Going to Colombia is easy as long as you comply with their given requirements and conditions. This country is worth visiting because of its wonderful people, places, and cultures. Its economy is also large, thus doing business or having some type of work in Colombia is more secure. Colombia is a great destination for travelers and vacation seekers as well as individuals looking to relocate.
[Editor’s Note: Several new Colombian immigration regulations will go into effect on July 24, 2013. Details provided in this article may change after that date, and this article will be updated soon thereafter.]
For those who want to go to Colombia, a passport is needed and must be valid for at least six months. Transit passengers are not required to have a Colombian visa as long that they will leave within 24 hours after arrival in the airport.
Visas are exempted for those who live in: Argentina, Austria, Barbados, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Costa Rica, Chile, Denmark, Ecuador, El Salvador, Spain, United States, Finland, France, Great Britain, Guatemala, Italy, Japan, Liechtenstein, Luxemburg, Mexico, Norway, The Netherlands, Peru, Poland, Republic of Korea (South Korea), Germany, Sweden, Switzerland, Trinidad and Tobago, Uruguay, Venezuela and foreign residents of Canada and the United States. Exemptions of their visas are only good for a maximum of 90 days stay and only for tourism or travel purpose.
Tourists that are not from the countries mentioned above are required to have a visa before going to Colombia. Application of visas can be done at the consular section of the Colombian Embassy in your country. When applying for any kind of visa, ample time is needed because the issuance may take five days to two weeks. You will have to give all the data and documents needed as well as the payment fees for application. There are different kinds of visas aside from the tourist visa, such as business, investors, student, temporary work or temporary residence visas, and permanent residency visa
The amount of a tourist visa is around $50 plus payment for consular services. Tourist or temporary visitor visa is valid for multiple entries up to six months. To qualify for a tourist visa, you must provide sufficient funds in your bank statement of more than £1,000 or $1,300 USD and a return ticket. As a tourist you have 90 days maximum stay, but can request for an extension of up to 120 days by applying at the Department of Administration and Security in Colombia. There are no restrictions in traveling with children as long as they have written consents from both parents if their companion is not their parents. Traveling with pets in Colombia is also welcome provided that they have vaccination for rabies and other common animal’s diseases, and they must also have a certificate from a licensed veterinarian. As a tourist, you will have the chance to see the magnificent places in Colombia and meet their friendly, warm native people.
If you want to engage in a business venture in Colombia, you must apply for a business visa. It can be issued only to the legal representative, management, or executive staff of a foreign enterprise, of commercial or industrial nature, that has economic ties with Colombia companies or foreign companies legally established in Colombia. A business visa is valid for multiple entries in four years for a purpose of any business relates issues, such as opening of branches and business meetings. A holder of business visa cannot reside permanently in Colombia nor be compensated because it’s not a work visa or an Immigrant Visa. Requirements for Business Visa are complete application form, two copies of passports, three passport size photos with white background, legal business letters and certification, and a payment fee as noted by the embassy in your country.
Colombian investment visa may be granted to a foreigner who makes a direct foreign investment on his name, in accordance with which is foreseen in the statutes of International Investments and additional regulations existing at the time of the application, and for the amount established by the Colombian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
For those who want to study in Colombia, you must apply for a student visa in the Colombian Consulate of your country. It will allow you multiple entries in one year. Generally the requirements are a: completely filled-up application form, two copies of passports with valid expiration dates, and three passport size photos with white background. The embassy may require some certification about your study and financial statement or scholarship certification to grant your education in Colombia.
A work visa is required for those who want to work temporarily in Colombia. You will need to provide the general requirements plus original work contract, valid certificate of registration and contract letter from your employer-to-be in Colombia, diploma and other required certifications. Also expect to pay the fee as noted by the embassy.
Permanent residency visa is a far more demanding process compared to other visas. It is not given to anybody unless you meet all the requirements of the Colombian embassy. The application may require you to have marital relationship or family relationship with certified Colombian residents.
In going to Colombia for any purpose, one must bring all the important document, certification and identifications that he or she might need such as, valid IDs, international driver’s license, vaccination certificates, travel and medical insurance, credit cards, photos and photocopies of passport and other documents.
Going to Colombia will be hassle-free if you aware about the things that are needed in order to pass the requirements upon traveling to the country. It is always advised to respect and abide by Colombian rules and culture once you step off the plane and into the country. This will ensure a more peaceful and enjoyable visit.