For most people, tourism to Colombia is seamless. At the immigration desk, they’ll stamp your passport and send you on your way. If you're a Canadian resident, you will need to pay a fee.
Maximum stay for tourism is 180 days, once per calendar year. For example, if you arrive in July and leave 180 days later, as of January 1st of the new year, you can re-enter.
One of the most common visas in Colombia is the work visa and study visa.
Colombia’s working visa is one of the easiest to obtain in Latin America. The most common form of foreign employment is teaching English, but this can apply for many other disciplines too. The process is pretty straight forward. The most common method is to enter the country on tourism, find a job, and then make the border run to switch it over.
This one is probably the hardest to get, and almost pointless to apply for unless you are planning something large-scale that will employ Colombians.
There are two categories:
1. Someone who wants to start a business.
2. Someone who represents a large corporation and is opening up a new branch, investing in the economy, or launching a product in Colombia.
These visas are very expensive, and have very strict requirements. Ask a visa agent or lawyer, because this one is commonly denied for lack of investment funds, regular earnings, or paperwork.
It's not uncommon to find “buskers” or traveling musicians in Colombia from other countries. And, they have a special visa for people who play music, practice an art, or even play a sport. Typically, these visas can be approved for up to 2 years.
If you are religious, or part of a known and recognized religion in Colombia, you can be granted a visa for proselyting. Check with your religious institution for programs in Colombia that you can participate in.
Tricky, but doable. There are several approaches.
1. For the retiree (TP-7), if your monthly pension is equal to, or more than, three times the Colombian minimum wage, consider yourself in the club for one year. Don’t forget to get your Social Security paperwork translated and apostilled prior to departure.
2. If you're the father or mother of a Colombian child, you can also obtain a residency visa with the benefit of a five-year stay, plus you can upgrade to Colombian citizenship after two years, instead of five.
3. If you aren’t retired, and have no Colombian child, there is one more option… if you have $50,000+ USD in the bank.
You might want to get a vaccine for yellow fever. However, nobody has ever been asked for a proof-of-vaccine when entering the country. Plus, most developed areas of the country no longer have any yellow fever issues.
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