U.S. Embassy Bogotá’s Consular Section processes nonimmigrant visas for temporary travel for tourism, business, study and exchange programs, employment, and other purposes.
Limited Visa Processing Due to COVID-19: As noted, U.S. Embassy Bogotá has suspended routine nonimmigrant visa services due to the COVID-19 pandemic. We are approving expedited appointment requests for nationals and residents of Colombia and Venezuela and scheduling as many appointments as local conditions, resources, and safety considerations allow in mission-critical visa categories. These categories include a limited number of appointments for student (F and M), exchange visitor (J), and petition-based employment visas as well as visitor visas for emergency travel and urgent purposes. If you need to travel immediately, please follow the instructions at https://ais.usvisa-info.com/en-co/niv/information/faqs#need_earlier_appt to request an expedited appointment. If your request is approved, but you are experiencing flu-like symptoms or believe you may have been exposed to COVID-19, please contact us so that we can reschedule your appointment 14 days later. If you have questions, please contact us at https://co.usembassy.gov/visas/nonimmigrant-visas/non-immigrant-visa-contact-form/.
Interview Waiver Applications: If you already have a full-validity B1/B2, C1/D, D, F, H, J, L (non-blanket), M, O, or P visa that is valid or that expired fewer than 48 months ago, you may be eligible to renew your visa without an interview. In the case of F or M (student) visas, you must either be continuing in the same institution or entering the same course of study at a different institution. In the case of J visas, you must be returning to the same exchange program as your prior J visa. Applicants under 14 or over 79 years of age may also be eligible for an interview waiver. Your eligibility for an interview waiver will be determined during the application process. Click here to start that process.
Nonimmigrant Visa Fees Have Been Extended: The U.S. Department of State will extend the validity of nonimmigrant visa payments (known as MRV fees) until September 30, 2023, to allow all applicants who were unable to schedule a visa appointment as a result of the suspension of routine consular operations to schedule and/or attend a visa appointment based on the previously paid fee.
Information for Travelers in the United States Concerned about Their Nonimmigrant Status: The expiration date on a U.S. visa does not determine how long one may 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.
The Consular Section at U.S. Embassy Bogota, considering international norms of immunity, will not respond to derechos de petición and tutelas. If you have any consular-related inquiries, we recommend that you send them to us via our contact form, rather than in a petition and/or tutela format to which we cannot respond. We note that the granting of visas is a matter of State sovereignty.
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. It must also specify that the employee’s travel, room, and board expenses will be paid by the employer. The contract must be in English, and a language understood by the employee and must be signed by the employer and employee.
- 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.
U.S. Embassy Bogotá accepts applications for the above visa classifications at the “Diplomatic Visas Window” in the Nonimmigrant Visa (NIV) Unit from 1:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. daily. Such applicants generally do not need to appear for an in-person interview; they may submit the required documents themselves or have a courier do so. Applicants and couriers may access the NIV Unit waiting area during the designated time through the entrance on the corner of Calle 24 Bis and Avenida Carrera 50. Please contact us with any questions about diplomatic or official visas.
Please contact us if you would like to apply for a B1/B2 visa in your diplomatic or official passport and you currently serve as a diplomat or government official. Former or retired officials must apply for B1/B2s through the regular process.
There is a separate process for A3 (domestic employee of an A1 or A2 visa holder) and G5 (attendant, servant, or personal employee of G1 through G4 visa holders) applicants. Such applicants should contact us to request instructions.
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.