Colombia visa requirements for US citizens
Though traveling overland to Colombia remains a high-risk activity due to the Darién Gap, flying into Bogota from the US or adding any area in Colombia as part of your South American travel itinerary is quickly becoming more popular for US citizens. With that in mind, what are the Colombia visa requirements for Americans?
Basic Visa Requirements for Colombia
All US citizens must have a US passport book valid at their time of entry into Colombia with one blank page for a visa stamp. No tourist visa applications are required to be submitted for stays shorter than 90 days, but all visitors may be required to present vaccination records for yellow fever if they passed through Brazil prior to their stay in Colombia.
All 90-day visas on arrival may be extended another 90 days once in Colombia. As always, proof of ongoing travel is required.
Safety Concerns in Colombia
Travel advisories to Colombia through the US Department of State are not unheard of, and any US citizen traveling to the area should be aware of the dangers they may face in transit or once in the country. Overland crossings through Panama, Venezuela, Ecuador, and Peru, while legal for US citizens, have been known to be targeted by thieves, with the first in particular not advisable due to the Darién Gap.
Motorcycle muggings and petty crimes are relatively common, just as taxi robberies are. As a result, registering your trip through the US embassy in Bogota is essential, as is informing others of your itinerary.
Other Colombia Visa Requirements for US Citizens
Surprisingly, the Embassy of Colombia in Washington DC does not accept visa applications, and refers travelers to local consulates in Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, Orlando, Newark, New York, San Francisco, and San Juan. These consulates will accept applications for visas related to work, business, and residency.
Although US citizens are allowed up to 90 days in Colombia for their first stay, the duration is at the discretion of the immigration officer; asking for the maximum and providing proof of ongoing travel within that timeframe is a good way to make the most of your visa. This can be extended in Colombia for an additional three months, but no US citizen can stay in the country as a tourist for more than 180 days in a calendar year.
Get your passport in order for your trip to Colombia
If a big South America trip is part of your plan this year, don’t wait until you’re down in Bogota to check your passport expiration date or the visa requirements for different countries. If your passport will expire when you’re out of the US, applications go through the nearest US embassy or consulate. They can be expedited, but are subject to the workflow of the staff.
Rather than waiting abroad without any form of international ID, why not take care of that passport well in advance? Travel Visa Pro has nine offices across the US with staff trained in all types of visa and passport applications. In addition, there are dozens of pick up and drop off locations offering limited service in smaller areas. If you need a passport in a hurry – as little as eight hours in some cases – or assistance with your visa to Colombia, contact your nearest Travel Visa Pro today.
Do you have any questions about traveling to Colombia? Leave them in the comments below.