Navigating Colombia’s Red Tape

Thinking of moving to Colombia? Below are just a few sites and bits of info to know.

Migración Colombia: Ministerio de Relaciones Exteriores – Are you trying to figure out where to “register your visa” (ie., register your presence) after your arrival in Colombia? Need to extend your 90-day tourist visa for another 90 days? Do you have a visa for more than 90 days and want to apply for a cédula de extranjería (the national ID card for foreigners)? Migración Colombia is the place! Requirements (what forms you’ll need to fill out, whether you need to take photos, what bank you need to deposit the payment in, etc.) are listed on the site under the menu tab, “Trámites“.

Addresses and phone numbers of all the offices around the country can be found here, though be forewarned that for Barranquilla at least, I don’t think the office hours  listed are correct. Give ’em a call before heading out. Also, in Barranquilla, the DAS – Colombia’s internal security agency (sort of the Colombian equivalent of the FBI in the United States) – used to handle all the above stuff. It was transferred to Migración Colombia relatively recently, but the offices are still in the same physical location. This means that if you hop in a taxi to go extend your visa or whatever, you’ll need to tell them that you’re going to the DAS – the one at CR 42 and CL 54, not the DAS in “el centro Centro.”

Registraduría Nacional del Estado Civil – This gem of a website could save you a LOT of time. If you’ve applied for a cédula (the national ID card), you can check here to see where it is in process. And believe it or not, the “chat” function on this website really works. I was able to chat live with someone when I was trying to get my son’s Registro Civil de Nacimiento (Colombian birth certificate). If you have questions about requirements for the cédula or other documents, try the live chat.

Consulado de Colombia en Miami – This is the official website of the Colombian consulate in Miami. Here, you can find info on important things like how to get a menaje. If you’re moving to Colombia with household goods and don’t know what a menaje is, trust me, you want to find out – it could save you a lot of money. At the consulate, you can also apply for a cédula, visa, a Colombian passport (assuming you qualify), a Colombian birth certificate (again, assuming you qualify), and you can register your marriage to a Colombian and much more. The more of these items you can accomplish before leaving your hometown, the easier your transition to Colombia will be.

Colombian consulates in other U.S. cities have their own websites.

Want to teach English in Barranquilla? Click HERE for a partial list of schools.

Already made the leap to Colombia? Please share in the comment section the resources that you found helpful. Thank you!


4 responses to “Navigating Colombia’s Red Tape

  1. Pingback: One Way, One Year – Looking Back on Our Leap | Barranquilla or Bust!

  2. My husband was born in Barranquilla, Colombia on August 14, 1960. We are trying to get a birth certificate for him but do not know who to contact for that.


  3. Christy Marlen Pruitt

    I’m Christy Marlen Pruitt I was born 04/21/1966 in Barranquilla my parents were from Texas and are now deceased. My purse was stollen along with my birth certificate and passport how do I get replacements?


  4. How do you get a colombian birthcerificate in Colombia out country. My wife has photo copy of hers but would like an official one


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