This is a guest post by James Byder. The information is current as of September 2012.
To get a resident visa in Colombia based on being in a relationship with a Colombian national, you need to present various forms and documents at the Ministry of Foreign Relations in Bogota. They will then usually grant you this visa on the same day.
The visa is typically granted for a year in the first instance, but this can be renewed later, and it allows you to work, live and study in Colombia. After three years with the same visa, you can apply for permanent residency.
Essentially, this visa works in exactly the same way as being married, but rather then presenting marriage certificates, you are presenting proof of your civil partnership.
Required Documentation to Apply for Resident Visa in Colombia
1) Declaration of relationship status in front of a Notaria. This is a legal document which declares that you and your partner live together and are in a civil partnership. It is signed my you, your partner and the Notaria. This has to be done in advance of going to the Ministry, and this document is handed in along with the other forms on the day you apply for the visa.
2) Short letter (1 paragraph is fine) from your Colombian partner to the Ministry for Foreign Relations saying you live together, and requesting that you be granted a visa. The letter needs to be signed and witnessed by a notaria.
3) Photocopy of your passport and partner’s Colombian ID card. Your partner’s ID photocopy needs to be signed and witnessed in front of Notaria; your passport photocopy does not.
4) Two forms that are on the Ministry for Foreign Relations website. Both are straightforward, and only take 5 minutes to fill out:
- Formato SC-FO-15
- Formato SC-FO-07
5) Two 3mm by 3mm photos of yourself to accompany forms and the visa that they eventually grant you.
Cost, Office Hours, and Getting There
The visa has a cost of $295 (USD), plus you have to pay a non-refundable $50 to be seen at the Ministry and hand in your papers. You cannot book an appointment in advance. You have to just show up and join the queue with your partner and documentation, so get there earlier.
Hours: Weekdays from 7:30 am to 12:30 pm
Address: Ministry of Foreign Relations, Avenida 19 #98 – 03, Edificio Torre 100, Pisos 3º y 4º, Bogota
The building is fairly obvious once you are there, and you’ll see lots of people outside. There is a Transmillenium bust stop about 5 minutes away, or you can take a taxi if you not familiar with the transport system in Bogota.
The official website of the Ministry for Foreign Relations contains all the information (in Spanish) about this marital/partnership visa, as well as all the other types of visas. If you scroll down, you can download the forms mentioned in step 4 above.
Once they have had a look through your paperwork, they will sort it out for you and then call you for a short interview.
They ask you lots of things, including how you met, why you want to be in Colombia, where you’re living, about your partner’s family, etc. The interview is fairly intense, although short, as they are trying to verify your relationship is genuine.
They send you away, and then call your partner in for a similar interview. Assuming your answers correspond, and they are satisfied, they grant you the visa.
About the Author: James Byder is a former UK government economist who recently moved to Colombia and started a blog focusing on themes related to doing business here. For more information, or if you would like to contact him, please see his new blog at TotallyColombia.com.
Please contact Dave with any corrections.