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Tips, documentation and requirements to travel to Colombia

Each year, nearly 4 million tourists visit Colombia, with its capital, Bogotá, the most visited city. In addition to tourism, other foreigners travel to Colombia for work, academic or to reside in the country. In each case, it will be necessary to meet some requirements and present 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 according to their country of origin:

  • Valid passport
  • Travel document
  • National Identity Document (DNI)
  • Country Departure 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. To Canadians who do not pay this amount in the Migration Control Posts ( PCM) they will be denied entry into Colombian territory and must return immediately to their country of origin.

Member countries of the Andean Community (CAN)

Foreigners from any member country of the Andean Community (CAN) (Bolivia, Ecuador, Colombia, Peru and Chile) must submit the following documents:

  • National Identity Card or Certificate of Citizenship of the country of origin
  • Andean Migration Card (TAM) completed
  • Civil Registry (only minors)

Mercosur member countries

On the other hand, those citizens who come from a Mercosur member country (Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, Uruguay and Venezuela) are required to show the following documentation:

  • National Identity Card or Certificate of Citizenship of the country of origin
  • Passport (only minors)
  • Andean Migration Card (TAM) completed
Documentation to enter Colombia

Visa

Citizens of the following nationalities are required to request a Tourism Visa:

  • TO: Afghanistan and Algeria.
  • C: China, North Korea and Cuba.
  • AND: Slovakia.
  • H: Haiti.
  • I: India, Iran and Iraq.
  • J: Jordan.
  • L: Lebanon and Libya.
  • M: Morocco.
  • N: Nicaragua.
  • P: Pakistan and Palestine.
  • R: Czech Republic and Dominican Republic.
  • S: Syria, Sri Lanka and Sudan.
  • V: Vietnam.
  • Y: Yemen.

The rest of the countries can enter Colombia without applying for a Tourism Visa. However, they must fill in the Andean Migration Card (TAM) in order to obtain, without additional costs, any of the following permits:

  • Entry and Permanence 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. 20.
  • Group Transit Transit Permit (PGT): This permit is addressed to foreigners who enter Colombia through tourist cruises, re-board the same vessel 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 on the passport or travel document, but the list of crew and passengers must be communicated through the SIRE registration, which can be accessed by clicking on this link. In addition, if it is for immigration reasons, the maximum time that can be left in the country will be 48 hours; on the other hand, if it is for emigration reasons, it must be communicated by means of SIRE registration with a maximum of 3 hours and a minimum of 1 hour before the departure of the boat.

The process for obtaining any of these permits is as follows:

  1. Immigration control: upon arrival of the foreigner by air, sea, land or river, Migration Colombia, in the Migration Control Posts, stamped upon the arrival of the foreign person a stamp in his passport, travel document or Andean Migratory Card (TAM) . In said seal, the entry of said citizen will be recorded with the following information: date of entry, days of authorized stay and type of entry.
  2. Authorization: The foreign person will be authorized to remain up to a maximum of 90 consecutive days (3 months) in the country. Once this period has elapsed, 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 less days if deemed appropriate when it is evidenced the existence of fraudulent acts or for reasons of deportation or expulsion.
Travel to Colombia for tourist reasons

Business

There are a number of business visas intended for those foreign citizens who want to establish commercial activities in Colombia. The four existing types are listed below:

  • NE1: aimed at foreigners who wish to carry out commercial and business management, 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 trade in cross-border 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 traveling to Colombia as presidents or senior managers of a multinational company to generate business or make investments.
Travel to Colombia for business

Temporary

There are fifteen types of temporary visas, which are listed below:

  • TP1: addressed to a foreigner who wants to enter Colombia as a student, teacher, qualified technician or professional whose purpose is any of the following: to practice, attend conferences or work as a language assistant. This visa is granted as long as the program benefits from a current cooperation treaty in which the Colombian Institute of Educational Credit and Technical Studies Abroad participates Mariano Ospina Pérez (ICETEX) or in the case of programs or activities for the promotion of cultural or academic exchange.
  • TP2: aimed at foreigners entering Colombia as crew members or members of some international means of transport or some dredge or fishing vessel.
  • TP3: For foreigners traveling to Colombia for the development of an academic program, whether with or without a scholarship, which is taught in a Colombian educational or training center. To obtain this visa, a certificate must be presented with the proof of said academic agreement for the exchange and / or performance of internships as a student. The TP3 also addresses those who travel to Colombia for training in an artistic activity or trade.
  • TP4: For those who wish to cross the Colombian border on the occasion of a labor relationship or hiring for the provision of services either to a natural or legal person resident in Colombia or to an artistic, sporting 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: Those foreigners who wish to enter Colombia as volunteers or cooperators in a non-governmental organization (NGO) or non-profit organization may obtain it, provided that 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) who wish to enter temporarily in one of the territories that make up this 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 a medical treatment, to accompany the person who will carry out the 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 proceedings.
  • TP9: For those who want to enter or have previously entered Colombia as refugees or asylum seekers by the National Government at the request of the Advisory Commission for the Determination of Refugee Status.
  • TP10: For those who enter Colombia as a spouse or permanent partner of a citizen of Colombian nationality.
  • TP11: for those who travel to Colombia for recreational or rest activities.
  • TP12: aimed at foreigners entering Colombia to attend or participate in any of the following types of events (whether or not they have an employment contract): academic, artistic, cultural, scientific and sports. Also to carry out an interview or a selection process in a Colombian public or private entity, conduct 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 an employment contract.
  • TP14: It will be necessary for any foreigner (regardless of nationality) to enter Colombia to travel to a third country. These 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 addressed to 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 origin grant similar facilities to Colombian citizens who want to stay in their country.
Travel to Colombia to practice

Resident

The 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. This visa is issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Government of Colombia as long as the foreigner who requests it is in one of the following situations:

  • if you are the father or mother of a person of Colombian nationality;
  • if the two parents of a person of Colombian nationality are foreigners;
  • if it is a foreigner who resigned in the past to Colombian nationality for reasons of adoption or birth;
  • if you have been holder of 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 been a temporary visa holder TP10 for a minimum of 3 consecutive and uninterrupted years;
  • if, being of legal age, he has 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 Bank of the Republic for a salary greater than 650 Colombian pesos (COP) monthly, legal and current.

Those foreigners who obtain the Resident Visa will be authorized to exercise any legal occupation in the country, including those developed under an employment contract. It is worth mentioning that the RE visa holders who are absent from the country during 2 years or more, will lose their right to possession of said visa.

For information about the requirements that you must meet to obtain each of the mentioned visas and the cost of each one, we advise you to click on this link.

Obtaining Resident Visa (RE) in Colombia

Safe passage

The safe-conduct is a temporary document that is granted to foreigners who are in Colombia for exceptional reasons, whether they are in a migratory situation of irregular permanence or in the middle of an administrative or judicial action. There are two types of safe conduct: the exit and the permanence. He Except for Permanence Conduct It is granted in any of the following cases:

  • during the processing of a visa (30 days maximum);
  • to remain on probation, parole or by order of the competent authority until its situation is resolved;
  • to remain in Colombia during the process of resolving their refugee or asylum status upon request to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs;
  • for foreigners who, having been able to apply for 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 because they are a spouse of a Colombian national, father or mother of a Colombian national, for medical treatment or for students.

As for the Except Exit Conduit, this is granted in any of the following cases:

  • foreigners who are in a situation of irregular permanence once their administrative situation results;
  • foreigners who have been expelled or deported;
  • foreigners whose Visa has been canceled or denied;
  • foreigners to whom the entry permit in the country has been revoked.

For more information about the safe conduct, we recommend you click on this link.

Nationalization

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 previous ones, you must meet some requirements. In the following we show you the corresponding characteristics according to 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 people: 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 companion 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 it has remained outside Colombian territory for at least one year, the computation period for obtaining nationality is interrupted. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs may request an interview with the interested party. The interested party must take an oath before the Mayor's Office or Government as the case may be, in which the Governor or Mayor will grant the nature letter or copy of the registration resolution.
Obtain Colombian nationality

Vaccinations

The vaccines necessary to enter Colombia vary depending on your country of origin. In this way, citizens from some country of Europe They do not have any legally binding vaccine, although they always recommend the yellow fever vaccine. However, if you come from any South American country considered endemic such as Venezuela, Ecuador, Bolivia, Peru, Panama, Guyana or some African nation, it will be mandatory that you be vaccinated against yellow fever to cross the Colombian border, since you will have to present the corresponding certificate, which must be endorsed by the Ministry Health of your country of origin. The vaccine against yellow fever It must be applied 10 days before the trip and, if you have not done so, the airline with which you travel 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, you will not need to reapply it. Other recommended vaccines are: Hepatitis A and B, tetanus and diphtheria.

Vaccines to travel to Colombia

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