December 11, 2012
Temporary Tourist visa:
Whilst planning your visit to Colombia you should first confirm if you need to apply for a visa to enter the country. For example citizens of the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Spain, Holland do not need to apply for a visa before entering Colombia but instead receive a Temporary Tourist visa stamp in the passport when passing through immigration control at the airport. These days the Temporary Tourist visa is generally issued for 90 days and then may be extended a further 90 days. In the past it was 60 days standard, or subject to the discretion of the immigration officer.
The Temporary Tourist visa is specifically for tourism. There are other visa types for business and studying long term at a Colombian university. Colombian Visa Requirements can change alot so we recommend you ask around. Click here for more information about Colombian Student Visas.
Extending your visa:
If you want to stay longer than the initial 90 days you may extend the visa an additional 90 days up to the maximum of 180 days in a calendar year or 180 days in succession spanning two years.
To clarify, if you arrive 1st January you may stay 180 days straight or if travelling in and out of Colombia you should add the number of days you stay in Colombia so that it doesn't exceed 180 days.
However if you arrive 1st August with a 90 day stamp and renew the visa 90 days later on the 1st November this takes you through to 1st February. Even though you have been in Colombia only 1 month that calendar year you cannot extend the visa again because you have been in Colombia 180 days straight. The solution to this is to leave Colombia and when you return you can continue using the 150 days balance for that calendar year.
Visa extensions are processed by La Unidad Administrativa Especial Migración Colombia (UAEMC), or "Migracion Colombia" for short. You may hear of them referred to as "DAS" which was their former name before they were reorganised and renamed due to corruption scandals.
The process to extend a Temporary Tourist visa is not too difficult, just a little time consuming. If you follow our guidelines below you won't have a problem.
- Go to any photographic shop and get a passport photo of size 3 x 4cm with a white background (fondo blanco), you only need one photo but they'll probably give you 4 as standard.
- Complete the application form FORMATO-UNICO-DE-TRAMITES.pdf (leave section 5 blank) and take 1 photocopy
- Take 1 photocopy of your passport "details" page
- Take 1 photocopy of the page with your entry stamp
- Take 1 photocopy of your bus or plane ticket exiting Colombia
- Go to Migración Colombia with all the above. If you go very early when they just open there will probably be a queue of people trying to get it over and done with. At other times the queue could be long or short, it's unpredictable. They theoretically don't close for lunch.
- You have to enter alone. (Previously you had to leave your camera and any electronic devices with the guard at the gate but they no longer do this)
- Show the receptionist at the counter all your forms and they will tell you to sit in the waiting room in order of attendance. Sometimes there are two queues, those waiting to submit their documents and those waiting to receive their stamped passports. On some occasions the queue could be long and on others it will be empty. It feels like waiting at the doctors and please treat it as such, you're in a government department not the hostel so leave the flip flops at home and sit quietly, nothing worse than crowd of people speaking loudly in a foreign language when your trying to concentrate and issue visa extensions. If you get stuck on something there will be someone who speaks English although you're in Colombia so please try and attempt to speak some Spanish.
- They will call you up to the counter and review your completed form, passport and ensure you have copies of everything. If not you'll be sent away to get them. You can get your photo and photocopies just around the corner if you didn't earlier.
- After they have reviewed your documents and if everything is in order they will take you to the back room where they will take your fingerprints and another photo.
- Pay the visa extension fee of 76,850 Colombian pesos, they accept all major debit and credit cards.
- They will tell you when to return and you can take your passport home with you.
- Return to Migración Colombia with your passport, tell them you're there to get it stamped and wait in the queue as per before.
- When it's your turn they will call you up, stamp your passport and wha-laa you now have another 90 days to enjoy Medellin.
Note about Payment: If you don't have a debit or credit card take make payment you will need to deposit 76,850 Colombian pesos in the bank account of Migracion Colombia at the Banco de Occidente. The following is the formal list of requirements as of March 2013.
The official website of Migracion Colombia is: http://www.migracioncolombia.gov.co/
The address for Migration Colombia in Medellin is as follows:
La Unidad Administrativa Especial Migración Colombia (UAEMC)
Address: Calle 19 # 80A-40 Tel: (+57) (4) 345 5500 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Hours: 8:00 am to 4:00 pm (although maybe best to avoid going between 12-2pm)
Note: all taxis drivers should know where it is, but if they don't they probably still know it as DAS.
Overstaying your visa:
If you overstay your visa you will be subject to a fine.
Immigration procedures could change at any time, we take no responsibility for the accuracy of this information and recommend you double check with your local Colombian Embassy, Consulate or Migración Colombia before making any plans based on this website. If you have recently extended your visa we would be happy to hear your experience.
March 24, 2013
Do you know if they'll be open on holidays? Like Semana Santa (Easter)?
Also, does this Tourist Visa & Extension information apply for "Extension of Stay," or something else? According to the FAQ on the Migracion Colombia website an extension of stay requires two photocopies of the details page and "fondos blancos," or photos for a white background.
December 11, 2012
June 27, 2013
Thank you for that information, very helpful. Just to clarify the 180days in a calendar year, If i travel to Colombia in March 2013 and use my 180 days to stay until September, then travel to Peru until January 2014 am I able to get another 180days in Colombia from February 2014?
Thank you for your help
December 11, 2012
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