What happens if I overstay in Colombia? Do I have to pay a fine? It is important for foreigners to know the Colombian immigration regulations and understand the cases in which they may be exposed to fines with Migración Colombia.
For this reason, in this blog, you will find important information about the types of fines in Colombia, their classification, the regularization process, and important information to avoid penalties.
That is why we explain the cases in which the Unidad Administrativa Especial Migración Colombia can charge fines or sanctions and their classifications.
According to Chapter 13 of Decree “Decreto 1067 of 2015”, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs regulates the causes for sanctions, in addition to the classification according to Resolution “Resolución 2357 of 2020
Download the official guide on fines and sanctions imposed by Colombia's immigration authorities.
a). Penalties by Migración Colombia.
1. Minor infractions
1.1. Not giving notice of the change of residence, address, employer, and/or contracting party within fifteen (15) calendar days following the occurrence of the event.
1.2. Not requesting prior authorization from the Internal Working Group determined by the Minister of Foreign Affairs for the change of employer and/or contractor within fifteen (15) calendar days following the occurrence of the event.
1.3. Not present for the registration of the change of entity, profession, trade, activity, or occupation in the visa, within fifteen (15) calendar days following the authorization of the change of entity, profession, trade, activity, or occupation. Not presenting for registration when obliged to do so, within fifteen (15) calendar days following the entry into the country or the issuance of the visa, as applicable, or not presenting minors for registration within the same term.
1.4. Incurring in an irregular stay.
1.5. Not processing the corresponding safe conduct “Salvoconducto” when required.
1.6. Not requesting the Foreign ID card Cédula de extranjería within fifteen (15) calendar days after reaching the age of majority.
1.7. Not renewing the Foreign ID card Cédula de extranjería within fifteen (15) calendar days following its expiration.
1.8. Enter or leave the country without complying with the legal requirements.
1.9. Exercise a profession, occupation, or trade different from the authorized one.
1.10. To develop remunerated activities without being authorized to do so.
1.11. Exercise activity or occupation with the safe-conduct Salvoconducto issued for leaving the national territory.
2. Moderate infractions
2.1. Refusingrefusing to appear before the immigration authority, despite having been required to do so in writing.
2.2. Facilitating the obtaining of visas by simulating some type of contract.
2.3. Not placing at the disposal of the immigration authorities upon arrival to the country the person who has been deported, expelled, or returned, or omitting or delaying the delivery of the corresponding documentation.
2.4. To bind, hire, employ, admit or allow to develop labor, work, or trade to a foreigner without the fulfillment of the migratory requirements. To favor their irregular permanence; or, to abstain from communicating the linking, admission, disengagement, and/or termination of work within the following fifteen (15) calendar days.
2.5. Promote the irregular entry or exit of foreigners or nationals from the national territory by companies, firms, or agencies of any nature, without prejudice to other legal sanctions that may apply.
2.6. Abstain from informing in writing five (5) calendar days prior to the realization of the event or public, cultural, or sporting show, on the part of the contractors or entrepreneurs, without prejudice to the legal sanctions that may apply.
2.7. Abstain from paying for the return expenses to the country of origin or to the last place of residence of the foreigner hired or linked, as well as that of his family or beneficiary if applicable, when there is the termination of the contract or disengagement, and/or when the cancellation of the visa, deportation or expulsion, without prejudice to the legal sanctions that may apply.
3. Major infractions
3.1. Abstaining from complying with the deportation resolution within the term established in the safe conduct Salvoconducto to leave the country, or return to the country before the term of prohibition established therein or without the corresponding visa.
3.2. Registering reports or annotations in the files of the competent authorities, for promoting the entry of foreigners with false contractual promises, provision of visa, or documents for entry or stay.
3.3.Having been sentenced in Colombia to prison whose sentence does not contemplate as an accessory the expulsion from the National territory.
3.4. To be fraudulently documented as a Colombian national or as a national of another country.
3.5. When the expulsion is decreed as an accessory penalty by means of an executed sentence.
Having clear the cases of fines and penalties by Migración Colombia, we will now look at the most recurrent cases of foreigners in Colombia, but first, we must understand some fundamental concepts.
What is an irregular status?
Irregularity refers to the immigration status of a foreigner who may be in any of the following situations:
- Entering the country irregularly, for example without crossing the official border or with false documentation.
- Exceeding the time granted either in visa or residence permit.
If you are already irregular, it is important to find a way to complete the regularization process as soon as possible, this can be done:
- First Request an appointment under the administrative process.
- Once you attend the appointment, you will be informed about the amount to be paid and you will be able to obtain the safe conduct Salvoconducto to continue either with the visa process or with the departure from the country.
What is safe conduct - Salvoconducto?
It is a temporary document issued by Migración Colombia for those foreigners who are on irregular stay and require the document according to the following circumstances:
For exit from the country: when the foreigner is already irregular in the country, he/she can go to a Migración Colombia office stating the intention to leave the country legally, shows the exit ticket, pays the fine, and would obtain safe conduct.
For permanency: If the person will make a visa process, the foreigner goes to Migración Colombia, shows the visa application documents, and with this, after paying the fine, will obtain the safe-conduct of legal permanency.
Frequently Asked Questions
What happens if I stay longer than allowed in Colombia?
Foreigners as tourists have 180 days per calendar year to stay in Colombia. Generally, upon entering the country, the foreigner is granted a 90-day stamp, and more or less within 10 days before the expiration of the first 90 days, the foreigner must apply for an extension of another 90 days.
If the person does not do the above and remains in Colombian territory for a longer time than authorized, the foreigner will incur an economic penalty when leaving the country or when attempting to start a Colombian visa process.
c). Fine for irregular status in Colombia
How much do I have to pay for each case?
The fines imposed by Migración Colombia can range from half to seven (7) legal monthly minimum wages (115 to 1590 USD approximately).
It must be taken into account that the final decision on the allocation of the fine will depend on the officer of Migración Colombia, but the fines for irregular status can be approximate to the following cost:
|Irregularity time||Approximate cost in COP|
|1 - 30 days ||$1.400.000|
|31 - 60 days||$ 2.000.000|
|61 - 90 days||$ 3.000.000|
|91 - 120 days ||$ 4.000.000|
How do I know if I have a fine at Migración Colombia?
If you are in Colombia, you should go to the Migration Service Facilitator Center where you can check if you have any administrative sanctioning process.
On the other hand, when you leave the country, the immigration agent will inform you if you have a process in your name and will indicate the amount to be paid.
To sum up
We know that Colombia is a great attraction, not only for tourists but also for those who see business opportunities, to establish and live in the most welcoming country in the world.
Would you like to get the guide on the various fines and sanctions imposed by Migración Colombia?
At expatgroup.co we know how important it is to be cautious of the fines and sanctions that foreigners are exposed to. Therefore, we have a guide to inform you about the dispositions of Migración Colombia. Leave us your information!