A Guide to Types of Visas in Medellin

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A Guide to Types of Visas in Medellin

TLDR? The three types of visas in Colombia are visitor, resident, and migrant.

Your trip to the city of Medellin will have you falling in love with its culture and people, making you want to stay longer than you should! 

If you haven’t visited yet, you’ll certainly want to, as it’s one of the most popular cities in Latin America.

So, if you do fall in love and decide to extend your stay you’ll need to know a bit about Colombian tourist visas. Here’s what to know about the different types of visas!

What to Know Before Applying for a Colombian Visa

Good news: not every tourist needs a visa to visit Colombia. 

Citizens of countries such as Australia, France, Canada, Germany, the United Kingdom and the United States, among others, can travel to Colombia without a visa. 

So, before you rush out to apply for a visa to Colombia, make sure to verify whether or not you actually need to. 

You can find this information on your department of state website in most cases. 

Other than that, there aren’t any requirements for applying for a tourist visa. However, you will have to adhere to COVID-19 restrictions as part of your travel.

Types of Visas

There are three kinds of Colombian visas you should be aware of if you’re planning to visit Colombia. Let’s check them out!

Visitor Visa (V)

The Visitor Visa is for temporary visitors who do not intend to stay permanently in Colombia. 

Visitor visas are valid for 90 days (or less, although it’s rare that it’ll be granted for less). However, if you want to stay longer, you can request an additional 90 days. 

Visitor visas apply to each calendar year

In other words, if you enter Colombia on January 1st and stay for 180 days, you won’t be able to enter the country again until after December 31st of that year. 

Some countries require you to apply for a visitor visa while others are automatically granted once you arrive in Colombia.

Migrant Visa (M)

The Migrant Visa is for foreigners who want to stay in the country, but do not meet the requirements for an R visa. Here are a few situations that would make you eligible for a migrant visa:

  • Be the spouse of a Colombian resident
  • Receive a pension or retirement fund from a valid legal entity in Colombia
  • Be a national of one of the states that make up the Mercosur agreement (Bolivia and Chile) 
  • Have a permanent job in Colombia
  • Be recognized as a legal refugee in Colombia
  • Have the qualifications to be a highly skilled professional 
  • Be an accepted student in an educational institution in Colombia 
  • Come to Colombia as a missionary
  • Make a real estate investment in Colombia equal to or greater than 650 minimum monthly wages

Remember, these are just the basic requirements to be eligible to apply for the visa. 

You’ll have to meet other conditions and provide proof of your situation as well as paperwork in order to receive this type of visa. 

Resident Visa (R)

The Resident Visa is for foreigners who plan to settle permanently in the country. Here are the situations that would make you eligible for a resident visa: 

  • Hold a valid M visa for five continuous years.
  • Be the parent of a Colombian citizen by birth.
  • Make an investment of 650 minimum monthly salaries and hold a valid M visa for two or more years.
  • Be a Colombian citizen who renounced their citizenship when leaving the country and returns to Colombia. 
  • Be the permanent spouse of a Colombian citizen for two or more years.

There are other special situations as well as paperwork that you’ll need to submit if you want to apply for this type of visa.

Important Things to Know About Visas

Just knowing what type of visa you’ll apply for to get into Medellin isn’t enough. You’ll also need to know a few other things. 

Here are a couple of important things to keep in mind about Colombian visas.

Registering Your Stay

Once you get your visa and land in Colombia, you must visit the local offices of Migración Colombia in Medellín to register your stay. This must be done within the first fifteen calendar days after entering the country.

Visa Services

Another helpful thing to know about your visa is that if you have any questions, either after getting your visa or before attending your visa, you can chat with MIG. 

MIG is a computerized virtual advisor with programmed answers to help you out.

Kids and Minors

The only requirement for registering a minor under seven in Colombia is to fill out the single paperwork form (FUT) by making the request online.

You’ll need to specify that the visitor is under seven years old and has a valid passport or visa. In most cases, if the parents’ visas are approved, the child’s will be as well.

Overstaying Your Visa

If you exceed your stay and don’t renew your visa, you’ll be subject to fines. The immigration office will typically send you a letter alerting you to how much you have to pay. 

The fine should be paid three or four days before your trip to avoid flight delays at the airport. 

And remember, if you exceed six months, you may be deported and removed from the country immediately. 

About the Salvo Conducto

If you’re currently in Colombia and you’re going through the visa process but don’t finish it before your visa expires, don’t panic. 

There’s a special document called the salvo conducto that immigration can issue. 

This document extends a foreigner’s visa for up to 60 additional days while they carry out the visa process. 

So, if you currently have a tourist visa that’s about to expire but you’re in the process of applying for a migrant visa, you can request a salvo conducto. 

This helps prevent you from having to pay fines. 

How Long Does the Visa Application Process Take?

When you apply for a Colombian visa, it’ll usually take anywhere from 5 to 30 days to receive a decision about your visa. 

Keep in mind that the COVID-19 pandemic has slowed down these processes a bit, so you might find it takes a bit longer. 

If the Colombian authorities find any irregularities or you have not presented complete documentation, the process may take much longer.  

They’ll usually send you an email asking for additional documentation. If you don’t send the documentation in the requested timeframe, your application will be voided and you’ll have to start the process again.

This is why it’s essential to carry out this type of procedure in good time. Don’t be overconfident, and make sure to take care of the application well in advance of your trip. 

Immigration Offices in Medellin

If you need visa and immigration assistance once you get to Medellin, you’ll need to head over to the national immigration offices

Luckily, this is pretty accessible. 

You can get there either by taking the metro, calling a cab, or even getting a bus. I recommend going by metro since it’s pretty easy to get there and won’t cost much.  

For certain immigration situations, you may be required to go to Bogotá. Make sure to verify where you’re supposed to be tackling your immigration services before you head anywhere.

Book a Trip to Medellin

Regardless of whether you enter on a visitor, migrant, or resident visa, Medellin is a great place to visit. 

And who knows? Maybe you’ll come for a quick stay and never look back. 

If you like this blog, you might like the Casacol Instagram page to keep up with all the new articles. Anything we need to update or correct? Care to contribute? Email us at [email protected]

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