Easy to get a visa in Colombia? …jump 101 hoops!

How easy is it to get a visa in Colombia?

Getting a visa is an ExPat 101 if you want to stay longer, so how easy is it really, to get in Colombia?

It’s a must know topic, as useful as it is dull.

So hold onto your hats, I’ve tried to keep it short!

Let’s say you love Medellin (don’t we all), a love a Paisa or both and you decide to make the move?

Getting a visa – ExPat 101 must know topic

As a tourist you can stay for 90 days plus another 90 days.

Get a Visa, Medellín, Colombia

Top tip: When entering you (May) need to show a return flight or onward flight 90 days hence.

Top tip 2: Make sure the border guard stamps you the full 90-day allowance.

Once here you can easily apply for a tourist visa extension for a further 90 day period at a cost of $60 USD (for Schengen área EU it’s free).

You can only stay for 180 days total in any given 12 month period.

On departure, if you overstay the border police apply a formula to fine you, in proportion to the period overstayed.

Then you will also be barred from re-entry for some time, so best avoid this!

Once you are here you have various visa options, among them, some of the most common are as follows:

If retired then that is an easy one.

You can get a student visa which lasts upto 3 years by paying for any type of course (for example learning Spanish).

Then there are medical visas handy as you can use to get teeth whitened or fixed or plastic surgery or implants or otherwise anything you genuinely need rather than want.

A further option is to get a business visa which is for 3 years and you have to show an investment of a minimum $10,000 USD.

You need to register a company and pass it through the Medellin chamber of commerce.

It’s more of a formality if you have the cash.

Then there is the investor visa if you buy an apartment over a certain value.

Last but not least the civil partnership visa. You both declare you have been together for 24 months, then you are allowed to stay.

(Maybe wise to get a lawyer to draw up a prenup, as under this visa status, your other half may have a claim to half your estate).

The Medellin Immigration office is in the district of Belen (adjoins Laureles).

You can administer all of this yourself if you speak good Spanish, but even then, it is bureaucratic, so best get a pro to navigate this for you.

PROTRADUCTOR helps with any translation or interpreting services, check out:


There are plenty of consultants, accountants and lawyers specialising in such services, for a fee.

They will be doing a roaring trade as Medellín becomes an increasingly popular retirement and holiday destination due to its climate, culture, people and the quality of life.

Useful YouTube link to Vlog on Tourist Visa extensión by How To Expat.

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