Every year about 4 million tourists visit Colombia, its capital being Bogotá, the most visited city. In addition to tourism, other foreigners travel to Colombia for work, academic purposes or to reside in the country. In each case, it will be necessary to meet certain requirements and submit the corresponding documentation.
Below you have an index with all the points that we are going to deal with in this article.
Passport and other documents
Apart from the visa, foreign citizens must present the following documents to cross the Colombian border depending on their country of origin:
- Valid passport
- Travel document
- National identity document (DNI)
- Out of the country ticket
In addition, citizens from Canada They will have to pay the amount of 160.000 Colombian pesos (COP), which is equivalent to 76.0576 canadian dollars (CAD), in accordance with Resolution 2146 of 2014. Canadians who do not make the payment of this amount at the Immigration Control Posts (PCM) will be denied entry into Colombian territory and must immediately return to their country of origin .
Member countries of the Andean Community (CAN)
Foreigners from a country that is part of the Andean Community (CAN) (Bolivia, Ecuador, Colombia, Peru and Chile) must present the following documents:
- DNI or Citizenship Card of the country of origin
- Andean Migratory Card (TAM) filled out
- Civil Registry (only minors)
Mercosur member countries
On the other hand, those citizens who come from a member country of Mercosur (Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, Uruguay and Venezuela) are required to show the following documentation:
- DNI or Citizenship Card of the country of origin
- Passport (only minors)
- Andean Migratory Card (TAM) filled out
Citizens of the following nationalities are required to apply for a Tourist Visa:
- A: Afghanistan and Algeria.
- C: China, North Korea and Cuba.
- E: Slovakia.
- H: Haiti.
- I: India, Iran and Iraq.
- J: Jordan.
- L: Lebanon and Libya.
- M: Morocco.
- N: Nicaraguan.
- P: Pakistan and Palestine.
- R: Czech Republic and Dominican Republic.
- S: Syria, Sri Lanka and Sudan.
- V: Viet Nam.
- Y: Yemen.
The rest of the countries can enter Colombia without having to apply for a Tourist Visa. However, they do have to fill in the Andean Migratory Card (TAM) in order to obtain, without additional costs, any of the following permits:
- Entry and Stay Permit (PIP): The PIP is the permit granted by the Colombian immigration control service to those foreigners who wish to visit Colombia for tourist reasons and who do not require a visa in accordance with Decree 834/13 in Art.
- Group Entry Permit in Transit (PGT): This permit is aimed at foreigners who enter Colombia through tourist cruises, re-embark on the same ship or visit sea or river ports in the country. To obtain the PGT, it is not necessary to request a TAM or an entry or exit stamp in the passport or travel document, but the list of crew and passengers must be communicated through the SIRE registry, which can be accessed clicking on this link. In addition, if it is for immigration reasons, the maximum time that you can stay in the country will be 48 hours; On the other hand, if it is for emigration reasons, it must be communicated through a SIRE register with a maximum of 3 hours and a minimum of 1 hour before the departure of the boat.
The process to obtain any of these permits is as follows:
- Migration control: Upon the arrival of the foreigner by air, sea, land or river, Migración Colombia, at the Immigration Control Posts, stamps a stamp in their passport, travel document or Andean Migratory Card (TAM) upon arrival of the foreign person . Said stamp will contain the entry of said citizen with the following information: date of entry, authorized days of stay and type of entry.
- Content: the foreign person will be authorized to stay up to a maximum of 90 consecutive days (3 months) in the country. Once this period has passed, it is possible to request an extension of 90 more days. In this way, the maximum stay of a foreigner who does not need a visa in Colombia will be 180 days (6 months). In any case, the Migration Authorities reserve the right to authorize fewer days if they consider it appropriate when the existence of fraudulent acts or for reasons of deportation or expulsion is evidenced.
There are a series of business visas for foreign citizens who want to establish business activities in Colombia. The four existing types are listed below:
- NE1: intended for foreigners who wish to carry out commercial and business negotiations, as well as promote economic exchange, create a company and make investments.
- NE2: for those foreigners who wish to enter Colombia temporarily as a business person to handle any of the following international instruments in force: free trade agreements, promote business, investment development, establishment of a company's commercial presence, promote cross-border trade in goods and services or other activities defined within those instruments.
- NE3: for foreigners who want to enter the country as managers or representatives of a foreign commercial office of a governmental nature or for the promotion of economic exchanges with Colombia.
- NE4: aimed at foreigners who travel to Colombia as presidents or senior managers of a multinational company to generate business or make investments.
There are fifteen types of temporary visas, which are listed below:
- TP1: aimed at foreigners who want to enter Colombia as a student, teacher, qualified technician or professional whose purpose is any of the following: to carry out internships, attend conferences or work as a language assistant. This visa is granted as long as the program embraces a current cooperation treaty in which the Colombian Institute of Educational Credit and Technical Studies Abroad participates. Mariano Ospina Perez (ICETEX) or in the case of programs or activities to promote cultural or academic exchange.
- TP2: aimed at foreigners who enter Colombia as crew members or members of some means of international transport or a dredging or fishing vessel.
- TP3: Aimed at foreigners who travel to Colombia for the development of an academic program, whether with or without a scholarship, taught in a Colombian educational or training center. To obtain this visa, a certificate must be presented proving the said academic exchange and / or internship agreement as a student. TP3 is also aimed at those who travel to Colombia for training in some artistic activity or trade.
- TP4: for those who wish to cross the Colombian border due to a labor relationship or hiring for the provision of services either to a natural or legal person residing in Colombia or to an artistic, sports or cultural group in order to carry out public shows .
- TP5: addressed to those foreigners who travel to Colombia for religious reasons, either as a religious of a cult or creed, as long as it has official recognition by the Colombian State.
- TP6: It can be obtained by those foreigners who wish to enter Colombia as volunteers or cooperators in a non-governmental organization (NGO) or non-profit, as long as it has official recognition by the Colombian State.
- TP7 Visa (Pacific Alliance): this visa corresponds to Pacific Alliance Program, aimed at young nationals (between 18 and 30 years old) who wish to enter temporarily in any of the territories that make up said alliance (Chile, Colombia, Mexico and Peru) for recreational and cultural reasons. Young people who take advantage of this program can carry out paid activities in order to cover the expenses of their stay.
- TP7: aimed at foreigners who wish to carry out any of the following activities or occupations in Colombian territory: pensioner or rentier, partner or owner of a company, to carry out medical treatment, to accompany the person who will carry out medical treatment, owners of real estate or for the exercise of independent activities.
- TP8: for those who wish to enter Colombia to carry out any of these activities: adoption of minors or intervention in judicial or administrative processes.
- TP9: for those who want to enter or have previously entered Colombia as refugees or asylees by the National Government at the request of the Advisory Commission for the Determination of Refugee Status.
- TP10: for those who enter Colombia as spouse or permanent companion of a citizen of Colombian nationality.
- TP11: for those who travel to Colombia to carry out recreational or rest activities.
- TP12: aimed at foreigners who enter Colombia to attend or participate in any of the following types of events (whether or not they have a work contract): academic, artistic, cultural, scientific and sports. Also to carry out an interview or a selection process in a public or private Colombian entity, carry out business training activities or get business contacts.
- TP13: aimed at foreigners who wish to present specialized technical assistance to public or private entities in Colombia, whether or not they have a work contract.
- TP14: it will be necessary for all foreigners (regardless of their nationality) who are going to enter Colombia to transit to a third country. Said foreigners may only circulate through the International Transit Zone of a Colombian airport and may not remain in the country for more than 24 hours.
- TP15: This visa is aimed at citizens from any of the countries that make up Mercosur (Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, Uruguay and Venezuela), through which they obtain a temporary residence permit up to a maximum of 2 years, as long as the country of provenance grant similar facilities to Colombian citizens who want to stay in their country.
La Resident Visa (RE) It is granted to those foreigners who wish to enter Colombia to remain in the territory for an indefinite period of time. Said visa is issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Government of Colombia as long as the foreigner requesting it is in any of the following situations:
- if you are the father or mother of a person of Colombian nationality;
- if both parents of a person of Colombian nationality are foreigners;
- If it is a foreigner who renounced Colombian nationality in the past for reasons of adoption or birth;
- If you have held any of the following temporary visas (TP) for a minimum of 5 consecutive and uninterrupted years: TP3, TP4, TP5, TP7 and TP9;
- If you have held the TP10 temporary visa for a minimum of 3 consecutive and uninterrupted years;
- If, being of legal age, you have been a beneficiary of the RE visa for at least 5 consecutive and uninterrupted years;
- If it is an investor who has registered a foreign investment with the Banco de la República for a salary higher than 650 Colombian pesos (COP) per month, legal and current.
Those foreigners who obtain the Resident Visa will be authorized to exercise any legal occupation in the country, including those carried out under a labor contract. It is worth mentioning that RE visa holders who are absent from the country during 2 years the poor, they will lose their right to possession of said visa.
For information about the requirements that you must meet to obtain each of the aforementioned visas and the cost of each one, we advise you to click on this link.
The safe-conduct is a temporary document that is granted to foreigners who are in Colombia for exceptional reasons, whether they are in an irregular immigration status or in the middle of an administrative or judicial action. There are two types of safe-conduct: the exit and the permanence. He Safe-conduct of Permanence It is granted in any of the following cases:
- during the process of a visa (30 days maximum);
- to remain on provisional or conditional release or by order of the competent authority until their situation is resolved;
- to remain in Colombia during the process of resolving their refugee or asylee situation upon request to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs;
- for foreigners who, having been able to request a visa in the country, have incurred an irregular stay after having canceled the sanction imposed;
- for foreigners who are in the middle of the visa application process for being the spouse of a Colombian national, father or mother of a Colombian national, for medical treatment or for students.
As to Exit Safe Conduct, this is granted in any of the following cases:
- foreigners who are in a situation of irregular residence once their administrative situation has been resolved;
- foreigners who have been expelled or deported;
- foreigners who have had their Visa canceled or denied;
- foreigners whose permission to enter the country has been revoked.
For more information about the pass, we recommend you click this link.
The requirements for obtaining Colombian nationality vary according to the country of origin of the interested party. Thus, depending on whether you are Spanish by birth, from the Caribbean, Latin American or from another country other than the above, you must meet certain requirements. In what follows we show you the corresponding characteristics depending on the case:
- Latin Americans and foreigners from the Caribbean: they must reside in Colombia for at least 1 year. It will be counted from the date of obtaining the Resident Visa (RE).
- Spanish: they must reside in Colombia for at least 2 years. It will be counted from the date of obtaining the Resident Visa (RE).
- Other foreigners: they must reside in Colombia for at least 5 years or 3 if the foreigner is married to a Colombian national, is a permanent partner of a Colombian national or has Colombian children. It will be counted from the date of obtaining the Resident Visa (RE). If during those 5 or 3 years you have stayed outside of Colombian territory for at least one year, the period of calculation for obtaining nationality is interrupted. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs could request an interview with the interested party. The interested party must take an oath before the Mayor's Office or the Governor's Office as the case may be, in which the Governor or Mayor will grant the letter of nature or copy of the registration resolution.
The vaccines required to enter Colombia vary depending on your country of origin. In this way, citizens from a country of Europe They do not have any legally mandatory vaccines, although they always recommend the yellow fever vaccine. On the other hand, if you come from some South American country considered endemic such as Venezuela, Ecuador, Bolivia, Peru, Panama, Guyana or any African nation, it will be mandatory that you be vaccinated against yellow fever to be able to cross the Colombian border, since you will have to present the corresponding certificate, which must be endorsed by the Ministry of Health of your country of origin. The vaccine against yellow fever It must be applied 10 days before the trip and, if it has not been done, the airline with which you are traveling could deny you boarding. This vaccine is also valid for 10 years, so if you are already vaccinated and this period has not yet elapsed, it will not be necessary for you to apply it again. Other recommended vaccines are: Hepatitis A and B, tetanus and diphtheria.
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