2020 Updated Information about the Colombian Visa necessary for travelers. Find out everything from whether you need a visa to the permitted duration of visit.
While traveling, it is important to be aware of the visa requirements. The Colombian visa requirements are no different. Many nationalities who are visiting Colombia have the privilege of an “on arrival” visa, which means that a tourist visa is issued on entry, and does not need to be applied for in advance. However, even if you are from one of these countries, there are several documents that you may need on arrival to Colombia.
The countries that do not need to get a visa before traveling (countries that are approved for visa on entry) are:
If you are not from one of these countries, a tourist visa is still easily accessible, however, you may need to pay a nominal fee, and the paperwork may need to be approved before you travel. You will need to print the approved visa and bring it with you to travel.
The majority of citizens of South America do not need a visa, or even a passport, for traveling to Colombia. Citizens from Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Ecuador, Paraguay, Peru, and Uruguay can travel using just their national identification cards.
Previously there were three types of Colombian visas:
As of 2017, the visa categories have changed slightly. These categories are now:
In the new visa categories, the R visa is effectively the same as the old RE visa. The main difference here is that what was previously a TP visa is now divided between a visitor visa and a migrant visa, depending on duration and the context of the persons visit. Many more sub-categories of Colombian visas have been added under the new rules.
Colombian visas are easy to apply for. You can do this with relative ease and speed online. You can also do this at a Colombian embassy, which can be found around the world. In North America, embassies for Colombia can be found in:
A visa applied for online will be valid for 90 days (starting from the day you arrive in the country). If you need or want, a visa for longer than 90 days then you must register with the nearest Colombian embassy. You can also submit your application for this online with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Please remember that you do not need to visit the embassy for a normal visa.
North American citizens traveling to Colombia for 90 days or less do not need a Colombian visa. If you overstay your given time or do not have your passport stamped on entry/exit, then expect heavy fines. Travelers may be asked to provide proof of continued travel. This means that travelers may need to show an airplane ticket or bus ticket continuing out of Colombia. Visas can be extended for another 90 days for around $50 USD.
Travelers must also have a valid US passport. You may also be asked to provide evidence of sufficient funds in your bank account.
Colombian law states that anyone born in Colombia must enter and exit the country using their Colombian passport. This applies to everyone, even those with dual nationalities. It is important that Colombian-American citizens have both a US passport and a Colombian passport.
Europeans have visa-free travel to Colombia for stays of 90 days over 180 days a year. In order for this, they must have a valid passport. This visa applies for all kinds of visits, except for those who are coming to the country to work (work is defined in this context as doing something that you are paid to do). Visas can be extended for another 90 days for around $50 USD.
Note: This does not apply to the United Kingdom or Ireland. The Colombian visa requirements for these countries are dependant on the current legislation of the country in question.
It is easy to understand the Colombian visa requirements, if you are not from a nation that automatically permits a visa (Visa on arrival), the application can be done completely online. Make sure that you have familiarized yourself with the current Colombian visa requirements before you travel to avoid being caught out by a sudden change in the rules.