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Colombia New visas for foreign visitors

Colombia: New visas for foreign visitors

The Colombian Ministry of Foreign Affairs has informed that as of this coming December 15, there will be a new set of immigration rules for foreigners travelling to Colombia. The coming changes are an effort to eliminate the current 21 existing visas and establishing simply three types. This aims to identify foreign travellers according to their immigration status.

According to Henry Camargo, coordinator at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the new three categories will be a visitor visa, resident visa, and a migrant visa. The Visitor Visa, (type V), will be established for any foreign traveller who wants to visit Colombia for short-term stays. This visa will allow its holder to participate in short-term leisure and business activities.

The Resident visa, (type R), will be created for those who wish to stay permanently in Colombia. Finally, the Migrant visa (type M), will be for those individuals who want to stay in Colombia for a long period of time or reside in the country but do not comply with the resident visa requirements.

Colombia visa changes won't impact tourists

Camargo assured those who already have a visa that no action will be required from them. This means that their current visa will be valid until it expires, and only then will they be required to have one of the new three visas.

The electronic system created in 2013 will continue to be in use to process the visas. The methodology to obtain a visa to or in Colombia will be available through their online system. The digital platform allows travellers to complete the entire process online. It should be noted that foreign visitors are not expected to apply for a visa if their travel is for tourism purposes. There are 92 countries that do not require a tourist visa to entry Colombia for short-term visits.

These visa changes will have a greater impact of foreign travellers who potentially wish to stay in Colombia permanently. The Migrant Visa, for example, will be valid for a period of 3 years. In order to obtain this visa, the applicant can fall under different categories.

One way to obtain the migrant visa is if the applicant is either the spouse of a Colombian citizen or residents. Other ways are if the applicant is the parent of a Colombian child or the applicant seeks refugee in the country. There are more situations, but the most important requisite is that the applicant has a long-term contract for a job in Colombia.

In any case, the three categories have been established to clear from confusion and simplify the experience for those citizens who wish to reside in Colombia. As we have stated before, tourist travellers to Colombia will not have to face major changes when going to the country.