Thank you to Angela Atkins for submitting the detailed step-by-step process below. The information is accurate at the time of publishing, and subject to change. Be sure to verify the steps as you go.
If you arrive in Colombia as a tourist, and decide to stay longer, you can take Spanish classes and extend your stay for up to 12 months on a student Visa.
How To Get A Colombian Student Visa
Note: The school that you enroll with must be eligible to apply for Visa’s. Mostly Universities are approved. You need to study a minimum of 10 hours/week.
Step One: Enroll with approved school.
Step Two: Complete forms and make all necessary photocopies.
Step Three: Get registration form notarized (signed by official).
Step Four: Take all documents and passport to Ministry of Immigration in Bogota or pay an Agency.
Step Five: Take all necessary documents to DAS within 15 days of obtaining Visa.
Forms You Need for Immigration:
– Official application for the Visa and why you want one.
– Copy of Passport and copy of tourist visa entry stamp page.
– 2x photos: Must be a white background and size 3×3.
– Certificate of administration from the school/University you will be studying at — this needs to be notarized at a notaria cinco –– see below.
– Certificate of authentication from the school — to show that school is registered to apply for Student Visas.
– Print out of your bank statement showing the amount you have to live on while in Colombia.
Visa costs: 80,000 COP
Take it to all to the Ministry or an agency.
NOTE: To get the Visa, you need to go to the Ministry of Immigration in BOGOTA.
You can do all the above from Medellin – it costs a little extra. There are some agencies that can do all the sending and Visa organizations for you. You supply all the necessary documents (photocopies ect) they check through it all, and send it off with your passport. It takes about 5 days.
2 Agencies in Medellin:
– TLICOLOMBIA: www.tlicolombia.com
Calle 16A Sur #48B,La Aquacatala, Medellin, Colombia. Ask for Natalie
Costs: 300,000 COP
– International Document Management: www.inter-col.com
The Certificate of registration (from the university) must be notarized (ie. Signed by an official). You will need to find a Notaria Cinco. It is like a registry office for all official business (getting married, etc).
Upon showing your certificate and asking “para autenticar esto por favor,” your form will be stamped and dated, and then you sign and fingerprint it (with your index finger).
Costs: 2,800 COP
You then take it to the official to sign.
After you receive your Visa, you have 15 days to find a DAS (Department of Security) to get your official ID card. Failure to do this within 15 days results in a massive fine.
Deposit 139,800 COP into the account in Banco De Bogota.
Empresarial Fondo Rotatorio D.A.S
You will need to bring:
– Original deposit slip, and 2 photocopies.
– Application form.
– 2x photocopies of your passport.
– 2x photocopies of your Visa.
– 2x photocopies of your entry stamp.
– 3x passport photos with a blue background 3X4.
– 2x copies of the blood test results to show your blood type.
– Copy of acceptance of registration certificate from your university.
To Study at UPB in Medellin (Univeridad Pontificia Bolicariana)
Course name: Programa de Español para extranjeros ESPEX- Spanish Program for Foreigners.
At UPB: Building 6, level 1-Centre for languages
Ask for Gustavo Jaramillo Cardona.
He’s the co-coordinator and has all the necessary forms you will need to fill out.
What you need for UBP Medellin:
– 2x Passport photocopies.
– 50% of the course amount you intend on studying for. For example, if you want a 6 month visa, you need to pay 3 months worth of the course fees. (Note: if you pay for more than 120 hours you get a 10% discount.)
– Copy of Travel Insurance Certificate.
Noticia Cinco … Are you sure that’s not a Notaria and you lived closest to Notaria (numero) Cinco?
Excellent writeup. 🙂
Hi George, thanks for catching that mistake.
What’s the average tuition at a school that can issue visas? Say, for six months or a year?
Hey Charlie, I checked into the cost of Spanish classes at EAFIT, one of the most expensive schools in Medellin (and Colombia), but I can’t remember the numbers. Part of the benefit of picking a university is getting to meet the local students. Anyways, I’m checking with the author of this post to see if she can give us some info. It’s not much by Western standards, but I was really broke last year and didn’t want to pay a few hundred dollars for classes.
You state that you need to provide a copy of your bank statement showing how much you have to live on while you are in Colombia. Is there a minimum amount you need to show on this statement? Do they only look at your stated balance? Also, if you leave the country before your visa expires can you come back to Colombia on that SAME student Visa?
Sorry about the ‘Cinco’… My notes sneaking in…
Charlie: here’s the link straight to the fee structure for UPB: Here
Also, jRo: As far as i know there isn’t a minimum amount- i guess you’ll need enough in the account to show that you can survive for the intended time you want your visa for. Also, you can do multiple entries into the country.
Thank you Angela!
thank you for the very helpful article. Can you tell me what might be the cheapest school that would be registered with DAS, since 1) i am learning well on my own and 2) need the money to pay my programmers for my INternet startup here.
Also, since it might be cheaper to get a biz visa, can you refer me to anyone who could advise me on that. I hear two different stories, one from an Iranian guy wholives here who says all i have to do is ask for it in Miami, show US passpot and at most a one or two pager describing my startup. But a woman at DAS told me that in Nov there are all sorts of new regs. If Miami really is easy, and flite fare is less than even a cheap school, then i guess that is what i should do.
THIS IS KIND OF URGENT, since my 6 mo runs out in 20 days.
–gary krane PhD
CEO/ Relationship Technologies
P.S. since i will soon become an expert on this, feel free to give out my email to anyone else needing help or simply any one whose mission in life is to a lot of good for lots of people, since rather lonely here
Hey gregorio…. have no idea about the business visa thing… but have a mate that is looking into it for himself. Check out the Chamber of Commerce in Medellin, apparently they can help you out setting up a business for a smaller fee than going through the hassle of starting at a uni for the student visa.
Might there be any less expensive school that would qualify one to get a student visa, than UPB? Is U de Antioquia probably the cheapest? And if one only needed to stay 3 more months, would these or any school allow one to just pay for one or two months?
If you wish, you can email me directly at GhandiKing / gmail. I would be soooo grateful, since the job visa i thought i would get just fell through and i only have about 15 days left and am getting into a panic. I need to stay longer to finish honchoing web programmers here to finish our startup’s beta, and then i would be going back to states for investors. After that, it will be January and i can return again on a tourist, and then have enough time to get a regular business visa to stay and live here indefinitely. If it makes any difference, the site we are building could do lots to help marriages here succeed and therefore reduce the immense numbers of single struggling mothers.
P.S. still would love to talk with your mate (see Aug 9th email from me), and am going to C of Commerce today
Wow 15 days isn’t long…
Can’t really help you anymore with the business visa angle… haven’t heard how my mate is doing…
Am not sure if U of Antioquia has a visa approved course- this is a massive stipulation to getting a student visa. You can defiantly enrol at UPB for a month or 2.. is totally up to you.I do know that the UPB course is cheaper than EFAT. I’d get cracking on something because it will take you a full week to get you student visa- providing there are no problems.
Talk to Gustavo in building 6 at UPB- he’ll sort you out… if you choose to go the student Visa route.
Best of luck
Hi ANgela: Thank you for replying. Might you be willing to put me in touch with your mate since i am making some progress, have what sounds like a decent price from one outfit (that only charges if successful). You can give him or her my fijo- twothreefour, sevensix six six, since i assume i am not allowed to give out emails here.
I know I SHOULD go to a Spanish school, given my comprehension level, but for now that sort of tuition (seems high every where), i badly need to pay my Colombian programmers and to hire a new designer. I heare UPB is the cheapest and it is like $300 per month.
MOre re Student Visa (U de A option): I Just spent the afternoon at U de A, and they don’t even offer Spanish classes. If you can get four other people yourself to join you and make your own group, their price “fals to about ” $500 or $600/mo, and to take anything else there to meet the 10hrs/wk requirement also costs a small fortune. So people: Forget U de A. No idea re UNAL, and I think i heard even at UPB the price per month is at least $300/mo, right? I am finding out lots about common law marriage option, however.
Great, thanks Dave.
In China you’ll pay about $800 for a semester at a normal university, or over $1,000 for a well known school like Sichuan University.
Just found out today that there is a new requirement- you also need to provide the original receipt of payment from the Uni with the Uni stamp on it. Apparently there have been a few fraudulent applications.
This shiva from india i like to do spanish course for 3 months in columbia what is is the low money university to do course and also i like to get visa, what are the doucumbet to be required for that student visa. so plz let me know.
This thread has up-to-date info on getting the regular tourist visa extension in Medellin:
I was wondering if anyone has a list of approved schools in Colombia or if any of the schools do distance classes? I am considering living in a pueblo or something but don´t really know what other visa options I have to stay here. I have to go to DAS tomorrow, I´ll ask a few questions and see if I can post some more info here 🙂
Hi people, how are you?
I am in a similar situation.
Does any one have a list of student visa approved schools in Medellin?
Or maybe more info about the the common law marriage visa? (cónyuge)
I just need to stay 1 or 2 months over my tourist visa limit and am looking into the cheapest option to do that…
Thanks a million!
What happens if someone overstays their visa? Do you get a fine or banned from the country? I don’t understand why a poor country would want to limit how much time tourists from rich countries can spend in their country. You would think they would make it easy as possible for us to stay in Colombia and spend our $usd.
@ Matthew B
Colombia is not as poor as you might think and as every other country they have laws no matter where you’re coming from
“Colombia is not as poor as you might think”
Yes Colombia is very, very poor compared to germany, usa, canada, uk, japan, australia, etc by every economic statistic there is.
“as every other country they have laws no matter where you’re coming from”
No $hit $herlock! Yes I realize they have laws. If you would read my post I didn’t ask IF they had laws. I questioned WHY their laws limit the amount of time a foreigner can spend in the country, that’s all.
Does anybody happen to know what happens if someone overstays their visa?? Anyone? If it’s something minor like a small fine then I may not even bother to renew my visa and just reside there illegally. I mean does it really matter if you have a visa or not?
@ Mattew B
I said is ” NOT AS POOR AS YOU MIGHT THINK” …compared to Germany,Us, Canada,Uk, Japan,Australia of COURSE IT IS!! Duh!!!!!! Stay in the States and pay high prices for tuition Sherlock they don’t need you $usd
Have a nice day
Hahah, I love it how your considering being what they call in the states an *illegal* in another country. I can only assume if a person of Hispanic origin did the same in your country you would be one of the first to cry about it. Does it really matter if you have a visa or not? haha mate I’m from Australia and us along with Englanders get treated with suspicion going into the states.. like everyone.
You may have had a point at first, but one could also assume that the government would secure funds by putting prices and processes on various visas etc. End of the day your point was lost in amongst your entitled attitude.
I hate to play this card, and I truly apologise to all the respectable americans out there and on here, but quite frankly people like you who foster the double standard the the US tends to have with things are part of the reason why people from the US really do not fall well here in Colombia, nor in Australia… nor in any other country I know of. I think Colombia is much better off without someone like yourself. Hopefully… in the year or so that has passed you shaped up on your attitude a bit son.
If you go to the Ministry of Imigration Office in Bogota with your student Visa Application is it usually processed that same day if you show up early?
I have never gone for a student visa but I have gone for many other kinds and they always got me out the same day. Definitely get there early but one time I got there around noon and they still had me out before closing.
George thank you for your answer. It was very helpful. Do you, or does anyone else, know when you go to the visa office in Bogota and pay the (USD $15) estudio fee and the (USD $40) visa fee; do you pay Banco Sudameris there at the visa office after you hand in your application, or must you pay at a bank in advance of handing in the application?
You can pay the (USD $15) estudio fee and (USD $50) visa fee in Colombian pesos at the Ministerio de Relaciones Exteriores visa office in Bogotá. Note $40 is the old visa fee, it is now $50. They have a small bank branch in the visa office. And yes they process the student visa (now called TP-3 visa) the same day. If you get there an hour before opening at 6:30am you should be around number 10 in line on the Mondays I have gone. But don’t expect their IT systems to always be working.
looking to move to colombia may be in medellin by the end of the nex year around 2014 november or december. i really want to know from where i can learn spanish course in less cost. and also i want to know whether i should come to comolmbia firstly as on a tourist visa or student visa becuase my plan is to explore colombia and may be i would prefer to live in colombia so learning spanish language is the need for me. i really got stuck with which visa i should go ahead and with visa is it possible to stay there for maximum time as long as i want?
If you know for sure you’re going to study Spanish here, it might be easier to get the student visa first, which can be valid up to 12 months based on the current rules.
Most visitors receive 90 days tourist visa on arrival, and it can be extended another 90 days for a fee once in the country.
But you’re talking about 1.5 years from now, and it’s possible there will be rule changes within that time.
This student visa information in this blog post is out-of-date and inaccurate. The following is the correct information based on a TP-3 visa (the new name of the Colombia student visa) successfully received on August 5, 2013 at the Ministerio de Relaciones Exteriories office in Bogotá.
No photos are needed if you apply for the TP-3 visa in Bogotá as they will take your photo when applying for the visa. Also there is no need to notarize the registration form you receive from the university. University EAFIT and a lawyer both told me that this form has never needed to be notarized to authenticate the signature of the school official signing the document. But if you submit a copy and not the original you will need a notarized copy. Also DAS no longer exists, the place to register your visa and receive the Cedula de Extranjeria is now called Migracion Colombia.
Documents needed for TP-3 visa when applying in Bogotá:
– Notarized original letter in Spanish signed by the student requesting the visa
– Original signed visa application form (form DP-FO-67, Version 2)
– Photocopy of biographical page of passport
– Photocopy of visa page from passport with latest entry into Colombia
– Original University registration form signed by school official
– Photocopy of “certificate of existence and legal representation” from the University
– Bank “certificate” showing the average balance over the past six months is greater than 10 times the legal minimum wage in Colombia or about 6 million COP (this certificate should be notarized and translated). Or you can provide six months of bank statements.
– Receipt of payment for University classes with university stamp
All the documents you submit will be scanned at the visa office and returned to you.
The TP-3 visa cost is $50 USD plus a $15 USD administration fee paid in pesos in cash at the small bank branch located in the visa office.
If you are applying for the TP-3 visa remotely using an agency in Medellin or another city you will need to add 2 photos and a notarized letter in Spanish authorizing the agency to act on your behalf.
After you receive your TP-3 visa, you have 15 days to register the visa with Migracion Colombia to get your Cedula de Extranjeria card. Failure to do this within 15 days results in a large fine of up to 7 times the minimum monthly salary in Colombia (well over $2,000 USD). The following is accurate information successfully used at the Migracion Colombia office in Bogotá on August 5:
Deposit 153,300 COP at Banco Occidente.
Account name: Migracion Colombia
Account number. 263-05464-5, codigo 101
– Original deposit slip from Banco Occidente
– Original passport
– Signed application form
– Photocopy of biographical page of passport
– Photocopy of your TP-3 visa
– Photocopy of blood test showing your blood type (or if you have a previous visa, photocopy of your cedula)
– Original University registration form signed by school official
– 2 photos (3×4 cm) with a white background
If you register your visa with Migracion Colombia in Bogotá, I was told the cedula would be ready for pickup in three business days at their office but I haven’t verified this time frame. In Medellin, it takes longer.
Thank you for taking the time to post the updated procedures.
Rules for various visas are constantly changing in Colombia, so we rely on readers to share updates.
The information here is only meant to serve as a guideline, and readers should always double-check requirements with official sources.
Hi Dave and Jeff thanks for the information, I paid and got accepted by Universidad de la Sabana for 6 months Spanish course, but I wondering which type of visa is easier to get. To get a tourist visa and then apply a student visa later within Colombia, or apply a student visa before coming to Colombia. I notice that it required 6 months’ bank statements with an average balance exceeds 10 minimum salary for a student visa, but only 3 months’ statements with 5 minimum salary for a tourist visa.
My country is not on the list for 3 months permit on entry.
And my country doesn’t give a notary for my bank statements, but the new law states that documents should be “legalization”, the government doesn’t do this for bank statements, will I be declined because of this?
I don’t want to be declined, is it better to apply a tourist visa or a student visa? Thanks for any help!
I was told a cedula de extranjeria would be ready for pickup in three business days at the Migracion Colombia office in Bogotá, However, today I found it wasn’t ready. But I discovered that you can provide a simple letter in Spanish requesting the cedula to be sent to Medellín on the third floor of the Migracion Colombia office in Bogotá (make sure to bring a copy of the letter as they will put a sticker on it). They said the cedula would be ready for pick-up in two weeks in the Migracion Colombia office Medellín.
In Bogotá they said the cedula would be ready for pick-up in two weeks in the Migracion Colombia office Medellín. But after two weeks it wasn’t in Medellín so Migracion Colombia in Medellín made a copy of the letter requesting the cedula to be sent to Medellín, passport biographic page and visa plus needed to fill out cedula application form again and they followed up with Bogotá and the cedula showed up 2 days later in Medellín.
I just got my student visa today in Bogota so I wanted to update some of Jeff’s information above.
1) There is no longer a visa application form (form DP-FO-67). Instead, the immigration official will ask you the questions and fill it out online while you’re in the office.
2) Not sure what Jeff is referring to with “Notarized original letter in Spanish signed by the student requesting the visa”. This is my third student visa and I’ve never provided anything like that.
3) The one new item I wasn’t aware of is that you now need to provide a letter saying that you’ll be financially responsible for yourself while in Colombia (or if someone else is going to provide for you, they’ll need to give you a letter). Fortunately the official I had was really nice and handed me a pen and piece of paper and had me write out the letter in his office.
4) Jeff also refers to the cedula. That’s only required if your visa if for 3 or more months. If your visa is for less time, you don’t have to get one (actually I don’t even think you’re allowed to get one).
Thanks for the update. The “Notarized original letter in Spanish signed by the student requesting the visa” was recommended to me by a visa service in Medellín and the Ministerio de Relaciones Exteriories scanned it as part of my student visa application last year.
Thanks for letting us know about the new required item – “a letter saying that you’ll be financially responsible for yourself while in Colombia”. I plan to go to Bogotá for another student visa next month.
Sure thing Jeff. BTW, the letter should be made out to “Ministerio de Relaciones Exteriores” and include your name and that you’ll be responsible for your own costs in Colombia. And obviously written in Spanish.
thank you emh
great update u gave us, i would like to know how i can apply for student visa when i am outside colombia, or if you know any one who can help me in bogata an agent maybe?
Sahal – You have two options. One is to go to the Colombia embassy in your country and do it in person. The other is to submit an online application:
Of course, either way, you’d still need to have paid for your classes and have all your paperwork from the university before applying for the visa.
– proof that my average bank account had more then 6.000.000 pesos for the past 6 months is impossible, lol most of the time i had 0 pesos lol how the hell is this possible to prove? So because I’m not a milionaire I can’t study in Colombia?
Please help, I want to enter an acting school in Bogota.
You prove it by providing monthly bank statements. The reason they ask for proof that you can support yourself while in Colombia is to ensure you won’t be a burden to the local society.
You don’t have to show you’re a millionaire. 6 million pesos is about $3,000 USD. The average Colombian wage is just $700 per month.
When I applied for my business visa this year, I was concerned my bank balance was too low, just a few thousand dollars in any given month this year, but I was able to show deposits averaging close to $4,000. They didn’t question me about this, and I got my visa.
The bar is probably lower for student visas versus business visas, since they know you’re not actively working.
thank you very much for replying!
the school im trying to enter is only in the mornings so im planning to work during the day, do you by any chance know if its possible to work with a student visa?
after all ill be having a cedula, and is it possible to get health insurance too? thanks!
I don’t believe you’re allowed to work under a student visa, at least not officially. You could probably work under the table. Normally you’d need a work visa.
I don’t know the answer on the insurance question.
You are not permitted to work with a student visa in Colombia and I wouldn’t recommend trying to do this “under the table”.
Question, if someone is on a student visa… and move house but don’t notify migracion of this change within the 15 days, what is the go ? I have read that technically a fine applies. Any ideas how to proceed? The person in question has to apply for salvo-conducto (student visa runs out before flights out of country).
Obviously they want to follow the rules, however if there is not really any way of migracion knowing of the change (apart from the police finding out on the stroke of chance), is it better that they do not mention the address change? The person has still remained closely linked with the address they were located at during the initial registration so in terms of locating them the failure to advise realistically would have caused NO issue in them being accessible / locatable at any point.
Any solid info greatly appreciated.
Hey does anyone know about getting a student visa to study something besides Spanish? Do only university classes count as student visa worthy? Could you get a visa to study dancing at some sala de salsa?
Hi, does anyone know if information regarding a family members bank account who would be supporting you is enough? What other documentation is needed if you do not provide proof of your own funds?
Laura – You’d need to provide a signed letter from the person who will be supporting you saying that they’ll be financially responsible for you in Colombia. The letter should be in Spanish. You would also need to provide records from that person bank account, showing how much money they have.
Honestly I don’t think they’re quite as strict with student visas as they are with other types of visas since 1) they tend to be for less than 6 months, 2) you have to pay for the classes before you can apply for the visa so it would be pretty crappy for them to turn you down.
Thanks for the reply. My worry is that I’m illegal here, so I am going to pay the fine this week and leave the country for 6 weeks, so the question is whether they’ll accept the student visa under these circumstances.
I was told I need to provide proof that I have an average of 3,500USD in my account over the past 6 months. I read a few of the comments above but does anyone know if I can submit pay stubs of monthly checks and be approved?
A strange question (maybe): can I get a student visa to learn English instead of Spanish? Which schools in Medellin may offer this?
Alexy – As far as I know you can as long as you’re taking at least 10 hours a week of classes through an approved university. I know someone who got a visa for studying photography so I imagine English would be okay. But I’m just guessing. And I have no idea what universities in Medellin would offer that. Probably best to look though the universities websites and contact their language departments.
Hi. My 180 day allowance for 2014 runs out in the middle of September. I’d like to stay for about 3 more months heading back to the UK early December. Can I get a “Temporary visitor visa” in order to extend my stay if I sign up for a course or two at EAFIT? If so what is the process? Thank you.
No, you are limited to 180 days per calendar year in Colombia with a tourist visa. If you want to stay longer and take classes at EAFIT you will need to get a student visa. The current process for a student visa is documented in my comments above.
Thanks Jeff. Do you know if it is possible to get a 2 month student visa (which I think would mean not having to apply for the cedula)?
Stephen – Theoretically yes though it’s not completely in your hands. I currently have a student visa of about 2 1/2 months.
Here’s how my situation played out. I paid for one month of classes, The director of the language center gave me a letter that said I was taking classes for two months (as a way to help me out). Then the guy in the visa office added some extra time, since they can’t expect you to leave Colombia the very same day your classes end.
That’s very useful, thanks. Are you doing your classes at EAFIT? How long did it take from when you paid the class fees to picking up your visa? And finally, did the date of your visa start on the day they stamped it or can you select the start date?
I’m in Bogota so my classes are at Sergio Arboleda.
Generally you pay your fees first, then the university gives you your paperwork,then you apply for your visa. Can you apply for the visa in person now in Medellin? (I know you used to have to get the student visa in Bogota). If you can apply in person, then you can go to the office the same day you get your papers from the university.
My visa was stamped to start the same day I went to the visa office, even though my classes weren’t starting for another week. I doubt they’d let you select the date.
Thanks. I don’t know if you can apply in person in Medellin. I hope so because it would be a pain to have to fly/bus to Bogota just for a passport stamp. If anyone can confirm this that’d be great.
Yes you can get a student visa for two months but as Ed points out the time they give is not entirely in your control. For example, I paid for 6 months in advance and received a 12-month student visa. The day the visa starts is the date of the visa.
As far as I know you have to get a student visa in Bogotá or an embassy in another country. But there are some agencies in Medellín that can do all the sending and Visa for you – ask at EAFIT and they can recommend one.. You supply all the necessary documents (photocopies etc.) they check through it all, and send it off with your passport. It takes about 5 days.
You can also apply for a visa online thought I’ve never done it myself so I can’t really comment on the process.
Or, as Jeff said, you can pay someone to take care of it for you. When I took classes at UPB in 2011, I paid the director of the language program something like $50-100. My passport with visa was back in about 3 days.
Yes, as Ed indicates you can now apply online and I have seen that it will ask you for scans of all required documents. But you still have to go to Bogotá or an embassy to get the visa put in your passport – or pay someone to take care of it for you.
How did you guys get the blood test report?
I don’t think that’s required anymore. I think you just state what your type is. I haven’t had it done for my past two student visas (though perhaps my info is already in their system?).
Anyway, EAFIT should be able to tell you whether it’s still required. If it is, they should be able to direct you to a clinic. Cost is minimal and you get your results right away.
Blood test is required for the cedula and not the visa. A blood test is only required for your first cedula as after that you provide a copy of your cedula, which has your blood type on it to get a new cedula.
Really useful information, thank you fellas.
Does anybody know if there are any companies that charge less than 300,000 COP to help you obtain a Student VISA?
So I am in a unique situation and am wondering what everyone’s thoughts are on how to aquire my student visa. I am Junior at Oregon State University and just recently changed my major to Spanish. I spent 3 months in Medellin last year and fell in love. My university now offers the same exact bachelors degree online. My plan is to finish my bachelor of Spanish abroad (hopefully in Medellin). I can get all the documents showing my enrollment with the university. I however don’t have bank statements over the last 6 months with that kind of money. I will be able to prove that I have over 5000$ in my acct and will be recieving full financial aid each term. Advice??
Is it possible to apply for a student visa after obtaining a tourist visa, thereby:
– managing to stay 3 months as a tourist and 6 months as a student
– managing to stay 6 months (3+3) as a tourist and 6 months as a student
Or are they very strict that 6 months in any given 12 month period is the maximum you can remain?
The answer is yes, you can stay 6 months (3+3) and 6 months as a student. In fact, both of my Colombia student visas have been good for 12 months. In both cases I prepaid for six months of classes and included the receipt of payment when applying for both of my student visas. I was told that it is recommended that you prepay for classes when applying for a visa.
I’m trying to find out how long I can get a student visa for, with regards to studying Spanish. Can I get a single student visa valid for one or two years? Why were your student visas good for 12 months instead of, say, 6 month courses? Do you mean to say in your comment above that you prepaid for 2 sets of 6 months of courses (at the same time) in order to get a 12 month visa?
My problem is I’m already nearly fluent in Spanish, so classes (outside of maybe 6 months of advanced classes) would kind of just be a money sink and a time waster in order to stay in the country legally, but I’d do it depending on cost. Speaking of that, I’m trying to locate Spanish course (in MDE) costs for long-term, not just per hour. Know where I can find that?
I prepaid for 6 months of classes but I couldn’t take them one after another as I have work commitments and need to travel some of the time for work. So EAFIT gave me documentation that the classes would be taken over a 1-year period so I was able to get a year visa. I did this twice.
You can find out the EAFIT Spanish costs on their website here: http://www.eafit.edu.co/idiomas/spanish-program/Paginas/schedules-and-dates.aspx. It currently costs 1,010,000 pesos per class and they offer a 3% discount if more than two courses are paid in advance or 7% discount if more than six courses are paid in advance.
I asked at EAFIT about the prepayment discount earlier this week and was told there is no such thing. Not sayin’ I got the right info…just sayin’.
The discount is stated on the EAFIT website in the link I provided above. I got the discount twice.
Thank you for the info, Jeff!
I was talking to one of the secretaries in Bogotá when I made my own student visa last month. You can apply for a student visa also by taking a Diplomado. That is a course that usually lasts 3 to 4 month is much cheaper than paying by the hour. Even online Diplomados are valid, as she told me, but each application is checked on a case by case basis. You can also pay for 2 consecutive Diplomados in order to reduce the number of applications you are doing along the years. They also approve some bridge time, say a few weeks between two Diplomados, as they understand that the second not necessarily begins exactly when the first one ends.
All the above is according to that lady in La cancillería in Bogotá, I have not yet try it myself.
Jeff, do you know what kind of adherence to the 10 hours per week policy exists? You have to pre-pay 520 hours of classes in order to get a 1 year visa and you have to keep up with the schedule in order to get another one the following year? Is there not any way to spread it out and spend less time per week in school? 5-6 hours per week would be much more reasonable. 10 is a lot.
Hi Jason, I had to pay for 6 months of classes to get a 1 year visa and I did this twice. I understand all the school programs have to have 10 hour per week classes to meet the minimum required for a visa. I’m not aware of any program doing less.
But since I travel for work some months I couldn’t take back-to-back classes all the time so I skipped some months when I didn’t take any classes. So I essentially paid for ~240 hours of classes and got a 1 year visa. And I did this twice without a problem.
Thanks, this gives me hope. So you only paid for in total 240 hours (even though 260 is the number of hours for exactly 6 months), so despite only paying for 6 months, they gave you the full year?
That works out to less than 5 hours per week. So it seems like you can pay for 10 hours per week for 6 months only, and get the full year out of it, and are not forced to actually pay for or attend classes 52 weeks per year in order to get it.
It seems like this is the only approach for those wanting to use student visas (TP) to build towards permanent residency, which I believe is only possible if the visa doesn’t lapse (e.g., essentially making 1 year visas a necessity). Would you agree with this?
Yes to use student visas to get a residency visa you can’t let them lapse and they’ll have to overlap a bit because of that – renew before it expires, which I did after my first student visa.
But you would need 5 full years of TP-3 student visas to get a resident visa (RE). That’s a lot of classes even if you only have to go half a year at 10 hours per week.
Thanks Jeff. That is a lot of classes, yes. I’m going to look into an alternative visa.
Is it possible to work in Colombia with a student visa? Since student visa requires 10hours/week, there is a lot more free time to spare for work.
No, unfortunately you are not permitted to work with a Colombian student visa. To work you will need another type of visa.
Just quick question on whether student visa is completely independent to the tourist visa. For example, my tourist visa (180 days) runs out in October. If I was to pay for 3 months classes in advance to get a 6 month study visa – could I then leave when this runs out and come back to Colombia right away on a new 6 month tourist visa??
Yes the student visa is independent of a tourist visa. So If you get a 6 month student visa in October it would be good until April next year and then you could use 180 days of the tourist visa to get to October next year.
I comment here as my question is somehow linked.
Could a person stay in Colombia theoretically (or practically?) forever using the mix of visas? For example:
Year 2017 1st. half – Tourist visa
Year 2017 2nd. half – Student visa
Year 2018 1st. half – Tourist visa
Year 2018 2nd. half – Student visa
Could it be done?
If yes, should the person get out of the country when each student visa period ends or not?
Yes it could be done but I would recommend getting student visas for a year like this to cut down on visa expenses.
Year 2017 1st. half – Tourist visa
Year 2017 2nd half – Student visa
Year 2018 1st half – Same student visa
Year 2018 2nd half – Tourist visa.
With this method you will only need to incur the cost of one student visa every two years.
And yes you will need to leave the country when a student visa ends and re-enter as a tourist. When you get a student visa you don’t need to leave the country.
Thanks a lot for your answer!
I was wondering, still, what is the maximum stay with a study visa? I could not find any resource for this. Couldn’t it be for a few YEARS?
Also could not find any official document regarding study visa neither in English nor in Spanish. Any link?
Link for TLICOLOMBIA is bad. Do you have any other agencies that are within 50 to 100 $ range?
Dear sir Jeff
My name is BIRBAL KUNWAR from Nepal.
I want to study in Colombia Spanish language.
How can I get student visa please help me and send me requirements and cost
As far as you guys know, is it still a minimum of 10 hours per week? And if you pre-pay 3 months of classes for a 6-month visa, can you just stop going after the 3 months for which your originally paid? And you end up attending class an average of 5 hours per week spread over 6 months?
Once you have paid for the course and obtained the student visa, do you know if you have to attend the course to keep the visa active? I plan to work here during the day and have been unable to find an evening Spanish course at the universities.
Hlo sir i want to know that will it be possible to migrate in USA if i get colombia student visa ….thankew .plz reply me
My 90 tourist visa is about to run out soon and I am currently taking classes at EAFIT. If I extend my visa and get a student visa how much longer can I stay? I know if I extend as a normal tourist visa I get 90 more days. But can I get longer than an extra 90 days if I apply for a tourist visa? How does this work?
Anyone know if there are still any agencies in Medellin that can process student visas for a fee? Or do I need to go to Bogota?
Yes, http://www.inter-col.com/es/ has an office located near Unicentro mall and I’m aware many expats have used them for visas.
Does anybody know if they check that you are present for the classes? In that, if we sign up for classes in Medellin to get the student visa, do we actually have to attend the classes or can we live in another part of the country…?
There doesn’t seem to be a lot of options for universities that actually offer Spanish classes like this to foreigners in the other major cities like Manizales, Pereira and Cali.
Do you know the cost of doing 10hr/week of classes in Bogota?
Is it possible to open a bank account with a student Visa ? I’m looking to take classes at EAFit for 1 month and would like to set up a bank account. Thanks !