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Big Changes on Colombia Visas in 2013

We are Visas y Tramites Internacionales, a Colombian company with our primary office located in Medellin, Colombia. Visas y Tramites Internacionales offers commercial and immigration legal services through our offices in Medellin, Miami, Fort Lauderdale, and Bogota. Our company offers a full range of commercial & immigration legal services for immigrants migrating to the United States or Colombia. These services are complemented by accounting and messenger services which are designed to help expats moving abroad to Colombia, or helping Colombians move to the United States. Visas y Tramites is owned and managed by James Lindzey, who is an american expat living in Colombia for since 2005. We have lawyers on available in our offices in Colombia, as well as with partner law firms in the United States.

IMPORTANT TRANSPARENCY DISCLAIMER: We do not sell immigration, tax, or any application forms or services which are available for FREE by government agencies. As part of our commercial and immigration services we legally assist our clients complete immigration, tax, or business forms FOR FREE. As a client who has paid for one of our qualifying visa, immigration, or commercial services you qualify for this free service. As we are a PRIVATE company and not afilliated with a government agency, goverment and other 3rd party services such as translations, notary, messenger and mail fees are charged apart from our legal and document services. Complete quotes and contracts are provided for our services upon being hired.


Interested in Getting a Colombian Visa? IMPORTANT UPDATES: A new law has just became active in Colombia in July of 2013, which is 30 pages long, that has redifined many visa requirements, and created new types and cateogories of visas. 1.) A new business visa category NE has been created, which now has 4 temporary business visa types. 2.) The NE1 business visa, the most common, now has a limit of 180 days. 3.) Business and work visas may now be applied for inside Colombia the first time. 4.) The RE residency visa is no longer permanent, furthermore the new law requires all foreigners to renew residency visas every 5 years. For this reason more foreigners are now becoming Colombian Citizens to avoid the hassle and high residency visa fees. 5.) All visa fees have increased, furthermore US citizens are no longer exempt from fees for Business and Pension visas. 6.) Business owner visas are no longer issued to sole proprietors. You must now have a company which allows stock purchases for investment such as a SAS or SA Corporation to qualify for this visa. You can contact our office. We have Colombian attorneys which prepare corporations at economic prices. 7.) IMPORTANT YOU SHOULD FILE YOUR APPLICATION FURTHER IN ADVANCE: The Minstry of Foreign Relations which is in charge of issuing visas has installed a new WEBSITE FOR VISA PROCESSING system which has MANY MANY MANY problems. Some days the system will not accept applications, and other days they loose attachments even after passing the confirmation page. ****The basic requirements on our website have not been updated yet but you are welcome to contact us regarding your individual case for more information. We hope to update our website soon. Please contact James@ColombiaVisas.com for personalized help on new visa requirements. Google+


HAVING PROBLEMS WITH THE NEW VISA APPLICATION SYSTEM?
. Even if your doing your visa by yourself or with another agency or attorney we urge you to take screen shots of the document and photo confirmation pages so that you can prove that you loaded up documents. Why? The ministry is not approving applications and blaming website users for not uploading files in correct formats, or because of faulty documents. Photos in .jpg format are being declined even if they are in the correct format. It appears their system is randomly gettng confused, and is overloaded at times. The electronic form system is buggy some days but it has improved quite a bit. As part of our immigration service packages we provide free assistance with the electronic submission forms. Remember the electronic visa that gets issued is not valid until it is physically placed into your passport! So foreigners in Colombia or outside Colombia still need to physically present your passport at the Ministry of Foreign Relations (Ministerio de Relaciones Exteriores), or your local consulate. Of course if your in Colombia you may use or Messenger services to pick up your passport in Bogota. Some countries like Austrailia offer mail in services which is quite convenient. The USA does not provide mail in services, so many times the best situation is to apply for your residency visa after you arrive in Colombia. This of course depends on if your country of orgin gives you a tourist stamp without the need of a tourist visa.


Dealling with the problems:
Unfortunately the government is still fining people when their time runs out due to the new visa immigration system errors. Running out of time causes people to end up with expired visas. Average fines for being on an expired visa for 1 day to 2 months is about 150 dollars or 1/2 minimum salary (Colombian min wage). If your close to running out of time its very important to save your rejection letter from the immigration colombia visa facebook groupwebsite.This USUALLY allows you to get an extention for 30 days so you have more time to get your visa papers correctly submitted. Take this paper to MIGRACION COLOMBIA and ask for a SALVO CONDUCTO. The salvo conducto requires you present them with all your immigration papers that you used to apply for the visa. This peice of paper makes you legal again in Colombia. It is limited, and must say tramite visa on the bottom to continue applying for the visa. Stay up to date on with Colombias changing visa rules. Click like on our facebook page and be the first to get updates on immigraiton and visa news in Colombia. News that effects us all as foreigners in Colombia. www.facebook.com/colombiavisa

 

From the implementation of the 2013 Immigration Decreto on the 24th of July 2103 the website did not accept any applications for nearly 3 weeks. Every application takes an average of 3 submissions to be accepted. Responses to pension visas remain the most rapid. They can be the same day to 24 hours. Business applications are being approved in 1-5 business days, and marriage visa applications are usally approved in 1-2 business days currently, December 9, 2013.

Who needs a tourist Colombia Visa?
If you are a citizen from the United States, Canada, UK, Ireland, Germany, or Australia, and have a passport, and are not planning on staying more than 90 days then you will not need a visa to be issued before you travel to Colombia. You will receive a stamp in your passport when you arrive in Colombia. Pay attention to how many days are written by hand into your stamp.

If you're not carrying a passport from the United States, Canada, UK, Ireland, Germany, or Australia click here to verify if you need a tourist visa colombia. If you are planning on staying in colombia longer, investing,conducting business, or traveling to Colombia for reasons other than tourism you should get a Colombia Residency Visa.

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Colombia Pension Visa

The Colombia Pension Visa or Retirement Visa was created for retired persons receiving income from their home country. This visa is USUALLY issued for 1 year at a time and must be renewed with original documents each year. 3 times minimum salary is what you must receive on a monthly income to qualify for the retirement / pension visa. $589,500 pesos is 2013 minimum salary. US Citizens are no longer exempt for visa fees under the new 2013 law. That means the government fees are 205 dollars plus 50 dollars for the application study fee. ($255 USD)

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Colombia Business Owner Visa

what is required to obtain a visa as a Business Owner Colombia Visa? This Colombia visa is officially referred tosetup corporation sas chamber of commerce as a Partner or Owner of a Commercial Establishment or Corporation, (AKA Business Owner Colombia Visa or in Spanish Visa de Socio o Propietario de Establecimiento o Comercio). This visa qualifies for the RE residency visa after 5 years. This visa is now under the TP7 visa stated in the 2103 law, and requires a SAS or SA corporation to obtain this visa. Our commercial law department handles creation of Colombian corporations, labor contracts, and opening of commercial bank accounts. Visas y Tramites Internationales is fortunate to have on staff a Colombian attorney who has 5 years experience as a former lawyer for the chamber of commerce in Colombia. The Colombian Chamber of Commerce is the entity in charge of issuing business certificates.

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Colombia Marriage Visa

Marraige to a Colombian citizen in Colombia or outside of Colombia qualifies for a Marraige Colombia Visa or Conyuge Visa Colombia. Common law marriages also fall under this category but the duration of the Colombia Marraige Visa is reduced from 3 years to 1 year maximum. this is one of the fastest ways to apply for the Colombia Residency Visa and the Colombian Nationality. Gay / same sex partners qualify under common law marriages. Same sex partners can legally obtain residency in Colombia. In Spanish this is called the Conyuge visa.

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Colombia Residency Visa

The Colombia Qualified Residency is no longer a permanent visa. This was designed for people who has been living in Colombia for several years under Colombian National Spouse Visa, 5 years for TP7 visa holders such as the Pension Visa, and the Business Owner visa or Work Visa. Residency in Colombia is obtained immediately by obtaining a Colombia investors visa, or parent of a Colombian national visa.

Take in to acount that if you get the Colombia Residency Visa you can apply for the Colombian nationality (receive a Colombian Passport) as soon as you complete 2 years in Colombia as a permanent resident (time may vary depending on type of visa). The 2103 law now requires all residency visa holders old an new to renew their visa and cedula every 5 years. For this reason we predict that many foreigners will be obtaining Colombian Citizenship when they are qualified to avoid high residency visa renewal fees.

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US Embassy Bogota

Check out the basic information about the Bogota Us Embassy, and the rest of the emabassies in Bogota. The US Embassy Bogota  is the official mission of the U.S. government in Colombia.

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k1 Visa Colombia

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The K1 Visa was desing for the American citizens to be able to bring their fiance to the country so they can get married. It´s a great oportunity for couples to be together permanently in the United States. With this visa foreigners can arrive in the United States, get married, and then obtain residency which allows them to work and or study!

Processing Times for Applications of K1 Visa for Colombians going to the United States: If someone promisses you that you will get your papers filed in a few months then they are not being honest. With this link ( www.uscis.gov), you can verify The USCIS immigration center processing times for the K1 Visa in Colombia.

Getting your appointment / interview in Bogota is the very last part of the visa process for K1 Visa in Colombia. After August of 2011 the United States government stopped direct consular filings. Now all marriage, and K1 Visa applications from Colombia and the rest of the world must be submitted in the United States first.

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US Tourist Visa Colombia

By far the US Tourist Visa is the most wanted visa for Colombians that want to go to the United States. Sometimes Colombians apply for the Us Tourist Visa guide by the wrong information or not information at all.
Although the United States government has recently increase the amount of time for the Us Tourist Visa for Colombia, most of the people who issue for the visa keep getting rejected because they lack the minimum requirements for the Us Embassy in Bogota.
This situation can be easily avoid with the use of a professional service that combine the necessary experience working with the US institutions as well as with the Colombian culture.

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