On some occasions, applying for a Colombian visa could be a problem for a foreign citizen, taking into account that Colombia has become one of the most desirable countries in Latin America to carry out tourism, investment activities and to carry out work activities.
Our country has shown progress in economic recovery, security for companies and investors, reduction in its levels of unemployment, independence from its economic authorities and encouraging growth figures compared to other developing economies in the region and different aspects that arouse curiosity of foreigners from all over the globe.
Many foreigners, in their eagerness to make their Colombian visa application, make different mistakes when apply for a Colombian visa in the Passports and Visas Office in Bogotá or in any Colombian Consulate abroad. On this occasion, we want to share with you the seven most common errors when making your Colombian visa application, with some additional recommendations to avoid headaches, delays and unnecessary expenses during the process:
1. Include incomplete, erroneous or not very clear information in your online visa application
When making your visa application through the SITAC platform (Comprehensive Citizen Procedures System), it is very important that your passport details, such as first and last names, passport number, date and country of birth, are complete and without errors. On the other hand, your additional information, such as the demographic, your residence information, contact information and academic training, should be clear, complete and true, this to avoid inconveniences during your visa process at the time the visa officer reviews your request.
2. Do not choose the appropriate visa category, according to your activity to be carried out in Colombia
With the entry into force of Resolution 6045 of 2017, which modified the visa regulations in Colombia, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Colombia set three new types of visas: V (Visitor), M (Immigrant) and R (Resident), a resolution that completely changed the regulations that had been in force since 2015. The new regulations brought several changes and took place at a time when the country was feeling the massive arrival of Venezuelan citizens into the national territory.
It is very important that you determine the most suitable type of visa for your procedure, this is because each of the aforementioned categories are divided into 34 different subcategories and selecting the wrong category could lead to an inadmissibility of your application, a situation that could generate additional expenses and times during the process.
To determine which type of visa is most appropriate for your case, we recommend contacting Visa Asistencia through our Contact Form and/or Whatsapp; We currently offer advice to foreign citizens linked under local hiring, temporary assignment or permanent transfer. On the other hand, we advise on the design or revision of displacement and expatriation policies; our main objective is to offer tranquility to all foreigners who are in our country, including their families.
3. Not having clear the means of payment for your study and approval of your visa
- If you apply online, you can make the study and approval payments via the PSE payment platform (Secure Online Payment); to access the services of this platform, you must have an account enabled for payments and transfers with PSE (many banks enable it by default, but in some you must request an activation).
- To make the study payments and approval of your visa before the Colombian Consulate abroad, our recommendation is to previously consult the Chancellery in Bogotá, telephone lines (+571) 3814000 and (+571) 3826999, this to request additional information about the payment methods enabled for each Consulate. You can also go directly to the Consulate, by phone or in person, to request additional details about the payment.
4. Not knowing your current immigration status in Colombia when making your visa application to the Passport and Visa Office in Bogotá
Remember that your visa application must be made in Colombia while you are in a regular situation in the country as follows:
- Within ninety (90) calendar days granted in your Entry and Stay Permit at the time of entering the country or within the extension period of ninety (90) additional calendar days (Temporary Permit of PTP Permit) or
- While you are within the period of validity of your Colombian visa or waiver (salvoconducto) for visa processing.
If you have any doubts about your current immigration status, we highly recommend approaching the Immigration Services Migration Center (Centro Facilitador de Servicios Migratorios) closest to your residence address in Colombia, prior to making your Colombian visa application to the Passport and Visa Office in Bogotá, this to regularize your situation if you have exceeded your time of stay within the national territory.
5. Not have a passport, travel document or Laissez Passer in force at the time of making your visa application
One of the main requirements at the moment of initiating any request for a Colombian visa is to present a passport, travel document or Laissez Passer, which being issued by the Authority, International Organization or State recognized by the Government of Colombia, must be current, in good status and with two blank pages available. This requirement is mandatory and without exception.
6. Not knowing the times established by Colombian law
It is very important that you keep in mind the legal times established in Resolution 6045 of 2017 for each of the following scenarios:
- When granted a “V” type visa (Visitor), to make direct transit at any of the airports in the national territory and to a third State, the visa will be valid for up to thirty (30) calendar days to multiple transits and the authorized stay of the visa holder will be maximum 24 hours, restricted to sterile areas or direct transit at airports in Colombia.
- When granted a “V” type visa (Visitor) for the following activities, their stay in the authorized national territory will be a maximum of 180 continuous or non-extendable days in every 365 days of visa use:
- To visit the national territory for the purpose of leisure, tourism or cultural interest.
- To carry out business negotiations, market studies, direct investment plans or procedures and incorporation of a commercial company, negotiation, conclusion of contracts or commercial representation.
- To participate in an event as a speaker, speaker, artist, athlete, jury, contestant, or logistic staff.
- For the process of type “R” visa (Resident), fulfilling the following requirements of continuity of type “M” visas (Immigrant), it will be understood that you have remained continuously in Colombia if during the required period you have not absent from the national territory for more than 180 continuous days; and uninterrupted, if you have extended your stay in the country by processing your visas before the expiration of the previous or within the period of regularity and/or waiver (salvoconducto):
- Have remained in the national territory continuously and uninterrupted for two (2) years as the main holder of type “M” (Immigrant) visa in the conditions of permanent spouse or partner of a Colombian national, father or son of a national Colombian by adoption or national of any of the States parties to the “Agreement on Residence for nationals of the States Parties of Mercosur, Bolivia and Chile”.
- Have remained in the national territory continuously and uninterrupted for five (5) years in any of the following conditions:
- As the main holder of type “M” visa in the conditions of Refugee, Worker, Partner or Owner of company, Independent, Religious, Student, Real Estate Investor, or Pensioner.
- As the beneficiary of an “R” type visa.
- PAYMENT OF STUDY OF VISA APPLICATION: the foreigner who requests a visa must pay the study fee of the application according to the regulations of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The payment must be made within fifteen (15) calendar days following the registration of the request and completion of the electronic form, under penalty of operating the unspoken withdrawal. This payment is not refundable and does not commit to the granting of the visa.
- TIME TO CHECK YOUR APPLICATION BY THE AUTHORITY: when you complete and pay the application with all documents and information required, the visa authority will have up to five (5) business days to issue the concept.
- TIME TO SUBMIT A REQUIREMENT: when to make the decision it is necessary to request additional information from the applicant, the term to adopt the decision may be extended up to thirty (30) calendar days, counted from the filing date of the request. If expired this term the interested party does not satisfy the requirement, the tacit withdrawal will operate.
- PAYMENT OF THE EXPEDITION RATE: authorized a visa, the visa applicant will have up to thirty (30) calendar days to pay the visa issuance rate, under penalty of operating the unspoken withdrawal.
- ISSUE OF E-VISA AND CORRECTION: once the delivery fee is paid, the visa authority will proceed within three (3) business days following the issuance and sending of the e-visa to the applicant’s email account . If the e-visa has typing errors, the visa owner may request the correction within thirty (30) calendar days following the date of issue. Upon expiration of this period, you must request a transfer of the visa.
- VISA LABEL EXPEDITION: the visa label must be printed and stamped on your passport when the visa granted is valid for three (3) months or more. When the visa is granted abroad, the holder may request the stamped before visas authority abroad within thirty (30) calendar days following the date of issuance of the e-visa or visas authority in Colombia, within thirty (30) calendar days following its arrival in the national territory. Upon expiration of this period, the holder must request transfer of the visa.
- AUTOMATIC REGULAR PERMANENCE: once the validity of a Colombian visa has been completed within the national territory, the foreigner will automatically have thirty (30) working days to apply for a new visa in Colombia or thirty (30) calendar days to leave the country.
7. Do not scan and upload your documents correctly in the online application
- Be sure to scan your document package for visa correctly when creating your online application through the SITAC platform. Each document must be scanned separately, in PDF format and must not weigh more than 500 MB among all documents.
- Your photo must be in color, white background, recent, front, without accessories, face clear, in JPG format, with a maximum weight of 300 KB.
Use a high-resolution scanner and, if you exceed the weight of all documents, you can lower the quality and you can even present your documents in black and white.
Make sure that all your documents open perfectly and without errors when uploading them to the platform. The idea is to prevent them from being read correctly by the visa officer when reviewing your application.