CANADIAN NATIONALS are now required to pay $160,000COP ($68.88 USD) to enter Colombia, migration officials announced last week.
In a press release, Migration Colombia said that as of December 1, all Canadian passport holders would be required to pay the fee, and suggested it was a ‘tit-for-tat’ move after the Canadian government imposed a similar fee on Colombian visitors to Canada.
“The measure, which was adopted by the [Colombian] government, is in return for the payment required by [Canada], through the imposition of biometric data that Colombian citizens are required to submit and pay for when applying for a Canadian visa application,” the press release said.
According to the release, in 2013, more than 41,000 Canadians entered Colombia. Between January and September 2014, about 32,000 Canadians came to the country.
The Canadian Embassy in Bogota replied to a request for comment by saying:
“Canada has an excellent bilateral relationship with Colombia. Mobility is an important aspect of that relationship on which we continue to work. Many improvements have been made in recent years such as the opening of a new visa application center, on line applications, an increase in the percentage of approvals, multiple entry visas for up to 10 years and a faster processing time”.
Like many other countries such as the US and UK, Canada uses biometrics to strengthen its immigration system and to reduce identity fraud and identity theft in its immigration system. There is a fee of $85 CAD for the collection of fingerprints and the photograph, including services. The fees associated with biometric fees with the visa processing fees will be charged when a Colombian citizen applies for a visa not each time they enter Canada. The new fee charged by Colombia is imposed every time that a Canadian enters Colombian territory.
By Mark Kennedy