Were you recently married or plan to be married in Colombia? The good news is that you are eligible for the Colombian Migrant (Type M) Marriage Visa. The Colombian Marriage visa is for those who have married a Colombian National.
In this blog, we will outline updates and changes to the Colombian Marriage Visa, the benefits of the visa, and tips from a Colombian Immigration Lawyer on how an applicant can be successful.
The marriage visa will allow foreigners to stay in Colombia for 1-3 years and allow them to apply for a resident visa after holding the migrant visa for a set period, as long as they don't stay outside of Colombia for more than 6 months at a time and re-apply for their migrant visa before the expiration of their previous visa.
Who Is Eligible For the Colombian Marriage Visa
A few cases exist where someone can qualify for a Colombian Marriage or, as it's sometimes known, a spouse visa.
Legally Marriage to a Colombian National: You are eligible if you are married to a Colombian national.
Civil Union To A Colombian National: You are eligible if you have legally declared your civil union.
Documents Required For the Colombian Marriage Visa:
The following documents will be needed to apply for the Colombian Marriage visa.
- Copy of your passport
- Last entry stamp (if, by the time of the application, the foreigner is in the country)
- Apostilled Marriage certificate if the marriage was abroad and duly registered in Colombia or an Authentic Copy of the civil registry of marriage if the marriage was celebrated in Colombia
- Application letter signed by the Colombian spouse, in which they request the visa for the foreign spouse.
- Special power of attorney to request this type of visa.
- Certificate of migratory movements of the foreigner and their Colombian spouse.
It is important to note that these are just the basic requirements to submit your initial application.
At Colombian Visa Services, we have experienced that the Cancillería is almost always requesting additional information.
Additional Information Can Include:
- Proof of relationship
- A relationship timeline with proof. Proof can include photos, documents, travel tickets, shared bills, time stamps, etc.
- Proof of living together shared leases, or shared property.
- Pictures, recent and old, of the couple with family and friends.
- Declaring if you already have children or if you plan to have children
- Declaring plans for the future, including whether the couple plans to stay in Colombia or move abroad
The Cancillería may ask for documents multiple times throughout the visa application. To submit the additional documents, you'll typically send this as an explanatory letter.
How Long Does The Application Process Take:
The Cancilleria has 30 calendar days to respond to your application. However, if you need to request official documents, apostilles, and official translations, we recommend giving yourself 2-3 months for your application.
The extra 45-60 days will give you ample time to collect your documents before your application.
The Steps To Apply For a Colombian Marriage Visa
Step 1: Get Married
The first step to obtaining a Colombian Marriage Visa is to get married to a Colombian national if you haven't already.
If you are getting married in Colombia, you'll need to do the following:
1. Obtain all legal documents to present to the Notary:
• Apostilled Birth Certificate
• Apostilled Record of no Marriage
2. Go to the Notary and present a "Request for Marriage" document.
3. Secure a date for the civil marriage and celebrate the ceremony.
4. Once the ceremony is over and the official Marriage deed is issued, you can request the Visa as a Spouse of a Colombian Citizen.
Step 2: Gather Your Documents
After you are officially married, you can gather all of your official documentation, get your documents officially translated and apostilled, and prepare your application.
Step 3: Apply For Your Visa
Once you have gathered your documentation, you can submit your visa at the Cancillerias website.
Step 4: Respond To Any Requests For Information
Once you have submitted your application, you'll likely receive a request for additional documentation. You'll need to respond to these requests promptly for your application to be successful.
Step 5: Obtain Your Visa
After you've responded to all of the Canicllerías requests, you should receive a response to your application within 30 calendar days of your initial application.
Benefits Of A Colombian Marriage Visa:
After obtaining your Colombian Marriage Visa, you'll have many benefits, including being able obtain a Cédula de Extranjería.
Legal Residency in Colombia
With the Migrant Visa, you can continuously leave Colombia for up to 180 days. Your visa will be granted for 1-3 years at a time. During this time, you can reside in Colombia without needing to leave the country after the permitted 180 days
Employment Opportunities in Colombia
With the Marriage Visa, you will be permitted to work in Colombia for a Colombian Employer and perform any legal activity in the country.
Access to Education
With the visa, you'll be able to attend education programs that last longer than 180 days.
Ability to Open Bank Accounts and Pay Bills
With your Cédula de Extranjería, you can open bank accounts, purchase property, pay for utilities, and more.
In conclusion, obtaining a Colombian Marriage Visa is an excellent opportunity for those who have recently married or plan to marry a Colombian national.
The visa provides a legal path for foreign spouses to reside and work in Colombia for up to three years. It's important to note that the application process can be challenging, and the Cancillería may request additional information multiple times throughout the process. However, with the help of an experienced Colombian immigration lawyer and by gathering all necessary documentation and responding promptly to requests for information, applicants can increase their chances of success.
The Colombian Marriage Visa is an excellent opportunity for foreign spouses to begin their new life together in Colombia.
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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