March 16, 2024

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Colombian Citizenship by Birth 101

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Colombian Citizenship by Birth 101

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Colombian Citizenship by Birth Overview

The primary legal framework for Colombian citizenship through birth is outlined in the Colombian Constitution of 1991 as well as Decree 1260 of 1970.  Colombian citizenship by birth, also known as "ius soli," is the legal principle that grants citizenship to individuals born within the territory of Colombia, regardless of the nationality of their parents. It is an automatic and unconditional right for those born on Colombian soil. In 2023, the current birth rate in Colombia is 13.772 births per 1000 people. 

People born outside of Colombia can get Colombian citizenship by birth if they are the children of a Colombian father or mother (citizen or resident) and were born in a foreign country but later moved to Colombia or registered in a Colombian Сonsular Office.

5 Benefits of Colombian Citizenship

Acquiring Colombian citizenship by birth has multiple privileges and opportunities that extend far beyond mere legal recognition. Colombian citizenship comes with the following benefits:

Travel Benefits

As a Colombian citizen, you have the right to enter and leave Colombia without the need for a visa. Additionally, Colombia has agreements with many countries that allow for visa-free travel or visa-on-arrival privileges. These travel benefits not only facilitate international mobility but also promote cultural exchange, enabling Colombian citizens to explore and engage with the global community more easily.

Employment Opportunities

Colombian citizens may have an advantage in the job market, especially for positions that require citizenship or security clearances. Moreover, holding Colombian citizenship opens doors to various government and public-sector roles, providing a broader spectrum of career possibilities and professional development avenues. It is interesting to know that salaried employment contributes to annual job creation by more than 90%, large cities by 66%, and women by 57%.

Real Estate Ownership

Owning property in Colombia may be easier and more straightforward for Colombian citizens. Colombia’s property market has experienced strong house price growth over the last fifteen years. In addition, the government has implemented policies to encourage foreign investment in real estate, making it an attractive option for international buyers as well.

Family Reunification 

If you have family members who are not Colombian citizens, being a citizen can make it easier to sponsor them for immigration to Colombia. This streamlined process for family reunification can strengthen the bonds between loved ones and enhance the quality of life for both Colombian citizens and their non-citizen family members in Colombia.

Dual Citizenship

Colombia allows dual citizenship, meaning you can hold citizenship in both Colombia and another country at the same time. This can be advantageous for travel, business, and family reasons. Dual citizenship provides individuals with the unique opportunity to fully embrace and benefit from their diverse cultural and national identities, fostering a deeper sense of global belonging and connection.

Colombian Citizenship by Birth Requirements

Colombian citizenship by birth is primarily determined by the circumstances of a child's birth within the territory of Colombia and by Colombian parents. This legal status is subject to certain requirements and exceptions. Understanding these requirements is crucial for individuals seeking to establish their Colombian citizenship through birthright, especially in cases involving foreign parents or unique circumstances.

To become a Colombian citizen by birth, you must fall under one of the following rules: 

  1. Birth on Colombian Soil

To be eligible for Colombian citizenship by birth, you must be born within the territory of Colombia. This includes being born in Colombia, as well as in certain Colombian-controlled territories.

  1. Exceptions for Children of Foreign Diplomats

Children born in Colombia to foreign diplomats or consuls who are accredited in Colombia are not automatically granted Colombian citizenship.

  1. Registration of Birth

After a child is born in Colombia, their birth must be properly registered with the Colombian Civil Registry. This is typically done at the local civil registry office (Registraduría Nacional del Estado Civil). 

  1. Citizenship by Parent Birth

The citizenship by birth of the parents may influence the child's citizenship status. For instance, if at least one parent is a Colombian citizen by birth, the child is granted Colombian citizenship regardless of the place of birth.

  1. Children of Stateless Persons

If a child is born in Colombia to parents who are stateless, the child may be granted Colombian citizenship.

  1. Children of Foreigners

If both parents are foreigners and the child is born in Colombia or abroad, the child may be eligible for Colombian citizenship if at least one parent has residency in Colombia at the time of the child's birth.

  1. Children of Colombian Nationals Born Abroad

Children born to Colombian parents abroad are typically eligible for Colombian citizenship. However, they will need to register their birth with a Colombian consulate or embassy.

Colombian Citizenship by Birth Documents 

You will need to provide specific documents to prove your eligibility for Colombian citizenship by birth. Here are the typical documents required:

  • Birth certificate issued by the Civil Registry Office or a consulate or embassy of Colombia; 
  • Parents' identification documents of both parents such as passports, cédulas de ciudadanía, or other recognized forms of ID;
  • If one or both parents are foreign nationals, you might need to provide documents proving their legal immigration status in Colombia at the time of your birth;
  • If you were born abroad but are claiming Colombian citizenship through a Colombian parent, you might need to provide documents proving that your parent(s) had legal residency in the foreign country;
  • If your parents are married, you might need to provide a copy of their marriage certificate to establish the legitimacy of your birth;
  • Depending on specific circumstances or changes in the law, there might be additional documents required. This could include affidavits, witness statements, or other forms of evidence;
  • Document proving the applicant’s blood type and Rh blood group;
  • Application forms; 
  • Passport-sized photos, 3x4cm, with a white background;
  • Payment receipt. 

It is a requirement that all documents, originally in a language other than Spanish, have to be diligently and accurately translated into Spanish by a certified and qualified translator. Furthermore, they must undergo the process of apostillation to ensure their authenticity and validity for legal purposes.

How to apply for Colombian Citizenship by Birth

To apply for Colombian citizenship by birth, you need to follow a specific process outlined by the Colombian government.

Step 1. Gather Required Documents

Initially, you have to register and get your birth certificate with the Colombian authorities and collect other required supporting documents. They must be translated and certified properly. 

Step 2. Visit the Local Civil Registry Office

You should enter Colombia and visit the Civil Registry Office in Colombia. You will need to go there in person to begin the process.

Step 3. Submit the Application

Then, you have to present all the required documents to the immigration authorities. They will review and process your application.

Step 4. Pay Fees

You will need to pay a processing fee. The fees associated with the application process can be paid online through this website. The cost of obtaining Colombian citizenship varies depending on a number of factors, including the method of application and your personal circumstances. You should also consider additional fees for professional assistance, document processing, and certification.

Step 4. Wait for Processing

The processing time for citizenship by birth applications can vary from 1 to 5 months. It is recommended to ask the registry office for an estimated timeline.

Step 5. Receive Notification

Once your application is processed, you will be notified of the outcome. If approved, you will receive a Certificate of Colombian Citizenship.

Step 6. Apply for a Colombian Passport & ID Card (Cédula de Ciudadanía)

After that, you may request a Colombian passport. If you are over 7 years old, you will need to apply for a Colombian ID card. You can do this at the nearest Citizen Service Center (Centro de Atención al Ciudadano).

Step 7. Register with a Consulate (optional)

If you live outside of Colombia, you may want to register with a Colombian consulate in your country of residence. This can be useful for a variety of reasons, including obtaining and renewing a passport or requesting consular assistance.

4 Tips How to Get Colombia Citizenship by Birth from Golden Harbors Experts

Getting Colombian citizenship by birth is a straightforward process if you meet the eligibility criteria. Based on our experience with successful applications for Colombian citizenship by birth, there are a number of suggestions that will help you expedite the process: 

  1. Verify Eligibility

Before proceeding, ensure that you meet the eligibility criteria for acquiring Colombian citizenship by birth, such as: 

  • You were born on Colombian territory or abroad; 
  • At least one of your parents is a Colombian citizen or resident at the time of your birth;
  • Your birth was registered with Colombian authorities.
  1. Obtain your birth certificate

Request your Colombian birth certificate from the Colombian authorities where you were born. This is essential to prove your eligibility for Colombian citizenship by birth.

  1. Follow Up and Be Patient

After submitting your application, it is important to stay in contact with the relevant authorities. Keep track of any communication you receive and respond promptly to any requests for additional information. Furthermore, be prepared for potential delays in processing and remain patient throughout the citizenship application process.

  1. Engage a Reputable Service Provider

Seek the assistance of a reputable service provider or legal expert who specializes in immigration and citizenship matters in Colombia. Golden Harbors team will guide you through the whole process, making sure all necessary documents are in order, and help you navigate any potential complications that may arise. We can offer valuable insights into local regulations and provide personalized advice tailored to your specific situation, making your immigration journey in Colombia as smooth as possible.

FAQs Colombia Citizenship by Birth

Who is considered a Colombian citizen by birth?

A person born in Colombia or a foreign country to at least one Colombian parent is considered a Colombian citizen by birth. Colombian citizenship by birth also extends to those born on Colombian territory, even if both parents are foreign nationals, as long as they are not in a diplomatic or consular mission at the time of birth.

Does Colombia allow dual citizenship by birth?

Yes, Colombia allows dual citizenship by birth. This means that a person can hold citizenship in both Colombia and another country simultaneously.

Can a person with Colombian citizenship by birth pass it on to their children?

Yes, a person with Colombian citizenship by birth can pass it on to their children, regardless of where the children are born. This means that even if the children are born outside of Colombia, they are still eligible to inherit Colombian citizenship from their parents.

Colombia

Residence Benefits

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Fast application processing

2-3 months

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Global mobility and freedom

no residence limits. In order to maintain residence status, it is necessary to spend six months per year in Colombia

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Business opportunities

expansion, entry into the Latin American market, and access to development projects in Bogota, Cali, Barranquilla, and other cities

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Global mobility and freedom

Option to purchase commercial and residential real estate with an annual return of up to 5%, and a return on initial investment in 5 years

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The clear path to Colombian citizenship

residents can apply for Colombian citizenship if they have been in Colombia for 10 years

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Global mobility and freedom

family members (spouse, financially dependent parents, and children) can apply for a residence permit together with the main applicant

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Rights of a resident

a residence permit is issued with the rights to work, do business and study

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Global mobility and freedom

Colombia has a favorable tax regime, with low taxes and generous incentives for foreign investors

Colombia

Residence Permit

Processing Time and Terms

Enter your estimated application start date for the Colombian Residence Permit and receive a clear timetable for each step

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Sign a service agreement with Golden Harbors, pay the initial service and due diligence fees, and fill out application forms

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Prepare the necessary documentation for your chosen residency category

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Open a bank account and make the investment

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Apply for a visa at the Colombian Embassy or Consulate. The processing time will vary depending on the embassy or consulate handling your application

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Visit Colombia and apply for a residence permit. Within two months, the Immigration Service will review the application and make a decision

There are Always Options to EXPAND YOUR BOUNDARIES! Let's Discuss Yours

Every client is unique

Every case requires an individual approach and solution. Our years of experience in the industry allow us to provide both.

We will answer all your questions and provide detailed information about the available second passport and residency programs to help you make the right choice.

Victoria

Lead Attorney at Golden Harbors

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Victoria

Lead Attorney at Golden Harbors

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