Colombia’s marriage visa is intended for foreigners with a Colombian spouse or permanent partner. The Colombia marriage visa is relatively easy to get, with only a few documents required; we provide 2023 updates to the Colombian marriage visa.
So, as of October 21, 2022, the new Resolution 5477 came into effect. Among the changes it brought is the split of the spouse visa into two types: the Marriage Visa, for those who are married, and the Permanent Partner Visa, for ones who have a common law union. Both visas allow you to apply for a Resident Visa but have different accumulated times. You must accumulate three years with the Marriage Visa and five years with the Permanent Partner Visa to apply for the Resident Visa.
The marriage visa is granted for up to three years. Nonetheless, the validity of the visa can be less. You can apply for a resident visa after accumulating three continuous and uninterrupted years. On the other hand, the permanent partner visa is valid for a maximum of one year. You must renew it annually until you accumulate five years; please consider that to comply with the resolution, the second and consecutive visas must be issued before the expiration date of your current visa. Just like this, you can show continuity when applying for a resident visa.
In addition, with the M marriage visa, you are permitted to carry out any lawful work activity in Colombia. This is the same as the previous TP-10 visa.
Also, with a M-marriage visa, if you leave Colombia for more than six months consecutively without returning to Colombia, your visa loses its validity like any other migrant visa.
The cost for the M- marriage visa is $324 USD, including the processing charge. This is somewhat higher than the previous TP-10 visa, which cost $263.
Also, we have this article about how to obtain a Colombia marriage visa in Spanish.
Has the visa process changed in Colombia due to the new Resolution 5477?
According to ExpatGroup, the visa agency we partnered with, tells us that with the new resolution, the government has introduced new application requirements, in addition to having eliminated some visas, such as the M student visa, and changed the category, for example, the R type visa for Colombian child, it is now M category.
In the case of couples, with the latest resolution, there are now two types of visas; M marriage visa for spouses with a validity of up to three years and M Visa Permanent partner of a Colombian national, with a maximum validity of one year, both visas have a current cost of 324 USD.
How to Apply for a Colombia Marriage Visa
You apply for a Colombia marriage visa online in Colombia. In addition, you can obtain Colombian visas at Colombian consulates around the world. In the U.S., Colombia has consulates located in Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, Orlando, Newark, New York, San Francisco, and Washington DC.
The Colombian visa process is fairly easy as it’s done online. You can apply for a Colombia visa online here. This application will require scans of all required documents in PDF files plus the photo in jpg format. In addition, a detailed guide for applying online is found here.
Visas in Colombia are issued by the Ministerio de Relaciones Exteriores. Since the coronavirus, all visas are issued electronically, so you do not have to travel to Bogota for the stamp.
I successfully obtained three Colombian visas that I applied for my own in the past that were good for a total of five years. But the biggest challenge with doing a Colombian visa yourself is not benefiting from the experiences of a visa agency, which has processed hundreds of visas and knows precisely what is needed for each type of visa.
So, for my latest visa received in 2018, a Colombia resident visa, I used a visa agency. And I found the experience painless and now highly recommend using a visa service over doing a Colombia visa application yourself. The bottom line is with a visa agency, you are less likely to run into problems.
Medellin Guru Visa Service
The visa agency we partnered with has helped 800 Medellin Guru reader
New 2023 Marriage Visa Requirements
Documents required for the M- marriage visa include:
Documents if you are applying for an M visa Permanent partner of a Colombian national:
The Government may require additional evidence to demonstrate the effective existence of the relationship or summon a virtual, telephonic, or face-to-face interview when it deems necessary.
Medellin Guru Insurance Service
Medellin Guru partnered with an insurance agent to offer Colombian insurance services to foreigners including health insurance, auto insurance, homeowners’ insurance, travel insurance and life insurance.
How to Get the Migratory Movement Certificate (Certificado de Movimiento Migratorio)
A migratory movement certificate is now needed for marriage visas, as Migración wants to confirm it is real relationship and that you have spent time with your partner.
You can get the Migratory Movement Certificate (Certificado de Movimiento Migratorio) at any Migración Colombia office. The cost currently is $66,500 COP.
You need to submit online and can pay online. Or you can submit online and pay at a Migración Colombia office. The processing time is three business days.
An Interview May be Required for a Colombia Marriage Visa – Example Questions
Sometimes, the marriage visa requires an interview of the spouses. This is reported to be required for almost all civil partnerships. During the interview, the spouses may be interviewed together or interviewed separately, with answers compared.
The questions asked vary and can include questions like:
- How did you meet?
- What did you do to celebrate your wedding?
- Questions about both spouse’s families?
- Where have you gone on vacation?
- What side of the bed does your spouse sleep on?
- What scars does your spouse have?
Also, they may ask to see photos. The interview questions are intended to show that the relationship is real.
Since the pandemic, being summoned for an interview is rare. However, the government can schedule a virtual (video call), telephone, or face-to-face interview.
Getting Married in Colombia
In Colombia, you can get married at a church or at a Colombia notary. Here I’ll discuss a civil marriage at one of the notaries in Medellín. Note that religious marriages must also be registered at a notary. A complete list of the notaria offices in Medellín is found here.
Your first step in a civil marriage at a notary in Colombia is to contact the notary you want use to find out what documents are required and the procedure. Documents required can be different from notary to notary in Colombia. Also, the documents required depend on your situation.
For example, if you or your partner have kids it can be more complicated. Also, not all notaries are used to working with foreigners. So, it’s important to talk to a notary to find out the documents they require for your situation.
Over three years ago I was married at Notary 17 in El Poblado located at Calle 8 #42-15. And this notary has much experience with foreigners and the process was straightforward in my experience. The documents required were:
- Photocopy of my wife’s cedula.
- Notarized copy of my wife’s birth certificate not older than 90 days – this needed to be the long form folio version which showed her marital status. Note that Colombia has a national registry of births and marriages. So, a birth certificate in Colombia is a living document.
- My U.S. birth certificate with an apostille and Spanish language translation not older than 90 days.
- My U.S. divorce decree with an apostille and Spanish language translation not older than 90 days.
- Photocopy of my cedula (I had a previous visa so already had a local cedula ID). If I didn’t have this cedula, a photocopy of my passport would have been needed.
I translated my documents from the U.S. to Spanish using a visa agency in Medellín with official Colombian translators that can translate into Spanish.
When I brought all the documents to the notary they reviewed the documents and scheduled the civil wedding with the notary. Since I spoke sufficient Spanish a translator wasn’t needed. And the cost of a marriage at Notary 17 in El Poblado was 140,000 pesos back then.
Civil Partnership – Like a Common-Law Marriage
Colombia also has the option for documenting a civil partnership, which can be used for a Permanent Partner Visa after completing one year of common law marriage. A civil partnership is also known in Colombia as a “union libre” or “union marital de hecho.”
Two consecutive years of cohabitation with a permanent and monogamous live-in situation in Colombia essentially represents a legal and de facto marital union in Colombia.
Documenting this type of relationship requires a declaration in front of a notary. This is called a declaración union marital de hecho and should be documented in a public escritura and this document can be used to get a visa (with the new Resolution 5477, you can apply for the visa one year after signing the union).
Technically a couple should be living together under the same roof, and the relationship is reportedly supposed to have been for two years. But I have met some expats that received this declaration with shorter relationships.
Other Considerations in Colombia Marriages and Civil Partnerships
Colombia permits same sex civil unions. So, partners in same sex relationships have the right to also get marriage visas in Colombia.
In addition, it’s important to understand that Colombia is essentially a community property country.
So, assets acquired post marital union are most commonly divided 50/50 in Colombia and this 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.
However, assets that you acquire before your marriage/union in Colombia are typically not up for debate when dissolving any martial union in Colombia.
But it is possible to get prenuptial agreements in Colombia, which are known as “capitulaciones matrimoniales”. An experienced lawyer in Colombia can design a prenuptial agreement that includes asset dissolution agreements that can protect claims on future assets.
Using a Visa Agency for a Marriage Visa
Whether you are in Colombia or abroad and want to save yourself the hassle of applying for a visa., you can use a visa agency to obtain a Colombia marriage visa. A visa agency can handle the whole online application.
Medellin Guru has partnered with what we believe is the best visa agency in Medellín to offer Colombia visa services. Features of this service include:
- Online chat – get visa questions answered fast.
- Online quotes – get immediate visa quotes.
- Office in El Poblado in Medellín.
- Competitive price compared to other visa services.
- Bilingual team
The Medellin Guru visa service partnership was launched in March 2019. And in 53 months, 765 visas were successfully received by clients including 13 Digital Nomad visas.
So, in total we had 865 clients of the Medellin Guru visa service in 53 months.
In addition, many more visas are in process – short, medium or longer term, depending on client needs.
We reviewed all the Colombia visa agency services in Medellín and found one agency that offers a more efficient visa service with more features and more comprehensive communications including online chat, WhatsApp, video calls by Google Meet or Zoom, email and phone plus a low price and a convenient office in El Poblado.
Our visa partnership is an affiliate relationship (like the Amazon affiliate program). If you use our visa partner, Medellin Guru receives a small commission and you support the website. This is at no additional cost to you. The price remains the same, whether you use a button or affiliate link on this website or not.
Furthermore, the visa agency we partnered with offers visa services anywhere in Colombia. So, if you are located in another city in Colombia you can use this service.
Getting a Colombian Cedula
After you have successfully received your Colombia marriage visa, you have a maximum of 15 calendar days to register your visa with Migración Colombia to get a Cedula de Extranjeria (Colombian ID for foreigners). Or if you received your visa at a consulate, you will have 15 calendar days after you arrive in Colombia to register your visa.
Due to being photographed and fingerprinted this must be done in-person at a Migración Colombia office.
Especially relevant, it is very important to register your Colombian visa within the allowed time frame. If not, you will be liable for a big fine of up to seven times the minimum monthly salary in Colombia. The minimum salary in Colombia is $1,160,000 COP per month in 2023. So, the fine is up to 8,120,000 COP pesos in 2023.
To register your visa and apply for a cedula this must be done at one of the Migración Colombia offices. You can find Migración Colombia offices in major cities in Colombia.
- Barranquilla – Carrera 42 # 54-77, Barrio El Recreo
- Bogotá – Calle 100 #11B-27
- Cali – Avenida 3 norte # 50N-20
- Cartagena – Carrera 20 B # 29-18, Barrio pie de la Popa
- Medellín – Calle 19 #80A-40, Barrio Belén (the entrance is on the other side of the building on Calle 19A)
After having the M visa for three years, you can apply for an R residency visa. With a resident visa for three years, you are eligible to become a citizen of Colombia. And you won’t have to give up your existing citizenship. Colombia permits dual-citizenship, as does the U.S. and many other countries.
However, if you M visa is from a common law union, or domestic partnership you must accumulate five years with this visa to obtain a type R visa.
And if you already have a R visa when you get married to a Colombian, you need to wait two years after being married to be eligible to apply to become a citizen of Colombia.
Once you become a dual citizen with Colombian citizenship, you will no longer need to deal with visas anymore. Also, you will be able to travel to a few countries as a Colombian citizen without a visa, such as Russia, which requires a visa for U.S. citizens.
Also, if you have Colombian citizenship, this benefits you with the Mercosur trade bloc. Nationals of Member States (Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, and Uruguay) and Associated States (Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, and Peru) do not need a passport or visa to travel around the region, with only a national identity card required.
In addition, the Mercosur Agreement grants the right to residence and work for citizens with no requirement other than nationality. Citizens of the Member States and Associated States that are part of the agreement enjoy a facilitated procedure for applying for a residence visa as long as they have a valid passport, birth certificate, and a negative certificate of a criminal record.
To become a citizen, Colombia requires a citizenship test, just like the U.S. does. You will be required to pass a test related to Colombian history, geography, and the constitution. Also, a basic Spanish oral test is required. However, those who have a bachelor’s degree from a Colombian university or are over 65 years old are exempt from these tests.
Medellin Guru's Comprehensive Visa and Passport Series
The Colombian visa changes that went into effect in mid-October 2022 were significant. So, on the Medellin Guru site, we have a comprehensive series of visa articles that are kept up-to-date and should answer most visa questions. These articles include:
- Colombia Visa Guide: Ultimate Guide How to Get a Colombian Visa
- How to Obtain a Colombian Visa with Up-to-Date Info – an overview of all the Colombian visas
- Popular Colombian Visas for Foreigners: Which Visa is the Most Popular?
- Colombia Visa FAQ: Frequently Asked Questions About Colombia Visas
- Travel Insurance: Meets the Health Insurance Requirement for Colombia Visas
- Visa Agencies: A Guide to Visa Agencies in Medellín and Colombia
- 9 Common Colombian Visa Mistakes: How to Avoid Them
We have looked in detail at the seven most popular Colombian visas used by foreigners:
Also, we have looked in detail at three additional Colombian visas, which are less popular for foreigners:
- Rentista visa (annuity visa) – for foreigners with a fixed income
- Beneficiary visa – for relatives of visa holders
- Expertise visa – for professionals
Furthermore, we provide information about travel insurance that meets the insurance requirement for Colombian visas. And we have a guide to how apply for a cedula extranjeria in Colombia and a guide to using notaries in Medellín and Colombia. Finally, Medellin Guru has partnered with a visa agency to offer Colombia visa services.
All of our Colombia visa articles were updated in 2022 to ensure they are up-to-date and are being updated again in 2023 In addition, all visa articles on this website will be kept up-to-date as new details are disclosed.
The Bottom Line: Obtaining a Colombia Marriage Visa
Colombia’s marriage visa is relatively easy to get with few documents required. But this visa is only intended for people who have a Colombian spouse or Colombian permanent partner.
The visa agency we partnered with has helped 257 marriage visas for clients, which includes two marriage visas in February 2023. Click on the blue button below and that will take you to a page of the visa agency where you can obtain a quote and ask questions using a chat.
A major benefit of the new M- marriage visa compared to the old TP-10 marriage visa is that there is now duration of three years until you are eligible for a resident (R) visa. And after another two years with an R visa with a Colombian spouse you become eligible to become a citizen of Colombia.
Medellin Guru Visa Service
The visa agency we partnered with has helped 800 Medellin Guru reader
Editors note: updated on February 10, 2023 with updates on new Colombian visa regulations.
Editors note: updated on June 28, 2023, with new images.
Editors note: updated on September 07, 2023, with new rates of visas, new links and images.