The difficult access to a visa was once again on the table with the proposal to reduce the time in this procedure made by the Colombian ambassador in USA, Luis Gilberto Murilloto the government of Joe Biden.
According to Murillo, Colombia is one of the countries with the most delays in this process: “Compatriots must wait about 850 days after submitting the application.”
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But it is not only the United States where there are problems with the visa. To this country are added the UK, Canada, South Africa and Thailand.
The recurring reasons for denying this permit, taking into account the response time and the requirements, are not showing roots in the country of origin, lack of sufficient economic solvency or job stability, in addition to having relatives with asylum in the territory that is wants to visit, warns Stephanie Parra, an expert in visa processing.
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The cases of South Africa and Thailand are associated with management having to be done in other countries.
For South Africa, it must be processed in Caracas (Venezuela), while for Thailand, in Lima (Peru). The difficulty here is not that they do not grant appointments or that applications are denied, but in the transfer or contact with the countries in which they must be processed.
Alfredo Franqui, an expert in the visa process, explained a few days ago to EL TIEMPO that “waiting times are quite long, both for people who apply for the first time and for those who seek to renew it. For example, for people applying for the first time, the appointments are being given for February and March 2025”, explains the specialist.
Franqui clarified that the United States requires that it be shown that they have roots in Colombia and that the applicant is not going to stay in the United States. Something similar to the situation in Canada.
Faced with this scenario, the director of Colombian MigrationFernando García, declared that the immigration authority in the next four years will have a new approach that “will guarantee a decent border crossing for nationals and foreigners.”
However, analysts agree that it is quite complex to obtain a visa exemption expeditiously and that visa application times have been delayed by the pandemic.
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Sandra Clavijo, immigration attorney and vice president of the Colombian American Chamber of Commerce of Miami, expresses that the biggest problem in the process to obtain the visa lies in the confinement that was experienced by covid-19.
“The embassies reopened, but they have backlogged requests from two years ago. It is a problem that is happening worldwide”, argues the lawyer.
Clavijo adds that Colombia is one of the countries that makes the most requests for tourist visas and that it tends to shoot up when there is a change of government: “The embassies know that the new commands generate uncertainty, so they begin to be stricter: they review the link with the country of origin, the economic resources and the person’s intention to return”.
According to figures from Colombia Migration as of August 2022, 6,008,579 citizens have left the national territory. The main travel motivations of Colombians so far this year are focused on tourism, work, business and studies.
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