The Path to Colombian Residency and Citizenship 🇨🇴
What every gringo must know...
Colombia is becoming more and more popular with people from all over the globe these days. One of these people might even be you, the reader.
This country has a lot to offer the right kind of expat. A lot of people, yours truly included, come and never want to leave!
I understand why people may want to put down roots in this place. I support it fully.
That's why I'm writing this article.
I want to tell you what the whole immigration arc looks like in Colombia. That way, you can go about settling down here the right way.
Documents Required for the Process
Each visa has a set of documents they will ask you for right off the bat. This varies from visa to visa.
For example, for a marriage visa, you will have to submit birth certificates for both your spouse and you, and for any children either of you may have.
For a pensioner visa, you will have to submit proof of benefits from the institution paying them, be it a government entity or a private pension company, etc. You will also have to submit a criminal background check from where you currently lived.
Both of these will have to be apostilled and then translated — including the apostille. More on that below.
In almost all cases, you will have to get together the following:
A good-quality scan of your main passport page
Scans of the latest entry and exit stamps on your passport
Images of photos which would go on your visa, once obtained. Any photo studio in Colombia should be able to take these. But, you do have to let them know they are for a visa, because there are very specific requirements
Proof of travel health insurance — for certain types of visa you will be able to transition to Colombian health insurance later.
For visas where you are not required to provide further income — your past three monthly bank statements - these, fortunately, don't need to be translated or apostilled
You could also be asked at any time for further documentation from whoever is handling your visa application. This could be anything and everything they desire, really.
Generally, however, if they ask for anything additional, it's usually either a document produced by some branch of the Colombian government or bank. It could also be other background checks or financial info from abroad.
The All-Important Apostille
All required documents that originate outside of Colombia will have to be apostilled by the appropriate entity in your home country. In the US, this is usually a county clerk's office or something similar.
Keep in mind that you absolutely can not bring the documents into Colombia and have them apostilled there…
They have to be apostilled in their home country.