Getting married in Colombia

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#1 16 March 2012 12:51:38

Armand
Armand
Flic en Flac Mauritius

Getting married in Colombia

Hi all,

We invite all the ones who got married in Colombia or who are about to get married in Colombia to participate in this thread :)

What are the formalities to get married in Colombia? Is it the same for a couple of foreigners of for a mixed couple (between a foreigner and a native of Colombia)?

Are the procedures complicated?

How long does it take to carry out all the formalities?

Thank you in advance for participating,

Armand

#2 20 March 2012 02:29:49

angucast
angucast
St Augustine

Re: Getting married in Colombia

Hi Armand, I will be tying the knot in about 2 months, as far as I know it should be pretty simple if you marry a Colombian, where in Colombia are you, I'll be in Manizales temporarily but I'm going to look for better weather and small town, hope to hear from you, I would like to know if there is a group of expats in that area, even though I'm fluent in spanish I enjoy a lot my american friends and hope to find some in Colombia

#3 20 March 2012 15:15:03

ilovecow
ilovecow
Barranquilla

Re: Getting married in Colombia

Last year I married a Colombian citizen in Barranquilla.  I am from the US so I don't know how different the procedure is for other nationalities but it wasn't super difficult for me.

The US consulate in Barranquilla was a GREAT help to me in telling me the procedures, it took a lot of emails and phone calls but we figured it out.  The embassy isn't going to be much help they are going to tell you to call the consulate but here is what I had to do (that I can remember)

I had to have proof that I was not married currently and I needed to declare how many children I had.  Apparently some states in the US have an official paper stating this information that you can request.  I am from Pennsylvania and they do not have this paper so I had two life long friends (it can't be a relative) both write a statement (in English) stating that they had known me for x number of years and I was not currently nor had I ever been married and did not have any children that I was responsible for.  They signed these papers and had them notarized and sent to me in Colombia and I was responsible for having them translated into Spanish by an official agency (I think I used Berlitz) and having them notarized in Colombia as well.  You will need both the English and the Spanish documents when you get married.

I also needed my birth certificate with an official apostille stamp on it which meant I needed to order a new birth certificate online, send it to my mother who then sent it to Harrisburg for the stamp.  They sent it back to her and she sent it to me.

I think those were really the only papers I needed from the US. I already had the copies of my passport and cedula from Colombia but the important thing to remember is that these documents can't be more than 6 months old at the time of your marriage.  Needless to say it would have been a lot less running around for my friends and family at home in the US if I had been in the US doing all of these things on my own but we made it work.

After we were married I applied for the spousal visa and it wasn't much of a problem, a lot of paperwork, photocopies, pictures and a trip to Bogota for an interview but I had already been in Colombia for 2 years with my now husband so I was prepared for all of that!  I can't remember how much all of the paperwork cost but it wasn't awful.... it wasn't cheap either but we were prepared for it.

As for two foreigners getting married in Colombia, I can't say.  I know when my sister did a destination wedding in the Dominican Republic it would have been easier to do the ceremony there and just come home and be officially married in front of a Justice of the Peace!  hahaha, but again it is just a lot of translating and paperwork....oh and money!

#5 15 November 2012 18:23:27

PhilipCo

Re: Getting married in Colombia

Getting Married in Colombia can sound a bit daunting, but I was lucky all the formalities were a breeze, once my Wife, found a Notary prepared to marry us, and yes, there were a number who would not entertain marrying a Colombiana to an Extrañjero!

The Notary in Medellin was brilliant, he did not want some of the papers that are listed on all the websites, he was happy with a apostillized copy of my divorce certificate, even though the divorce was ten months previously, birth certificate,  and a photocopy of my passport, he saw the original once I arrived in Colombia, and that was it. I met the Notary once, before the Wedding, he was extremely friendly and talked at a pace that I could understand. On the day of the Ceremony, he arrived spot on time at the Salon we used, but told us, he could not stay on afterwards, as he was going to bury his Brother an hour later, he conducted the service, as if he were an old friend, it was a day I will never forget. That topped it for me, as most people would have just cancelled, he had my utmost respect, and now whenever I need a Notary, I travel to his Office, even though there are many nearer.

#7 10 December 2012 00:04:49

carlosq
carlosq
Buenaventura

Re: Getting married in Colombia

I AM GETTING MARRIED TO MY ROMENIAN GIRL.WE PLAN ON HAVING A CIVIL MARRIAGE HERE,,CAUSE IT IS LESS OF A HASSLE THAN IN HER COUNTRY,,WHAT I NEED TO KNOW IS WHAT DOCUMENTATION SHE NEEDS TO BRING??WHAT DO I NEED TO BRING??DO WE NEED BLOOD TESTS ECT ECT.ALSO CAN ANYONE GIVE ME A ROUGH IDEA AS TO WHAT COSTS ALL THIS WILL BE,,INCLUDING PAPERS THAT NEED TO BE TRANSLATE ECT ECT AND ALSO CAN ANYONE TELL ME IF THERE IS A DIFFERENCE IN MARRYING IN THE EMBASSY AS TO AT A NOTARY??IN THE SENSE OF OBTAINING MY VISA TO GO APPLY IN HER COUNTRY FOR PERMENENT RESIDENCE THERE, SINCE WE PLAN ON LIVING THERE

#9 10 December 2012 15:48:37

carlosq
carlosq
Buenaventura

Re: Getting married in Colombia

ha ha ok christine,sorry didnt notice it,and thanks for the good luck wishes, and u enjoy you holidays along with your co.workers,,this blogs are great

#11 30 December 2012 20:29:43

tigerbeesteve
tigerbeesteve
Bristol

Re: Getting married in Colombia

Hi, I'm writing in this thread as it invited people who are getting married in Colombia to write in :)

I'm planning on marrying a Colombian woman on the north coast this time next year (December 2013)!

I'm from the UK and am of no religion - my partner is (a non-practising) Catholic ; if anybody can point me towards a website or list the documents I need to meet the requirements to marry in Colombia I would be really grateful.

I'm hoping there are other UK people who have married a Colombian, on this forum. We have been together just over one year, with all of our time together spent in the UK. I've never married before but she has and her marriage has been annulled. Neither of us have any children.

Most of the sites or blogs I read end up giving loads of detail for US citizens, so I would *really* appreciate if replies can stay focused on UK citizens, thanks!

I am planning on moving and working in Colombia from some time in 2013 too.

Many thanks in advance and cheers from wet and windy England!

Tigerbee

#12 12 January 2013 00:59:32

santa1666

Re: Getting married in Colombia

PhilipCo wrote:

Getting Married in Colombia can sound a bit daunting, but I was lucky all the formalities were a breeze, once my Wife, found a Notary prepared to marry us, and yes, there were a number who would not entertain marrying a Colombiana to an Extrañjero!

The Notary in Medellin was brilliant, he did not want some of the papers that are listed on all the websites, he was happy with a apostillized copy of my divorce certificate, even though the divorce was ten months previously, birth certificate,  and a photocopy of my passport, he saw the original once I arrived in Colombia, and that was it. I met the Notary once, before the Wedding, he was extremely friendly and talked at a pace that I could understand. On the day of the Ceremony, he arrived spot on time at the Salon we used, but told us, he could not stay on afterwards, as he was going to bury his Brother an hour later, he conducted the service, as if he were an old friend, it was a day I will never forget. That topped it for me, as most people would have just cancelled, he had my utmost respect, and now whenever I need a Notary, I travel to his Office, even though there are many nearer.

Can you please tell me his name and office address please. I am looking for one in medellin

#13 29 January 2013 17:33:37

atcnavy34
atcnavy34
Rome

Re: Getting married in Colombia

Hello everyone!  I am travelling to in March to visit my fiancee and her family in Sincelejo.  She's contacted the notario there and asked all that's required.  I am hoping to receive everything in time before I leave.  I am divorced and have 3 children, two that are still under 18.  I have requested my birth certificate, divorce certificate and statement from my best friend of 38 years.  Anything that I am missing?

#14 29 January 2013 18:11:53

ilovecow
ilovecow
Barranquilla

Re: Getting married in Colombia

Make sure you have an apostille stamp less than 6 months old on everything.  That was something that held me up because my was older than 6 months.  I've heard others say that they didn't have this problem though.

#16 05 February 2013 12:13:49

Taucher1979

Re: Getting married in Colombia

tigerbeesteve wrote:

Hi, I'm writing in this thread as it invited people who are getting married in Colombia to write in :)

I'm planning on marrying a Colombian woman on the north coast this time next year (December 2013)!

I'm from the UK and am of no religion - my partner is (a non-practising) Catholic ; if anybody can point me towards a website or list the documents I need to meet the requirements to marry in Colombia I would be really grateful.

I'm hoping there are other UK people who have married a Colombian, on this forum. We have been together just over one year, with all of our time together spent in the UK. I've never married before but she has and her marriage has been annulled. Neither of us have any children.

Most of the sites or blogs I read end up giving loads of detail for US citizens, so I would *really* appreciate if replies can stay focused on UK citizens, thanks!

I am planning on moving and working in Colombia from some time in 2013 too.

Many thanks in advance and cheers from wet and windy England!

Tigerbee

I am an English male also (I am originally from Bristol too) and I got married to my Colombian wife in April 2011. I met my wife in the UK and got married in Colombia (which was my first visit to Colombia at the time). 

Although it seemed daunting before, it actually went pretty smoothly in the end.

The thing that nearly ruined it though was that I had to go to Milton Keynes to get my documents apostiled - I didn't realise until quite late on and I had to book the day off work to go there.

Anyway, hope it all goes ok and if you have any questions, please ask.

T

#17 29 May 2013 03:36:49

tigerbeesteve
tigerbeesteve
Bristol

Re: Getting married in Colombia

Hi Taucher1979

Thanks a lot for your reply to my query, was a birth certificate apostle the only thing that was required to get married?

Was there anything else, other than this and a passport, that was required?

And how is life in Colombia for you since?

Many thanks

T

#18 20 July 2013 21:25:43

mccark
mccark
Medellin

Re: Getting married in Colombia

Hi all,
Someone mentioned a good notary in Medellin for helping with marriage details, please post the name if you remember.

Thank you for your time,
kevin

#19 30 July 2013 00:15:08

dcoldis1
dcoldis1
texas

Re: Getting married in Colombia

@ philipco, is it possible you still have the office number for the notary you used, or a website, something my novia can talk with him. she lives in medellin, i'm preparing to go down december. any number you have for him will be helpful, i can pass it on to her that she can talk with him, she spoke with one notary, and she's telling her about a lawyer, and other papers, and she kind of has me confused. thanks and much appreciated

#20 05 August 2013 23:03:30

JonPoley
JonPoley
Oxford

Re: Getting married in Colombia

Hey all,

I got married in Colombia in April 2013 so wanted to join the discussion.

I was just married by the Church in Colombia (my wife is Catholic) and by the state here in Oxford UK. It was difficult enough getting that done, so good luck to those of you struggling with notaries and lawyers! :-)  It was good to find an English speaking priest if only to help him be confident of me - we could only find one in Bucaramanga!!

What I can say is prepare yourself for a late night and lots of Whisky! Not to mention, if you are a gringo like me, being ready to try many dances you don't know!

Cheers!

Jon

#22 06 August 2013 09:57:15

JonPoley
JonPoley
Oxford

Re: Getting married in Colombia

@Markcol, I'm in the UK at the moment - but starting the process of moving over to Colombia (searching for jobs is the main one!). My wife is from Bucaramanga but has been living here for the last 5 years or so.

Cheers,

Jon

#23 06 August 2013 16:30:03

JohnAmericaninBarranquill

Re: Getting married in Colombia

To open a bank account in Colombia, savings account (cuenta de ahorros) or checking account (cuenta corriente) you MUST have a Colombian cedula (Colombian Federal Government ID Card).  NO bank will open a bank account in your name without this.  Believe me, I lived here for years without a cedula, and tried many times to open a bank account.  Now I am a permanent resident (residente calificado) because I have a permanent resident visa, and with this permanent resident visa I was able to obtain my cedula.  With the cedula, I was then able to open a bank account (savings account).  It is also possible to get the cedula with other types of visas, but it has to be a type of visa that gives you a right to do something other than be a tourist in Colombia.  The 30 day or 60 day or 90 day passports stamp for tourists that you get upon arrival in Colombia will NOT suffice.  You have to apply for, and receive, a more substantial type of visa affixed inside your passport to be eligible for a cedula.  And then you are required to have this cedula (called "cedula extrajeria" which means "foreigners cedula") to open any bank account in your name in Colombia.  Been there, done that.  I am absolutely certain my information here is 100% correct.

#24 06 August 2013 23:46:54

ilovecow
ilovecow
Barranquilla

Re: Getting married in Colombia

JohnAmericaninBarranquill wrote:

To open a bank account in Colombia, savings account (cuenta de ahorros) or checking account (cuenta corriente) you MUST have a Colombian cedula (Colombian Federal Government ID Card).  NO bank will open a bank account in your name without this.   Been there, done that.  I am absolutely certain my information here is 100% correct.

John is (to the best of my knowledge) absolutely correct.  I've lived here for 4 years and you need the cedula to pretty much every thing, in regards to accounts/bills/insurance etc., as far as I can tell.  Not to mention it's a lot less stressful than carrying your passport around trying to get all things taken care of.

#25 07 August 2013 05:39:06

JohnAmericaninBarranquill

Re: Getting married in Colombia

Plus, your passport is limited on what you can do here in Colombia.  You cannot get a utility bill put into your name without a cedula...passport doesn't work.  You cannot open a bank account without a cedula.  You can use your non-Colombian (American, Canadian, whatever) Visa or Mastercard to buy things in major grocery stores if you bring your passport along...this works fine without a cedula.  You CAN, however, cash a check in Colombian pesos that is written on an account located inside Colombia...you just have to take your passport and cash the check at the issuing bank since you cannot deposit the check into your Colombian bank account because you cannot GET a Colombian bank account without a cedula.  You can send and receive Western Union and Moneygram without a cedula...your passport will do...BUT they always very carefully check your tourist entrance stamp date.  If you are past your allotted 30 days or 60 days or 90 days legally in the country, you CANNOT send or receive Western Unions or Moneygrams until you correct your status to "legally in Colombia" again.  Been there, done that.  My information is 100% correct here.  It is a lot easier to live in Colombia if you have a Colombian cedula.

#26 07 August 2013 17:31:52

tigerbeesteve
tigerbeesteve
Bristol

Re: Getting married in Colombia

Hi

The information everyone's given here is very helpful.

Only thing I would question is that I've shopped extensively since I've been here and they never ask to see my passport. Of course to exchange money, send money, and everything else that's been mentioned, the passport is required.

A question: I hope to get my cedula now I am married to a Colombian citizen - what has people's experience of obtaining this been like?

Cheers

Steve

#27 07 August 2013 17:52:22

ilovecow
ilovecow
Barranquilla

Re: Getting married in Colombia

tigerbeesteve wrote:

Hi

A question: I hope to get my cedula now I am married to a Colombian citizen - what has people's experience of obtaining this been like?

Cheers

Steve

Lines, waiting, photocopies and more lines (with more waiting) but if you go prepared with all your paperwork and have already paid at the bank, it's not terrible, at least in Barranquilla.  As with most things, the first time is the most frustrating especially if you are expecting to be able to do everything in one place (pay, get photos taken, make copies) but when the time comes to renew it as long as you've kept track of what you needed the last time it's pretty smooth in the sense that you know what you need to do before showing up.

#28 07 August 2013 17:59:54

tigerbeesteve
tigerbeesteve
Bristol

Re: Getting married in Colombia

Ok, I'll be prepared, thanks :-)

Helpful to know it's not too bad in Barranquilla, as I'd go there.

Steve



ilovecow wrote:

tigerbeesteve wrote:

Hi

A question: I hope to get my cedula now I am married to a Colombian citizen - what has people's experience of obtaining this been like?

Cheers

Steve

Lines, waiting, photocopies and more lines (with more waiting) but if you go prepared with all your paperwork and have already paid at the bank, it's not terrible, at least in Barranquilla.  As with most things, the first time is the most frustrating especially if you are expecting to be able to do everything in one place (pay, get photos taken, make copies) but when the time comes to renew it as long as you've kept track of what you needed the last time it's pretty smooth in the sense that you know what you need to do before showing up.

#29 10 August 2013 05:00:11

DonPeter
DonPeter
Bogota

Re: Getting married in Colombia

I'm here in Bogota on a 90 days tourist Visa (stamped in the passport) and I'm trying to merry my Colombian girlfriend here to stay longer.
The notaria rejected us saying that I have to reside 6 months in the country before I can start this procedure. I was planning to get a Visa Temporal de Conyugo to continue living with her. I need to solve this before my 90 days is over. Any ideas? Should we try different notarias?
(I have the apostiled and translated documents)

#30 10 August 2013 06:43:15

JohnAmericaninBarranquill

Re: Getting married in Colombia

Most of the time in Barranquilla, I need to show passport or cedula to use my US-based Visa credit card, in major grocery stores like Exito or Olimpica.  This is, I am told, because previously in Colombia there was a much larger problem with credit card fraud, so they started making individual clerks partly liable if a person used a credit card without showing picture ID like a cedula or passport, and so quite naturally store clerks now most of the time do this.  Of course if you pay cash you never have to show ID.

#31 10 August 2013 18:02:01

tigerbeesteve
tigerbeesteve
Bristol

Re: Getting married in Colombia

DonPeter

That is a surprise. I entered Colombia also on a 90 day visa, two months ago, and got married a couple of weeks ago.

Is it really necessary to mention you are aiming to marry to stay in the country?

On a tourist visa you should be entitled to stay for a maximum of 6 months, assuming you are from a country that enables you to do so. After 90 days you need to get an extension - which can be given for 30, 60 or 90 days.

I would try a different notary, start the process again. I was married with all the necessary paperwork, plus they had to see my visa entry, so it was all legit.

Try your consul, they might be able to recommend notaries - mine were very helpful.

Good luck

#32 10 August 2013 18:21:41

JohnAmericaninBarranquill

Re: Getting married in Colombia

I got married several years ago in Colombia.  I still live in Colombia although I am separated.  I am not Catholic, I am Protestant, but I got married in the Catholic Church because the Colombian girl wanted this.  This country is 95% Catholic.  I found that the procedures for marriage can vary a bit from notary to notary, and I found some of the paperwork requirements a little less rigid through a particular Catholic Church branch than at many notaries.  If you get married in the Catholic church, you do NOT need to get married at a notary additionally...here in Colombia, the Catholic Church is afforded the "special consideration" that any valid Catholic Church wedding with the religious ceremony is automatically legally binding WITHOUT the necessity to go to a notary to be married.  Of course, if you marry in any other church in Colombia other than the Catholic Church, you must still go to a civil notary as well to have a valid marriage...only the Catholic Church has this special exception.
Also note that in a purely civil wedding without any church involved, you will likely find that the strictness with which some of the rules (such as 90 day limit on the age of your birth certificate...meaning usually it must have been issued within 90 days or less of the date you go to the notary) are enforced can be more relaxed at some notaries.  If you don't like the results you get at one notary, try another notary.

#33 10 August 2013 22:30:57

Markcol
Markcol
Bucaramanga

Re: Getting married in Colombia

Good afternoon,

I know 3 people that have entered Medellin notaries while in Colombia for a short visit and they have been married at notaries with no problem at all.  They had all documents needed. Never had a long wait.

Good luck...

#34 04 October 2013 05:50:46

xteve
xteve
Melbourne

Re: Getting married in Colombia

Hi everyone, I was interested in any current information about getting married in Medellin. I have had an internet relationship with my girlfriend for 7 months and I am travelling to Medellin in December this year. Nothing 100 percent decided yet but I wanted to know what I would need paperwork wise if we decided to get married. I was very interested in the details of
the Notary in Medellin that PhillCo wrote about if anyone has his details.
Any other tips would be a great help too.

Looking forward to an amazing holiday there soon

Thanks

#35 14 October 2013 17:48:36

EdBruck
EdBruck
Vermilion, Ohio

Re: Getting married in Colombia

Armand,

     I'm not sure what country you are from, but as an American I can help you. I'm going through the process as we speak.

Ed

#36 14 October 2013 18:04:42

EdBruck
EdBruck
Vermilion, Ohio

Re: Getting married in Colombia

Can anybody tell me where the American Consulate is located in Barranquilla. My fiancée says she can't find it.

Thanks all,
Ed

#37 15 October 2013 20:10:09

usmc_mv
usmc_mv
Florida

Re: Getting married in Colombia

Ed,

U.S. Consular Agency Barranquilla
Calle 77B, No. 57-141, Piso 5, Centro Empresarial Las Americas, Barranquilla, Atlantico
Telephone: (575) 353-2001
Facsimile: (575) 353-5216


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Visit my Personal Blog - brazilbs.blogspot.com

#38 16 October 2013 17:22:11

EdBruck
EdBruck
Vermilion, Ohio

Re: Getting married in Colombia

Thanks a lot, trying to get most of my paperwork done before I go back again and get the run around again.

Ed

#39 04 November 2013 22:48:15

incagold
incagold
Medellin

Re: Getting married in Colombia

Take Note !!!!!  all documents must be less than 90 days old, that includes your birth certificate, divorce papers, and other documents both foreign and colombian !!!!!!  I am living in colombia with my novia on a conjugal visa.... I have told dont try getting married out of colombia to a colombiana thinking it will make things easier when you return married, it wont!!! I dont know this first hand, but had looked into it when having problems getting a conjugal visa, which I later received on a second try.

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