Refugee Visa in Colombia: What is it?

portada visa de refugiado en colombia

Refugee visa in Colombia, a second chance.

Colombia is a member state of several agreements and conventions on refugees. Among these agreements are the following:

First, the Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees signed in Geneva in 1951 and acceded to on October 10, 1961.

Second, the Protocol Relating to the Status of Refugees concluded in New York in 1967 and ratified on March 4, 1980. In addition, Colombia signed the Cartagena Declaration on Refugees on November 22, 1984.

In this sense, if you are thinking of applying for a refugee visa in Colombia, you have chosen the ideal place. The visa you should apply for is the M type.

What are the specific requirements to obtain this visa?

Only one requirement is necessary: a copy of the act by virtue of which the refugee status is recognized.

What is the cost of the refugee visa in Colombia?

The refugee visa in Colombia is free of charge.

What is the validity of this type of visa?

The M type refugee visa in Colombia is valid for 3 years.

If I need to be recognized as a refugee in order to obtain a visa, how can I be recognized as a refugee?

Decree 1067 of 2015 establishes the procedure for the recognition of refugee status. To initiate such process, you must be in the grounds set forth in article

  • A well-founded fear of being harassed for different reasons such as nationality, religion, race, belonging to a certain social group or political opinions; or that due to such fears he/she prefers not to be under the protection of his/her country; or that, being without nationality and being, as a consequence of these situations, outside the country where he/she habitually resides, he/she is unable or, due to such fears, does not want to return to it.
  • Being forced to leave your country because your safety, life or liberty has been threatened by generalized violence, foreign aggression, internal strife, massive violation of human rights or other conditions that would have significantly and adversely affected public order.
  • substantial grounds for believing that he or she would be in danger of being subjected to torture or other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment if returned to the country of his or her nationality or, if he or she does not have a nationality, to the country of his or her habitual residence.

What should the application for recognition of refugee status contain?

  • Applicant and beneficiary information such as first and last names.
  • Photocopy of the identity card of the country of origin or habitual residence or passport.
  • Date and manner of entry into the country.
  • Address, telephone number and/or e-mail address where you can be contacted. Please note that if at any time while the application is being processed any of the contact information provided changes, you must inform the Technical Secretariat.
  • Detailed account of the facts on which the request is based.
  • Documents supporting the application (optional).
  • Color photography 3×4 cm. The background should be blue.
  • Applicant’s signature.
  • Manifestation of will of the means by which you wish to be notified and/or contacted.

If at the time of submitting the application, it is verified that there is no cause for rejection, a personal interview will be scheduled in order to have more clarity on the facts that gave rise to the application.

Can I stay or enter the country if the application is pending?

When the application is admitted, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs requests the Special Administrative Unit of Migration Colombia to issue a free safe-conduct of stay for refugee processing.

It is important to know that this laissez-passer is valid for up to 3 months and can be extended for the same period of time until the application for recognition of refugee status is resolved.

When and where should I apply?

It depends on where you are. If you are in Colombia, you must submit the application for recognition of refugee status within 2 months after entering the country, by filing such application with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs or by certified mail.

If you are entering the country through borders, ports or airports, you must submit the application to the immigration authorities (Special Administrative Unit of Migration Colombia).

How long does the process take?

Decree 1067 of 2015 does not contemplate a term for the processing of the request for recognition of refugee status, so it may be different in each case.

Who is responsible for recognizing refugee status?

The Refugee Status Determination Advisory Commission is responsible for receiving, processing and studying the applications submitted.

Do the requirements for refugee status change for each country?

No, the stated requirements are the same for all persons, without discrimination based on race, gender, religion, political opinion, nationality, or membership in a particular social group, differential situation or any other condition.

What may be the reasons for non-recognition of refugee status?

Such status shall not be recognized when there are sufficient reasons to consider that the person:

  • Committed a crime against peace or humanity or committed a war crime.
  • Before being admitted as a refugee and being outside the country of refuge, he committed a serious common crime.
  • Be guilty of acts that are contrary to the principles of the United Nations.

To keep in mind

  • If you wish to withdraw your application for refugee status, you may do so at any time voluntarily and in writing.
  • It is essential to attend the appointment for the personal interview, because if you do not do so, it will be concluded that you are not interested in continuing with the procedure and a certificate of non-appearance will be issued. With this proof, the Special Administrative Unit of Migration Colombia will proceed to cancel the validity of the Permit to Stay.
  • Additional interviews may be called upon request or if deemed necessary by the Refugee Status Determination Advisory Commission.

At Servicio Legal, we have lawyers with expertise in
Immigration Law
We offer you the legal advice you need for the refugee visa process in Colombia.

Contact us, our lawyers are ready to help you.