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Colombia Visa Application Tips

Pay attention to the items listed below to implement a successful visa application plan. Due to delays and many new document requirements, the new visa rules have made applications more difficult. The most affected Colombian visa applicants are for Pension visa applications. Some persons are having to pursue visas for up to 6 months. We have seen many people give up entirely. The primary issue is that pension visa holders, business visitor, nomad, and rentista visa applicants rely on many foreign documents that expire during the very slow review process.

Our recommendation for visa applications in Colombia that rely on foreign documents is that all documents are obtained as quickly as possible and that all foreign documents are ordered at THE SAME TIME.  While we can not control the government we can control how we prepare for the applications. Before we could take our time organizing requirements. Now, required documents must be obtained at the same time, apostilled, and translated without wasting any time. Persons with foreign documents must plan for the possibility and cost that the government will require new documents to be issued due to documents passing the 90-day issue date. Many clients have issues with the apostille of the criminal background check or social security earnings apostille. We can help with apostilles on these documents but clients should present all documents for apostille at the same time. A visa application is only as good as the oldest document. If you do not understand apostilles or the document legalization process please click here.

Colombia Visa Application Tips
Visas by James Visa-Problems

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Colombian Immigration Updates!


Pay attention to these rules to implement a successful visa application plan. The new visa rules have made applications more difficult due to delays and many new document requirements.

1) Visa Application in Process: You do not get extra time in the country just because you have an application in process. Your legal days in the country continue to count even if a visa application is in process.

2) Monitor Time: You are responsible to monitor your remaining days in country. Google “date calculator” for help.

3) Traveling During a Visa Application may invalidate your visa application process (we have to pick a consulate nearest to your legal residence or for “most” people applications may be done in Colombia).

4) 30 days Automatic Extention: Current visa holders get a 30 days grace period under the new 2022 visa resolution. Tourist stamp holders are not included in this automatic extention.

WARNING – Document Expirations, Application Fees, and Deadlines:

5) 30 days Application Limit: Each visa application “STUDY FEE” is 54.92 USD, which is valid for only 30 days. Unfortunately this time frame was put in place over 10 years ago, and most applications do not finish in this time period. So, there is a high probability that additional application fees will be charged as required by the government for applications. Most applicants will have to pay at least 2 application fees.

6) All Documents Expire after 90 Days: Documents may not pass 90 days from the issue date or they will be considered invalid and visa officials will ask for new documents. New apostilles on old documents do not validate old documents. Visa applicants are responsible for these expenses. Due to delays by the government reviewing applications some clients will have to get documents issued more than 1 time. These costs are high for foreign documents, such as apostilles, and translations. This is now a normal part of the process.

7) Payment of Visa Application: Most visa application are charged two times now, but there are cases when this is charged three times.

8) Payment of the Approved Visa: After the visa is approved, we have 10 days to make the payment, otherwise the visa will be canceled.

9) Deadline for Cedula de Extranjeria:
A) In Colombia? You have 15 working days after the printing date of the Colombian visa to apply.
B) Outside of Colombia: You will have 15 working days from the date of entry into Colombia to apply.

10) Government Fees & Fines: Government fees or fines from Migracion Colombia are starting at about 1,500,000 pesos for being over 1 day, and about 2 million for each additional month. It is easy to run out of time during your visa process. It can be extremely difficult to pay a fine and remain in Colombia to finish a visa application as the government only issues 30 day extentions when you pay a fine.

Colombian Consulates in The United States

Click the name of the Colombian consulate closest to you if you happen to be in the United Statesto get permission for the next flight. If you have problems communicating with the consulate and you would like help please let us know. We assist people all over the world.  Most of our English speaking clients come from the United States and Canda as they are the closest English speaking clients. We charge a small fee for assisting with documents and forms in Spanish.

Visas By James

Since 2005, our visa agency Visas by James has obtained hundreds of visas for foreigners who wish to study, work, invest, and live in Colombia. We are the oldest expat visa business in Colombia. We also have more attorneys in office than any other visa agency in Colombia. In addition to our visa services we offer a full range of legal and accounting services to our clients. By having a legal and accounting firm work on your application, we are able to handle any surprises or last minute requests by immigration officials.

Our Story


James Lindzey the owner of Visas by James has worked as a private investigator and paralegal in the United States from the 90s until he moved to Colombia in 2005. James arrived in Colombia in 2005 and started doing visas for expats in 2007.

In addition to our visa services our agency offers a full range of legal and accounting services to our clients. We are able to assist better in document collection services in the United States because of James legal experience in the United States.


Our Services

Many visas require obtaining complicated documents in the United States or Canada. Just another reason why you should choose our firm.

We organize your immigration profile so that your Colombian visa application is successful.
We elaborate and structure all the necessary documents for your Colombian visa application.
Presentation of a Colombian visa before the Ministry of Foreign Affairs or any Colombian consulate
Registration and orientation when you are getting you Colombian ID (Cedula de extranjeria).
We monitor your immigration process.
Translation Legalization and apostille of the documents required for your visa application.
Chat Over WhatsApp – get your visa questions answered fast.
Online quotes – get immediate quotes for visa and other legal services
Courier your passport to Bogotá to get the visa in your passport.
Office in El Poblado in Medellin services.

Please let us know if you need more information, or we can set up a consultation in order to provided you personalized guide.

Our main office is located in Medellin, Colombia near Parque Lleras in El Poblado. We have representation in Bogota, Miami, and Fort Lauderdale. Our main office address is  Cra 39#5A-95, Oficina 709, Edificio Avangarde. We accept walk in appointments but its always nice if you can let us know ahead of time so we can schedule a time. Areas codes in Colombia have changed. To reach our office please call (57) 604-444-6634.

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Need a Visa? Over 1000

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