U.S. Embassy Bogotá’s Consular Section processes nonimmigrant visas for temporary travel for tourism, business, study and exchange programs, employment, and other purposes.
Interview Waiver Applications: If you already have a full-validity B1/B2 or C1/D visa, which is still valid or which expired less than 24 months ago, you may be eligible to renew your visa without an interview.Eligibility is determined based on the answers provided during the appointment scheduling process. To start the application process, click here: https://ceac.state.gov/CEAC/
Nonimmigrant Visa Fees Have Been Extended: The State Department will extend the validity of nonimmigrant visa payments (known as MRV fees) until December 31, 2021, to allow all applicants who were unable to schedule a visa appointment as a result of the suspension of routine consular operations an opportunity to schedule and/or attend a visa appointment with the already paid fee.
Important Information for Visa Applicants Regarding Novel Coronavirus: As of March 17, the United States Embassy in Bogota canceled routine immigrant and nonimmigrant visa appointments. We will resume routine visa services as soon as possible but are unable to provide a specific date at this time. As of September 15, the U.S. Embassy in Bogota is accepting some applications though Interview Waiver or Renewal by Mail. If you have an urgent matter and need to travel immediately, please follow the guidance provided at https://ais.usvisa-info.com/en-co/niv/information/faqs#need_earlier_appt to request an emergency appointment. If you are approved for an emergency consular appointment but are experiencing flu-like symptoms, or believe you may have been exposed to the novel coronavirus, you are strongly encouraged to postpone your appointment by at least 14 days.
Student and Exchange Visitor Visas: Starting August 14, 2020, the U.S. Embassy in Bogota began conducting a limited number of nonimmigrant visa interviews in the student and exchange visitor categories for Colombian citizens and residents. We schedule interviews for certain applicants in the F, M, and J visa categories with an approved I-20 or DS-2019 form, including immediate family members who qualify for F-2, M-2, or J-2 visas. However, we will not yet schedule interviews for students of English as a Second Language studies (ESL) . We will only conduct interviews for exchange (J) applications for categories that are not subject to Presidential Proclamation 10052. These exchange categories are alien physician, professor, research scholar, short-term scholar, specialist, and students, as well as very few au pairs who meet a specific National Interest Exception. For any questions, please review our information page at https://co.usembassy.gov/visas/nonimmigrant-visas/fmj-visa-information-during-covid-19/ or contact us at https://co.usembassy.gov/visas/nonimmigrant-visas/non-immigrant-visa-contact-form/.
Information for Travelers in the United States Concerned about Their Nonimmigrant Status: Note that the expiration date on a U.S. visa does not determine how long one can remain in the United States. U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) determines the authorized period of admission at the time of a traveler’s entry. Travelers may check their required departure date on the CBP website.
Travelers who need to extend their stay or change their nonimmigrant status may apply to do so through U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). See USCIS’s alert on COVID-19 and delays in extension and change of status filings.
How to apply
Filling out the DS-160 online is easy and doesn’t require help from a third party. Just click on this link https://ceac.state.gov/genniv/
For specific information about how to apply for a visa (required documents, visa fee, scheduling an appointment, and delivery services), please visit https://ais.usvisa-info.com/en-CO/niv/information/niv
Visa Renewals, Personal Appearance and Interview Requirements
Visiting the Embassy
Carry with you to the interview:
- Your valid passport and previously issued passports;
- The DS-160 confirmation page with barcode;
- H, L, and other petition-based visa applicants must bring copies of the I-797, I-129 and other petition-related documents;
- F & M visa applicants (students) must bring the SEVIS receipt and I-120;
- J visa applicants (exchange visitors) must bring the SEVIS receipt and DS-2019; and
- Minors should bring one recent (within the past six months) passport size photograph50mm X 50mm (2″ x 2″) with a white background.
NOTE: The above documents may or may not be reviewed at the time of your interview
Due to security procedures and space limitations, U.S. consular sections do not permit interested parties such as friends, relatives, attorneys, or business contacts to attend the visa interview with the applicant. Only the applicant (and a guardian, if the applicant is unable to care for him- or herself) may attend a visa interview.
All U.S. Embassy visitors and their personal belongings must pass through security screening before entering the building. For reasons of safety and security, the following items are strictly forbidden inside the embassy. We ask all our visitors to leave these items at home. None of these devices can be stored at the Embassy. We do not recommend any services outside the embassy for storing your items.
- Electronic devices including: computers, cameras, or CD/MP3 players, flash drives (USB). Entry of cell phones is normally, but not always, allowed and they must be turned off while within the Embassy;
- Food or drinks;
- Flammable materials or tobacco, such as lighters, matches, cigarettes, or cigars;
- Sharp objects, such as: scissors, knives, or nail files; and
- Weapons or explosives of any kind.
This list is not all-inclusive, and security officials reserve the right to deny entry of items determined to be unsafe or a threat to security.
Venezuelan applicants for nonimmigrant visas can apply at any U.S. Embassy or Consulate around the world. If you choose to apply at the U.S. Embassy in Bogotá, all applicants who do not reside in Colombia must attend the visa interview in-person – this includes minor children and the elderly. We do not expedite cases for travel back to Venezuela after the interview. You may be asked to provide bank documents during the interview; we recommend bringing bank statements for all active accounts.
Domestic Employees (B-1)
This category of applicant includes, but is not limited to, housecleaners, cooks, chauffeurs, nannies, nurses, and gardeners.
You may work as a personal or domestic employee in the United States on a visitor visa if your employer is:
A Nonimmigrant Visa (NIV) Holder – Your employer must have a valid nonimmigrant visa. The domestic employee must have been employed outside the United States by the employer for at least one year prior to the date of the employer’s admission to the United States, or the employer must have a history of employing domestic employees in similar capacities, and the employee has a residence abroad which he or she has no intention of abandoning.
An American Citizen – The domestic employee is accompanying a U.S. citizen who has a permanent home or is stationed in a foreign country but is visiting or is assigned to the United States temporarily. American Citizens who reside in the United States may not bring a foreign domestic employee to the United States to work.
The domestic employee should gather and present the following required documents:
- Employment Contract.A written contract must be provided to the consular officer. The employer must provide proof that the applicant will receive the minimum or prevailing wage (whichever is higher), describe the employees duties and the work to be performed, and be provided working conditions in accordance with U.S. law. Information required in the contract is available in both English and Spanish
- Employer’s visa or Employer’s U.S. passport.
Diplomatic and Official Visas
A-1, A-2, G-1, G-2, G-3, G-4 and C-3 visas are for diplomats/government officials, and officials from designated international organizations (such as the World Bank or Organization of American States) traveling to or transiting the United States in an official capacity.
As of March 17, the United States Embassy in Bogota canceled routine immigrant and non immigrant visa appointments. We will resume routine visa services as soon as possible but are unable to provide a specific date at this time. The U.S. Embassy is currently no longer accepting applications for the above visa classifications at the “Diplomatic Visas Window” in the Non immigrant Visa (NIV) Unit. Such applicants generally do not need to appear in person for an interview, and should email the required documentation, including a copy of their passport page with biodata, to NIVBogota@state.gov with the subject line stating “DIPLOMATIC/OFFICIAL VISA APPLICATION.” The NIV Unit will then schedule a time when the applicant or another person on their behalf may drop off the passport and hard copies of the required documents.
Applicants for diplomatic and official visas are exempt from paying the visa application fee.
The documents required for this type of application are the following:
- A valid passport
- The confirmation page from the DS-160 Application form
- A photograph
- A diplomatic or official letter that includes the following information:
- Complete name
- Date of birth
- Passport number
- Position and title
- Place of assignment or visit
- Purpose of travel including brief description of duties
- Travel Dates and length of stay
- For dependents, the note must include the names, relationships, and dates of birth of any dependents and other members of household who will be accompanying or joining the principal.
Accompanying Family Members and Members of Household
Spouse and children
The legal spouse and legal unmarried sons and daughters of any age are eligible for diplomatic and official visas to accompany the principal applicant.
Other Family Members
Other family members such as parents, uncles, aunts, and cousins are eligible for A-1, A-2, G-1, G-2, G-3, G-4 and C-3 visas provided they meet the following requirements:
The family member of the principal applicant is related by blood, marriage or adoption, or the applicant is a relative by blood, marriage, or adoption of the partner or spouse, or
The family member is recognized by the sponsoring government or organization as the immediate family member of the principal applicant (generally, this relative’s name will be listed as a dependent family member on the diplomatic note), or
The family member is already a member of the principal applicant’s household or will reside regularly in the household of the principal applicant.
E Visa (Treaty Trader/Investor)
The United States has maintained a treaty of commerce and navigation with Colombia since June 10, 1848. A Colombian applicant who wishes to travel to the U.S. for substantial trade between the U.S. and Colombia (including trade in services or technology) or to develop and direct the operations of an enterprise in which the Colombian applicant has invested or is in the process of investing a substantial amount of capital, may apply for a Treaty Trader (E-1) or Treaty Investor (E-2) visa.
For detailed information on this type of visa, and nationals of other countries eligible for this type of visa, please see the State Department’s travel website.
Applicants must meet specific requirements to qualify for a treaty trader (E-1) or treaty investor (E-2) visa under immigration law. Check here for the detailed list of visa requirements.
The maximum length for which an E-1 or E-2 visa can be issued to a principal applicant who is a citizen of Colombia is 5 years.
Proper Use of B1/B2 Visas and Visa Waiver Travel for Investors
Potential investors may seek out investment opportunities, sign contracts, and take other steps to purchase or establish a business while traveling on B1/B2 status or on the Visa Waiver Program. However, applicants may not develop and direct a business while in such status. State Department regulations state (9 FAM 41.31 N9.7), “an alien seeking investment in the United States, including an investment that would qualify him or her for status as an E-2 investor, is precluded from performing productive labor or from actively participating in the management of the business prior to being granted E-2 status.”
Such actions are impermissible whether or not the investor receives any payment for his work.
If you are applying for a Treaty Trader (E1) and Treaty Investor (E2) visa, please follow the instructions on how to submit your visa application in the following link.