If you are trying to get a student visa for Colombia before arriving, or are going to a school like mine which has never been through the process of helping a foreigner get a student visa, this post is for you.
Instead of paying for a messenger service to deliver my papers to Bogota or going there myself, I decided to make use of my trip to New York this summer to drop by the consulate and get my Colombian student visa.
It was a painless process, and after a half hour I walked out of there with a year-long visa.
Steps for getting a Colombian student visa
1. Make sure you have all documents and copies of documents before you head to the office. You’ll need:
- Photocopy of the photo page of your passport
- Two passport-sized photos with a white background
- Proof that you are enrolled in the school and have paid for 10 hours of class per week
- Proof that you have enough money to support yourself economically in Colombia (I printed out the last 3 months of Paypal payments I’ve received. A credit card will also work for this.)
- The school will need to provide you with a photocopy of the Resolución de reconocimiento de personería jurídica del establecimiento educativo and the licencia de funcionamiento y registro ante la autoridad educativa competente del programa de estudios. (Show this to your point of contact at the school and they will make copies for you.)
- The DP-FO-67 de solicitud de visa
- A money order payable to Consulado de Colombia en New York for a total of $50.
2. Once you’ve made all the copies, collected all of the documents, and have your money order, head to the office at 10 East 46th Street. The office is open for visa processing Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 1:45 p.m. My advice is to go early so you don’t have to wait.
3. Check in with the security guard at the front and tell him you need to process a student visa.
4. Take the elevator upstairs and present your documents to the secretary at the desk in front of the elevator.
5. If your documents are in order, she’ll send you downstairs to pay for the visa with your money order.
6. Stand in line at the downstairs window and hand over your money order. You’ll be presented with a receipt that states you paid.
7. Go back upstairs and show them your receipt.
If you live out of state or far from the city, ask the visa processor nicely if you could wait around and get it back today. If you do live in NYC, she’ll give you a date to pick up your passport with your shiny new student visa.
After talking to other students who have received their visa in Colombia, it seems that getting it done in NYC means you’ll get longer than if you did it from within the country.
This information is subject to change. Check with the relevant authorities to double check you are eligible and have all the necessary paperwork. For more info, visit the consulate’s website and the Minsterio de Relaciones Exteriores. For getting a visa in Colombia, I recommend Alan Gongora of Langon Law Firm. Check out their guide to getting a visa here.
Have you received a Colombian visa at the New York consulate? What are your tips?