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Colombia Visa Application Process

The Colombian visa application is handled by the Ministry of Foreign Relations visa office virtually in Bogota, Colombia through their website at The website is not the most user-friendly. Keep in mind that even if you are processing a visa outside of Colombia you will need to process the application with this website and select the consulate you are using. Below is a quick outline of the Colombian Visa Application Process.

n1 OBTAIN YOUR DOCUMENTS: Organize Documents you need for application

n2 VERIFY DOCS ARE LEGALIZED: Follow legalization process for foreign documents

n3 ORGANIZE BIOLOGICAL INFORMATION: Submit information for immigration forms with your photo

n 4UPLOAD APPLICATION: Upload information & Documents to Cancilleria Visa Application System

      * Application is valid for 30 days after paying the 52 USD application fee

5 REQUEST FOR INFORMATION: Respond to requests for additional information if requested

    * Besides basic requirements Visa officials may ask for any type of  documentation they feel is necessary

6 PAY FOR YOUR VISA: On approval you have 30 days maximum to pay for your visa or application will cancel out

7COLOMBIAN ID CARD: Once your visa is paid for you need to proceed to obtaining your foreigners ID CARD.

Visas by James Visa-Problems

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n1Visa Processing Procedures and request for additional information vary depending on visa official handling application

n2 High Season Caos: Visa Application processes often change during June to July to deal with large amounts of applications

 n3 Visa Laws (resolutions) are updated every few years. Visas requirements will change.

 n 4  M Visa Travel Limits If you stay out of the country more than 6 months on a M (MIGRANT VISA) YOUR VISA WILL BECOME INVALID

5R Visa Travel Limits Residency Visa If you stay out of the country more than 2 years on a RESIDENCY visa your visa will BECOME INVALID

6 Beware of Original Document Issue Dates – Documents from outside Colombia which are older than 90 days are usually not accepted by visa officials.

*some exceptions may be documents such as childs birth certificates,or spouses marriage certificate. (this is not to be counted on)

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Visa Requirements are:

Inventory of Assets – Minors of Either Parent Require a months long process called inventory of assets

Marriage License / Permission  Notary time to issue permission to marry may take 15 business days.

Notary calendar Opening for marriage – may be booked for more than a month so be prepared to shop around different notaries

Notary Approvals Vary – Documents which work in one notary may not be approved in another notary and vice versa.

Power of Attorney – If your not in the country its important to get a power of attorney to allow a person to present documents on your behalf to push process forward.

Advanced Approval – If your on a tight travel schedule be prepared to express mail all of your original documents so that notary will put your marriage on the calendar before you arrive.

Marriage of Two foreigners – may not get married in Colombia if they have not been living here a very long time. Possible Solution is the CIVIL UNION. (ask James Lindzey for more info)

Old Documents not Valid –  may not be presented. All FOREIGN documents must be less than 90 days old.

City of Domicle – You must marry in the same city that you reside in.

 Colombian Citizens – must have original cedula to marry

Certificate of being single – had different requirements depending on the notary. Sometimes this may be declared in Colombia but other times this document must come from country of origen. This is a very delicate and potentially marriage stopping document. (ask James Lindzey for more info on this subject)

Place of Translations – Depending on the notary you will have to translated all documents to spanish either in your home country or in Colombia. This depends on the notary.

Same Sex Marriages – are legal but certain notaries may make your life difficult.

Document Certifications (Apostille or Legalization) – Documents must be apostilled or legalized before you bring them to Colombia.

Previous Divorces – If you were divorced then you must get a new copy of your divorce, apostille/legalize and translate.

Colombian Registration of Previous Divorces – Some Colombians forget to register dirvoce(s) from previous marriages from their birth certificate. This can cause a loss of important time during process.

Previous Name Changes – If anyone has changed a name then name change documents must also be presented in legalized format as explained above.

Birth Certificate must match Cedula or Passport  If a birth certificate for either side is not exactly the same as the Colombian ID, or Passport, then the ID or passport must be corrected before the marriage is allowed.

 Post Marriage Name Changes – Name changes are allowed for Colombian Citizens. (keep in mind childrens last names have special rules, but you  may also change childrens names after birth in the case you want them to have fathers last name only)

Use Estate Planning & Prenuptials – Remember Colombia has a prenutials, living trusts to protect your assets. Living with someone for 2 years in Colombia automatically creates a civil union. If you will move to another country get a prenput for that country as well.

Use an Expert in Foreign Marriages to help – As you can see many things can go wrong with a marriage in Colombia, especially when organizing marriage with a foreigner. Many people have to get documents from overseas 2 times due to strict marriage laws.

Symbolic Marriage – Is a Colombian marriage too complicated? Alternately you may use  a Symbolic Marriage for the family

Why Use Our Agency For Colombia Visa Process Steps? 

Since 2005, our legal firm Medellin Lawyer has helped clients who want to get a US visa. We are the oldest expat visa business in Colombia. We also have more attorneys in office than any other visa agency in Colombia.

In addition to our visa services we offer a full range of legal and accounting services to our clients. By having a legal and accounting firm work on your application, we are able to handle any surprises or last minute requests by immigration officials or by a judge.

Applying for visa from Colombia

Once you receive online visa approval, if doing this in Colombia, you need to travel to Bogotá to get the visa in your passport. Visas in Colombia are issued at the Ministerio de Relaciones Exteriores office in Bogotá. Their office is located at Avenida 19 # 98-03, Torre 100 Building, 3rd Floor. It’s open from 7:30 am until noon.

The major challenge with getting a Colombian visa yourself is dealing with a government bureaucracy, making a trip to Bogota and not understanding the laws properly if you are not fluent in Sanish. 

This is where you can benefit from the services of an experienced visa agency such as Visas by James. A visa agency such ours is your best bet when it comes to obtaining visa for you. An experienced visa agency which has processed hundreds of visas and knows exactly what is needed for each type of visa is exactly what you need.

Another big benefit of using a visa agency is that they offer services to courier your passport to Bogotá to get the visa put in your passport. So, you can avoid a trip to Bogotá. The cost of a visa service including the service to courier your passport to Bogotá can even be cheaper than the cost of a trip to Bogotá.

About Visas By James

Since 2005, our visa agency Visas by James has obtained hundreds of visas for foreigners who wish to study, work, invest, and live in Colombia. We are the oldest expat visa business in Colombia. We also have more attorneys in office than any other visa agency in Colombia. In addition to our visa services we offer a full range of legal and accounting services to our clients. By having a legal and accounting firm work on your application, we are able to handle any surprises or last minute requests by immigration officials.

Visa by James Story:

James Lindzey the owner of Medellin Lawyer and Visas by James has worked as a private investigator and paralegal in the United States from the 90s until he moved to Colombia in 2005. James arrived in Colombia in 2005 and started doing visas for expats in 2007.

In addition to our visa services our agency offers a full range of legal and accounting services to our clients. We are able to assist better in document collection services in the United States because of James legal experience in the United States.

About Our Visa Services

We can guie you through the most Complicated Immigration Situations. Our aim is to make life easier for expatriates in Colombia! 

We organize your immigration profile so that your Colombian visa application is successful.
We elaborate and structure all the necessary documents for your Colombian visa application.
Presentation of a Colombian visa before the Ministry of Foreign Affairs or any Colombian consulate

Registration and orientation when you are getting you Colombian ID (Cedula de extranjeria).

We monitor your visa application process .

Translation Legalization and apostille of the documents required for your visa application.
Chat Over WhatsApp – get your visa questions answered fast.
Online quotes – get immediate quotes for visa and other legal services
Courier your passport to Bogotá to get the visa in your passport.

Please let us know if you need more information, or we can set up a consultation in order to provided you personalized guide.

Our main office is located in Medellin, Colombia near Parque Lleras in El Poblado. We have representation in Bogota, Miami, and Fort Lauderdale. Our main office address is  Cra 39#5A-95, Oficina 709, Edificio Avangarde. We accept walk in appointments but its always nice if you can let us know ahead of time so we can schedule a time. Areas codes in Colombia have changed. To reach our office please call (57) 604-444-6634.

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Need a Visa? Over 1000

Visas Approved! click here