June 12, 2018
Interested in teaching English in Colombia? You're in the right place! Visas are an important part of planning your adventure overseas, so you want to make sure you're familiar with the process before you head abroad. The following is the most common type of visa that can be obtained for teaching English in Colombia.
The type of visa you'll need in Colombia (and how you get that visa) will depend on your nationality, teaching job and perhaps other factors like whether you get your job in advance of your arrival, or if you get hired locally in Colombia. Be sure to speak to an International TEFL Academy Advisor by calling 773-634-9900 to discuss your specific questions and concerns about your visa for teaching English in Colombia.
Nitty Gritty Facts About Visas For Teaching English in Colombia:
Name: M-5 Visa (previously TP-4)
Cost: Approximately $282 USD for the visa and $60 USD for your Cedula (national identity card)
Documents: Photocopy of the information page of your passport, photocopy of the page of your passport with the last stamp of entry into Colombia, work contract from your school (possible that you will need the original), letter of motivation from your employer, bank statements from your employer, and passport style photo.
Length: “M” Visas in Colombia are now valid for 3 years. However, holders of this visa can only work for the position or profession with which the visa was granted. You cannot leave Colombia for longer than 6 consecutive months with the M visa or it will expire and lose validity.
For more information, you can check out the Colombian Consulate website: http://www.colombiaemb.org/Consular_Directory
The Process For Obtaining a Visa to Teach English in Colombia:
If your job is secured before heading to Colombia, it is possible to process the M-5 visa at the nearest Colombian Consulate in your home country. However, many teachers process their visa in Bogota at the Ministerio de Relaciones Exteriores Office.
You can also fill out the application online, which will require scans of all of the necessary documents. After you receive approval, you can travel to Bogota or the nearest consulate to get the visa in your passport. Online approval can take roughly one week.
Once you have gotten your visa, you have about 15 days to register your visa with Migracion Colombia to get your Cedula (a national identity card - more about this below). These offices are located in major cities around Colombia. It is very important that you do this within the allotted 15 days or you could be fined. Having a Cedula enables you to open a bank account, get a cell phone plan, etc.
To get a Cedula you need to:
- Have a blood test
- Complete the online application
- Schedule an appointment at a Migracion Colombia office. At your appointment you will need your passport with visa, blood test, photocopy of the data page from your passport and approximately 183,000 pesos ($60 USD appox.)
Though this visa is valid for up to 3 years, holders of this visa can only work for the position or profession with which the visa was granted. You cannot leave Colombia for longer than 6 consecutive months with the M visa or it will expire and lose validity.
Again, be sure to talk with your ITA Advisor about visas before you head overseas to Colombia or enroll in your TEFL Class.
Want to learn more about TEFL Certification & Teaching English Abroad?
Request a free brochure or call 773-634-9900 to speak with an expert advisor about all aspects of teaching English around the world, including TEFL certification, the hiring process, salaries, visas and more.
- What is a Visa and Do I Need One to Teach Abroad?
- Colombia Country Profile: Overview of Teaching English in Colombia
- Teaching English in Latin America - Country Profiles
- TEFL Visas & Documents FAQ & Article Index
- Colombia Ambassador Corner - Get tips on living and teaching English in Colombia
- Teaching English in Colombia: Alumni Q&As & Interviews