US

Jan 28 2019

In-Country Visa Applicants Now Subject to Longer Application Process

Colombia

At a Glance

  • Foreign nationals applying for or renewing a Business Visa, Visitor Visa, Migrant Visa or Resident Visa in Colombia can no longer obtain their visas on the same day as they appear at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and must now apply on the Ministry of Foreign Affairs website at least seven days prior to arrival.
  • This prolongs the in-country visa application process by five to eight business days and delays the receipt of the national identification card.
  • This change does not affect those who must file their visa applications at a Colombian consulate based on their nationality.

The situation

Foreign nationals applying for or renewing a Business Visa, Visitor Visa, Migrant Visa or Resident Visa in Colombia must now start their visa application process farther in advance due a published announcement of a process change.

A closer look – new application process

In-country visa applicants must now follow the below steps to complete their visa application process:

  1. Complete the online visa application on the Ministry of Foreign Affairs website at least seven business days prior to arrival in Colombia, since government adjudication takes five business days. Fragomen can assist with this application process.
  2. Following approval, the applicant must still schedule an appointment to obtain a visa stamp at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and to register their visa with Migracion Colombia.
  3. Once their visa is stamped and registered, the applicant must apply for a national identification card.



Impact

  • Longer process. Prior to this announcement, visa applicants could schedule an appointment and appear at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Bogota to obtain their visa on the same day as the appointment. Due to this change, applicants will need to inform their immigration professional seven business days prior to their intended trip to Colombia to allow enough time for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to process their visa application. They will then have to wait five to eight business days to receive their approved visa. 
  • Longer wait for identification card. Visa applicants will now have to wait longer to apply for their national identification card.
  • Unaffected applicants. This change does not affect those who must file their visa applications at a Colombian consulate based on their nationality.



Background

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs instituted this process change to reduce its workload and to allow immigration officers more time to review visa applications.

This alert is for informational purposes only. If you have any questions, please contact the global immigration professional with whom you work at Fragomen or send an email to [email protected].