If you are planning to come to Colombia to study you can expect a great experience full of cultural enrichment. Before arriving, you must plan your trip very well, and one of the fundamental things to keep in mind is the student visa that you must obtain. This article has that covered for you.
You already decided to come and study in Colombia? Good choice! Colombia is a great place to study, you will find a wide range of courses and careers, in all areas of education, with affordable prices and high quality. At the same time, you will share knowledge and experiences with friendly and welcoming people. It can be difficult to choose within the wide range of options to study in Bogota, so you may also be interested in reading “Top Universities in Bogotá”.
Now you are probably wondering what you need to do to actually do it. If you are coming for more than three months, and you will be enrolled in a university or educational institution, you will need to request a student visa. But do not worry, follow the steps in this article and everything will be much easier.
Step 1 – Type of visa
There are two types of visa for students, depending on what you are going to study.
- Type V (Visitor) – Academic exchange, studies in art or crafts and postgraduate. To participate in an academic exchange program, advance art or craft training, or perform studies that are not a primary, secondary or undergraduate higher education program. This visa can be granted with validity up to 2 years depending on the activity the foreigner is planning to do in Colombia.
- Type M (Migrant) – Students of primary, secondary, media, and undergraduate. For the foreigner admitted by an educational institution in Colombia to attend preschool, primary, secondary and middle and undergraduate studies. The type “M” visa will be valid for three years. When the duration of the studies is less than three years, the “M” type visa may have a shorter validity.
Depending on what you want to do, you will have to ask for one of these types of visa, but it will be really easy so continue to step 2.
Just in case, the website of the Colombian Foreign Ministry (Ministerio de Relaciones Exteriores) can help you know exactly which visa you need depending on the country of origin and the reason of your trip:
Step 2 – Documentation you will need
Now, for any visa process you will need to gather some documents and fill out the required forms, but don´t worry these are basic documents you can probably gather in a day.
You will need general documentation for either of the two types of visa:
- Passport or valid travel document, in good condition and with free space for visas.
- Fill out the electronic visa application form (https://tramitesmre.cancilleria.gov.co/tramites/enlinea/solicitarVisa.xhtml)
- All documents from abroad must have apostille or legalization and official translation into Spanish if it is in any other language. The official translation must be legalized or apostilled according to the case.
For the type V visa you will also need:
- A letter signed by the applicant or by the person supporting the request that includes: full identification of the applicant or the person supporting the visa, the reason for the trip and declaration of economic responsibility for the expenses of stay and travel.
- Bank statements of the applicant or of the person supporting the request for the six (6) months prior to the visa application.
For the type M visa you will also need:
- Your own bank statements, sponsorship of a person with sufficient resources or a scholarship certificate.
- Certificate of admission or enrollment in elementary school studies, baccalaureate or higher education in an undergraduate school authorized in Colombia.
The documents may vary depending on the country, so you should check the web page of the Colombian Consulate (Consulado de Colombia) in your country to find all the information about everything you need to apply for your visa.
In addition to the documentation, you will have to pay for the process of the visa, and once approved, make another payment to get it stamped.
Normally the process for both types of visa costs USD $12-16 (COP 35,000 – 45,000) and the visa itself is between USD $40-50 (COP 115,000 – 145,000). You should ask all the information about payment at your consulate because it varies depending on the country.
Not that bad right?
Step 3- Where do I get the Visa?
To apply for your visa you must fill out the electronic visa application form and go to the Colombian Consulate (Consulado de Colombia) in your country. Visit this page to find out where yours is: http://www.cancilleria.gov.co/embajadas-consulados-colombia-exterior
Step 4 – Apply and wait
When you know where you have to go and you have gathered the necessary documents, you only have to apply for the visa and wait. Be sure to follow the steps indicated by your consulate.
Once you leave your passport in the hands of the consulate you can relax, the difficult part is done. The visa will be ready in approximately one week (four to five business days). While you wait for your visa you can start to figure out where you are going to stay or, what else you can do during your time in Bogotá.
Step 5 – Pack Your Bags!
Now you are all set! With the visa on your passport, you just need to pack your bags, your books, and prepare for an incredible experience, enjoying all the wonders Colombia and Bogotá have to offer and meeting incredible people while studying. You see, it is not that difficult and now you have all the information you need to know about your student Colombian visa!
Now, It is important that you know that if you are not fluent in Spanish, you will probably need to learn the language in order to study and live in this incredible country, but do not worry we have that covered for you too, just go to our Where to study Spanish in Bogota article.
Go to our homepage and start planning everything you are going to do when you arrive! You will probably want to read “Bogotá at a glance” and many other articles that will help to make your stay in Bogotá perfect!