US Immigration Requirements: Colombia Birth, Marriage, Divorce, and Police Certificates

The US Immigration Process is very strict when it comes to documentary requirements. The National Visa Center (NVC) is the leading guidance regardless if you are applying for a Green Card in the United States through the Adjustment of Status process, at the US Embassy in Bogata, or at any other US Embassy/Consulate around the world. This post will break down the common Colombian documents.

Colombian Birth Certificate:

Document Name: Registro de Nacimiento

Issuing Authority: The Civil Registry (Registro Civil) of the municipality or rural area in which the birth occurred and certified by the notary public.

The US Government requires the Front and Back of the Document, even if the backside is blank.

The Birth Certificate is issued on plain white paper, and certified by the notary public or register’s office (Registraduria) with an original signature over either a wet seal or a sticker. Summarized birth certificates issued by notaries are not acceptable. The embassy requires the “copia del folio” since it is a copy of the book itself and has all the information regarding:

    • The parents’ name,
    • Exact place where the person was born (hospital’s name, home, etc.),
    • The grandparents’ names,
    • Date of registration, witness of the registration, etc.

Religious records are not sufficient to prove Birth.

Procedure for Obtaining: Consult the Civil Registry of the city/municipality where the birth took place for instructions on how to obtain a notarized copy of the birth registration.

Colombian Marriage Certificate:

Document Name: Registro Civil de Matrimonio

Who provides the Certificate? The Civil Registry (Registro Civil) of the municipality or rural area in which the marriage occurred and certified by the notary public.

The US Government requires the Front and Back of the Document, even if the backside is blank.

What does the Certificate look like: It is a complete copies of the page of the book where the marriage was registered (copia del folio). They are issued on plain white paper and certified by the notary public with an original signature over either a wet seal or a sticker.
Summarized marriage certificates are not acceptable. The embassy requires the “copia del folio” since it is a copy of the book itself and has all the information needed to verify applicant’s relationship to petitioner and helps to detect possible fraud.

Catholic marriages in Colombia have legal effect only after they are registered with the civil authorities. However, religious records are not sufficient.  The embassy requires the ‘copia del folio’ of the registered civil marriage for immigration purposes.

Procedure for Obtaining: Consult the Civil Registry of the city/municipality where the marriage took place for instructions on how to obtain a notarized copy of the marriage registration.

Colombian Divorce Certificate:

The U.S. Embassy in Bogotá requires:

  1. a certified Divorce Decree/Annulment AND
  2. the birth or marriage certificate with the divorce annotation.

Other US Embassies or Consulates may deem just the Certified Divorce Decree or Annulment is sufficient.

Divorce Decree in Colombia are processed (1) by the Notary Publics (mutual consent divorces), and (2) by the “Juzgados de Familia” (divorces by cause).

Annulments are issued by the “Tribunal Eclesiastico” of the Roman Catholic Church.

Birth certificate (Registro de Nacimiento) or Marriage Certificate (Registro Civil de Matrimonio), with the appropriate divorce amendment.

 

Procedure for Obtaining:

  • Catholics who do not want to process a divorce can get an annulment of their marriage (“cesación de efectos civiles”). The embassy will accept an annulment issued by the “Tribunal Eclesiástico” as proof of an official annulment of the marriage.
  • All divorces, whether civil or religious, must be registered with the civil authorities (“La Oficina de Registro Civil”) to be legal.  Proof that the divorce was registered with civil authorities (either an annotated birth certificate or marriage certificate) is required in addition to the civil divorce decree or religious annulment decree.

Certified Copies Available: Yes.  By default, all Colombian divorce certificates are certified/notarized copies of the original.  The original version is kept in the Civil Registry office of the city/municipality where the divorce was registered.  The marriage or birth certificate with the required divorce annotation is also a certified copy, issued by the Civil Registry in the city/municipality where the birth or marriage was registered.

Colombian Police Certificate:

Document Name: Certificado de Antecedentes Judiciales.

Issuing Authority: Ministerio de Defensa Nacional – Policía Nacional de Colombia.

Special Seal(s) / Color / Format: The police record can be printed from the Policía Nacional de Colombia website.

Procedure for Obtaining: All applicants who are 18 years or older must provide a Colombian Police Certificate, called Certificado de Antecedentes Judiciales. Applicants may obtain police certificates online at policia.gov Police certificates have a validity of one year. Colombians receive their permanent cédula (national ID) number when they turn 18; applicants younger than 18 are not required to obtain a Police Certificate.

Colombia (Bogota) Immigrant Interview Instructions:

Immigrant visas to the United States are processed for citizens and residents of Colombia at the U.S. Embassy in Bogota. Immigrant visa interviews for residents of Aruba, Bonaire, and Curacao are being scheduled at the U.S. Embassy in Bogotá starting in January 2017. The U.S. Embassy in Bogota, Colombia has been designated as the primary site to process immigrant visas for residents of Venezuela.

Instruction Link: https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/us-visas/Supplements/Supplements_by_Post/BGT-Bogota.html

 

 

 

Disclaimer: This Blog is made available by the lawyer or law firm publisher for educational purposes only as well as to give you general information and a general understanding of the law, not to provide specific legal advice. By using this blog site you understand that there is no attorney-client relationship between you and the Blog/Web Site publisher. The Blog should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a licensed professional attorney in your state.