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How to get a Colombian partner visa

NOTE: Please read the comments in the comments section below when you’ve finished reading this post, as readers have been giving helpful advice on how the partner visa application process is constantly changing! I’m summarizing the most helpful ones here at the top as updates.

*Update June 2019*– Readers are still confirming that the Centro de Arbitraje y Conciliación (CAC) route (as described in the November 2018 update) is still the easiest way to get the civil partnership document (unión marital de hecho) if you don’t have the documents that the notaries are asking for (the usual route is via a notary). At the time of writing, the fee charged by the CAC is now $459,000 pesos, and they only ask for the foreigner’s passport and the Colombian’s cédula de ciudadanía (ID card). An expensive option, but more convenient than sending off for documents that you may not have and getting them translated and apostilled. In the end, it may end up costing the same!

*Update November 2018*– Below you’ll read about the unión marital de hecho (civil partnership) that you need to get if you want to apply for the Colombian partner visa (if you don’t want to get married). The only way I knew to get this was to go to a notary, where they require you to show all kinds of documents, as if you were getting married. However, one of my readers has just informed me that you can get the unión marital de hecho easily by going to a Centro de Arbitraje y Conciliación, which is part of the Cámara de Comercio (Chamber of Commerce). The Centro is responsible for resolving business and family conflicts. The process is much more expensive ($400,000 COP) than doing it via a notary, so I’d only recommend this if you think gathering all the documents that notaries require is going to be difficult. Apparently when you get there, you tell reception what you want, and they’ll send you to the right office – and you only need to show your passport. You can then use the document they give you to apply for the partner (‘M’) visa mentioned below.

There are Centros de Arbitraje y Conciliación in Chapinero, Usaquen and Cedritos. Find the address on Google Maps or via Google Search. Please let me know if you manage to get the civil partnership this way and how it goes! I have read a comment on Facebook from someone who went to a Centro de Arbitraje where they ask for a birth certificate, but then she went to the Cámara de Comercio and they didn’t need one and still gave them the civil partnership document?! Confusing, as the comment below this post says the Centro de Arbitraje was part of the Camara de Comercio… I will just say that sometimes procedures and requirements can vary depending on who you are speaking to (and whether they know what they’re talking about) and which Centro you go to. I would try everything until you find something that works!

*Update February 2018* – As of December 2017, there are now only three types of Colombian visa (beyond the stamp you get at the airport when you enter Colombia as a tourist). These are Visitante (visitor), Migrante (migrant) and Residente (resident). The spouse/partner visa (formerly the TP-10 visa) falls into the Migrante or ‘M’ category, as does the investors’ visa (TP-7), retirement visa (TP-7), independent worker’s visa (TP-7), work visa (TP-4) and student visa (TP-3). Apart from the change in name, the process for applying for the ‘M’ visa as the partner/spouse of a Colombian citizen won’t have changed in terms of the documentation you need to provide. This blog post from Medellín Guru has more useful information about these visa categories.

*Update January 2017* – I applied for a new partner visa recently, and all the documents are now submitted online. Visit this government website to find out more about the different visas and requirements (if you don’t speak Spanish, find someone to translate (or use Google Translate :)), and it will tell you to click through to this page to complete your online visa application.

We only encountered a couple of small problems. 1) You do need to have the letter from your Colombian partner stamped at a notary (it costs about $5,000 pesos (USD$2) depending on the notary). 2) When you have completed the online application form, it asks you to upload all of the required documents. It didn’t tell us this before, but the maximum upload limit for attachments is 3MB, which meant that we had scanned all the pages of all the documents, only to find that these came to more than 3MB, and then had to scan them all again at a lower resolution! So be aware of that! I used the free CamScanner app on my phone for scanning the documents – really useful. You can then email the scans to yourself and adjust the resolution on your computer after if necessary. (The government website actually now advises uploading all documents in a single PDF file of no more than 3MB.)

Regarding the visa photo, I just took this using my phone, against a white wall as the background, edited it on the computer and uploaded that. 

Much of what follows in the rest of this post was written shortly after I got my first partner visa (then called a TP-10 visa, which now falls into the ‘Migrante’ visa category). I have gone through and updated the information to try to make sure it is all as relevant as possible to the current situation, but as I said, the process has changed several times since 2014. If in doubt, seek legal advice (there are some names at the bottom of this post).

The part below about the legal civil partnership document / unión marital de hecho is still relevant. 

In October 2013, I moved to Colombia to live with my Colombian boyfriend. I came here as a tourist, with the intention of applying for a partner visa as soon as possible. Thankfully, I now have the visa, but getting it wasn’t as easy as I thought it would be!

Applying for a Migrante visa as the spouse/permanent partner of a Colombian citizen

Firstly, I will list all of the documents which you will be required to present to the Ministerio de Relaciones Exteriores when you apply for the TP-10 visa (now Migrante visa as of December 2017) for spouses or permanent partners of Colombian nationals (granted for 3 years):

  • Your passport
  • A copy of your passport photo page
  • A copy of the passport page which shows your last entry stamp into Colombia
  • A copy of your last Colombian visa (if applicable)
  • A photocopy of your partner’s cédula (identity card)
  • A letter from your partner requesting that you be granted the partner visa, with some brief details of the relationship (when and where you met, how long you’ve been living together (this must be at least 2 years!) and that you intend to live together in Colombia). This must be stamped by a notary.
  • Your Colombian marriage certificate, or a foreign marriage certificate translated by an official translator with an apostille stamp. Alternatively, if you are not married, you must present an escritura pública given to you by a Colombian notary to legalise your unión marital de hecho (civil partnership/de facto marriage). This document must have been issued within three months of the visa application. If you got the document more than three months ago, you will need to go back to the notary and ask for a new copy.

Do double-check the requirements here as these do change regularly, scan all of the above documents and then complete the online application form. Note that at the time of updating this (Feb 2018), the government website says that all you need to provide as the partner/spouse of a Colombian citizen is the proof of marriage or the escritura pública (legal document) for a civil partnership (see below) and the letter from your partner/spouse requesting the issuance of a visa for you. I’m assuming that these would be in addition to the copies of the passport, passport stamp etc. listed above. The legal document and the letter are just the things that are specific to people applying for a Migrante visa as the partner/spouse of a Colombian national.

Before talking about the visa application process itself, I will talk about how to get the escritura pública of the unión marital de hecho, mentioned above.

Getting the escritura pública – unión marital de hecho (legal civil partnership document)

To get this document, you must go to a Colombian notary with your partner and ask for an “escritura pública para una unión marital de hecho”. This is a legal document stating that you are living together as if you were married partners. It’s effectively a legal civil union, and in Colombia it gives you the same legal rights as a married couple. I found getting this document to be the most frustrating part of the process, because there are so many notaries, and every notary in Colombia seems to have a different interpretation of the law.

*Update February 2018*: The word on the street (or rather on Facebook) is that Notary 34 in Bogotá is good if you need to get the civil partnership document (‘good’ meaning, they don’t ask for a bunch of documents!). One of my readers has also just helpfully commented that they were able to get the escritura pública for the civil partnership with just her passport and her partner’s cédula at Notary 38 (carrera 7 # 33-13).

*Update May 2018*: One of my readers has said that Notary 38 requires couples to have lived in Colombia for 2 years before they will legalize a civil partnership. I recommend asking your Colombian partner to call ahead to check before making the trip there. Apparently Notary 34 mentioned above now requires a legalized birth certificate with an apostille stamp from the foreigner’s country of birth. I therefore recommend bringing this with you to Colombia as it is expensive and a pain to have to sort this out once you’re already in Colombia.

Tip: don’t take ‘no’ for an answer!

Firstly, I will just give a few anecdotes from our experience. The first notary we went to told us that it would be impossible for us to get an escritura pública of a unión marital de hecho because the law states that both partners have to have been living together in Colombia for at least 2 years. This is not true. I think that we were told this simply because the legal assistants at the notary didn’t know what the law actually stated regarding a Colombian national and a foreigner wanting this union, but they didn’t want to admit it.

The next five or six notaries we went to said that we could apply for the unión marital de hecho if I could provide an updated copy of my registro civil issued within the last three months. In Colombia, the registro civil document contains details of your birth, parents names, nationality and marital status, among other things, and is updated every time one of these details changes (eg. if you change your name, get married/divorced etc). For the purposes of getting married in Colombia, and increasingly to get a civil partnership document, you have to produce an equivalent document to show that you are free to marry/enter into a civil partnership. In my case, I was lucky; we found a notary which agreed to draw up the escritura pública, requiring only my passport and my partner’s cédula (identity card) – no proof of marital status. However, since I first wrote this post, one of my readers has said that this notary (Notary 41) now requires a registro civil or equivalent document which states that you are free to marry/enter into a civil partnership, such as a ‘Certificate of No Impediment’. But there are still notaries around which will give you the escritura pública with just your passport and/or a certified apostilled copy of your birth certificate.

Proof of single marital status (if required)

You can apply for a Certificate of No Impediment (either in your home country or via your country’s embassy in Colombia), get an apostille stamp from a notary in your country or from your embassy, and get it translated into Spanish if necessary. You can then present this at a Colombian notary to get your legal document for your Migrant/partner visa. Alternatively, as someone suggested in the comments section below, you can try providing a translated, notarized or certified copy (also with an apostille stamp) of your birth certificate and see if that works. It may be easier to check if you can order a new certified copy of your birth certificate via your government’s website and getting someone to post this to Colombia (always use tracked/recorded delivery or a private courier). You can then get it translated relatively cheaply over here. Google ‘order copy of birth certificate [+ your country]’.

But what use is my birth certificate if it doesn’t mention my marital status?

It may seem pointless to provide a birth certificate, seeing as it usually won’t contain information about your marital status. However, in Colombia, the registro civil is basically a birth certificate with extra information, including marital status, which is why the notaries ask for it when you want to get married, and sometimes when you want to get a civil partnership document. It seems that even though many countries’ birth certificates don’t indicate marital status (such as in the UK), many notaries in Colombia will still accept a translated, certified copy and treat this as if it were the same as their registro civil, and give you the legal partnership document you need in order to apply for the Migrant visa (or formerly TP-10 partner visa).

Conditions for getting the legal civil partnership document

To be granted the legal document confirming the unión marital de hecho, you must have lived together for two years or more (but not necessarily in Colombia). If this is not the case for you and your partner, you will have to decide whether or not you are willing to be creative with the truth and say you have been living together for two years (or preferably longer, to sound credible) in order to get this document. For the escritura pública, you need to give the dates that you’ve been living together, and where (eg. from May 2011 – Oct 2013 in London, UK; from November 2013 – present in Bogota, Colombia). We were not asked to provide any documentary evidence of this (my partner Javier was not asked to show his passport to prove he had been in London, for example), nor were we asked to give details of our specific addresses during this time (except for our current address in Bogotá) by the notary nor by the Ministerio de Relaciones Exteriores. But you do need to be sure about the dates and places you are both going to give and be consistent about these throughout.

The day of the visa application – Immigration

You need to go to the Ministerio de Relaciones Exteriores (the Foreign Office) to apply for the visa. If you are granted the visa, you will receive it the same day.

The address of the Ministerio de Relaciones Exteriores is: Carrera 19 #98 – 03, Torre 100, 3rd Floor, Bogotá (Carrera 19, near where it crosses with Calle 98).

It is open for visa applications between 7.30am – midday, and the process took about two hours in 2014 (before they moved the application form and submission of documents online) and about 15 minutes the second time (at the end of 2016). I would recommend that you and your partner go together, just in case, and bring your passport and his ID card (though I did go alone recently when I went to collect my second partner visa and this wasn’t a problem).

When I went to get my new partner visa at the end of 2016, there was no need to bring copies of the documents which had been submitted online (just my passport). When you’ve submitted the application online, they will email you to let you know if anything is missing. We paid the visa fee online, so there was nothing to pay at the immigration office on the day. I just went to the immigration officer’s booth, handed over my passport and he printed the visa there and then and stuck it on my passport – no questions asked. Things seem to be much easier now than they were three years ago! If it’s your first visa though, I would still recommend going along with your partner/spouse, just in case. In 2014, when I went to get my first visa, my partner came with me and the immigration officer asked us a few questions (where we had met, how long we lived together in London) but it was quite relaxed, and we were not interviewed separately. My partner did not have to prove that he had been in London.

Legal advice

Please bear in mind that I am not a legal expert and that the process changes regularly (I have had to update this post many times since 2014!). If you require legal advice I would recommend that you find an English-speaking lawyer who specialises in immigration. You could try contacting lawyers James Lindzey or Jorge Suarez ( both English-speaking and based in Medellín. Jorge charges $45 US dollars/hour for a consultation (though you can email him with your basic questions first if you want), and he can consult via Skype if you’re not in Medellín.

If you need help getting the legal civil partnership document or help completing the online visa application form, one of my blog readers recommended an agency InterCol ( which can refer you to a lawyer who will arrange the unión marital de hecho legal document for you without asking too many questions. (Just make sure you always say you’ve been living together for at least 2 years, even if this isn’t the case!). These lawyers can also help you complete the visa application form online, but if you have a Colombian partner who can read and write in Spanish, this shouldn’t be necessary.


If you need any documents translated for visa purposes (they offer numerous different languages) I recommend Traducciones Bogota. I used them once and they had the official translation delivered to me in 2 working days. They also have English-speaking staff so you can write to them in English.

Phew! After all that, I could kill for a cup of Colombia’s finest!

If you have found this blog informative or entertaining and would like to support How to Bogotá, you can now buy me a digital cup of coffee! 🙂

This blog is a labor of love – I don’t make any money from it, so this is the best and least annoying way I’ve found to offer readers the chance to support How to Bogotá 🙂(other than giving me your loyal readership, for which I’m very grateful!)

154 Comments on How to get a Colombian partner visa

  1. Hello, I’ve got a question about getting the relevant papers from the ‘notaria’, you only needed your passport right? did they check your stamps on the passport to see how much time you still had on your visa or whether you were currently legal here or not or did they just use your passport to check your identification? thanks

    • Hi,
      The notaria that we finally went to only asked for my passport, for ID purposes, and then for information about how long we’d been living together and our current address. When I went to apply for the partner visa at the Ministerio de Relaciones Exteriores, then the immigration official did check my stamps to make sure I hadn’t overstayed (in fact, one of the things you have to bring is a copy of the page which has your last entry stamp to Colombia). Hope that helps! I’m on Twitter at @howtobogota if you want to add me and ask anything else!

  2. and how much did you pay for that document? (thank you for the info it has been really helpful :-))

  3. You know I can’t remember exactly, but it wasn’t more than $100,000 pesos. Somewhere between 50,000-100,000? It does vary among notaries though.
    Glad you’ve found it useful! 🙂

  4. hey I’ve got another question, when you went back to sign the papers at the notaria what type of questions did they ask? did they ask you about your relationship?

    • Hi,

      When we went back to sign the papers they just asked us to confirm how long we’d been living together, including dates (month and year), and where (i.e. how long in London, how long in Colombia), and where we were living now. I think they asked how we met too – my bf was studying in London and we were working part-time at the same place. They didn’t ask us to provide any evidence of this or proof of address. We then had to read through the whole legal document to check for errors and check that we agreed with it all, and then signed. It’s more likely that you’ll be asked questions when you go to apply for your visa.

      If you want, you can email me at if anything else comes up 🙂 I know how stressful the process can be!

  5. Hello, thanks a lot for your advises, this helps a lot especially for the notary, i had no idea that it was that complicated!
    I already have the union marital de hecho, and I’m currently doing all the photocopies necessary but I still have a question:
    When I compare what’s written in your blog and the requirements from the cancelleria website, they don’t specify that my partern’s cedula photocopy has to be signed and stamp by a notary, as they don’t specify it for the letter either. So is it really necessary or do you recommend it as a precaution?
    Thanks! Your blog is really great!

    A new frenchy in Bogota!

    • Hi Marlène, I’m glad you’ve found the blog useful!

      It is possible that the requirements have changed (as they do here regularly). I’m not sure if immigration placed much importance on the notary stamp, I just saw him looking at all of my papers. Having those papers notarised only cost me about 4000 pesos each so it’s not much, but if the website no longer specifies it as a requirement, you could just show that to the immigration officer on your phone or print it out, in case they question that. I’m sure you’ll be fine! 🙂

  6. My partner and I met online 1.5 years ago. I visited him back in March and now we have decided to live together in Colombia. My passport only shows me coming to Colombia in March 2014 and he doesn’t have a US visa. It’s impossible for us to provide any dates or stamps to show us living together or visiting before this year. I am a pilot and will be commuting back and forth between Colombia and the US. The consular told me I would have to get a visa because the frequency of visits will be to often for a tourist visa. But, if we cant account for 2 years of living, how will I get the union marital de hecho and than the visa? I’m stuck on this one. Please help!

    • Hi Blaine,
      I would go to one of the notaries in Bogota that I mentioned (41 or 11), and try anyway. You will have to make up some dates, as you’ve been together for less than 2 years – you could just say that you came here for the first time say 2.5 years ago to visit for x months (for credibility) and that you’ve been travelling back and forth since then, so effectively ‘living together’. You could say that your partner visited you in the US too (they most likely won’t ask to see his passport). In any case your only option, if you want the union marital de hecho, will be to sort out dates and places that you’ve been/lived together and then be consistent about these throughout. When I went through the process, no-one ever asked to see my partner’s passport to confirm that he had been living in the UK. And no-one asked for anything which proved that we had been living together for 2 years – neither the notary nor immigration.
      If you’re coming back and forth as a pilot anyway you could wait a few months to build up a few visits (and more credibility)?
      Good luck!

      • Thank you for this answer! My partner and I have been together for 1.5 years too and I’ve wanted a TP-10 visa to be worry-free of staying here. Can I just possibly say that we’ve been living together for more than 2 years in Colombia, even if I don’t have an entry stamp in Colombia 2 years ago? I’m nervous if they will ask me for proof that I entered Colombia 2 years ago. Any advice?

        • Hi Daniela. It’s difficult for me to advise, especially without knowing much about your situation. I guess the best option would probably be to say you met abroad, and that you spent 6 months living together there before moving to Colombia. You would need to give an address and the date (more or less) when you started living together (eg. November 2015). This is what we did (in our case this was true, as we lived together in London), and no-one ever asked to see proof that we had lived together abroad, and no-one asked my boyfriend for his passport to check that this was true.
          The notary will probably ask for a notarised copy of your birth certificate with an apostille stamp and/or a document from your country which confirms that you are single.
          Good luck! 🙂

  7. Great post! We are planning to apply for a fiance visa and live in the States next year, but my F wants to buy a property in Colombia so we have a place to stay for vacation. He needs a cedula to open a bank account and transfer the money, so I think this type of visa would be a good option.How long does it take to get a cedula de extranjeria after your visa is issued?

  8. Great post! We are planning to apply for a fiance visa and live in the States next year, but my F wants to buy a property in Colombia so we have a place to stay for vacation. He needs a cedula to open a bank account and transfer the money, so I think this type of visa would be a good option.How long does it take to get a cedula de extranjeria after your visa is issued? thanks!!

    • Hi thanks for the comment! I don’t have a lot of information about what’s required to buy property in Colombia, but in answer to your question, it tends to depend on the time of year in terms of how long you have to wait to get the cédula de extranjería. I think I waited six weeks the first time I got a cédula (soon after getting my visa). You have to go to Migración in street 100 to apply for it. But I believe the waiting time has decreased since then, it may only take a couple of weeks now. They’ll give you an idea when you apply for it though! Good luck!

  9. Great post! thanks for it. Once you have the visa, do you need to apply for the cedula de extranjeria?

  10. Jorge Luis Morales // April 26, 2015 at 8:33 pm // Reply

    This blog is awesome. Congratulations Naomi.

  11. I just did it today, very easy process. Just a few updates:

    – “A photocopy of your partner’s cédula (identity card) – this copy has to be signed and stamped by a notary (this cost us $4900 pesos)”
    Actually it is NOT required to sign and stamp the copy. More informations here: and TP10

    – A letter from your partner requesting that you be granted the partner visa […] this letter must also be signed and stamped by a notary.
    Same as above, you do NOT need to sign and stamp it.

    – In Notaría 41, the process to draw up the legal document took us 1.5 hours, and 3 days later we collected the copy.

    – We arrived at 7h50 at Ministerio de Relaciones Exteriores (entrance on the right, not where you’ll see a big queue of people), and left at 9h50 with the visa. Be sure you have all documents, and enough cash (around 550’000 pesos). You can speed up the process by applying online: but I did not try it.

    The same day you can go to Migración Colombia (just a few blocks away) to apply for your Cédula de Extranjería, but don’t forget a picture of you, a proof of your blood group, plus photocopies of your visa, first page of passport and last entry stamp.

    • Thanks Greg – the process and requirements are always changing so it’s useful to have an update! Will update the post when I have time! 🙂

  12. Deliana Zapata // December 21, 2015 at 10:17 pm // Reply

    Hi, thank you for your information, it was very helpful. We are a same sex couple, Colombian-Foreigner. We went to Cucuta, Notaria 2 and they asked to bring the Registro Civil of the colombian partner, and the Apostilled Birth Certificate and the passport of the foreign. We signed the Escritura Publica Union Marital de Hecho in 15 minutes. 3 days later they gave us the copies. We went to Ministerio de Relaciones Exteriores and they granted the visa TP 10, everything as Greg said. Thank you very much.

    • Great! Congratulations!
      Some notaries as for more paperwork than others; I’m glad you had everything they asked for and that everything went smoothly!
      All the best!

  13. Thanks for all these useful informations Naomi.

    I will soon have to make a request for that visa, but as some people commenting here, i’m not able, with my girlfriend, to prove 2 years of living together. I will have two or 3 stamps of visiting Colombia on my passeport, but only for the maximum lenght of 3 months (tourist visa).
    So do we really need to lie and invent a “living together story” for example in France for 1 year and a half, and then count my visit in Colombia to make a count of a little more than 2 years ? If, for any reason, they ask for the passeport of my girlfriend, they will notice that she got no stamps existing of visiting France.

    That’s really the difficulty in this case to obtain the T10 visa. Having all the papers they ask is really not a problem, it’s really about this 2 years living together.

    My girlfriend lives in Medellin, it looks like it’s a little more easy with the Notary, which is great for me.

    So just a question, have you ever heard about a story where the colombian person has been asked for his/her passeport to verify the “story of the 2 years living together” … i’m a little bit afraid of lying, having my visa declined and not being able to travel to Colombia again.

    And to finish, i really thank you for your blog, and i hope your life is great in Colombia.

    Best regards, from France

    • Hi Sylvain! Well, if you want the unión marital de hecho, you will have to say to the notary that you have been living together for at least two years. I can’t really tell you what story to tell the notaria or migración, but I can say that, although they asked how long my boyfriend and I had been in a relationship for and how long we had lived together, neither the notary nor immigration asked for any proof of this. They did not ask to see my boyfriend’s passport to prove that he had been living in London (I guess some Colombians might say that they had lost their passport, if necessary…) and they didn’t ask for documentation showing that we had lived together. We just had to have a consistent story regarding places and dates. They will look at your passport because that’s where they will put the visa. I have not heard of a case where they asked to see the Colombian person’s passport (and if this was required, it would be listed as one of the necessary documents on the migración website which talks about visas). One thing is for sure: you won’t get the TP-10 visa without either a unión marital de hecho or a marriage certificate. I know it isn’t nice to invent a story but in the end, you love your girlfriend and you want to be together – and that’s what matters most! 🙂 good luck!

      • Thanks for your super Quick answer 😉
        Well we gonna invent a story and have The same version together. That’s The only way for me to live there quickly.
        Thanks again for everything

  14. Hi,
    Thanks for this very interesting and helpful blog. I just have one question: Do you know if you are allowed to work in Colombia with this visa?

  15. Hi there,

    I love your blog, it has lots of super helpful information!! I wanted to give a recent (as of April 2016) update for anyone coming here – as I did – looking for help finding a Notary in Bogota that does not require a proof-of-single-status from the extranjero to perform the matramonio de hecho. Unfortunately both Notaria 41 and 11 each told me that I would need to produce the equivalent of the registro civil to demonstrate that I was “eligible to marry.” We called and/or visited over 20 notarias in Bogota and finally were successful with Notaria 34 near Unicentro. They did require that my birth certificate be apostilled and officially translated (apostille must be done by the state/country you were born in, but the certified translation can be done here in Bogota; I got it for $50.000 COP), but with that and my passport we were good to go. We went without an appointment, were attended to immediately, returned the following day to sign and then 3 days later to pick up the escrito publico. We spent in total < 45 minutes there and the entire process with them was completed within less than a week and cost $150.000 COP.

    Thanks again for all the useful info!

  16. HI there, I am looking into getting this visa currently. I have only been living with my colombian boyfriend in Colombia for three months in BOgota. Before that I was traveling. I am willing to be creative but my passport stamps show that I was in Peru and Bolivia and argentina from September last year not in ´ in Australia living with my Colombian boyfriend´Does this matter? They wont question me about this?

  17. Hi thank you so much for the given information.. its too much helpful!!
    My question is a little different…I am in Armenia (it’s a country, not the city in Colombia)) and my Bf from Colombia is going to travel here for getting married with me (civil marriage)…but we dont have time for appling TP10 VISA from here because we are going to travell to Bogota after 2 days of getting married here…..Can I apply and get my tourist visa beforehand as for this I dont need marriage certificate and when I go to Colombia I already will have my merriage certificate and I can Apply for TP10???

    • Hi Melly thanks for your comment and congratulations on your plans to get married! I am not a legal immigration expert, however, if you have a tourist visa and are therefore in Colombia legally, then I believe you can apply for the TP-10 visa after you arrive in Colombia. I recommend that you have your marriage certificate translated into Spanish and have the original copy authenticated by a notary in your country and translated. All the best and good luck!

  18. Geoffrey Currie // June 30, 2016 at 8:01 am // Reply

    Just to be clear on this, if we are legally married we don’t need this civil partnership business….?

    • Dear Geoffrey, thank you for your comment. If you are already legally married, you won’t need a civil partnership, you will just need to present your marriage certificate (translated into Spanish if necessary by an accredited translator) when you apply for your visa. This is assuming that you are married to a Colombian citizen. (But please remember that I’m not a legal expert.)
      All the best!

  19. Thanks for this post, really helpful. We just sorted this out this month so I thought I would update.

    – We needed an apostilled copy of my birth certificate, translated into Spanish (this was the most annoying part) along with my partners birth certification.
    – We used Notary 61 (a connection via my partners family). They could only vouch for our relationship from my first visa stamp into Colombia (6 months ago). Other Notary’s asked for a document to prove I was single (this is expensive and not actually required so go elsewhere if you are told it is needed, they have probably not done the process before). I also needed an interpreter to attend with me to explain the documents. We managed this in one morning as we had a connection and phoned ahead and collected the document the next day.
    – For the visa we went to the wrong office at first so check the address.
    – The only question we had for the visa as why we had waited to get the Union Libre (2 months after arriving). My partner works and my birth certificate took a while to arrive so arranging everything took time.
    – It was approved so I went to the other office and applied for Cedula. They seemed to have most my details so I just had to sit there for a few hours, have my photo and prints taken and I will go collect it in 5 days.

    Getting the Union Libre sorted as mentioned above is the most annoying part because most Notary do not know what it is and how to do it, but they do not tell you this they just make stuff up to try get your business. This is the impression I got. Everything else is just sitting around and waiting.

    • Thanks Matt, this is really helpful and I’m glad you managed to get everything sorted out in the end! Colombian bureaucracy (notaries and banks especially!) can be a nightmare! It’s true that when people don’t know how to do something, they’ll normally just tell you it’s not possible instead of admitting they don’t know!
      You said you went to the wrong office for the visa at first – is it still at calle 100 or has it moved?
      Thanks again!

    • Hi Matt,

      Thanks for your advise, really appreciate it.

      Can you tell me if your birth certificate has any mention of your marital status? I only ask because my UK birth certificate does not and elsewhere on this page it has been said that the birth certificate is used to prove you are single (not married).

      From what I gather I have 2 equally annoying options:

      1. It costs £50 for me to go to the embassy to sign an affidavit that says I’m single then I’ll need to get it translated and stamped.

      2. The other option is to get my birth certificate stamped in the UK (£30), get this scanned and emailed (hope this is accepted) then get this translated and stamped here. I think the scan bit should be ok because the official document will be the translation.

      My rather rambling question is what would you (or anyone else reading this) recommend?

      Many thanks,


      • Hi Sam, in my opinion, it would be worth getting the ‘certificate of no impediment’ (perhaps that’s the affidavit you mention?) as this definitively proves that you are single. They only ask for a birth certificate here because in Colombia the equivalent contains information about marital status, and they don’t realise that this is not the case for most countries. So if it were me now, I’d try to get the certificate of no impediment/affidavit – basically the legal document which will tell Colombian notaries that you’re single.
        Good luck!

  20. Hi all,

    IF your plans are to hold this Visa for the THREE years & THEN apply for your Residence (RE) Visa . . . you MIGHT just want to check your Issuance & Expirations dates . . . I had read in other Blogs & discovered that they did this to ME as well.

    MY TP-10 was issued for TWO days SHORT of the THREE year requirement to get my RE Visa. NOW, in order to get my RE, I have to apparently RENEW my TP-10, however . . .

    I am personally UNABLE to find ANYTHING in regards to RENEWING a TP-10 Visa.

    Can anyone help here? PLEASE & thank you so much

    • Hi thanks for your comment. I will actually need to renew my TP-10 visa in December as I have been living outside of Colombia for one of the last three years so I won’t be able to get residency straightaway. I’ll write about how it goes when the time comes! All the best with getting yours.. you could ask on one of the Colombia expat Facebook groups?

  21. Hi thanks so much for this clear description of the process it really helped us. Just left the visa office with a 3 year TP10 visa in my passport. One small detail which changed since august; you have to fill in the visa request form and upload all your documents online before you go. Maybe good to update this in the info above.

    • Thanks a lot for this! I will update the post when I have a chance 🙂 in the meantime I hope that your comment will be helpful to others! All the best!

    • Hi there,

      If you have any intentions of continuing your stay in Columbia or applying for a residency visa . . .

      you better check the date on that TP10 you have, because I guarantee you it is not for a FULL three years

      • My one was for 3 years but I have heard that they sometimes give visas for only one year.. I’m not really sure what this depends on. Maybe the mood of the immigration officer?

        • You better check that three year visa AGAIN I guarantee you it SHORT the couple days

          • Ok I see what you mean. Mine was 2nd Jan 14 to 1st Jan 17, so I think mine was three years. But you make an important point regarding the few days – presumably so that people have to pay for another TP-10 visa before they can apply for residency.

          • Interesting.

            I had a TP4 a year before getting my TP10 – so in theory, could I apply for residency taking this year into account too, or does it have to be 3 years on a partner visa before residency?

      • hi thanks for the notification, but my visa is exactly 3 years valid: from 2016/09/13 until 2019/09/13. I decided not to worry what comes after for at least the next 2 years 🙂

  22. Hello, I’ve got my TP-10 approved recently so I thought I’d share some thoughts and tips.

    I was really stressed out after reading what I guess was every piece of information you could find online on escritura publica and I packed my suitcase beforehand because I was sure we won’t be able to get it (in the most optimistic scenario, I was prepared to spend a week running around Bogota trying to find a notaria willing to give us the paper). BUT we entered the first notaria we’ve seen (Notaria 10 on Calle 100) and got the paper without any hassle. The truth is that I did have my birth certificate translated and apostilled (I’m from the Czech Republic and the apostille can be done only in Prague, so check well beforehand with your embassy if it’s not the case with you as well). I wouldn’t be able to get the certificate of no impediment on time so I just risked it and presented my papers as if I had everything in order and it worked! In case they still insist on the certificate of no impediment, I was told you can bring two witnesses or sign an affidavit (declaracion extrajuicio) but I can’t confirm if this is true.

    Also, as for the 2 years you’re supposed to be together, this is not really the case as you can apply for “union marital de hecho” whenever you want to, the 2 years apply to “sociedad patrimonial” (jointly held property).

    Everything run smooth at the Immigration Office. Although the website says that you have to fill in an online application as of August 17, we didn’t and had no problems. The interview was really short and only basic questions were asked. Actually, the biggest pain was getting the cedula, as there are huge lines and only the applicant is allowed to enter the building. It took over 2 hours to have it done so bring a book.

    I hope I didn’t forget anything important… Being stressed out about not being able to get it was the most stressful part so I hope this will help and encourage some of you!

    Good luck!

    • I just have two things to add to this experience . . .

      1. If you’re planning on getting a Resident Visa after you have secured this TP – 10, you might want to check the date on your Visa. Because it has been my experience that they short your 3 year requirement by 2 to 3 days, as IS the case for me as well. Then you have to get another one in order to have your FULL 3 years.

      2. We were advised when the time came for me to get my next visa, that I did not have to return to Bogotá. That they had all of my information now & I could handle that locally.

      Upon researching in Cali, we have found no place to do this. In fact, we were informed that we WILL have to return to Bogotá.

      Also? There really is no such thing as renewing your visa. On researching ( & actually CALLING about ) the renewal process we were informed of this. You must reapply all over again.

      AND . . . as OUR ultimate goal IS the Resident Visa, I now have to get another TP – 10 in order to fulfill the 3 year requirement to obtain a Resident Visa.

      Bottom line, we are scheduling a trip to Bogotá with enough money to cover a Resident Visa, just in case they do let me get it.

  23. Hi,

    Great blog! Very useful! I am Asian and I have been doing long distance relationship for a year with my Colombian girlfriend. We met online. Actually, this is the first time I am going to visit Colombia to meet her. I don`t have any previous entry stamps of Colombia. We are planning to get into civil union after a month or so of being together. Will I have a problem getting the cedula? I cant cook a story of ‘living together for two years’. Any suggestion is highly appreciated. Thank you!


    • Hi thanks for your comment 🙂
      In order to get a legal document from a notary certifying your civil union, you have to say that you have lived together like a married couple for at least two years, otherwise they will not give you this document. Whether you want to say that she has been living in Asia with you, or that you have been to Colombia before (i.e. if you said you came with a different/previous passport for example), that is up to you, but that is the only way to get the civil union document. If you plan to apply for a TP-10 (partner/spouse) visa, then you will need the civil union document. Or you can get married 🙂

      If you decide not to get the civil union, you could enroll on a Spanish course and apply for a student visa, which would allow you to stay in Colombia for longer. Learning Spanish is also really useful in terms of managing day-to-day life in Colombia! If you get a job here, you could then apply for a work visa. You might also be able to extend your tourist visa, but this might depend on your nationality (I’m not an immigration expert so you might want to get some professional advice about this!).

      Once you have a valid partner/student/work visa, then it is easy to get the cédula from Migración.

      All the best and enjoy your time in Colombia! 🙂

      • Thank you very much for your reply! Learning Spanish seems to be a nice option as I could stay longer 🙂

        By the way, could you tell me if there are any Spanish courses or programs available in and around Monteria? Most of the schools are either in Medellin or Bogota. Thank you again! Best!

        • Hi and you’re welcome! Montería is quite small (in comparison to the bigger cities) and I don’t imagine there is a large expat community there, so it may be difficult to find Spanish courses for foreigners. What I would suggest is going to or contacting the English departments at the local universities in Montería – the English teachers will almost certainly be Colombian – and ask if one of those teachers would be willing to give you private Spanish classes. I think you would expect to pay 30,000-40,000/hour for private Spanish classes. This is probably your best bet – if they know how to teach English then they should be able to teach you Spanish.
          The universities I have found online are the Universidad Pontificia Bolivariana, Instituto Tecnológico San Agustín, Universidad Católica Luis Amigó and Universidad del Sinú.
          The only problem is that private classes probably won’t help you to get a student visa. But maybe the universities will be able to tell you if there are any official Spanish courses on offer in Montería. Good luck!

          • Thank you very much! So kind of you! Its really helpful. I will contact those universities. Thank you again! Best!

  24. RICK WILSON // March 12, 2017 at 9:52 am // Reply

    Do you have the addres to Notary 17. Thanks

  25. Great blog. I’m going to curate a few articles from it tonight. I also wonder if I could do a video interview with you on my blog sometime in the future. I have a lady friend in Bogota and am thinking about moving there…especially since the the largest Kizomba community (a dance style) in Colombia is in Bogota.


  26. Hi, I got married to a US citizen on July last year, since then he stayed here in Barranquilla, Colombia, he left for a month on December, and he will be extending his entrance this week, but we have plans to be in Bogota in April 24th to May 1st, I don’t know if that is enough time to apply for the TP-10, or should he apply online and in case he needs to be interviewed can it be done in those days we are there or will they set an exact date he needs to go? I called the Cancillería, but they weren’t very helpful giving me this information. I just know we have to do it within the 30 days we apply. If someone has a case like that, that applied online and had to go for an interview, how does that works? Thank you!

    • Hi Margarita, thanks for your comment and sorry for the delayed reply. I applied for my last TP-10 visa online and paid online too. They then send you an email confirming that the application has been processed and that all the required documents are in order, and once you have that confirmation, you can go to the Ministerio de Relaciones Exteriores on cra 19 with calle 98 (Bogota) to collect the visa. They might ask a few questions, but as long as you answer honestly there shouldn’t be a problem, and they will issue the visa there and then. I recommend going quite early (7.30-8.30) in the morning to avoid a long wait!
      Good luck!

      • Hi Naomi, thank you for you answer. We went ahead and applied for the visa online, and in 3 days we had it, no interview required. But just an advice to everyone that is in the process and lives out of Bogotá, plan ahead. As I said before, we have a trip planned to Bogota on April 24th, either for the interview or to get the visa stamped on his passport and also for tourist purposes. But since the visa was already approved we only need to get it stamped, we now have the problem that it needs to be registered at Migración Colombia, within the following 15 calendar days, and it needs to be registered when you have it stamped on the passport, the electronic visa they sent when it is approved is not accepted. So I think this is tricky when you don’t live in Bogotá. They should give the same 30 days the Cancillería gives or at least start counting the 15 days after is stamped on the passport. Since we are going to be over the 15 days, they said we will have to pay a fine, between half of one month minimum salary up to 3 minimum salaries. So I called the Cancillería and asked them if we could give a power of attorney to someone in Bogotá and that person could go with the passport and get the visa stamped there, they said yes, thanks God!

  27. Great Blog! Lots of good info!

    We spent the day in notarias yesterday and for the Colombian national its very easy to get a new copy of there birth certificate / civil status. It cost my girlfriend 6,200mil pesos and was ready in 30 minutes.other than that all they ask for now is a copy of her Cedula. No letter is required in the notaria!

    For myself every notaria seems to be asking for proof that I am single, so I am going to translate my certified birth certificate and go in again tomorrow to see if this is sufficient.
    If this doesn’t work I have booked a meeting with the British embassy to obtain an affidavit / affirmation.

    Again the affidavit seems to be a legal document saying your able to marry and costs £50, however it isn’t the same as the equivalent official document, which needs to be applied for from England. ( has anyone applied with an affidavit? )

    Could you please advise of places to translate documents? preferably one day services? or maybe add this to the bottom of your blog? When searching online you’ll always get western services and if anyone knows of local services then it will save a lot of money.


  28. This blog has the most insight on getting this visa.

    Went today to the Notaria in Belen/Medellin for the Public Escritura. Had what I thought were the necessary documents. We have lived together for 2 years and aren’t getting married yet.

    My girlfriend has children and they need a registro civil para curador. Anybody familiar with this? Read every thread but didn’t see it addressed anywhere? Is it necessary? Thanks

  29. Laura Brinkley // June 13, 2017 at 3:48 pm // Reply

    I was granted a three year visa based on únion marital de hecho´but the visa is finishing in August. Does anyone know what I need to do in order to renew it? Is it possible to apply for residency? Thanks

    • Laura Brinkley // June 13, 2017 at 3:49 pm // Reply

      My partner also has children, I was granted the document at the camara commercial, it was a little bit more expensive but they didn´t require a registro civil……

    • Hi Laura,
      I am in the exact situation, mine expires in July.
      While I was home in Cali in February, my husband (Colombian) & I CALLED the “Cancilleria” & asked ALL of my questions (I am REAL GOOD with questions) . . . here’s the scoop “from the horse’s mouth”.

      1. There is NOT such thing as “renewal”, you will have to APPLY all over again for another Spousal/Temporal Visa. Follow the exact steps you took the last time.

      2. Yes, you CAN apply for your Resident Visa . . . for the least amount of mess, you can apply ONLINE for your “Study” & pay the $50 USD for the study. Online will also give you all the documentation requirements. Some things MUST be ATTACHED to your online application.

      They said the Study can take UP TO 4 days to complete. Once you receive your email that you have been approved, you MUST them travel TO Bogota. You will pay the $400 USD there, by following the instructions in your approval email.

      Once that is paid, you return (or go to) the Visa office & they will apply the Resident Visa into your Passport, as they did the Spousal/Temporal Visa.

      I hope this helps.

      • Laura Brinkley // June 15, 2017 at 10:10 pm // Reply

        Thanks for the information. Am I right in thinking that after completing 3 years on a tp-10 partnership visa with únion marital de hecho´ that I can now apply for the RE visa using the same process? And do you know how the interview process is? Thanks

  30. Laura Brinkley // July 18, 2017 at 11:38 am // Reply


    I´m in the process of applying for a resident visa on the basis of having a tp10 for 3 years with my partner. I am looking at the required documents and number 11 states ´documento que acredite occupacion o fuente de ingreso. I work independently giving classes and I am registered as persona natural. Is it necessary to provide this information and will my application be accepted if I submit my certificate from camara commercio? Thanks in advance for any help.

  31. Hi , me and my girlfriend having a long distance relationship. I applied for the visit visa . I got denied . We want to marry and she can’t come to my country either. Is there any way we can get married?

    • Hi Abid, I’m sorry you’ve had trouble getting a Colombian visa. Did they explain why the visa was denied?
      To answer your question, I know someone living in Bogota who is from Syria. He met his (now) wife in Turkey and she was going to move to Syria, but then the war started in 2011, and they decided he would have to move to Colombia instead. In the end, his girlfriend went to a notary in Bogota and they were able to get married via Skype. He had to sign a paper and email it to the notary, giving permission for someone else to take his place at the wedding. So his girlfriend’s mother signed the marriage certificate on his behalf, and they were married while he was still in Syria and she was in Bogota. I recommend that your girlfriend goes to a notary and asks if you can sign a “poder” which gives someone else the right to act on your behalf. In this way, it may be possible for you to get married via Skype.
      Alternatively, there may be another way for you to get a visa, if you can address the reasons for refusal…
      Finally, you could both travel to a different country, meet and get married there. But you would need to do some research first about which documents they would require.
      Good luck!

  32. Jim Jon Jones // September 13, 2017 at 5:05 pm // Reply

    Hi there,

    I went with my girlfriend today to the Notaria and they said that:

    My birth certificate (which is an original copy from the UK government) and a solicitors letter which I had a solicitor in the UK type for me officially to say I am single, need to be apostilled?

    How an earth do I do this from Colombia?
    I know the official UK government site can do this and post new documents out, but is there any other way?

    Can I also just apply with my birth certificate and scrap the solicitors letter as there is no option to apostile this on the UK government website?

    Thank you!

    • Hi Jim,
      The first thing I would try is going to different Notarias and seeing if they will accept your birth certificate as it is. They all have different requirements and there are probably some which won’t ask for the apostille stamp. What I would do though is get an official translation of it done ( can help you with this). It shouldn’t cost too much, and if you find a notary who will accept your birth certificate along with the official translation you will have saved yourself a lot of time and money.
      If it turns out that you do need an apostille stamp you could ask at the British Embassy. I believe you can apply to the embassy for a “Certificate of No Impediment” which should also be accepted by notaries (although I guess it might depend on the notary!). You would need to pay for this and it could take at least a few weeks, so it may not end up being any quicker than ordering a new certified copy of your birth certificate from the government website and getting it sent to Colombia.
      As I said, if it were me, I’d get my birth certificate officially translated and try a few other notaries first. Why not make a day of it and see a bit of the city! 😉 Or you could try posting in one of the Facebook Colombia expat groups or on and ask there if anyone has been through the process lately. Someone might be able to recommend a notary.
      All the best, I hope you manage to get it sorted!

  33. Art Williams // October 27, 2017 at 3:57 am // Reply

    Hi Naomi>

    Sorry I never got back to you about that interview. I got sidetracked by something but I now forget what it was.

    I just wanted to let you know I have a Colombian fiance now. I met her online. She’s originally from Medellin but has a clothing store and wants to set up a store in Medellin (where I have lived for the last 4 months and like it).

    I now have a reason to get serious about this visa stuff now…especially since my TP7 expires mid January. Now I’m debating whether to renew my TP 7 route or go for the TP10. My fiance is eager to get hitched too.

    But do I understand correctly that the TP10 covers both couples who have been officially married AND couples who have just been cohabitating?

    Any suggestions about which visa would be easier?

    I remembered how informative all of your posts were the last time I frequented your site…so I did a search tonight and recognized the name of your blog (it’s very smart!).

    I hope you’ve been doing well.

    Best regards,
    Art Williams

    • Hi Art, I’m very sorry I totally forgot to reply to this message! Now that it’s January, I hope you’ve managed to sort out your visa! The TP-10 visa is exactly the same for co-habiting and married couples. The difference is that when you apply for the visa, a co-habiting couple would have to provide the legal document certifying the ‘unión marital de hecho’ or de facto marriage (that you’ve been living together like a married couple for at least 2 years) whereas a married couple would provide the marriage certificate. So I’m not sure how it works if you’re engaged and therefore can’t provide a marriage certificate yet. Hmmm… (congratulations on your engagement, by the way!)
      As I said, I hope everything worked out!
      All the best,

  34. Buenas tardes. Quiero decir que este Blog es magnífico. Su encuentro fue milagroso para mí. Estoy nerviosa por que quiero solicitar la visa TP10, y cuando leí el reglamento, no sabía si era necesario los 2 años de convivencia. La Ley dice que la Sociedad Patrimonial es a los 2 años. Pero no dice que para declararla se necesite eso. Es una mala interpretación de dicha ley colombiana. Haré un viaje que me costará muchísimo y no quería fallar esto. Por eso, si alguien en esta fecha actual, diciembre 2017, o los próximos meses solicita la visa, explique con lujo de detalle como lo hizo. Por favor. Desde cualquier país que se encuentre. Por que muchos estamos pendiente del blog, y realmente esta información es muy valiosa y extra confidencial. Que tengan Feliz Navidad y Prospero año 2018. 🙂

  35. Hola no entendi muchas cosas, mi ingles no es muy bueno. Llevo con mi pareja viviendo 2 meses en Bogota, ella es Mexicana y yo Colombiano, me gustaria saber cuales son en realidad los requisitos como Union libre?
    Esto me ayudaria enormemente para su visa

    • Hola Cristian, los requisitos más importantes son que ustedes hayan vivido juntos por un mínimo de dos años (no importa en qué país) y que ella puede mostrar que es soltera. A veces basta proveer un registro civil o una copia apostillado de su certificado de nacimiento – lo que piden varía según la notaría. Podrías preguntar en varias notarías para ver lo que dicen. Si no han vivido juntos por un mínimo de 2 años, ustedes se tendrán que decidir si quieren inventar una historia.. por ejemplo que se conocieron en México y vivieron un tiempo juntos ahí antes de venir a Bogotá. Porque la notaria no les darán la escritura de una unión marital de hecho si ustedea dicen que sólo han vivido juntos por dos meses.
      Mucha suerte!

  36. Hi
    Me gustaria preguntar. ¿Tu periodo de pasaporte era de 90 u 180 dias? al momento de gestionar la visa Tp-10 y cuantos dias despues de hacer la union libre ¿Gestionaste la visa? y que preguntas hacen? si estan bien los papeles, existen motivos para no otorgarla?
    Sorry por mi español

    Gracias y un fraternal abrazo?

    • Hola William, no sé si he entendido bien tus preguntas. Cuando entré a Colombia en octubre de 2013, me dieron el sello (como visa de turista) por 90 días. El 6 de diciembre hicimos la unión marital de hecho, y pedí la visa TP-10 el 2 de enero de 2014. En la notaría, para que nos dieran la escritura pública de la unión marital de hecho, pidieron la fecha que empezamos a vivir juntos y dónde (eg enero de 2011 en Londres – no exigieron una dirección exacta) y nuestra dirección actual. También nuestros documentos, y he escuchado que ahora están pidiendo el registro civil del extranjero para mostrar que es solter@. En el ministerio nos preguntaron cómo nos conocimos, dónde y cuándo – no pidieron ninguna prueba de esto ni nos entrevistaron por separado. De pronto si ellos dudan que la relación es auténtica podrían negar la visa en teoría, pero no lo sé – nunca he escuchado de un caso así.
      Mucha suerte!

  37. Muchas gracias por la respuesta. ¿ es obligatorio tener más de 2 años?

  38. Perdón
    En la entrevista dijiste que vivieron dos años en Londres? Pero tu novio alguna vez estuvo en Londres en esas fechas?

    • Sí él estaba haciendo una maestría en Londres cuando nos conocimos y vivimos un tiempo juntos allá. Pero nunca le pidieron prueba para mostrar que realmente había estado en Londres. Él volvió a Colombia un año antes que yo vine a vivir acá en Bogotá y yo le visite varias veces durante ese año. En la notaria, ellos dijeron que ese tiempo – cuando él estaba de vuelta en Colombia y yo todavía estaba en Londres – sí pudo ser incluido en los dos años – porque a veces las parejas tienen que estar separadas, cuando uno tiene que viajar por el trabajo o cuando uno es militar y tiene que trabajar en otro país. Dijeron que nuestro caso no era diferente.
      Realmente sólo nos hicieron como 3 o 4 preguntas en el Ministerio, no era una entrevista larga. Sí dijimos que habíamos vivido juntos en Londres y las fechas, sí él estuvo en Londres durante ese tiempo, pero nunca lo tuvo que probar en ningún momento.

  39. Buenos días

    Según tu experiencia y las personas que has conocido haciendo este trámite…. cuales serían los motivos para negar la visa o les han negado ? Gracias

    • Hola, realmente no conozco a nadie cuya visa colombiana ha sido negada. Me imagino que si ellos sospechan que la relación no sea auténtica, podrían negar la visa, pero realmente no sé.

  40. Hola

    Cuando te dieron el acta de la union marital de hecho lo apostillaste y lo enviaste al consul de Inglaterra? o nada de eso?

    • Hola, para la visa conyugal (TP-10) de Colombia, si la escritura pública de la unión marital de hecho se hizo en Colombia, o sea, si es un documento colombiano, no tiene nada que ver con el consulado británico, y no tiene que ser apostillado.

  41. Hola!
    muchas gracias por tu ayuda.
    contare mi experiencia , fui a la personeria de Bogota a sacar mi acta de conciliacion con mi pareja (ella saco el acta de nacimiento apostillada) y yo mi registro civil con la leyenda (para matrimonio) una copia de su pasaporte con vigencia actual, ultimo sello de entrada y mi fotocopia de cedula, sacamos el documento en 1 dia y fui totalmente GRATIS tiene los mismos derechos, seguido de esto y ya con el documento fui a registrarlo a la notaria donde registraron mi registro civil y sacarle una copia autenticada, en la noche subi y diligencie todo en la pagina (formulario online) es obligatorio y me dieron un numero de orden. Fui al siguiente dia a la cancilleria, pague en el primer piso mi estudio de visa, me hicieron una entrevista (2 o 3 minutos muy simple) y ese mismo dia pague la visa y se la pegaron en el documento de mi pareja

    si alguien necesita ayuda con gusto!

  42. Hi

    cuando te dieron la visa , cual fue el siguiente paso? registrarla o ir por la cedula de extranjeria o cual?

    • Hi,
      Si me acuerdo bien, despues de recibir la visa, fui directamente a Migración en Calle 100 para pedir la cédula de extranjería – no me acuerdo tener que registrar mi visa. Normalmente hay una fila larga en Migración entonces después de entrar, pide el formulario que toca llenar para la cédula y puedes llenarlo mientras estás en la fila. Lleva una tarjeta de crédito/débito contigo para pagar la cédula – sino tendrás que ir al banco occidental a pagarlo en efectivo y volver a Migración con la factura (y hacer la fila otra vez!). Creo que en migración te dan una lista de otras cosas que toca entregar con el formulario… una copia de la página foto de tu pasaporte, copia del sello de tu última entrada al país, copia de la visa… Hay varios lugares para hacer fotocopias cerca de migración. Te toman la foto para tu cédula ahí entonces no toca llevar fotos.. Creo que tienes 15 días despues de recibir la visa para pedir la cédula. No se me ocurre nada más por ahora!

  43. Te toco registrar la visa en migracion Colombia (la pagina) ?
    o no fue necesario?

    • Creo que sí me tocó registrar la visa (recibir un sello) en Migración pero la verdad no me acuerdo bien ahora. Sí tienes que ir a Migración para recoger la cédula de extranjería, entonces puedes averiguar lo de la registración de la visa cuando vayas a recoger la cédula.

  44. Hi!
    Un saludito 🙂 !
    Has tenido problemas al ingresar de nuevo a Colombia con tu visa y cedula de extranjeria? te pregunto porque pronto viajare por unos dias a mi pais y tengo esa duda

    • Hi Marie 🙂
      No, no he tenido ningún problema al ingresar de nuevo a Colombia – y yo he hecho muchos viajes a Inglaterra durante los últimos 3 años! Lo único que me acuerdo es que cuando salí de Colombia por la primera vez después de conseguir la visa en 2014 (era para ir a Panama de vacaciones), en el aeropuerto cuando presenté mi pasaporte a migración, se demoraron unos minutos en ingresar los datos de la visa en el computador. Pero ingresé de nuevo una semana más tarde sin ninguna demora y desde entonces siempre ha sido muy fácil salir y ingresar de nuevo. A veces te cobran impuestos dependiendo de cuanto tiempo has estado en Colombia – supuestamente tienes que pagar si has estado más de 60 días en Colombia, pero hay veces que he estado más de eso y no me han cobrado… entonces toca mirar!
      Saludos y mucha suerte!

      • :OO ESO ultimo no lo sabia!

        Pagar por estar por fuera de Colombia o dentro de Colombia con mi Visa? y cuanto te cobraron?

        • Me cobraron para salir, como 75,000 pesos. Me dijeron que si yo había estado más de 60 días en Colombia, tenía que pagar impuestos. Pero una vez yo había estado como 3 meses aquí y cuando hice el check-in en el aeropuerto, no me cobraron, y les pregunté “No tengo que pagar impuestos?” y me dijeron que no. Entonces realmente no entiendo las reglas o de qué depende!!

          • Y te toco pagar ahi mismo o como hiciste para no perder el vuelo? es decir que es mejor llevar pesos Colombianos por si cualquier cosa

          • Sí pagué ahí mismo con tarjeta. Sólo dos veces me cobraron impuestos – a veces pienso que ellos deciden las reglas ahí en el aeropuerto! Mejor llevar la plata por si acaso!

  45. We had no problem getting the escritura pública – unión marital de hecho (legal civil partnership document) today (Feb 22) at Notary 38, Cra 7. I had only my Canadian passport.

  46. hola mi visa se vence pronto y necesito que me digas por favor esta consulta. Cuando saque mi visa, saque el documento de union libre las semanas anteriores a la solicitud, pero eso ya fue hace 3 años. Ahora los voy a renovar y me piden los papeles de nuevo y dice esto “Anexar los documentos descritos en los primeros cuatro puntos y a) Registro Civil de Matrimonio colombiano auténtico, o copia auténtica de la providencia judicial, o del acta de conciliación o escritura pública, que acredite la unión marital de hecho, según las normas colombianas. Cualquiera de estos documentos deberá ser expedido dentro de los tres (3) meses anteriores a la solicitud de la visa” tuviste que de nuevo hacer otra union marital?

  47. Hi everyone, quick question. How long did it take to get the escritura publica, and does anyone know if there is a database or list of other notarias to try if one demands too much stuff? I don’t have enough time to get my birth certificate, etc., and just want this to be quick and easy. I also live in a tiny town in Colombia and will have to travel to Bogotá to get the escritura publica as well as the visa within a few days, so I want to know how long I should expect the escritura publica to take. Thanks so much!!!!

    • Hi Gena, in my case, I remember that we went to the notary, gave them the information they needed, and within one week we had the escritura pública (I can’t remember the exact number of days, and I remember there was a weekend and bank holiday in between). I have been told within the last 6 months that notary 34 (on calle 109 # 15 – 55) and notary 38 (carrera 7 # 33 – 13) will provide an escritura pública with just your passport and your partner’s cédula. I recommend calling them to check this (notaries change their policies all the time) and to ask how long you will have to wait for the escritura pública. You can find their websites and phone numbers via Google.
      Good luck!

  48. Thanks for all this useful information! One question: my partner and I are both foreigners (both Europeans), is it still possible to do a union marital de hecho to obtain a partner visa? My partner does have a work contract and work visa here in Colombia. We heard different answers from notaries, one said we can’t do it as foreigners, the other one said no problem.
    Thank you!

    • Hi Vince,
      I know two foreign couples who got a unión marital de hecho after they moved to Colombia, so it is possible. Notaries in Colombia usually say something isn’t possible when they don’t know about something, so it’s important to ask around! In both cases I mentioned, the man had been transferred within his company to a post in Colombia, and the girlfriend was going with him. The difference is that the accompanying partner is a “dependent” and isn’t allowed to work, and you will still need to say that you’ve been living together as a couple for at least two years to get the unión marital de hecho (as far as I’m aware they don’t normally ask for evidence, just dates and places).
      If she is later offered a job and assistance to obtain a Colombian work visa from the employer, she can then get her own work visa and stay on those terms.
      I hope that’s helpful!
      All the best, Naomi

  49. Dear all
    Let me tell you our experience with the union marital de hecho.
    Please do bring your birth certificate with an apostille to Colombia! This is very important. I only brought a copy with a regular birth certificate, stamp from the German authorities and here I was worthless. I had to ask for help in Germany to request a new copy and get the apostille there as the embassy do not issue apostille. So, the whole thing costed a lot of money extra, especially because of the courier.
    Then we were able to do the union marital de hecho but I expected it to be done quicker than it actually was.
    First you have to go to present all documents, then you have to go a few days later to sign and pay and then a few days later to pick the paper up.

    • Hi Johana, thanks for sharing your experience! I have been told there are a couple of notaries which still accept just a passport for the union marital de hecho (the ones I mention in this post). Which notary did you go to? Did they require proof of your single status or did they accept just the birth certificate with the apostille? Thanks a lot 🙂 I hope you can relax and enjoy Colombia now!

  50. Hi Naomi. (Hi to all)
    we went to notaria 34 (mentioned in the post) they even took copies of all our passport stamps to prove the length of our relationship. the other notary recommended (notaria 38) told us we needed to live here in Colombia for at least 2 years. I guess it all changed since the mass arrival of Venezuelans.

    • Hi Johana, thanks for letting us know – it looks like I will need to update this post again! I think you’re right – the crisis in Venezuela must have caused migración and notaries in Colombia to tighten the rules.

  51. dear all. after you get your visa and you are ready to get your cedula de Extranjería, please note that you now have to fill in an online form before going to migración (cll 100) I guess in the past you received the form as paper to fill in from while waiting. Now this form is available online and after filling it in you get a number. with this number you get your turn inside the migración office.

  52. Sarah Gallego // July 22, 2018 at 4:42 pm // Reply

    Anyone happen to know the process of getting a marrige visa in Colombia if you are legally married in the united states to a Colombian citizen who was in the United states on a green card? Me and my husband plan on moving to colombia and the process of getting a visa is so confusing to me. Im not sure what paperwork to bring? Sorry im very new to this!

  53. It’s a shame you don’t have a donate button! I’d certainly donate to
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  54. Hello – thanks a lot for this post! I just wanted to share my experience with other readers. I’m from the UK and I’ve just moved over with my Colombian partner. We spent a while researching and it turns out that you can get the union marital de hecho in any Camara de Comercio with only your I.D.! We went just to investigate what documents I might need and they let me do it there and then with my UK driving license! It costs about $400000, but it was done very quickly, it’s all official and you can use it to then apply for the partner visa. It’s not cheap, but I think it balances out the cost of getting your birth certificate (I paid £30), certificate of no impediment (£50) plus translations and general hassle involved.

    The visa process itself was very straight-forward – I applied online and paid the application fee, then we had an interview where they asked about our relationship, after which the visa was approved and printed on the same day.

    • Hi Yoanne, thanks so much for this tip! That’s very weird though. It doesn’t make sense that you could apply for the registration of a civil partnership in the chamber of commerce, which just handles the registration of businesses! Could you share which Camara de Comercio you went to (including the address), and the office you went to or who you spoke to? That would be so helpful!

  55. So it’s part of Centro de Arbitraje y Conciliacion, and covers “asuntos familiares”. We went to the one on AK19 #147 and just told reception that we were interested in union marital de hecho and they sent us to the correct floor. I went to this branch in the North because it’s closer to my partner’s family house, but I know people who did it in Usaquen and Chapinero. Hope that helps!

  56. I also thought it was weird when I first heard! I think it’s because Camara de Comercio also covers conciliaciones related to business but also “asuntos familiares”. We went to the one in Cedritos (AK 19 #142) but I have a friend who did it in Chapinero (AK 9 #57), and I have been told that all branches offer the same services & prices. At the reception, we told them we wanted to find out about the union marital de hecho and they directed us to the right place (5th floor in the Cedritos branch). Hope that helps!

  57. Can everyone please tell me how long it took for your marriage visa to be approved after applying online? I’m cutting it close to the expiration date of my tourist visa!!! Thank you 🙂

  58. I tried going to the camara de comercio in Pereira to no avail.

    • Hi John, sorry to hear that. It’s worth bearing in mind that often when employees don’t understand what it is you want, or don’t know about it, they will simply tell you that it isn’t possible. It’s likely that they’re not as familiar with the foreigner-Colombian union marital de hecho in Pereira, as there are fewer foreigners living there compared to Bogota and Medellin. Others in this situation should either try again at a different office in the city, if there is one; if not, ask to speak to a different employee, who may tell you something different; or, as a last resort, make plans to travel to Bogota and get the process done there. This is assuming that you do not have the documents required by a notary, which is still the easiest option otherwise. All the best, Naomi

  59. Samie Rodriguez // April 10, 2019 at 10:11 pm // Reply

    Hi, can anyone tell me if you can still apply for your marriage visa in person at the Cancillería in Bogota? Or if you HAVE to do it online? If you can apply in person, do you get an approval same day? Thanks for your help 🙂

  60. Hi all!

    Does anyone know about the risks that come along with being creative about how long you’re in a relationship? I’ve read on this blog that people do it, but I just want to know what the risks are. To what extent does the Colombian resident have to be concerned about any legal actions that can be taken by the government? If the consequences are too high for my girlfriend than we might just wait a little longer before applying for the ”union martial de hecho”.


    Alguien sabe cuáles son los reisgos que vienen con inventar una historia sobre la duración de la relación? He leído en este blog que hay gente que hace eso, pero me gustaría saber más sobre los riesgos/consecuencias. En especial que pueden ser las consecuencias para el residente de Colombia, mi novia entonces. Que es lo que puede hacer el gobierno a mi novia? Si el riesgo es demasiado grande, preferíamos esperar un poquito más. Espero que se entienden lo que he escrito en español.


    • Hi, thanks for your question. I can’t give you a definitive answer, but I will make a few comments. To get the ‘M’ visa as the spouse/partner of a Colombian citizen, you need either a marriage certificate or a union marital de hecho. When you sign the legal document at the notary – the escritura publica of the union marital de hecho – stating that you’ve been in a relationship since [insert date – must be at least 2 years] you are both making a legal declaration that you have been in a relationship and living together for that amount of time. So technically, if anyone decided to investigate your declaration (*highly* unlikely, in my opinion), it could be discovered to be fraudulent – and fraud is a crime. So as far as I can tell, that is the risk you run. That said, if you have a story, are both clear about the details and dates, and you stick to it, I think in practice the worst that could happen is that the immigration officer processing your visa says they don’t believe you, and denies you the visa. I’ve never heard of it happening, and if it did, I really can’t imagine them launching a criminal investigation against either of you. The only way I imagine it could be a problem for your girlfriend is if *you* were to be accused of committing a serious crime in Colombia, and they then started an investigation into both of you. Again, unlikely. I would ask in one of the Colombia expat Facebook groups if anyone has ever heard of someone being denied the visa.
      Obviously there’s always some degree of risk when you’re not doing things the “right” way, so you and your girlfriend both need to decide whether you think the outcome (i.e. you two being able to stay together in Colombia) is worth the risk.

      Another option would be for you to get a job and apply for a work visa in the meantime, and when that expires apply for the partner visa then, once more time has passed.
      Either way – good luck!

  61. Hi, this post and the comments were helpful for me and my visa was just approved so I wanted to share my experience. I looked for centros de conciliación to get the union marital without my birth certificate and found that in the Procuraduría in Bogotá they were happy to do it with only my passport and my partner’s registro civil and as far as we could tell it’s free! But you need to go in first to do an application and then they contact you with an appointment to do get the union marital. They said it would take 25 days and in the end we couldn’t wait that long, we went to the Camara de comercio in Chapinero which was fast and easy but cost about $450,000.
    So it might be worth trying in the Procuraduría first for anyone who isn’t in too much of a rush to get their visa.

    • Hi Harriet, thank you very much for your comment – I’m glad you found the post helpful and your advice will certainly be useful for others trying to get the unión marital de hecho! I’m glad to hear you were able to get yours in the end, though I’m sorry about the cost!
      All the best, Naomi

  62. Londoner in Colombia // May 30, 2019 at 9:30 pm // Reply

    My Colombian partner and I (I’m from the UK) have just got our union marital de hecho in Bogota, so just wanted to add our experience to all the other posts which we found invaluable in helping us. We tried the notary route (went to 11, 27 and 41) and found they all wanted my original birth certificate and proof of no impediment, which I don’t have in Colombia. I found this page and the info about the Centro de Arbitraje y Conciliación in the Cámara de Comercio, so we made a trip there (we went to the one in Cedritos, Carrera 19 # 140). They were really nice and helpful and there was no wait at all. Very nice building and not crowded in comparison to the notaries! We just needed to show my passport and my partner’s cedula, and they asked us how long we’d been living together. The lawyer wasn’t available the day we attended but they gave us the option of either coming back next day, or said we could attend the Chapinero or Usaquen centres the same day if we needed. We opted to come back the next day and they took payment of COP 459,000. The lawyer was really nice and understanding of my limited Spanish, and allowed us time to properly look over the document at our leisure. As others have said, if you don’t have your birth certificate and proof of no impediment in Colombia, by the time you get those documents issued (and possibly apostilled, some notaries require this), couriered and translated, the higher cost doesn’t look too bad! We could have tried lots of other notaries and maybe got somewhere but for overall stress and convenience factor, the Centro de Arbitraje y Conciliación was brilliant. Great to know you have this as a back up if other routes don’t work out.

    • Thanks for this comment, this will be really helpful for readers! (I’m sorry you were getting failure messages, sounds like there’s a bug somewhere – I’ll look into it when I get a chance!) Great to know that the Centro de Arbitraje y Conciliacion route offers an easy, if more expensive, option for those who don’t have their documents in Colombia.
      All the best to you and your partner!

  63. I can confirm the Centro de Arbitraje y Conciliación route definitely works and they only asked for my passport (I’m from the UK) and my partner’s Cedula. We just got our Union marital de hecho there. Cost was COP 459,000. We went to the Cedritos one at Carr 19 # 140. It was all very easy and convenient, with next to no wait. The cost, although obviously more than via a notary, was significantly less than getting an original copy of my birth cert and proof of no impediment (which all 3 notaries in Bogota – 11, 27 & 41 we went to required) issued, couriered from the UK and translated etc, and obviously far less hassle!

  64. // June 27, 2019 at 5:58 pm // Reply

    Hi and thanks for all the information in this blog, I have a question about the process! so far I have followed all the steps and everything has gone well, however when doing the online application it asks for these two documents:
    1. Power of attorney given by the Colombian spouse or partner to the foreigner authorizing the visa procedure.
    2. Letter requesting the visa signed by the Colombian spouse or partner.

    So we did the second one and had this stamped, we are a bit confused about the first one? what is that? is it the same thing or is this now something additional as your site does not mention that nor can we find any information online about it. thanks any advice is appreciated. Dan

    • Hi Dan, I am not sure… have you tried submitting the application online already? If something’s missing, they should get in touch via email to let you know. This is what happened in our case when we didn’t get a notary stamp for my partner’s letter asking for the visa. The process seems to change all the time. As a last resort you could always ask at a notary, or go to migración in person to ask.

  65. Samie Rodriguez // June 27, 2019 at 7:54 pm // Reply

    Hi Dan, they are 2 separate things. The Colombian spouse needs to write a letter simply stating that they give you (the foreigner) power of attorney over the whole procedure. This is to be signed by them and it MUST be notorized.
    The other letter (Colombian Spouse requesting the visa and signed by them) does not need to be notorized, but you said you’ve already done that so it doesn’t matter. You should be all good to go once you’ve got those 🙂 Goodluck.

    • Thanks for the reply guys, yes I needed the two documents. Once I had both of these I was able to get the appointment.
      What I was told is that the documents should reference that the visa type is an M type visa and not tp-10.

      We were interrogated quite heavily in the interview about how long we have known each other. They requested that we show them messages and photos to prove our relationship! we where also asked for the passport of my partner to prove our story! It was all quite intense, but the end result was positive as we had the required information.

      I would recommend that anyone going through the same process has photos, emails, messages, and potentially a passport with immigration stamps from where you lived together if outside Colombia (for the Colombian)!

      • Hi Dan, thanks for relaying your experience here. It seems that they are making the immigration process much stricter nowadays. I wonder if this is linked to the increase in the numbers of people coming to Colombia from Venezuela. Did you have your interview in Bogota? I need to go through and update this whole post at some point 🙂
        All the best, Naomi

        • Hi Naomi,

          I had the meeting in Bogota. Yes I thought the same, this is probably due to the mass immigration issue right now


      • Hey Dan, where did the interview took place, at the migracion or at the notary?

        • Hi Max, the interview is at the Migracion office.

        • Hi Max,

          This was at the migration! If you go to the notary they will probably ask similar questions. We went through that stage at the CAC.

          Either way get your evidence and your story together! photos, emails, social media messages, passport stamps

  66. Hi,
    Thanks for all the helpful information on this blog.

    I would like to know if you need to register the visa in Bogota and apply for cedula there or that can be done in your city. I live in Barranquilla and there’s a Migracion office here. Can I register the visa here and apply for cedula? I read on another blog that you can register the visa at the Migracion office in your city.

  67. Hi Dan,
    Thanks for the update.
    Do you know how long it takes to receive the answer from the Immigration after you applied?

  68. Hi Dan,
    Thanks for the update.
    Do you know how long it takes to receive the answer from the Immigration after you applied?

    • It pretty quick, once you have all your papers uploaded and the form filled in, send it off. It then took a few days and i had my appointment!

  69. Hey, very nice page and thank you all for your contribution!
    I have a quick question: Can i go to every Centro de Arbitraje y Conciliación (CAC) in the country or does it have to be the one in bogota? I am in santa marta right now and of course I try to reduce the time i (or we) have to be in bogota to a minimum.

    • Hi Max
      My understanding is that you can do this in any CAC. They were very helpful and friendly there so I’d say pop into your local one and ask there. If they don’t, they should be able to tell you where the nearest one is to you that does. Hope it all goes well!

  70. Nathaly Devia // August 2, 2019 at 5:33 pm // Reply

    Hello dear

    Thanks for this valuable information.

    My boyfriend is from South Africa and we meet in China living together for a while. I returned to Colombia in March and he stay in China to finish his contract.

    Now he is getting the tourist visa and he is coming in the middle of August.

    He is bringing those two documents with the translation and apostille.

    We asked in the 4 Notary and they said that he must be in Colombia for at least 6 months to be able to get marry. But the documents can’t be older than 3 months and he only can get those documents in SA personally. So no makes sense.

    His tourist visa will expire in 3 months and we want to make his spose visa. So do you think that we should go to notary 44 and try?

    Thanks again

    • Hi Nathaly, if you see the comments, some people have been able to get the union marital de hecho from the Centro de Arbitraje y Conciliacion. Otherwise just keep trying notaries until you have success – they all have different ways of operating and will often tell you different things! Good luck!

  71. Thank you for your advice! My partner and I (a same-sex couple) are staying at a hostel in Chapinero just 3 blocks from the Centro de Arbitraje y Conciliación in the Cámara de Comercio. We went in yesterday, asked, and within just 2 hours, we had registered our unión marital de hecho for about $460.000. We only had to show my passport and his cédula. They asked no questions about our relationship nor asked us to prove anything. Super quick and easy.

    Afterwards, we went over to the Notaría 6 a few blocks away and within 30 minutes all our documents were notarised. Thank you for your blog! Going to the CAC is by far the quickiest and easiest option.

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