We get it, we understand that love knows no boundaries, and if you’re here you may have considered marrying a Colombian citizen in Colombia, or just out of pure curiosity.

The significance of marriage in Colombian culture and society goes beyond legal formalities, intertwining cultural traditions, celebrations, family values, and expectations. 

In this blog article, we delve into the richness of marriage in Colombian culture customs, highlighting the role of marriage in society, the enchanting celebrations that accompany it, and the cherished family values that shape relationships.

As well as we help you explore and deeply understand the necessary requirements and procedures of marriage in Colombia, and other legal aspects, like how prenuptial agreements work and how they apply to foreign assets.

So, let’s embark on the journey of marrying with a Colombian


Significance of Marriage

Marriage holds a special place in Colombian society, symbolizing the commitment and unity between two individuals. 

It is seen as a sacred bond that extends beyond the couple themselves, embracing the entire family and community. In Colombia, marriage is not merely a legal contract but a celebration of love, companionship, and shared aspirations. 

Understanding the significance of marriage in Colombian culture will help you appreciate the depth of the commitment you are about to make and the profound impact it will have on your life as a foreigner.

The Role of Marriage in Colombian Society

Marriage serves as a cornerstone of Colombian society, providing stability and a strong foundation for families. 

It is considered a vital institution that fosters emotional support, economic security, and social cohesion. 

By marrying a Colombian woman or man, you become part of this intricate social tapestry, forging connections that will shape your experience as a foreigner in Colombia.


Traditional Customs and Celebrations


As you may already know, Colombia is known for its vibrant and colorful traditions, and weddings are definitely no exception. 

Traditional Colombian wedding customs vary across regions, reflecting the diverse cultural heritage of the country. 

From the lively music and dance-filled festivities to the elegant bridal attire and delicious traditional cuisine, Colombian weddings are a joyous celebration of love, family, and community. 

Exploring and embracing marriage in Colombian culture not only enhance your wedding experience but also deepen your understanding of Colombian culture and foster a sense of belonging within your new community.

Family Values and Expectations

Family holds a central place in Colombian society, and this reverence for family values extends to marriage. 

Colombian families are often close-knit and maintain strong bonds, emphasizing the importance of support, respect, and unity. 

When marrying a Colombian woman or man, you not only gain a loving partner but also become a part of a welcoming, nurturing and sometimes numerous family. 

Understanding the values and expectations surrounding family life in Colombia will help you navigate and strengthen these relationships, fostering a sense of belonging and creating lifelong connections.


Marriage Rights and Equality

Legal Framework for Marriage Equality in Colombia:

In 2016, the Colombian Constitutional Court ruled that same-sex couples have the right to marry, affirming their equal rights to legal recognition and protection. 

This landmark decision paved the way for marriage equality and positioned Colombia as a leader in the pursuit of equal rights for all individuals, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity. 

Recognition and Rights for Same-Sex Couples:

In Colombia, same-sex marriages enjoy the same legal recognition and protection as opposite-sex marriages and can be performed under civil ceremonies. 

This means that same-sex couples have the right to enter into a legally recognized marriage in Colombia, granting them access to various legal benefits and protections. 

These rights include inheritance rights, spousal benefits, social security, healthcare, and the ability to make medical decisions for their partner, which we will further discuss in this blog. 


Marriage process in Colombia

Marriages in Colombia can be contracted either through a civil or religious ceremony. 

Civil weddings are conducted by a designated Colombian official known as a notary (notario) and in order to initiate the process, it is advisable to reach out to a notary first and discuss the necessary documentation and procedures. 

Since Colombian marriage laws allow for some degree of interpretation, the requirements may differ slightly from one notary to another. Therefore, once you have selected a notary, it is crucial to inquire about their specific requirements.

In most cases, the notary will request certified copies of the birth certificates of both spouses. One important requirement is that the foreigner must present their birth certificate properly apostilled and translated by an official translator. These documents are essential to validate the identity and legal capacity of the foreigner to marry in Colombia.

Both partners will also need to provide evidence of their eligibility to marry, confirming that they are not currently already married. For Colombian citizens, this is typically demonstrated by obtaining a copy of their civil registration, a document issued by the Colombian National Registry that verifies marital status. 

On the other hand, religious weddings in Colombia are officiated by individual religious officials and involve similar documentary procedures, in addition to specific religious requirements.

Benefits of Marrying a Colombian - Visa Considerations

One of the most relevant benefits any foreigner can access when marrying a Colombian is the possibility to apply for a Colombian Marriage Visa. 

The Colombian Marriage visa is a Migrant type of Visa meant for those foreigners who have married a Colombian national or permanent resident. 

The Colombian visa policy allows the foreign spouse to live and work in Colombia for up to three years, and it also allows the foreigner to accumulate time for a Colombian citizenship by marriage and residency after three years as long as the marriage remains valid. 

The marriage visa allows the foreigner to work, stay and study in Colombia, and like any other type of Colombian migrant visa, in order to keep your visa and enjoy the Colombian citizenship benefits you cannot stay out of Colombia for more than 6 consecutive months. 

To obtain a Colombian marriage visa, the foreigner must show evidence of a genuine relationship and proof of financial stability. With the possibility of reapplying, the Marriage Visa allows you to apply for a Colombian Residency after holding it for three years. 

When considering applying for a Colombian Marriage Visa, the required documents you will need to present include: 

Document size digital picture of the applicant on a photography shop (3x4 Cm White background).

Copy of your passport’s main page.

Copy of the last entry, exit or safe-conduct stamp (It depends on the location of the foreigner).

Copy of the last Colombian visa (if applicable).

Authentic copy of the Colombian civil registry of marriage, issued within the three (3) months prior to the visa application.

Letter of request signed by the Colombian spouse requesting the visa for the foreign spouse and states the cohabitation, details of the Colombian spouse and a copy of the Colombian citizenship card.

Special power of attorney, with diligence of recognition of content and signature before a notary or Colombian consul for the foreign spouse to request this type of visa.

Certificate of migratory movements of the foreigner issued by the Special Administrative Unit Migration Colombia and of the Colombian spouse.

Others requested at the time of acceptance.

A lot of Colombian citizenship benefits can be acquired when marrying a Colombian woman or man, as it can open doors to exciting career prospects and business opportunities due to Colombia’s growing economy and favorable business climate, making it an ideal destination for foreign entrepreneurs and professionals.

Access to Social Benefits

One of the significant benefits of marrying a Colombian is gaining access to the country’s comprehensive healthcare system. 

As a spouse of a Colombian citizen, you will have the opportunity to enroll in the national healthcare program, ensuring that your medical needs are well taken care of. 

Furthermore, marrying a Colombian woman or man also entitles you to various social security benefits. 

These benefits may include retirement pensions, disability benefits, and survivor benefits. 

You will also open doors to exciting education and employment opportunities. 

Colombia boasts a diverse and vibrant educational system, ranging from prestigious universities to vocational training institutions. 

As a foreign spouse, you may have access to these educational institutions, allowing you to enhance your skills and pursue your academic goals.

Problems when marrying a Colombian Women / Men

One of the initial problems marrying a Colombian woman or man that you will have to face are those regarding the legal requirements. It is essential to seek prior advice and be aware of the necessary documents to carry out the process smoothly, since there might be a little confusion with so much paperwork. Also, there’s the fact that Colombian law can be open to interpretation, and as we mentioned before, requirements may vary depending on the notary where the marriage is to be performed. It is important for you to get a grip on the general Legal Implications when marrying a Colombian woman or man in Colombia as a foreigner, so you know and understand the procedures, and prepare beforehand in order to avoid any misunderstandings along the way.

Legal Implications when marrying a Colombian in Colombia

  • Prenuptial agreements

A great relevant aspect to consider is prenuptial agreements. 

These agreements are contracts that spouses establish before or during the marriage to regulate the financial effects of their union. This agreement allows for the protection of current and future assets owned by the spouses, maintaining separate ownership and administration of these assets.

There are two types of prenuptial agreements: total and partial. 

Total prenuptial agreements prevent the creation of a marital partnership, meaning each spouse retains full ownership and control of their assets before and during the marriage. 

On the other hand, partial prenuptial agreements allow for the exclusion of certain assets from the marital partnership, according to the choice of the spouses.

Here you may want to keep in mind that in Colombia there’s an existing figure known as De Facto Marital Union. 

This is the union between a man and a woman or a same sex couple, who, without being married, form a permanent and singular community of life, and acquire the duties and rights of a marriage. 

So, for the purpose of prenuptial agreements, If no document is signed prior to, the De Facto Marital Union becomes effective when the couple starts living together, sharing meals, a roof, and a bed. If no prenuptial agreements are made, the partner would be entitled to 50% of their assets.

Application of prenuptial agreements to foreign assets

Now, you may be wondering: Do prenuptial agreements apply to assets located abroad? 

This is a common question, and the answer depends on the Colombian legal framework and international agreements.

When married in Colombia, Colombian law applies to regulate the financial effects of the marriage. 

Therefore, if total or partial prenuptial agreements are established, assets located abroad will not become part of the marital partnership. 

However, it is important to note that each country may have its own special legal regime and different regulations. So, if you have assets abroad and wish to exclude them from the marital partnership, it will be necessary to follow the procedures established by each country to prove the marital agreements and ensure their legal validity.

Causes and consequences for divorce

Let’s now turn to the causes and consequences for divorce in Colombia due to problems marrying a Colombian woman or man.

There are various legal reasons that can lead to the dissolution of a marriage in Colombia.

Causes for divorce include:

  • Extramarital relations of one of the spouses.
  • Serious and unjustified breach of duties imposed by law on the spouses as such and as parents.
  • Outrages, cruel treatment, and acts of violence.
  • Habitual drunkenness of one of the spouses.
  • Habitual use of hallucinogenic or narcotic substances, except under medical prescription.
  • Any severe and incurable physical or mental illness or abnormality of one spouse that endangers the mental or physical health of the other spouse and makes the marital union impossible.
  • Any conduct of one spouse aimed at corrupting or perverting the other, a descendant, or persons under their care who live in the same household.
  • Separation of bodies, whether judicial or de facto, for more than two years.
  • Consent of both spouses expressed before a competent judge and recognized by the judge through a court order.

It is important to mention that the most common cause for divorce in Colombia is the last one mentioned, mutual consent of both spouses, either through a notary or a court.

For divorce by mutual agreement, the spouses can go to a notary, which expedites the process. 

This type of divorce can take approximately three months. However, it is important to note that the other causes of divorce require a more complex judicial procedure and can take years before obtaining a divorce judgment.

The most significant consequence of divorce is the liquidation and dissolution of the marital partnership. 

If no prenuptial agreements were established, all assets that entered the marital partnership during the marriage must be distributed between the spouses.

It is essential for you to have legal advice to ensure that divorce proceedings are carried out correctly and to protect the rights of both parties.

Legal advice is key when marrying a Colombian in Colombia

A marriage in Colombian culture can be a fulfilling and enriching experience, but it definitely involves considering different legal aspects. It is crucial to meet the necessary requirements and seek proper advice to avoid complications in the process.
That’s why our advice is to seek just the right and professional assistance that can guide you through the whole process.
Nexo Legal is here to guide you through the cultural nuances, legal requirements, Colombia visa policy and potential challenges associated with marriage in Colombia. By understanding the cultural context, visa considerations, protecting your assets through prenuptial agreements, and being aware of the causes and consequences of divorce, you can approach your marital journey with confidence and peace of mind.
Contact us today to learn more about our legal services for marriage-related matters in Colombia.
Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only and should not be considered as legal advice. It is recommended to consult with legal professionals for specific guidance tailored to your individual circumstances.


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Subsequently, a specialist will be assigned to your case, reaching out to you within a day to clear up details about your case and outline the next steps to help you achieve your goals.

Get started with a free case assessment ​

What will happen after you fill out this form? ​

After submitting the form, your case undergoes a comprehensive review by our team of specialist to assess its viability. Providing clear and concise information about your objectives accelerates this process.

Subsequently, a specialist will be assigned to your case, reaching out to you within a day to clear up details about your case and outline the next steps to help you achieve your goals.

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