, Barrio pie de la Popa
  • Medellín – Calle 19 #80A-40, Barrio Belén (the entrance is on the other side of the building on Calle 19A)

A complete list of the Migración Colombia offices is found here. In addition, we have a guide to applying for a Cedula Extranjeria in Colombia.  

Dual citizenship is possible

Dual citizenship is possible

Dual Citizenship

Although with the new visa rules, it is no longer possible to accumulate time on the student visa since it is a category V visitor. If you plan to stay in Colombia, opt for a Migrant visa, because after having a Colombian Migrant (M) visa for three or five years, you are eligible to receive a Resident (R) visa in Colombia. And after having the R visa for five more years, you are eligible to apply to become a Colombian citizen.

In addition, you won’t have to give up your existing citizenship. Colombia permits dual-citizenship, as does the U.S. and many other countries.

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 countries 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-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.

Obtaining a Colombia student visa

Obtaining a Colombia student visa

The Bottom Line: How to Obtain a Colombia Student Visa

Colombia’s student visas are relatively easy to get. Furthermore, schools like OLSA International in Medellín will provide the documents needed for the visa.

But the student visa is only intended for people who enrolled in a public or private educational establishment such as a university, which is approved by the Colombian government. And you must be taking at least 10 hours of classes per week.

The visa agency we partnered with has helped 186 student visas for Medellin Guru readers, which included one in February 2023. Click on the blue button below and that will take you to a page of the visa agency where you can obtain a quote and ask questions using a chat.

Use the Medellin Guru Visa Service

Also, be aware that Migración Colombia now reportedly checks with schools to ensure you are taking classes. And if you have a student visa and aren’t taking classes you lose the student visa. So, only get a student visa if you actually plan to take classes.

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Editors note: updated on August 7, 2019 with information that the Visitor student visa for studying Spanish in Colombia in most cases is only being granted for a maximum of six months.

Editors note: updated on December 14, 2019 with information about the Mercosur agreement benefits of having Colombian citizenship.

Editors note: updated on January 10, 2020 with current information about the Colombia student visas including the new 2020 Colombia minimum wage information.

Editors note: updated on March 11, 2020 to add a new student visa requirement, which is an international health insurance policy. Also, updated the bank statement requirement with the current exchange rate.

Editors note: updated on March 30, 2020 with Colombian visa process changes due to coronavirus and the quarantines in Colombia.

Editors note: updated on April 8, 2020 to add information that the nationwide quarantine in Colombia has been extended to April 26.

Editors note: updated on April 21, 2020 with information that the national quarantine in Colombia has been extended to May 11 and international flights banned until the end of May.

Editors note: updated on May 6, 2020 with information that the national quarantine in Colombia has been extended to May 25.

Editors note: updated on May 11, 2020 with information that it is possible to obtain a student visa for virtual online classes as long as from a certified school in Colombia.

Editors note: updated on May 20, 2020 with information that the national quarantine in Colombia has been extended to May 31 and that international flights will be restricted until August 31.

Editors note: updated on June 10, 2020 with information that the national quarantine in Colombia has been extended to June 30 and updated information about the Medellin Guru visa service.

Editors note: updated on June 24, 2020 to add amounts of health insurance coverage needed for a student visa and updated information that the national quarantine in Colombia has been extended to July 15.

Editors note: updated on July 8, 2020 with information that the national quarantine in Colombia has been extended to August 1.

Editors note: updated on August 30, 2020 with current information regarding the quarantine impact on the Colombia student visa process.

Editors note: updated on September 22, 2020 with information that Migracion offices in Colombia reopened on September 21.

Editors note: updated on September 15, 2021 with updated client counts for Colombia’s student visa from our visa partner.

Editors note: updated on December 11, 2021 with updated client counts for Colombia student visa from our visa partner.

Editors note: updated on March 12, 2022 with current information about the Colombia student visas including the new 2022 Colombia minimum wage information and updated client numbers.

Editors note: Updated on February 15, 2023 with updated information regarding the new changes on Resolution 5477

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