First thing first it is the country not the city. Well, since so many people easily mistaken write Columbia instead of Colombia when they refer to the country.
I arrived in Colombia with 90 days free visa. The time runs out and I wanted to stay longer. There are options to fill my will; extend my tourist visa or apply for volunteer visa. I choose the second one as I don’t know how long I’m going to be in the country. Moreover I got an opportunity to do something relate to my skills. So, volunteer visa is the choosen one.
Applying for visa is always an issue for Indonesian. I mean people always complain on how we always needed to apply for visa anywhere we want to go. Such a fuss! Well, if you need to do something to be done, you gotta do it, rite?
Aniway, Colombian volunteer visa is so easy to obtain. All you need to do is to apply online, they will review your paper and then pay the visa once it is granted.
Seems easy! It is. But, there is always but for anything. Hahaha… gotta tell you later on.
So, what are the requirements for volunteer visa?
1. Valid document from your side. On this case is passport with more than 180 days of validity and two blank pages.
2. Letter from the organisation that you are going to volunteering on. My organisation provided valid document accrediting the independent legal existence, supporting letter for my volunteer programme especially for my expenses, also the agendas that I would be working on during my stay. For futher details check here.
3. Fill out onine visa form here.
4. Recent photograph 5×5.
I applied this visa onshore. Thus, place of issue is in Bogota. If you were applying from your home country then contact the consulates or embassy for more details.
Once you are done with the form, they will send your application number code that would be used for paying the fee. At first you’ll be asked to pay for the study fee. It cost me $50. In three days I got my visa grant notice in my email and I have two weeks time to pay $205 for the visa.
There are several ways of paying; pay in cash at GN Sudameris Bank’s teller, use Servibanca ATM’s network, or pay online through PSE. I chose the last one and asked help from a friend to use his account since I need an active Colombian bank account.
So there is it. I got my visa. What an easy steps.
I got headache dealing with the online form. It is written in English but poorly translated. I had to change the language mode into spanish, so my native spanish speaker friend could translated in better way.
Other thing was because I live far away from Bogota, I need someone to help me to send my passport to imigration office in Bogota to put the visa sticker on. There is no other place to do so.
Well..well… for this case fortunately a friend of mine know someone who live in Bogota and can be asked for help. So, then I went to notary making a paper stating that I appointed this one guy to do the stuff on my behalf. I paid for COP 5.000 to get the paper signed by the notary.
Right after that I sent my passport all the way to Bogota to get the sticker. And after five days, I got my passport back.
Get Your Foreigner ID
Please be informed, that after I paid for the visa I only have five days to apply for my foreigner ID (cedula de extranjeria). Though you need to apply in person, at least you don’t need to go all the way to the capital to get the ID. I got mine in Migracion Colombia office in Cali.
Some blogger said you could fill out the form online before you come to office, I did and regret it. You still need to fill up the form manualy, and surprisingly those data I put online a night before never made it to the system. God knows. So, my sugestion just bring your passport, copy of passport and a copy of visa sticker.
The officer will give you phone number to call to get information wether your cedula is ready or not. Apparently the phone number rarely works. Once it worked I barely understood the english. Another sugestion, make use of the online chat service for any inquiries.
Pheww… it was easy in theory but it takes effort to accomplish, but it is still doable. Good luck with yours!