Student Visa in Colombia: PIP or TP?
If you are looking for a Student Visa or Entry Permits in Colombia, it can be a little challenging as there are more than 16 different types of visas or permits. However, only 4 really matter if you are going to study or do an internship.
We met with Sarah, one of the persons responsible for the international office of the UPB University. She helped us a lot to clarify many questions we had. Please be aware that the following is just some basic information we can provide. Because there are constant changes that come from Migration Colombia, we cannot guarantee that the data is complete or completely up to date. So please always double-check first the page of migration for any changes and requirements. You will find all the links you need down below.
Looking for a Visa to study and not sure which option is the best? Let us help!
The ultimate Student Visa guide for Colombia will help you pick the right Visa for your stay.
How long are you planning to stay in Colombia?
If you are planning to stay 180 days or less in Colombia, PIP stamps are what you need. These are not official Student Visas but stamps that allow you to study and work easily. After you receive an invitation to come to an academic institution, you must present this letter/invitation to the officer at the airport. He will take under consideration your status as student and will stamp the correct authorization in your passport, which will be valid for 90 calendar days. Then, at the end of those 90 days, you can renew it at the local Immigration Office for another 90 days. Thus, you can stay in Colombia with the PIP (without VISA) for a total of 180 days (2 times 90 days).
If you are a EU-citizen, you don’t even need an invitation. This is due to an agreement between the EU and the Colombian Government. Indeed, you have the right to enter the country and look for a place to study and start studying. It is recommended to contact an academic institution (if you are planning to study) prior to that to make your process even smoother.
Both PIP stamps must be renewed after 90 calendar days.
Staying longer than 180 days?
Now, if you are staying longer than 180 days in Colombia, you will need to apply for an TP-1 or TP-3 visa to be able to conduct academic activities. With these, you can stay up to 5 years in Colombia to study.
The main difference between them is that TP-1 Visas are issued to those who have been invited by a Colombian scholarship fund. Therefore, they receive a “Visa de Cortesía”. This is the case in scholarships issued by for example: Alianza del Pacífico or ICETEX.
TP-3 visas on the other hand, besides having the same benefits as the mentioned before, is for students who are studying the complete bachelor, or come through a Double Degree exchange agreement and graduate from a Colombian University; also both allow you to conduct an internship when this a graduation requirement.
Am I allowed to work?
No. These Visas are to conduct academic activities only. If you want to know which one, visit the government website and verify the type of Visa that applies to you.
What happens with my TP Visa if my passport is going to expire before my Visa?
You will have to get a new passport. The old Visa stays in place in the old passport and is still valid. But when leaving and entering Colombian territory, you must present both -the old and new- passports to the immigration officer.
Is the electronic Visa enough?
The electronic visa only indicates that the government approved it and that you can enter the country with it. However, this is not the actual visa. You must have your visa stamped in your passport. It confirms that you are really making use of your visa for the activity you applied for (academic, work, tourism, etc.). The academic institution will ask you for your stamped visa. If you don’t have it, you won’t be able to register for classes until you have it stamped in your passport at the Embassy or consulate in your country. If you already are in Colombia, the only place you can go is Cancillería in Bogotá.
My Visa expired and I did not renew it, or my Visa will expire but I don’t have time to renew it or leave the country before the expiration date, what can I do?
You can apply for a Salvoconducto at the local Migration office. This process is for immigration irregularities and might help you to avoid penalties. However, you have to request it before the expiration day and it is only temporary. If you are planning to stay in Colombia longer, you must follow the immigration procedure that applies to you to when requesting a visa.
How much does a Visa cost?
It depends. Please check this link to verify the costs and requirements for each visa .
What do I have to do before I arrive in Colombia?
It depends on the activity you will develop in Colombia like study, work or travel. In any case, you need to follow the immigration process and check if you have to apply for a student visa or not. Take a look at our infographic to know what you need to do.
What do I have to when I am here?
If you have a PIP: Extend/renew the Visa before the 90 calendar days expire.
If you have a TP visa: Register at the local immigration office within 15 calendar days and get a Cédula de Extranjería.
Do I need the Cédula de Extranjería?
Yes, it is mandatory for those who carry a TP visa. It is your Colombian identification card so you don’t have to carry your passport everywhere. It also proves that you are allowed to stay on Colombian ground legally. Even more, you can travel within Colombia only with the Cédula de Extranjería. It is worth getting one!