Many of our clients are constantly asking us about becoming a Colombian citizen by marrying their Colombian partner.
The process is fairly straightforward, yet there are some key steps that you need to take to successfully gain citizenship.
With this in mind, we’ve laid out our comprehensive guide on how to get Colombian citizenship by marriage.
Colombian citizenship requirements
If you’ve been married to a Colombian and have held an R-type resident visa for at least two years, you are eligible to apply for Colombian citizenship.
Like most other countries, Colombia allows you to hold dual citizenship between itself and your current place of citizenship, so there’s no need to worry about renouncing your nationality. This is also the quickest route to acquiring Colombian citizenship other than by having Colombian heritage. Becoming a Colombian citizen by working there, for instance, means holding the M-type work visa for at least 5 years.
As is the case in most North American and Western countries, you’ll need to pass a citizenship test. The test contains several questions on Colombian history, geography and constitutional law. The test is in Spanish and also contains an oral section to assess your level of spoken Spanish. However, exceptions are made for applicants over the age of 65 or with a bachelor’s degree from a recognized Colombian university.
When applying to do the citizenship test, the assessor at the migración office will do a quick evaluation of your intentions behind becoming a Colombian citizen. This counts towards the acceptance or denial of your application before or after the test.
Colombian citizenship benefits
When you become a Colombian citizen, you’ll be able to move freely between members and associate members of the Mercosur trade agreement (every landlocked South American country apart from Suriname and French Guiana). This means you won’t need your passport, only your Colombian ID (la cédula) to cross borders.
On top of this, you’ll no longer need to apply for Colombian visas, saving some time-consuming trips to Migración. After 5 years of being a naturalized citizen of Colombia, you can also find work in Mercosur countries without needing a visa, pending a government background check.
Colombian marriage visa requirements
If you’re struggling with the ins and outs of the Colombian marriage system, or if your marriage type or circumstance is special, read up on how to get married in Colombia.
Once you’ve married your partner, you should have your marriage certificate and be able to apply for the R-type marriage visa.
Firstly, you’ll need to apply for your visa on the Cancillería website. Here are the following documents that you’ll need before and during the application:
- A scanned copy of your passport with at least two blank pages. You’ll also need a photocopy of the page that shows your latest entry stamp into the country
- Your marriage certificate and any other documents demonstrating your legal eligibility to stay in Colombia
- A passport-style photo with 3x4cm dimensions and a white background. Make sure to remove all accessories such as hats and sunglasses
- A photocopy of your spouse’s cédula (Colombian ID card)
- A visa application letter signed by your spouse that has been notarized by a recognized Colombian notary
If you’re unsure at any point in your marriage visa application process, make sure to consult an experienced visa specialist agency that can guide you through any pitfalls or complications.
Getting Colombian citizenship by marriage is an ideal option if you’re looking to secure your future with your spouse inside Colombia or the Mercosur region.
Not only will it provide you with peace of mind when traveling between Colombia and the country of your national origin, but you’ll also be able to benefit from freedom of movement within South America.
So if you’re looking to become a Colombian citizen and want to assure your application is successful, contact Expat Group. We’ve already helped hundreds of foreign nationals like yourself get Colombian visas, set up businesses and gain citizenship. Book an appointment with us now for more information and a free initial consultation.