Spousal Visa: “I’m Getting Married in Colombia-What Do I Do?”
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I’M GETTING MARRIED IN COLOMBIA:
WHAT DO I DO?
SPECIAL NOTICE #1: YOU MUST FILE YOUR PETITION IN THE USA, UNLESS YOU OFFICIALLY “RESIDE” IN COLOMBIA OR HER HOME COUNTRY. THE U.S. EMBASSY IN BOGOTA, COLOMBIA WILL NO LONGER DIRECTLY PROCESS IMMIGRANT VISA PETITIONS FOR SPOUSES AND CHILDREN OF U.S. CITIZENS (WHO ARE NOT “RESIDENTS” OF COLOMBIA) THROUGH DIRECT CONSULAR FILING AFTER JULY 01, 2003. VISA PETITIONERS MUST FILE THEIR PETITIONS IN THE UNITED STATES. (“RESIDENTS” ARE PEOPLE WITH AT LEAST SIX MONTHS CONTINUOUS PRESENCE AND POSSESS OTHER LONG-TERM IDENTITY DOCUMENTS SUCH AS VISA AND COUNTRY IDENTIFICATION.) SEE: EMBASSY NOTICE
SPECIAL NOTICE #2: YOU DON’T NEED ANY SPECIAL COLOMBIAN VISA TO GET MARRIED IN COLOMBIA. EFFECTIVE FEBRUARY 01, 2005, THE “TEMPORARY SPECIAL VISA FOR MARRIAGE” OF PRE-MARRIAGE VISA BY A FOREIGN CITIZEN IN COLOMBIA IS NO LONGER REQUIRED.
FIRST, OFF: TEST YOUR BASIC QUALIFICATIONS
BY REVIEWING THIS CHECKLIST:
1. SHOW “U.S. CITIZENSHIP”
2. BEFORE MARRIAGE: SHOW THAT BOTH OF YOU ARE “FREE AND ELIGIBLE TO MARRY”:
3. AFTER MARRIAGE: DEMONSTRATE THAT YOUR MARRIAGE WAS “SINCERE AND GENUINE”, TYPICALLY WITH VALID MARRIAGE CERTIFICATE AND OTHER DOCUMENTATION AND PHOTOS
4. MEET 125% OF CURRENT YEAR FEDERAL MINIMUM INCOME GUIDELINES (CALLED “POVERTY GUIDELINES”)
5. THE MOST IMPORTANT QUALIFICATION IS “PATIENCE”.
|6. PLEASE NOTE THAT THE U.S. SPOUSAL VISA IS MEANT FOR COUPLES WITH A SERIOUS INTENTION TO RESIDE IN THE U.S. ON A CONTINUOUS BASIS(WITH ALLOWABLE SHORT VISITS BACK HOME FOR THE FOREIGN SPOUSE). IT IS NOT INTENDED FOR COUPLES WHO WISH TO RESIDE CONTINUOUSLY IN COLOMBIA OR A THIRD COUNTRY. IT REQUIRES THE U.S. CITIZEN GENTLEMAN TO IDENTIFY A LEGITIMATE U.S. ADDRESS TO WHERE THE COUPLE WILL TRAVEL AND RESIDE.|
1. PLAN A SECOND TRIP TO COLOMBIA TO ACCOMPLISH A MARRIAGE AND VISA, AND BUDGET SUFFICIENT ADVANCE TIME TO GET IT DONE, AT LEAST 30-45 DAYS MINIMUM OR LONGER
FIRST OFF, realistically and logistically, gentlemen need to plan on a SECOND trip to Colombia to accomplish the local marriage and secure the spousal visa because of the extensive required preparation and mechanics of accomplishing this project. In Colombia, “Public Notaries” are responsible for civil marriages, while Church officials are in charge of a Church wedding. Most people need suffient time to gather and prepare their documents for the civil notary or the Church official. These officials will need advance notice before scheduling the marriage date, and also will want your documents beforehand, usually at least 10 to 15 days, to conduct a marriage ceremony. Thus, we recommend that gentlemen use their very first trip to continue the courtship and make good decisions with the lady about the process, and budget at least 30 to 45 MINIMUM OR LONGER days lead time before scheduling their next trip to Colombia for wedding.
2. GATHER A FEW “PRELIMINARIES”:
Go to this website and download the program called Adobe Acrobat Reader.
It’s free and won’t take long. Now you can open our forms.
Select Proposed Date and Location of Marriage
Have the lady select a proposed date and location of marriage, and type of marriage civil or Church. The date should be far enough in advance for all sides to properly prepare. We suggest at least 30-45 days out MINIMUM OR LONGER.
Gather Some Documents from Your Lady
Have your Lady secure from the local marriage official (Public Notary if civil marriage and Church priest if Church marriage), a current official List of Documents required to Marry.Click Here for a List of All Notaries in Colombia: Colombian Notaries.
Secure from the Lady and return to the U.S. with three (3) standard color Passport Photos of her, a notarized copy of her cedula or Country Identification Card, a notarized copy of her Birth Certificate, a Police Report or Certificate (in Colombia called DAS “Pasado Judicial”) that she has no pending criminal record, any Past Divorce Decrees or Ex-Spouse Death Certificates.
Spanish Language Documents should be translated to English by Consular Approved Translator.
Embassy Approved Document Translators List.
Get Permission Letter of Father of any Children of Your Lady
Have your lady investigate securing the permission in writing of the natural father (if his whereabouts are known) of any children to allow the children out of the country and to enter the U.S. We suggest that the written permission should not be signed earlier than 30 days before the proposed date of children’s departure from the country, otherwise it may be considered stale.
3. PLAN ON DOING TWO THINGS:
A. ACCOMPLISH A LOCAL CIVIL OR CHURCH MARRIAGE AND
B. OBTAIN THE U.S. SPOUSAL VISA
We suggest that you read this article to start. They will give you a good overview of the marriage process and the documents you needed to start.
4. FILL OUT A VISA QUESTIONNAIRE
YOUR U.S. SPOUSAL VISA AFTER MARRIAGE
“GETTING A HEAD START”:
Obviously, the items mentioned in this article are NOT meant to be exhaustive. You will need more documents and things especially regarding the U.S. Spousal Visa process. Many people are anxious to get a “head start” in the preparation for the visa process particularly because of current long process times to secure the visa. Here are a few items for you to begin your “head start”.
ATTORNEY FEES FOR CURRENT YEAR 2014:
Flat Fee of $1750.00 for Spousal Resident Visa,
plus $535.00 US Government filing fee for Each I-130 Petition.
$100.00 for Each Minor Child’s Resident Visa or Co-Signer Affidavit.
$350.00 Retainer-Deposit Requested (Non-Refundable)
US Embassy and National Visa Center Fees are apx. $450 for Each person Who Needs Visa
USCIS Immigrant Visa Fee paid to USCIS on their website after securing the visa and before entering the USA: $220.00 per visa holder
As concerns the balance, our office policy is to receive full payment no later than when your legal petitions are ready for filing. This gives you at least a few weeks, sometimes a couple of months or more to secure the funds to use us.
We accept checks and money orders.