Visas for Colombia

Visas for Colombia
Updated 2018-03-13 07:33

There are 3 types of visas for foreigners who wish to live in Colombia. If you are planning to stay in Colombia for less than six months for tourist purposes, you may need to apply for a tourist visa. 

In order to live in Colombia, you will need to obtain a visa. The changes implemented in August 2017 now only showcases three visas that are available for foreigners looking for long-term residence in Colombia: visitor visa, migrant visa, and resident visa.

Visitor Visa (V)

This visa can be used for short-term visitors, as well as for foreigners who wish to stay temporarily without establishing themselves in the country. They are granted to those who visit the country for leisure, tourism, or business purposes, but may also be granted to those who are doing a cultural exchange program or studies, as well as those who are receiving medical treatment in Colombia.

This visa can only be requested within the national territory and is valid for a maximum of one year. is of maximum one year, it is not susceptible to extensions or renewals.

Migrant Visa (M)

This visa is valid for 3 years and applies to those who wish to settle permanently in the country but who do not meet the requirements for a resident visa.

To qualify for this visa you must be a spouse or partner of a Colombian national, be the father or son of a Colombian national by adoption, or be a national of one of the States party to the "Agreement on Residence for nationals of the States Parties of Mercosur, Bolivia and Chile", or have refugee status in Colombia.

Otherwise, you may also qualify for the M visa if you have permanent employment in Colombia or a work contract, and you must have the required and relevant qualifications to practice a profession independently.

Those enrolled in primary, secondary, middle school, and undergraduate studies in a Colombian institution will also qualify for this visa, as well as retirees and pensioners.

Resident Visa (R)

This visa is for those who wish to remain permanently in the Colombian territory and establish their domicile in the country. This visa allows the person to work or to have an open work permit.

The visa applies to those who are parents to a Colombian citizen, or to those who have remained in the national territory continuously and over an uninterrupted period of 2 years under the migrant "M" visa.

Others who qualify include those who invest in the Banco de la República.

The Resident Visa lasts for 5 years, and can be renewed for another five years.

Requirements for the visas:

  • A passport with at least two blank pages, in good condition and valid for at least 180 days
  • Copy of the identification page of the passport
  • Copy of the most recent stamp showing the entry or exit of Colombia

If you apply for your visa in person, you do not need to bring passport-size photos; the photos will be taken at the issuing office.

To obtain a description of each type of visa, associated fees and other documentation that may be required, consult this list of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Colombia.

Working holiday visa

This visa only applies to those holding a French, Mexican, Peruvian, or Chilean passport, and who are between 18 and 30 years old. It's valid for one year, and can't be renewed.

Useful links:

Types of visas and requirements
Alcadia Bogota - new types of visa

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