There are several visa agencies and law firms in Medellín and other cities in Colombia that offer visa services – helping foreigners obtain Colombian visas. We provide a guide to the companies offering visa services in Medellín and Colombia.
Is a Lawyer Required for Visa Services in Colombia?
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.
So, several visa agencies in Colombia exist that specialize in providing visa services at lower costs than the law firms.
The Colombia Visa Process
Colombia offers many different categories of visas, which enable you to stay in Colombia for a year or more. We previously provided a guide to Colombian visas.
You can apply for a Colombian 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.
After receiving the online visa approval, if doing this in Colombia, you need to travel to Bogotá to get the visa in your passport. Or if at another country you can get the visa put in your passport at a Colombian consulate.
I successfully obtained three Colombian visas that I applied for my own in the past 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 offer services to courier your passport to Bogotá to get the visa put in your passport. So, you can avoid a trip to Bogotá. The cost of a visa service including the service to courier your passport to Bogotá can even be cheaper than the cost of a trip to Bogtoá.
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 over doing a Colombia visa application yourself. The bottom line is with a visa agency you are less likely to run into problems and you can avoid a trip to Bogotá, saving you time and money.
Visa Agencies and Law Firms Offering Visa Services in Medellín
You can find visa agencies in several cities in Colombia. For example, there are at least six visa agencies in Medellín and at least four law firms offering visa services in Medellín.
Visa Agencies in Medellín
Expatgroup.co is a visa agency in Medellín with an office located in El Poblado. This visa agency’s goal is to provide a portfolio of services tailored to foreigners who want to settle, invest, work, study and/or do business in Colombia.
Expatgroup.co’s visa services are competitively priced and their website provides more functionality than the other visa agencies. The functionality includes chat, Spanish and English language and the ability to get online quotes for visa services.
Address: Carrera 43A # 1Sur-188, Davivienda Business Office Tower, office #808
Phone: +57 4 322 2466
InterCol is a visa agency in Medellín with two offices in Medellín. One is located near to the Unicentro mall and the other is located near the Migracion office in Belén. Intercol started operations in 2000.
Addresses: Calle 34 # 66B-63 in Belén near Unicentro mall, Calle 19 # 80-168 in Belén near the Migraction Colombia office.
Phone: +57 4 444 4659
Visas y Trámites Internacionales is a visa agency in Medellín with its primary office in El Poblado but reportedly also has offices in Miami and Bogotá.
Visas y Trámites is owned and managed by James Lindzey, who is an American expat living in Colombia since 2005.
Phone: +57 4 444 6634, in U.S.: 1 (305) 767-2466
Gesticol is a visa agency in Medellín with over 15 years of experience. And Gesticol as its office in Belén near the Migracion Colombia office.
Gesticol specializes in advisory services for Colombian visas offering visa services targeting foreign citizens entering Colombia.
Address: Calle 19 # 80B-19, Belén near the Migracion Colombia office
Phone: +57 4 583 2021
Extranjería & Migración is a visa agency in Medellín with its office in Belén near the Migracion Colombia office.
This visa agency is the only company providing visa services in Colombia that doesn’t have its own website. Extranjería & Migración only has a Facebook page.
Address: Carrera 80B # 17-152, Belén near the Migracion Colombia office.
Ben Relocation Consulting provides relocation, consulting and support services including visa services. This company isn’t strictly a visa agency. It’s more a relocation assistance company that also provides visa services to clients.
In addition to visa services, Ben Relocation Consulting supports the relocation process via several services including:
- Assistance during arrival.
- Looking for a temporary and/or permanent home.
- Assistance in selecting educational options.
- Consulting on setting up public and private utilities.
- Help in establishing banking services.
Phone: +57 320 479 3923
Law Firms in Medellín Offering Visa Services
Langon is reportedly based in New York City and has several lawyers in Medellín.
This law firm’s practice areas include startup law, business law, employment and labor law, international transactions, tax law, real estate, mining, intellectual property law, business litigation, immigration law, antitrust and Internet and ecommerce law.
Phone: +57 313 621 4260
2. Cuadro Legal
Cuadro Legal provides legal advice in many areas including commercial, labor and tax law.
This law firm’s practice areas include commercial law, intellectual property, consumer’s rights, labor law, immigration law, family law, real estate and urban planning law and mining and energy law.
Address: Carrera 43A, # 1-85, El Poblado
Phone: +57 4 448 1228
Gutierrez Group is a boutique firm that provides legal advisory, investment, business and general consulting to foreigners that live or invest in Colombia.
The company provides legal advice through JDG Law advisors as well as other services including forestry investments, mortgage lending, taxi lending and real estate.
Address: Calle 7Sur # 42-70, office #209, El Poblado
Phone: +57 4 322 8898
This law firm’s practice areas include real estate, immigration law and doing business in Colombia.
Address: Calle 10, # 42-28, second floor, El Poblado
Visa Agencies and Law Firms Offering Visa Services in Other Cities in Colombia
Some other cities in Colombia have visa agencies and law firms offering visa services:
- Visas Americanas has offices in Bogotá, Cali and Pereira.
- Cali Capital has an office in Cali.
- Migracol has an office in Bogotá.
- Pinilla Plazas & Associates has an office in Bogotá.
- BMLEGAL with an office in Pereira.
What Visa Services are Offered?
Each of the visa agencies and law firms in Colombia generally offer similar Colombia visa packages that typically include:
- Virtual or in-person meeting with agency or law firm to discuss your visa application.
- Provide a list of documents required for your visa.
- Initial review of documents for your visa.
- Provide templates for some required documents.
- Review your visa application to ensure maximum probability of approval.
- Apply for your visa online.
- Visa stamping service – once the visa is approved, send your passport to Bogotá to get the visa stamped in your passport and return the passport to you.
- Visa registration and cedula application – assist with documents and schedule appointment with Migracion.
In addition, visa agencies provide additional services including translations and helping to get documents notarized and apostilled.
What are the Capabilities of the Visa Agencies and Law Firms
Each of the visa agencies and law firms offering visa services in Medellín and Colombia have different capabilities for their websites and also their internal systems and communications abilities
The following table summarizes the capabilities of each of the visa agencies and law firms for their visa services. All the visa agencies and law firms have phone, email and WhatsApp communications. But the capabilities of websites and other communications capabilities vary.
Pricing for Visa Services in Colombia
There is a wide range of pricing for visa services by the visa agencies and law firms in Colombia. In general, the visa agencies have lower prices than the law firms as seen in the following figure based on a survey in February 2019:
Note that Langon has the most complex pricing scheme for its visa services out of the companies surveyed, with prices ranging from $125 to $320. The lower priced basic visa services from Langon don’t include visa stamping services (sending your passport to Bogotá for the visa) or assistance with cedulas. Also, Langon offers higher-priced priority services with 24-hour visa services and different pricing for virtual vs. in-person visa meetings.
Other Colombia Visa Fees
It is also important to understand that the fee paid to visa agencies for visa services is not the total cost of a Colombian visa. There are also fees paid to the Colombian Minsterio de Relacions Exteriores for the government visa application and government study fees, translation fees, notary fees, apostille fees, document fees and delivery charges. Fees for a visa typically include:
- Visa service fee which is the fee paid to a visa agency or law firm for visa services. This can range from about $125 to over $450 depending on the company used.
- The government visa application fees vary depending on the type of visa. This is paid after your visa is approved.
- The government study fee is paid as part of the original application and is usually $52 for most visas.
- Translations are required for documentation needed for a visa that is in a language other than Spanish and you should uses a translator certified by the Colombian government.
- Notary fees are required for most visa applications. And notarizations are certifications by an official notary that verifies the identity of a person signing a document.
- Apostilles are used to validate documents from other countries to be used in Colombia.
- Delivery services may be needed for your visa application to deliver documents needed for your visa application.
In addition, if you are not using a visa agency, add in the costs for a trip to Bogotá to get the visa stamped in your passport. Also, there is a charge of 196,000 pesos for a cedula that is required after you receive your visa. We have a separate guide to obtaining a cedula.
How Long Does it Take to Get a Colombian Visa and Cedula?
The time required to receive a Colombian visa varies. The following are some approximate times for the different steps in the visa process when using a visa agency:
- Gather all the required documents including notarizations, apostilles and translations (if needed) – one day to four weeks.
- Submit the online visa application – most visa agencies do this within 24 hours after receiving all the required documents.
- Receive visa approval from the Colombian government – this can take one week or longer if an interview or other documents are required.
- Send passport to Bogotá for visa stamping – visa agencies typically do this in four to five business days.
- Register visa and apply for cedula – this should be done within 15 days of step number 3 and you need your passport with the visa from step 4.
- Receive cedula – this typically take 5 to 10 calendar days.
Medellin Guru’s Comprehensive Visa Series
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:
- How to Obtain a Colombian Visa with Up-to-Date Info – an overview of all the Colombian visas
- Visa Agencies: A Guide to Visa Agencies in Medellín and Colombia
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.
All of our Colombia visa articles were updated in early 2019 to ensure they are up-to-date. In addition, all visa articles on this website will be kept up-to-date as new details are disclosed.
Using a Visa Agency
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 Colombian visa. A visa agency can handle the online application. And it will courier your passport to Bogotá to get the visa in your passport.
Full disclosure: Medellin Guru has partnered with expatgroup.co, which we believe offers very competitive 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.
We reviewed all the Colombia visa agency services in Medellín in the above article. And in this review we 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.
The Bottom Line: Visa Agencies: A Guide to Visa Agencies in Medellín and Colombia
If you are in Colombia and not located in Bogotá and you don’t want to travel you can use a visa agency or law firm to obtain a Colombian visa. A visa agency or law firm can handle the online visa application. And the visa agency or law firm will courier your passport to Bogotá to get the visa in your passport.
There is a wide range of prices for visa services. And in some cases, it can be difficult to find out the prices for visa services from visa agencies or law firms unless you become a client. But in general visa agencies have lower fees for visa services than law firms based on our survey.
In addition, we highly recommend using a visa service over doing a Colombia visa application yourself. The bottom line is with a visa agency or law firm you are less likely to run into problems and you can avoid a trip to Bogotá.
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Editors note: updated on March 13, 2019 to add approximate times for the steps in the visa process based on reader questions.