Due to several requests from readers we now look at how to obtain a Cedula Extranjeria in Colombia. We have previously looked at several different Colombian visas on this site.
After you have received one of the many visas Colombia offers you will have a maximum of 15 calendar days to register your visa with Migración Colombia.
During this visa registration process you will also be applying for a Cedula Extranjeria, which is a Colombian ID for foreigners. This must be done in-person.
It is extremely important to register your visa within the allotted time or you will be liable for a fine of up to seven times the minimum monthly salary in Colombia (about $1,450).
Note that only visas of greater than three-month duration require a cedula. Short duration visas don’t require a cedula but still must be registered. Also it is not possible to get a cedula with a standard tourist visa.
Applying for a Cedula
To register your visa and apply for a cedula this must be done at one of the Migración Colombia offices found in major cities in Colombia.
- Bogotá – Calle 100 #11B-27
- Medellín – Calle 19 #80A-40, Barrio Belén
- Cali – Avenida 3 norte # 50N-20
- Cartagena – Carrera 20 B # 29-18, Barrio pie de la Popa
- Barranquilla – Carrera 42 # 54-77, Barrio El Recreo
A complete list of Migración Colombia offices is found here.
- Your original passport
- Copy of the data page from your passport
- Original visa (in your passport)
- Photocopy of blood test showing your blood type if this is your first cedula
- Filled out application form found online here or in the Migración Colombia office
The cost of a cedula is currently 162,000 pesos (this is a new amount, which is up from 156,300 pesos in 2014).
This is the price listed on the Migración Colombia website but it may have increased this year as a reader in Cali who renewed a cedula recently reportedly paid 173,000 pesos.
You can pay with a credit card or debit card in the Migración Colombia office and you will receive a receipt with bar-code.
You can also schedule an appointment with Migración Colombia online here, but this is optional according to the Migración Colombia website.
When you apply for the cedula they will take your photo and fingerprints.
My Application Experiences
I have had three different visas so three different cedulas. Each cedula you receive will be valid be for the exact same duration as your visa. When you receive a new cedula after your first it will have the same number as your previous cedula.
Each time I have applied for a visa I have done this in-person in Bogotá at the Ministerio de Relaciones Exteriores office. Each time I was there an hour before it opened and one of the first in line for a visa.
After receiving each visa I walked to the Migración Colombia office in Bogotá, which is short distance from the Ministerio de Relaciones Exteriores office.
In Bogotá the cedula application and visa registration for me only took about an hour each time in the morning. It is possible to receive your visa and apply for a cedula in the same morning in Bogotá if you don’t run into problems.
If you register your visa with Migración Colombia in Bogotá, the cedula should normally be ready for pickup in three business days at the Bogotá office. However, cedula-processing times can vary in my experience.
You can check the status on the Migración Colombia website, which has a list of cedulas ready for pickup.
You can also register the visa in Bogotá and request for the cedula to be sent to the Medellín Migración Colombia office (or another city) – this requires a letter to request this and make sure to have an extra copy.
Each time I applied I was told my cedula would be ready in three days in the Bogotá office or if sent to Medellín it would take 7-10 days. For my first cedula I had it sent to Medellín and it arrived about three weeks later.
For my second cedula I was still in Bogotá and it was ready as promised in three days.
For my third cedula it took well over a month to arrive in Medellín as Migración Colombia told me they were having problems with the vendor they outsourced cedula production to.
I needed to follow up with Migración Colombia a couple times for my third Colombian ID card.
Note that the number of a Cedula Extranjeria (CE) can be the same as the number of a Colombian citizen’s cedula (CC). For example, I know my cedula has the same number as the ID of Colombian guy living in Bogotá.
In my experience this can cause problems when signing up for some things like store rewards programs if their system doesn’t support both CC and CE numbers.
The Bottom Line
Once you have a Colombian visa, a cedula is required and the process to obtain a cedula is relatively painless.
Having a Colombian ID will make your life easier in Colombia. Most banks require a cedula to open an account. Plus a cedula can make it easier to open accounts for TV, Internet and phone services.
You can also travel domestically in Colombia with your cedula and leave your passport at home.