Speak English and need a lawyer in Colombia? Call us at 320 542-9469 for a free consultation. Marriage, Divorce, Criminal, Business, Real Estate, or Immigration. We are experts in legal procedures in Colombia.
The American Citizen Services office at the U.S. Embassy in Bogotá and the U.S. Consular Agency in Barranquilla both provide assistance to U.S. citizens in Colombia by calling the U.S. Embassy, U.S. Citizen Services, Phone: (+57) (1) 275-2000.
England, United Kingdom
If you’re in Colombia and you need urgent help (for example, you’ve been attacked, arrested or someone has died), call +571 326 8300. If you’re in the UK and worried about a British national in Colombia, call 020 7008 1500.
Marriage in Colombia
Colombian law doesn’t require you to get a special visa to get married in the country. The happy couple have to identify themselves with a current passport and their tourist visas (locals need their cedula) and the following documents:
1. Authenticated passport/cedula de ciudadania photocopy.
2. Authenticated birth cerificate with a validity no longer than 30 days for Colombian naionals and 90 days for foreigners. If the certificat was issued in a language different from Spanish, it should be translated by an official translator and legalised before the local Foregin Ministery (apostilized)
3. Certificate of no impediment (AU) or Unmarried state certificate if any or both are foreigners.
Special documents for exceptional circumstances:
1. Cerified copy of marriage annulment when applicable
2. If widow/widower, certified marriaged certificate and spouse’s death certificate
3. If divorced, certified copy of previous marriage certificate with divorce clause
Divorce in Colombia
Similar to many countries, a Colombian divorce is allowed by the law to be quickly managed between attorneys if there is a mutual agreement between both parties. However, when there is disagreement over assets, and/or children are involved, a formal court hearing with a judge will be required.It is important to point out that a Colombian divorce requires a separate process for the liquidation of assets as well as child custody hearings.
Every divorce case has unique complications and factors. Based on our extensive experience in Colombian divorces, we highly suggest using an attorney with extensive family court experience, even more so when there is no prenuptial agreement. For the most complicated divorces, a previous consultation is required to begin the process.
We assist in processing divorces & child custody which must be legalized in more than one country. This applies to persons which may have their marriages registered in more than one country. This process can be very complicated and definitely requires analysis and consultation of a licensed attorney with specific experience in this area.
Doing Business in Colombia
- Foreign buyers of Colombian real estate have the same property rights as do Colombian citizens.
- In Colombian law, while it is true that our general real estate regulations resemble those in many other countries, including the U.S., there are some critical differences.
- In addition, prospective purchasers or investors in Colombian properties (particularly foreigners) who try to “take a go” at buying, or investing in, property without experienced, local legal counsel, risk sinking their hard-earned money into a property that is: 1) not truly owned by the “seller,” 2) in fact, an empty lot next to the house they believe they have purchased, 3) encumbered by liens from third parties and/or the Colombian government.
- Consequently, you want a licensed Colombian lawyer, with years of experience handling purchases and investments in Colombia, to ensure that there are no issues with the property, that the seller has 100% ownership of the property, free and clear, and that every piece of documentation is in order.
Colombia General Facts
Colombia has one of the most outstanding macroeconomic performances within the region. The stability and continuity of government policies and independence of its economic bodies guarantees an ideal environment for investing.
Foreign Investment and Exchange Regime
The Colombian Exchange Regime has the main objective of promoting internationalization of the Colombian economy. Foreign investment comprises all investment of foreign capital, whether direct or portfolio, made in Colombian territory.
Foreign Commerce and Customs
Colombian legislation has focused on facilitating customs operations for imports, exports and transit of goods by regulating the application of various forms of foreign trade.
Labor law in Colombia is regulated by the Political Constitution of 1991, by international treaties and agreements signed by Colombia and by the Labor Code. Labor law is divided into two areas: individual labor law and collective labor law.
Immigration Framework – Visas
Colombia regulates the entry and permanence of foreigners in the country by means of an immigration regime. This chapter presents the regulations that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has established for citizens from restricted countries.
The Colombian tax system establishes taxes at a national and sub-national level (departmental and municipal). The main national-level taxes are the income tax and the supplementary capital gains tax, the wealth tax (temporary validity), sales tax – IVA, national excise tax and the tax on financial transactions.
Excise tax is generated by provision or sale to a final consumer or importation by the final consumer of certain products or services, such as mobile telephony, certain vehicles, dispensing of prepared meals, among others
In Colombia, domestic and foreign investment vehicles are supported by Constitutional principles, such as the right to equality, protection of free enterprise and private initiative.
Public contracting has a superior character derived from the government purposes it pursues. These purposes are an obligation for the respective government entities as well as for individuals contracting with the State, insofar as the latter always act in their capacity as Collaborators of the Administration.
Victims of Crime in Colombia
Being the victim of a crime in Colombia can be a devastating and traumatic experience. While no one can undo the emotional trauma, physical injury, or financial loss you may have experienced, our attorneys in Medellin are ready to help. We are very concerned about violent crimes committed against U.S. citizens in Colombia. We will assist you in managing the practical consequences of being a crime victim and provide you with information about accessing the local criminal justice system, as well as other resources for crime victims in Colombia. We can assist you to find appropriate medical care, contact family or friends on your behalf and explain how funds can be transferred. We can also help you to better understand the criminal justice system in Colombia, which is very different from the system in the United States
Arrest of a U.S. Citizen in Colombia
U.S. citizens are subject to the laws and legal system of Colombia while in Colombia. If U.S. citizens violate (or are suspected of violating) Colombian criminal laws and regulations, Colombian authorities may arrest and detain U.S. citizens until their case is resolved. In many ways Colombian judicial procedures and detention facilities differ from those of the United States. Our attorneys specialize in helping foreigners with criminal problems in Colombia.