Be it a study abroad program, semester exchange program or a Spanish language program, Colombia provides a lively atmosphere for learning.

The thought of visiting and studying in Colombia is exciting until you realize you have to deal with the extensive paperwork and you have no idea where to begin.

Do not worry, we have got you covered. Here is a guide to help you in the process of obtaining a student visa for studying in Colombia.

Types of student visa in Colombia

There are basically three types of Colombian visas – Migrant (M) visa, Visitor (V) visa and Resident (R) visa. To obtain a Colombian student visa, you can opt for a Migrant or a Visitor visa, depending on the type of your study program.

You can apply for a Migrant visa if you are a student pursuing an undergraduate program in a government approved university in Colombia.

If you are a student pursuing an academic exchange program, postgraduate program, or going for non-formal studies like a Spanish language course, you need a Visitor visa.

Also, if you want to pursue internships in Colombia, you would require a Visitor visa.

Validity and cost of the student visa

Although the type M visa and type V visa are valid for up to 3 years and 2 years respectively, the validity of the student visas can be reduced, depending upon the duration of your study program.

The cost of both M and V student visa is 52 euros if you are from Europe or Cuba. For the rest of the countries, the cost of the student visa is 67 dollars.

How to apply?

You can apply for your student visa online at the official website (www.cancilleria.gov.co) and visit the Colombian consulate in your country to get the visa stamped in your passport, once it is approved.

You can even use the electronic visa (provided by email upon approval of visa online) to enter Colombia. However, if your visa is valid for more than 3 months, you must get it printed and stamped at the immigration office in Bogotá. And, you must do it within 2 months from the date of issuance of your visa.

Requirements for the Colombian student visa

  • Two 3cm x 4cm color photographs with a white background.
  • A photocopy of the information page of the passport.
  • A photocopy of the admission certificate or the letter of acceptance from the educational institution.
  • A document from the educational institution certifying that the schedule is a minimum of ten (10) hours per week.
  • A letter from the person taking responsibility for your financial expenses with bank statements stating an average balance more than 10 times the legal monthly minimum wage in Colombia.
  • A photocopy of the certificate recognizing the legal existence of the educational institution.
  • A photocopy of the passport’s page with the entry stamp, if you are already in Colombia.

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Obtaining the Cédula

If your visa is valid for more than 3 months, you have to register it with the special administrative unit for migration Colombia to get a foreigner id known as the Cédula de Extranjería. You can find their offices in the major Colombian cities.

You need to provide your original passport and visa, photocopy of the information page of your passport, your visa and your blood test at the Migración Colombia office. The cost of getting a Cédula is 190,000.00 pesos.

You have to visit their office within 15 days from the date of your entry in Colombia. However, if your visa was issued within the country, you have to register within 15 days from the date of issuance itself.

You must do the registration within the given time to avoid a paying hefty fine.

It is better to prepare yourself and arrange all the documents in advance, so as to avoid any unnecessary hassle during the process of applying for a Colombian student visa. If you need more help, you can hire an agency to make the process easier for you.
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