COLOMBIA: New Entry and Stay Permit for Schengen Nationals

February 23, 2016

On 24th November 2015, Colombia introduced a new category of Entry and Stay Permit called PIP-10 for Schengen Area member states.

Nationals of Schengen Area countries were already allowed to enter Colombia visa-free.

On 3rd December 2015 the European Union (EU) signed a short-stay visa-waiver agreement with Colombia on behalf of its Schengen Area Member States, allowing Colombians to enter any Schengen Area country visa-free.

What is the Schengen Area?

The Schengen Area consists of 22 EU Member States and four non-EU Member States: Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland.

The visa policy of the Schengen Area determines which nationalities require visas to enter the zone, and which are visa exempt. Currently 54 nationalities qualify for the visa waiver, and the EU intends to sign reciprocal visa waiver agreements with Peru, Georgia, Ukraine and several more countries in 2016.

The non-EU Schengen countries are expected to sign separate equivalent visa waiver agreements in each case. Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus and Romania are not yet part of the Schengen Area, but nonetheless have a visa policy that is based on the Schengen area.

The visa waiver agreements do not apply to the United Kingdom and Ireland which have opted out of the Schengen area.

What is the PIP-10?

The PIP-10 is a new category of Colombian Entry and Stay Permit which allows nationals of Schengen Area countries to stay in Colombia for up to 90 days in a 180-day period. Non-Schengen visa waiver nationals are still issued a different category of PIP, depending on the activities they intend to carry out in Colombia (i.e. business, tourism)

PIP-10 holders are allowed to participate in any non-remunerated activities while in Colombia and, unlike holders of PIPs in other categories, do not have to pay a fee for extending their Entry and Stay Permit.

Action Items

Expect Schengen Area nationals arriving in Colombia to be issued a PIP-10 Entry and Stay Permit.

Should you require further information on Colombian immigration, please email us at [email protected].