Is Colombia Safe
In this post, you'll find important information about the safety when traveling to Colombia. This post outlines safe areas in Colombia, areas you should avoid, travel tips and COVID-19 related information.
Imagine the following, coffee tours in Medellin, a hike to the La Chorerra Waterfalls in Bogata, or a trip to the Rosario Islands just off the coast of Cartagena.
Believe it or not, I got the opportunity to do all these tourist attractions on my previous trip to Colombia. It was one of the most unforgettable trips that I have ever had.
I can only guess that you have questions like, "Do I need a visa to visit Colombia" or "What visa do I need" well, you're lucky. In this post, I will answer all your questions, such as the required documents and how to apply for your Colombian Tourist Visa.
Let's get to it:
First of all, I'll briefly explain what the Colombia Tourist Visa is. The Colombia Tourist Visa, also known as the Colombia Visitors Visa, gives you short-term access to Colombia for tourism purposes. For example, I had to apply for a tourist visa on my previous trip as I planned a trip with tourist activities.
Although it is called a tourist visa, you can also use it for other purposes when traveling to Colombia, such as:
Now that you know what the Colombia Tourist Visa entails, we can explore the visa fees, the validity period, processing times, and all other general information you need to consider before applying.
Later in the post, I will cover essential information such as the required documents and how you can apply for your Colombia Tourist Visa. You can skip ahead to these sections by using the links above.
Before you start with your application, it is essential that you know whether or not you need to apply for a Colombia Tourist Visa.
I thought I could travel without a visa because I am from Australia. We experience visa-free travel to certain countries, but that was not the case with Colombia. There are a lot of countries that have exemptions toward a Colombian Visa, such as Brazil, Ecuador, Venezuela, Panama, Peru, and many others.
Check out the Colombia Ministry of Foreign Affairs document on who needs to apply for a visa to enter Colombia.
Important note: The document I linked above has not been translated to English. Therefore, have a translator ready when trying to access the document.
The Colombia Tourist Visa is valid for 90 days, but it can be granted for longer in some cases. However, please note that your Colombia Tourist Visa can not be granted for longer than 2 calendar years.
The validity period of your visa is determined by the purpose you selected on your application form. In my case, I only traveled for tourism. But, for example, suppose you're going to Colombia to work as an inter-corporate transferee. In that case, your visa may be granted for longer.
If you enjoy international travel as much as I do, you probably want to extend your Colombia Tourist Visa. The good news - you can extend your Colombia Tourist Visa.
You can apply for a Colombian Tourist Visa extension at the Immigration Authorities (Migración Colombia) closest to where you are staying in Colombia. Most major cities have immigration offices, as such I applied for mine in Bogata.
If you want to stay longer than your visa allows, make sure to apply for an extension well before the visa's expiration date. If you apply later, it will be considered overstaying, and you will be fined or deported.
The visa fees initially confused me, but don't worry, as I will give you all the details and a tool you can use.
Now to start off, there are 2 visa fees that you must pay. First, you need to pay the visa application fee upon submitting your documents. Then you must pay a fee after your application is successful.
The visa application fee depends on the country of residence you are applying from:
You can confirm your visa fee by going to the official government website. Then, you will select your visa type (tourism) and your activity (visitor).
As soon as you have confirmed your Colombia Tourist Visa fee, you can use the following payment methods:
The standard processing time is 5 working days. However, in some instances, it can take up to 30 days. For example, suppose you are waiting for more than 5 days. In that case, it can be because of irregularities in your application or because there are missing documents.
During my application, I forgot to attach my proof of accommodation. Unfortunately, that meant I had to wait 20 more days before my visa application was processed. Therefore, I encourage you to check the required documents and compare them with a checklist before submitting your application.
With a Colombia Visa, you are not permitted to engage in paid activities unless you have permission to work. Work visas, marriage visas, and investment visas are the three types of Colombian visas that allow you to work. You cannot work if you have a Retirement, Tourist/Visitor, or Student Visa.
This only applies to those who want to work for a Colombian company or employer. For example, suppose you are a journalist or a short-term transferee. In that case, you can carry out your activities and receive your salary from abroad.
You're allowed to enter Colombia without applying for a Colombia Tourist. This is only allowed if you have been granted a Schengen Visa, or US Visa. Furthermore, these visas must be valid for 180 days from your departure date. Also, this only applies to the following countries:
We can get to the required documents now that you know the ins and outs of a Colombia Tourist Visa. The required documents are the entry requirements you must meet before entering Colombia.
Here is a list of all the documents you require before starting with your application process:
The application part had me stressed out, but you don't need to stress. For your application process to move swiftly, you must follow these 6 steps to complete your Colombia Tourist Visa application.
The first and most crucial step is to gather all the required documents mentioned above. All these documents must be in your possession before starting your application process. Ensure that you scan all the required documents and save them in PDF format.
Important note: You must save the documents in the following format: (YourLastNameBankStatements.pdf)
Once you have gathered all the required documents, you can start with the online application form. As I previously mentioned, all your documents must be in PDF form. Therefore, you must submit it when completing the online application form.
Before starting with your online application, it is important to note that the website is in Spanish. Therefore, please ensure that you have Google Translate or a translating extension in your browser.
The first 4 pages of the online application form will require you to submit personal information such as passport details, trip information, etc. Answer it truthfully and double-check each completed box. If you make an error, it can cause a delay during the processing period.
You must upload your required documents on the 5th page of the online application form. Therefore it is essential to save your files in PDF form.
After submitting your documents, you need to select the office where your Colombia Tourist Visa will continue. Ensure to check if there is a Colombia Embassy or Consulate near you.
Once you have selected the consulate where your visa will be processed, you can choose your payment method and submit your application.
If you choose to pay at the Colombian Embassy / Consulate, you can pay when attending your visa appointment. Alternatively, suppose you decided to pay via credit or debit card. In that case, you will be prompted to do so after submitting your online application.
After you submit your application, you will receive a confirmation email. This email also states that you must pay your application fee within 15 days of submitting your application.
All you have to do now is wait for your application to be processed. As I have mentioned earlier, your visa can take between 5 and 30 days to be processed. You will be notified via email when your Colombia Tourist Visa has been approved.
After receiving an email that states your application has been approved, you can head over to the Colombian Consulate or Embassy that you selected in your online application form. Upon arrival, you must pay the approval application fee before collecting your Colombia Tourist Visa.
Important note: Once you receive your Colombian visa, you must visit the local immigration authorities (Migración Colombia) to register your stay. You must do so within 15 days of entering the country. If you are already in Colombia, register your visit within 15 days of receiving your visa. Suppose you are staying for longer than three months. In that case, you will get a Foreigners ID Card (Cedula de Extranjeria) after you register.
After a long and tiresome application process, you are now officially ready to travel to Colombia. I hope you are excited as I was on my first Colombian adventure. The last thing you need to do is plan your next trip.
You do not need to submit your passport when you apply for the Colombia Tourist Visa. You will receive a notification to collect your Colombia Tourist Visa when it has been approved. You must then go to the selected Colombian Consulate / Embassy you have selected to collect your approved Colombian Tourist Visa.