March 16, 2024


 min read

Colombia Citizenship by Descent 101








Colombia Citizenship by Descent 101


Colombian Citizenship by Descent Overview

Colombian Citizenship by descent is a popular option for individuals who have Colombian ancestry and wish to connect with their cultural roots, live, work, or study in Colombia, or simply hold dual citizenship for personal or practical reasons. This option is particularly appealing to those with Colombian heritage who may have been born abroad but want to establish a legal connection to their ancestral homeland.

The Colombian Constitution, Law 962 of 2005, and Decree 1067 of 2015 specify the legal framework for obtaining Colombian citizenship by descent. It is granted to those born to at least one Colombian parent, regardless of place of birth. The majority of people who would like to apply for Colombian citizenship by descent come from Venezuela, Ecuador, and the USA.

Benefits of Colombian Citizenship

With a vibrant culture, a rich history, and a rapidly growing economy, Colombia offers an inviting environment for those seeking to call it home through citizenship. Obtaining Colombian citizenship through descent can bring several significant benefits:

Cultural Connection

By becoming a Colombian citizen through descent, you establish legal residency and a deeper cultural connection to Colombia and your roots. This includes a better understanding of the language, traditions, and way of life. This connection not only fosters a sense of belonging but also gives chances for meaningful engagement and integration within Colombian society.

Travel Privileges

As a Colombian citizen, you have the right to travel freely within Colombia and may also enjoy visa-free or visa-on-arrival access to various countries. This can simplify international travel and potentially open up new opportunities. Additionally, Colombian citizenship provides a sense of security and assurance while traveling abroad, as you can seek assistance from Colombian embassies and consulates in case of emergencies or unforeseen circumstances.

Access to Social Services

Colombian citizens have access to various social services provided by the government, including healthcare, education, and social assistance programs. In addition, Colombia offers a high quality of life with its affordable cost of living.

Employment Opportunities

You may have an advantage in the job market, especially if you are seeking employment within Colombia or in companies that value candidates with diverse cultural backgrounds and language skills. The employment market is growing nowadays, and Colombia's employment rate was 28.90 million at the end of 2023

Real Estate Ownership

Being a citizen allows you to own property in Colombia without restrictions that may apply to non-citizens. There are mortgages, trusts, deeds, and other types of liens, as well as a trustworthy system for recording these secured interests. 

Participation in Political Processes

Colombian citizens have the right to participate in national and local elections. This includes the ability to vote for public officials and potentially even run for political office. Engaging in the political process not only empowers citizens to influence policy decisions but also plays a vital role in shaping the democratic landscape of Colombia. 

Permanent Residency for Family Members

As a Colombian citizen, you can facilitate the immigration process for immediate family members, making it easier for them to join you in Colombia. They can apply for various types of visas based on their needs and requirements. 

Dual Citizenship

Colombia generally allows dual citizenship, which means you can retain your original citizenship while also being a Colombian citizen. This can offer additional advantages, such as the ability to travel using different passports. Furthermore, dual citizenship can facilitate greater access to global educational and employment opportunities, allowing you to choose the best path for your personal and professional growth.

Colombian Citizenship by Descent Requirements

To obtain Colombian citizenship through descent, you will need to meet certain legal requirements and provide specific documents. Please read through the main requirements outlined below:

  1. One Colombian Parent

To be eligible for Colombian citizenship by descent, you typically need to have at least one parent who was a Colombian citizen at the time of your birth.

  1. Birth Registration

If you were born outside of Colombia to at least one Colombian parent, you should register your birth with the nearest Colombian consulate or embassy. This registration is crucial to documenting your descent. 

  1. Language Proficiency

You may be required to demonstrate basic proficiency in the Spanish language. This requirement can vary depending on your age and other factors, in particular the authorities discretion.

  1. Good Conduct

You should be able to demonstrate good moral character and conduct. This is usually assessed through background checks and references. There must not be any criminal records. 

Colombian Citizenship by Descent Documents

You will need to provide certain documents to prove your eligibility for Colombian citizenship by descent. Here is a list of documents you may need to have:

  • Your current passport;
  • Any previous passports, if applicable;
  • Passport-size photographs;
  • Your birth certificate, showing the names of your parents;
  • Your Colombian parent's birth certificate;
  • Your Colombian parent's Colombian ID card (Cédula de Ciudadanía) or Colombian passport;
  • If your parents were married, provide a copy of their marriage certificate. If they were not married, a sworn statement or legal document acknowledging paternity may be required;
  • Documents demonstrating the existence of additional ancestors and their ties to Colombia; 
  • A police clearance certificate or similar document to demonstrate that you do not have a criminal record; 
  • Any other documents required by the Colombian consulate or embassy where you are applying;
  • Receipt of the payment;
  • You will need to complete the appropriate application form, which can usually be obtained from the Colombian consulate or embassy. 

If your documents are not in Spanish, you will likely need certified translations. Additionally, Colombia may require documents to be legalized or authenticated by a competent authority (such as an apostille).

How to Apply for Colombian Citizenship by Descent

Applying for Colombian citizenship by descent involves several steps, which may vary slightly depending on your specific situation and the current regulations. 

Step 1. Gather Required Documents

At this initial step, you will start gathering documents and getting a birth certificate showing that one of your parents is a Colombian citizen.

Step 2. Register Your Birth at a Colombian Consulate or Embassy

If you were born outside of Colombia, you should have your birth registered at a Colombian consulate or embassy. 

Step 3. Complete Application Forms

At this step, you will need to obtain the necessary application forms from the National Registry of Civil Status. Carefully read through and complete all required application forms. Be sure to provide accurate and truthful information.

Step 4. Attach Supporting Documents

After the completion of the application forms, you will have to organize and attach all the supporting documents regarding your ancestors and their lives in Colombia. If needed, you can get additional documents and information from the Colombian archives

Step 5. Submit Your Application

Your completed application form and supporting documents should be submitted to the Migration Service or Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Colombia

Step 6. Pay Application Fees

Fees associated with the application process are paid online on this website. Keep copies of payment receipts. Please also keep in mind that the costs associated with obtaining Colombian citizenship may differ depending on various factors, such as the application method and your personal situation. You should also consider additional fees related to professional services, document processing, and certification.

Step 7. Await Processing and Receive Notification of Decision

Wait for your application to be processed. The processing time varies from 6 to 12 months. You will be notified of the decision regarding your application. If approved, you will receive instructions on the next steps.

Step 8. Take the Oath of Allegiance

If your application is successful, you will be required to take an oath of allegiance to Colombia.

Step 9. Receive Colombian Citizenship Certificate

Once you have taken the oath, you will be issued a Colombian citizenship certificate. Then, you will apply for a Colombian passport at the Passport Office Headquarters Centers and get a Colombian ID card. 

4 Tips How to Get Colombian Citizenship by Descent from Golden Harbors Experts

As trusted partners of forward-thinking people from the United States, we have had the chance to create personalized paths to Colombian citizenship by descent. Drawing on this wealth of experience, we present the following indispensable tips to get Colombian citizenship with confidence and success:

1. Genealogical Research

You start by conducting thorough genealogical research to trace your family's lineage back to Colombia. You should find out as much information as possible regarding your ancestors as well as your parents and their connection to Colombia. 

2. Gather the Required Documentation

You are required to collect all the necessary documentation to prove your descent from a Colombian citizen. Begin by collecting official records like birth certificates, marriage certificates, and any relevant historical documents that affirm your familial link to Colombian ancestors. Ensure that these documents are up-to-date and translated if necessary. Documents must be issued within 3 months of the application date.

3. Stay Informed and Be Patient

You should stay updated on any changes in Colombian immigration policies or procedures. The processing time for citizenship applications can vary, so be patient and prepared for potential delays. Keep communication lines open with the Colombian authorities for any updates regarding your application.

4. Obtain Expert Assistance

It is recommended to consider seeking expert advice or assistance, especially if you are unfamiliar with Colombian immigration laws or if there are any complexities in your case. Golden Harbors team can guide you through the process and ensure that all necessary steps are taken. We are committed to providing comprehensive assistance to individuals and families wishing to establish a new life in the country. 

FAQ Colombian Citizenship by Descent

Can I hold dual citizenship by descent in Colombia?

Yes, you can hold dual citizenship by descent in Colombia. This means that if you acquire Colombian citizenship through descent, you can retain your original citizenship as well. It is important to note that some countries have restrictions or specific requirements regarding dual citizenship, so it is advisable to check with your country of origin to understand any implications.

Who is eligible for Colombian citizenship by descent?

You can be eligible for Colombian citizenship by descent if you can prove that you have at least one Colombian parent at the time of your birth or, in some cases, a Colombian grandparent. 

Can I apply for Colombian citizenship by descent if my parents have renounced their Colombian citizenship?

No, you cannot apply for Colombian citizenship by descent if your Colombian parent(s) voluntarily renounced their Colombian citizenship before your birth. Renunciation of citizenship means that your parent(s) have formally given up their Colombian nationality. However, if your Colombian parent(s) lost their citizenship due to certain legal reasons (for example, involuntary loss of citizenship), you might still be eligible for Colombian citizenship by descent. 


Residence Benefits

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Fast application processing

2-3 months


Global mobility and freedom

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


Business opportunities

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


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


The clear path to Colombian citizenship

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


Global mobility and freedom

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


Rights of a resident

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


Global mobility and freedom

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


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


Prepare the necessary documentation for your chosen residency category


Open a bank account and make the investment


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


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.


Lead Attorney at Golden Harbors

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Lead Attorney at Golden Harbors