19 November 2010

How do you get married in Colombia? : A summary of all paperwork you need for your wedding with a Colombian.

Hello All,

Lately, I’ve been doing some research  on a certain topic I’ll tell you about in a future post =) ...  and  coincidentially (is there such thing as coincidence?) I have also found that its  a topic that has been asked about quite a lot in Tripadvisor recently. What I’m talking about is  how to marry a Colombian or how to get married in Colombia.  It seems that Colombia is not just opening to the world of tourism but also to loooove and therefore to international marriages.

So, if you or someone you know is planning to get married in Colombia these are the legal requirements to do it:

Civil wedding in Colombia - even if you are getting married in church you need the following:

Under Colombian law, a foreigner doesn’t require a special visa to get married in Colombia. The couple would have to identify themselves with a current passport and a valid visa (foreigners) and the natioanl ID - cedula de ciudadania - (locals) and the following documents:

1. Authenticated passport/ cedula de ciudadania photocopy.
2. Authenticated birth cerificate with a validity no longer than 30 days for Colombian naionals and 90 days for foreigners. If the certificated was issued in a language different from Spanish, it should be translated by an official translator and legalised before the local Foregin Ministery (apostillar)
3. Certificate of no impediment (AU) or Unmarried state certificate if any or both are foreigners.

Special documents for exceptional sircumstances.

1. Cerified copy of marriage annulment when applicable
2. If widow/ widower, certified marriaged certificate and spouse’s death certificate
3. If divorced, certified copy of previous marriage certificate with divorce clause

Catholic wedding in Colombia

If you decide to get married with a Colombian under the Catholic church  you will need - on top of all of the above - the following documents:

1. Certified baptism certificate issued no more than 90 days before the marriage date
2. Certified confirmation certificate. If it is issued in a language different from Spanish, it should be translated by an official  translator and legalised before the local Foregin Ministery (apostillar)

If any of the two is a non catholic,

1.certificate from her/his own church. Again, if the document was issued in a language different from Spanish, it should be translated by an official  translator and legalised before the local Foregin Ministery (apostillar)
2. Certificate of no impediment writen by two members of the family before a priest and certified by a member of the church specifying:
a) How long the couple have known each other
b) That non of them have been married before or if any has been married before, the reason why they got divorced

If any of the two is Catholic and has a previous marriage should  also include

1. Annulment certificate
2. Divorce certificate
3. And /or death certificate of previous spouse

If any of the two was previously married under the catholic church and then divorced, but the expartner is still alive, will not be able to get married again unless the previous marriage was invalidated by the catholic church.

Remember that ALL documents should be translated by an official  translator and legalised before the local Foregin Ministery (apostillar).

I wish I could say this is the end.... but is not the case just yet... we still are unmarried at this point ... so what to do next? Here we go.

If you are having just a civil wedding is not necessary for both to be present when handing the documents in. The foreigner should send a power of attorney (again translated and certified) giving power to present his/her documents and to fill and sign the required form  on his/her behalf.

The “Colombian”, should take all these documents to a Notaria  (here is a list of notarias in Bogota ), fill in a form pay the fee - aprox COL$140.000 - US$80 and wait for a confirmation that all documents are in order.

If everything is going according to plan, they will publish an “edicto”. What this means is that the Notaria will let the community know your intention to get marry so, if someone has anything against this union, they have five days to do something about it. Don’t worry, they normally publish the edictos in a very local news paper with the smallest print ever! jejejejeje

Anyway, 15 days later they will contact you to set a date for the long awaited day.... your wedding day!!! That is it, if you want to get married at  the Notary’s offices  but if you want the notary to go somewhere else, you’ll have specify that when fill in the form and will also have to pay extra. This fee will be agreed (negotiated) with the notary him/herself.

I’m sure some of you will find this information useful ( If all this paperwork hasn't made you change your mind, that is :) )  As always,  feel free to add you comments and help us all in case I’m forgetting something!



1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the info ! I enjoyed your post !