The Colombia Marriage Visa is intended for a foreigner who is the spouse or permanent partner of a Colombian national. The visa is relatively easy to get with few requirements. The visa also known as the TP-10 visa is also relatively inexpensive – costing just $255 including the processing fee.
Colombia Marriage Visa Requirements
To qualify for the Colombia Marriage/Partner Visa you need to demonstrate that you are married to a Colombian national (married in Colombia or in another country) or are the “permanent partner” in a relationship with a Colombian national.
Colombia has what is considered a de facto union, which is the legal equivalent of a marriage. To qualify for this de facto union, you must have lived together for at least two years. This is more informal than a marriage and is easier to dissolve without requiring a divorce to end the relationship. Keep in mind that Colombia is a community property country and this applies to marriages as well as the more informal de facto marital unions.
The Visa Process
The following documents how to get a Colombia Marriage Visa in-person in Bogotá based on a TP-10 visa (the permanent partner variety) successfully obtained earlier this year. You can also get a visa at Colombian Consulates abroad.
The Colombia Marriage Visa is applied for in-person at the Ministerio de Relaciones Exteriores office located in Bogotá at Avenida 19 # 98-03, Torre 100 Building, 3rd Floor. The office is open from 7:30am until noon.
- Copy of the first page of your current passport where your personal data is displayed.
- Copy of the page of your passport where the last stamp of entry or departure of Colombia is located.
- Colombian marriage certificate, marriage certificate from another country or escritura pública given to you by a notary to legalize a unión marital de hecho (civil union). This document must have been issued within 90 days of the visa application.
- Notarized copy of the Colombian ID (cedula) of your Colombian spouse (partner).
- Notarized letter (in Spanish) from the Colombian national requesting the issuance of the visa. This should include some brief details of the relationship and that you intend to live together in Colombia.
- Valid current passport with an expiration date of more than 180 days and two blank pages.
- Since you are applying for the visa in-person you will not need photographs, your photo will be taken on site.
- A short interview of the couple is normally required in Bogotá but may not be needed in some consulates.
The cost of the Colombia Marriage Visa (TP-10) is $50 for processing (study) in the Bogotá visa office and $205 for the visa for a total of $255. This is paid in pesos in a small bank branch located in the visa office.
You can apply for the visa online here, which will require you to have scans of all the required documents. But this is not needed if you apply for the visa in-person. If you apply in-person, the agent will ask you questions, fill out the online application for you, scan all your documents and return them to you as well as take your photo with a digital camera.
The TP-10 visa is typically issued for a duration of three years and permits multiple entries into Colombia. After three years of having a TP-10 visa this can be converted to a resident visa (RE visa), which is good for five years. Note that if someone with an RE visa leaves the country for two continuous years they lose the right to the visa.
The Proof Marriage or Permanent Partner
For a marriage in Colombia, the requirement is simply a marriage certificate issued by a notary in Colombia within 90 days for the visa application.
For a marriage outside of Colombia you will need a marriage certificate that is apostilled. An apostille is a form of authentication attached to a document so it is certified for legal purposes for use in other countries. In the United States, this apostille would come from the Secretary of State from the state you were married in. Once you have the apostilled marriage certificate for a marriage outside Colombia keep in mind it needs to be dated within 90 days for the visa application. The marriage certificate from outside Colombia should also be translated into Spanish. Trámites Internacionales Inter-Col is one company in Medellín with official Colombian translators that can translate into Spanish at a cost of about $12 per page.
To get an escritura pública to legalize a unión marital de hecho (for a permanent partner relationship of at least two years), you must go to a Colombian notary with your partner and ask for an “escritura pública para una unión marital de hecho“.
Note that each notary in Colombia may have a different interpretation of the law. Some notaries may require a registro civil, which is a Colombian document containing details of your birth, parents names, nationality and marital status. Notaries with this requirement will want to see an equivalent document for foreigners. However it is possible to find notaries that do not require this registro civil and just require a copy the foreigner’s passport and Colombian citizen’s cedula for an escritura pública. If you are in Medellín, Notaría 17 in El Poblado has been known not to require a registro civil. In Bogotá, Notaría 41 reportedly also doesn’t require a registro civil.
Getting a Colombian Cedula
After you have successfully received your Colombia Marriage Visa you will have a maximum of 15 days to register your visa with Migración Colombia to get a Cedula de Extranjeria (Colombian ID for foreigners). This must be done in-person. We previously documented this cedula process in our report about the Colombia Retirement Visa (***insert link) but we are repeating the process here for completeness.
It is important to register your visa within the allotted time frame or you will be liable for a big fine of up to seven times the minimum monthly salary in Colombia (well over $2,000).
The following is information successfully used at the Migración Colombia office in Bogotá in July 2014.
Before going to Migración Colombia’s office, deposit 156,300 pesos at Banco Occidente. In Bogotá there is a Banco Occidente branch located at Calle 100 #9A-39, which is a few blocks from the Migración Colombia office.
At the bank they will have a sample deposit slip posted on the wall showing how to fill it out with:
- Account name: Migración Colombia
- Account number: 263-05464-5, codigo 101
- Amount: 156,300 pesos
After making the deposit at Banco Occidente, it is a short walk to the Migración Colombia office in Bogotá, which is located at Calle 100 #11B-27.
- Original deposit slip from Banco Occidente
- Original passport
- Signed “Formato Único de Tramites” application form (form available in the office)
- Photocopy of biographical page of passport
- Photocopy of your TP-7 visa
- Photocopy of blood test showing your blood type (or if you have a previous visa, photocopy of your cedula)
- 1 photo (3×4 cm) – no photo needed if you have a previous visa
If you register your visa with Migración Colombia in Bogotá, the cedula should be ready for pickup in three business days at their office. You can check status on the Migración Colombia website, which has a list of cedulas ready for pickup.
You can also register the visa in Bogotá and have the cedula sent to the Medellín Migración Colombia office – this requires a letter to request this and make sure to have an extra copy.
If the visa is registered at the Migración Colombia office in Medellín (located at Calle 19 #80A-40) or another city the process takes longer, which is about 10 business days to receive the cedula.
It is possible to get the visa and apply for the cedula in the same day in Bogotá. The visa office opens at 7:30am but I recommend going at 6:00am so you will be one of the first in line and make it out normally before 9:00am. This way you avoid sitting for much time in the visa office and provides plenty of time to register the visa with Migración Colombia, which closes at 4pm.
Also make sure to bring something to read and dress warmly as it can be cold in the morning in Bogotá.
The Colombia Marriage Visa is relatively easy to get but is strictly intended for someone who is married to a Colombian national or is a permanent partner of a Colombian national. The steps outlined above show how to get a Colombia Marriage Visa yourself based on the current procedure.
There are currently 17 different types of visas available to foreigners in Colombia however the procedures and requirements can change so it’s important to have professional help when looking to acquire a non-tourist visa. Lifeafar, the largest foreign-owned real estate firm in Medellin, offers a wide range of client services including Visa Services.
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