- 180 days in a calendar year, or
- 180 consecutive days,
you are not automatically granted 180 days on your passport. The stamp given to you by the immigration officer, upon your arrival, will usually provide you with 90 days for your first tourist visa, and the amount of time is at the officer’s discretion. You may get as few as 20 days, so always check the number of days written on the stamp.
Luckily, there is a simple way to extend your tourist visa another 90 days, and it does not require a lawyer. You can bring a specific set of documents to the Migracion Colombia office nearest you, or apply online. As of early 2016, the cost was $32 US in person and $37 US online. Our friends at First American Realty Medellin provide a comprehensive guide to tourist visa extension, but please confirm these steps with a law firm, as they are regularly altered.
You generally want to use a lawyer when you are applying for anything other than a tourist extension. There are currently 19 different types of Colombian visas for which a foreigner could be eligible. The ones we handle most often are:
– Employee Visas (local and foreign firms hiring foreign staff)
– Student Visa (university interchanges, Spanish programs, etc.)
– Investor Visa (with and without property investments)
– Pensioner’s Visa (foreigners spending 6-12 months/year in Colombia)
– Religious Missions (“major” religions recognized by the Colombian state)
– Volunteer Missions (for foundations recognized by the Colombian state)
– Rentista Visa (for those with certain types of regular monthly incomes over $4000 USD/month)
– “Marriage” or Common-law Visa
There is a lot of misinformation provided online and by foreign visa “specialists” who are often not lawyers, and may charge exorbitant fees. Such misinformation can affect your standing with Migración Colombia if not executed properly.
Every visa scenario varies with each person. If you are looking to procure any of the 18 visas, other than a tourist extension, please fill out this contact form to see how we can help you.