With modern cities like Medellin and Bogota and many renowned Colombian universities, Colombia guarantees international students a great study abroad experience.
Before arriving in the country, it is essential that you prepare yourself properly and obtain all the required documents.
Apart from your Colombian student visa, another important document that you need to take care of while studying with a visa in Colombia is a Cédula.
What is a Cédula?
Cédula de Extranjería is a foreigner identification card provided to all the visitors having a Colombian visa that is valid for more than three months. A Cédula is a Colombian identification card, and you can use it to travel within the country instead of using your passport.
Once you have received your visa in Colombia, you need to obtain the Cédula within 15 days from the date of issuance of your visa.
Why a cedula in Colombia
Once you have obtained your Colombian Cedula, you’re a lot closer to having the same possibilities as a Colombian. You can open a bank account, set up a subscription for TV, internet and whatnot, as well as replacing your international passport for a cedula. This last one allows you to travel within Colombia without a passport.
Another very useful service you have access to is the public bikes in the city. You actually don’t need a cedula to use the bikes, but once you do without a cedula you will have to go back to the administration building to get it renewed every 8 days. With a Cedula, you can use your card for as long and as many times as you like.
Validity and cost of a Cédula
The validity of a Cédula will have the same duration as your Colombian visa. Once your visa runs out, so does your Cedula.
The cost of obtaining a Cédula is 190,000 Pesos ($). You can pay for your Cédula with your debit or credit card.
Requirements for a Cédula
For obtaining a Cédula, you need to provide your original passport and visa. You also need to provide your blood group certificate, which is something every Colombian seems to know. Contrary to most Europeans who have no clue. Luckily you can get the secret revealed by going to a doctor who most often charges something around $25,000 peso.
When going to the immigration office, they will often ask you for a copy of every document you need to bring. To speed things up, make sure you have a copy of your passport, the stamps in your passport and your visa.
The process of obtaining a Cédula
You need to visit the Migración Colombia office in person to obtain your Cédula. The offices are located in all the major cities in Colombia. The addresses of the offices are listed on the Migración Colombia website.
You can start the process by booking an appointment online by filling out an application form on the Migración Colombia website. An appointment isn’t mandatory, and you can fill out the application form in the office itself. However, an appointment speeds up the process a little bit, and you probably won’t have to wait in a long queue (which can take long in Colombia).
Afterward, you need to visit the Migración Colombia office, submit your documents and wait for your turn to complete the registration process.
All of your information will be added to the system, and you will be asked to pay for the Cédula. Then your photograph, fingerprints, and signature will be taken. After this step is completed, your passport will be stamped with the Cédula number.
The Migración Colombia website updates the list of processed Cédulas every day. You can use your Cédula number to check the list to find out if your Cédula is ready to be delivered.
Once you confirm that your Cédula is ready, you need to go back to the migration office and provide your passport to collect it.
The time taken to process a Cédula can range anywhere between three days to several weeks.
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