If you have recently acquired or renewed your Colombian visa, you may be wondering how to get your Cedula de Extranjeria. Once you've obtained your migrant or resident visa, the next crucial step is to acquire a Colombian identification card, known as a Cedula de Extranjeria.
This card plays a pivotal role in your day-to-day life in Colombia, facilitating various transactions and activities. In this comprehensive guide, we'll walk you through obtaining your Cedula de Extranjeria, making your transition to life in Colombia smooth and hassle-free.
How to Get a Cedula In Colombia
Step 1: Get a Laboratory Test to Determine Your Blood Type
One of the initial requirements for obtaining your Cedula de Extranjeria is to determine your blood type.
This is essential for any medical care you may need as your blood type will be listed on your cedula, especially in emergency situations. If you don't already know your blood type, you can easily get tested at any clinic or free-standing lab in Colombia. Simply walk in and request the blood type test for your Cedula de Extranjeria. The process is simple, and you'll receive the results promptly, usually for around $15,000 pesos. However, if you already had a Colombian cedula in the past, there's no need for a blood test, as they would already have your blood type on record.
Step 2: Complete the Online Application
The next step is to complete the online application for the Cedula de Extranjeria through Migración Colombia's website. The application is available in both English and Spanish and requires some basic personal information, emergency contact details, and foreigner registration information. In the past, paper applications were used, but the online process now makes it more convenient for applicants.
Step 3: Schedule an Appointment at a Migración Colombia Office
Once you've completed the online application, it's time to schedule an appointment at one of the 27 Migración Colombia regional offices. We recommended scheduling an appointment to avoid potential delays. You can book an appointment through their online portal.
Step 4: Gather the Required Documents
Before heading to the Migración Colombia office, ensure you have the necessary documents for your Cedula de Extranjeria application. These include:
- Your original passport.
- Photocopy of your passport's information page.
- Photocopy of the most recent entry stamp in your passport.
- A Photocopy of your visa
- The application fee of 246,000 Colombian pesos, which can be paid with a credit or debit card at the office.
Step 5: Visit the Migración Colombia Office
On your scheduled appointment day, head to the Migración Colombia office with all the required documents. Upon arrival, hand over the documents to an immigration agent.
They will fingerprint you and take a photo of you, which will be linked to your file in the immigration system.
You will likely have to wait for a week or two to receive your ID card. You can check the status of your cedula online through the Migración website to see if it's ready for pick-up.
Importance of the Cedula de Extranjeria
Having a Cedula de Extranjeria in Colombia offers numerous advantages and simplifies your life as an expat in the country. Here are some key benefits:
- Banking and Financial Transactions: Most banks in Colombia require a cedula to open an account. Having one will make managing your finances and conducting various financial transactions much easier.
- Utilities and Services: With a cedula, you can easily set up essential services like internet, TV, landline, and cellular phone plans.
- Domestic Travel: A cedula can be used as a valid form of identification for domestic travel within Colombia, allowing you to leave your passport securely at home.
- Healthcare and Medical Services: Medical institutions can access your medical information through your cedula, making it crucial for receiving timely and appropriate medical care.
- Employment and Contracts: Your cedula is often required when entering into contracts, applying for jobs, or conducting any legal business in Colombia.
Obtaining your Cedula de Extranjeria is a vital step for expats planning to live, work, or study in Colombia. The process is relatively straightforward, involving determining your blood type, completing an online application, scheduling an appointment, and submitting the required documents at a Migración Colombia office.
Once you have your cedula, you'll find it indispensable for various aspects of your daily life, from banking and travel to medical services and employment opportunities. Remember to follow the necessary steps promptly to avoid fines and ensure a seamless integration into Colombian society. Embrace this beautiful country with your cedula in hand and embark on an exciting journey filled with unforgettable experiences.
Daniela Cordoba is a lawyer specializing in immigration and commercial law. Daniela Cordoba has helped individuals and businesses live and operate in Colombia for over a decade. She also has training in compliance with the respective accreditations to serve as Compliance Officer.
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