Colombian Visa TP7 Research, Step 1
It is extremely important to do some online homework to discover what is entailed in the do-it-yourself method to determine whether or not you’re really up for it. Take into consideration the comparative costs and the hassle factor. Whether or not you can speak fluent Spanish is also a big determining factor.
For me, 2 primary considerations tipped the scales towards using a visa service:
- My Spanish level was super basic. Ordering food and getting on the right bus was enough struggle for me. I knew I absolutely could not cope with Colombian government officials asking me anything more basic than my name or to see my passport!
- Getting your visa must be done in Bogota (unless you are getting it while still in your home country). And since I am not living in Bogota, I would have had to take a bus or fly there and likely even stay over night.
I also compared the cost of using a service vs do-it-yourself. Clearly do-it-yourself is cheaper. So if you are very confident of your Spanish abilities, have a day or two to devote to the process, and are already staying in Bogota (or close enough you don’t incur extra travel expenses), then you can get the whole thing done for about $200 to $225 USD less than what it cost me.
Personally, the extra I paid to the visa service was well worth it. I had no long lines to wait in, no travelling required, nearly everything was done electronically, and I had experts I could ask all my nit-picky questions to that would quickly reply to me in English. But best of all, I had zero stress about whether or not what I was doing was correct! And I didn’t even once have to go to the offices of the legal service I used… they were completely set up to do everything by email.
Once you’ve completed your research, make your main choice… to use a visa service or do-it-yourself. If you decide to use a service, I’ll tell you about which one I used in Step 3.
But regardless of whether or not you use a visa service, you’ll need proof of your monthly income which I explain in the next step. So don’t jump ahead, continue on to Step 2.
Posts in Colombian TP-7 Visa series:
The TP-7 category I used. What I will share that may help you.
Simple basic research is the key to making the right choice for you.
Income needed. How to get your official proof-of-income letter.
What to expect using a visa service. Who I picked, why, costs.
The simple steps I went through guided by my visa service.
The final prize... getting your official ID card, your cédula.