How to Get Colombia Visa
The Colombia marriage visa is a migrant visa. It is intended for foreigners who are married to a Colombian man or a woman or those who already have a Colombian spouse or permanent partner. The Colombia marriage visa used to be quite easy to get. But now requires a lot more documents from the applicant.
Historically, the Colombia common law marriage or permanent partnership visa was designated as the M or migrant visa. This visa was valid for three years. After three years you would become eligible for a resident (R) visa. However, Colombia changed its Colombian common law marriage visa rules in July 2022.
As of October 22, 2022, the new resolution 5477 will apply to common law or domestic partnership visa applications. Under this resolution, the domestic partnership visa is only valid for 1 year period. Therefore, you need to renew this visa every year for an additional 4 years. After having this visa for an uninterrupted period of 5 years, you are eligible for resident visas. The marriage visa allows you to stay, work, and study in Colombia.
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Even though common law marriage visa allows multiple entries into Colombia, you cannot stay out of Colombia with this visa for more than six months consecutively. If you stay out of Colombia for more than six months in a row, then your visa loses its validity like any other migrant visa.
The cost for the common law marriage visa is $282USD, which includes the $52 study fee for the visa application. It is common for the Colombian government to take more than 30 days to process the application. In this case, they may charge $52 more than once.
The common law marriage visa grants open authorization for work and allows its holder to carry out any lawful activity in the national territory, complying with the regulations mentioned in Article 16 of the 5477 resolution. This visa allows its main holder to request a visa for beneficiaries in accordance with the definition of Beneficiary Holder established in Article 3 of this Resolution.
What Are Colombia Marriage Laws?
Getting married to a Colombian in Colombia may be thrilling and exciting to you but you must know a few things about marriage laws before you tie the knot. Here are a few things you must know before getting married in Colombia.
Civil Union or Partnership:
Colombia allows civil unions or civil partnership. A civil partnership is considered to be common law marriage. In Colombia a civil partnership is known as a union libre or union martial de hecho. If you have lived with your partner for two consecutive years, then this constitutes a legal martial union in Colombia.
A written declaration in front of a notary documenting a civil union is required for marriage visa purposes. In Colombia, this declaration is called as declaracion union marital de hecho. It must be documented in a public escritura and this document can be used to get a marriage visa.
Consider the civil union as an alternative to the full marriage as it does not require you to obtain the certificates. This process must be handled by an attorney through the court system, otherwise a notary will always ask for a birth certificate. So we always recommend or clients avoid having to obtain a birth certificate from your home country to save a money and time.
Colombia allows spouses to get prenuptial agreements before getting married. This is commonly known as which are known as capitulaciones matrimoniales. You will need services of an experienced lawyer in Colombia who can craft a prenuptial agreement for you. Such an agreement must include asset dissolution clauses that can protect claims on future assets.
Symbolic Ceremonies are good for those who will not use a minister, father or other religious figure. You can have the symbolic ceremony even if all of the foreign papers are not if the notary cannot come to the ceremony so a professional presenter can fill in.
Same Sex Civil Unions:
Colombia allows same sex civil unions or partnerships. So, partners in same sex relationship have the right to apply and obtain marriage visas in Colombia.
Community Property Country:
It is very important to know that Colombia is a community property country. Therefore, any assets acquired post marriage are divided on 50/50 basis in Colombia. This equal division applies to both marriages and civil partnerships. In Colombia, anyone who has been living with his or her partner for over two years essentially has almost the same rights as a spouse. Any assets acquired before marriage are not up for debate when dissolving the marriage or civil union.
Inventory of Assets:
If someone getting married has minors in Colombia then you will need an attorney to create a list of assets belonging to the parent with minors in Colombia. This must be done and approved by a judge before you marry. This process can take one month if not done correctly.
Sometimes this visa requires a personal appearance for the first time by both applicants if done in the country.
Correct legalization of documents:
Many people arrive in Colombia without correct legalization of required documents and for this reason it is extremely important to start the process with an experienced visa agency before you send or bring documents to Colombia. Common errors are expired documents, incorrect stamps, missing stamps, poorly worded certifications, and invalid documents.
What Documents Are Required For Colombia Common Law Marriage Visa?
The following documents are required for common law marriage visa.
Authentic copy of public deed:
An authentic copy of the public deed, court order or conciliation act; or certificate of validity when applicable, issued no more than (3) three months in advance, where the existence of the de facto marital union is declared. The date of formalization of the document that supports the de facto union must be greater than one (1) year at the time of the visa application.
When the application for a visa as a permanent partner of a Colombian national is submitted to a Consular Office of the Republic, the valid document that proves the de facto marital union will be accepted in accordance with the laws of the place where its existence was declared with compliance with the formalities provided for foreign documents.
Signed Letter by Colombian Partner:
A letter signed by the Colombian permanent partner, in which he/she requests the visa for his/her partner; state that they maintain unique, constant, persevering and stable coexistence; and undertakes to inform the Visa and Immigration Authority of any change in the circumstances of the coexistence.
Copy of Colombian Cedula:
A simple photocopy of the Colombian citizenship card must be attached to the letter, along with the contact address, email and contact telephone number of the Colombian couple. The Visa and Immigration Authority may require additional evidence that demonstrates the effective existence of the link or summon a face-to-face, virtual or telephone interview, when it deems it necessary.
Special power granted to the foreigner to apply for said visa with diligence of content recognition and signature before a Colombian notary or consul;
Certificate of Migratory Movements
A certificate of migratory movements of the foreigner and of his/her Colombian permanent partner issued by the Special Administrative Unit of Colombia Migration.
A photocopy of the first page of your valid passport showing your biographical data. The photocopy can be either in color or black and white.
Proof of Legal Entry:
A photocopy of the page of your passport showing last stamp of entry or departure of Colombia.
Photocopy of Previously Issued Visa:
If you’ve had a previous Colombian visa such as a student or retirement visa, then a photocopy of this visa.
Passport style face photo with a white background, sized at 3 cm width X 4 cm height, maximum size of 300 kb jpg file for online application.
Colombian Consulates in The United States
Click the name of the Colombian consulate closest to you to get permission for the next flight. If you have problems communicating with the consulate and you would like help please let us know. We charge a small fee for assisting with documents and forms in Spanish.
Websites of Interest Related to this Subject
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.
James Lindzey the owner of 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.
Many visas require obtaining complicated documents in the United States or Canada. Just another reason why you should choose our firm.
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.