Canadians travelling to Colombia face entry tax as of Dec. 1

Canadians travelling to Colombia face entry tax

OTTAWA — Canadians travelling to Colombia must now pay an entry tax of 160,000 pesos — about US$68, Ottawa says in updated travel advice for the South American country.

The fee, which came into effect Dec. 1, is a “reciprocity tax” levied in response to costs imposed on Colombians wishing to travel to Canada.

Children under 14 and adults older than 79 are exempt from the tax, which is paid to customs officials at points of entry. The archipelago of San Andres, Providencia and Santa Catalina is also excluded.

Cash payment must be in Colombian pesos, says Air Canada, which flies between Toronto and Bogota, the Colombian capital. The tax can also be paid by credit or debit card. Passengers unable to pay will not be allowed into the country, the airline says.

Colombians, as well as citizens of about 30 other countries, must pay C$85 to provide biometrics — fingerprints and a photograph — when applying for a visitor visa, study permit or work permit to come to Canada. The biometric requirements were imposed in late 2013.