How to Become a Colombian Citizen

By Sefira Fialkoff
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To become a Colombian citizen, one can be born in Colombia or born abroad to at least one parent who is a Colombian citizen. Citizenship can also be obtained by naturalization, after five years of permanent residence and meeting specific requirements. A person who has lived in Colombia as a permanent resident for five years may apply for naturalization citizenship at the Ministry for Foreign Affairs. According to the 98th article of the Colombian constitution, Colombian citizens are holders of Colombian nationality that are 18 years of age or older. A Colombian citizen can hold public office, be commissioned as a officer in the Colombian military, vote in national elections and hold a Colombian passport.

Naturalization

Write a letter to the Ministro de Relaciones Exteriores, requesting Colombian citizenship. This letter must include information such as your name, document of identity, homeland and current nationality. It must also include your current residence, the reason for requesting citizenship and your residence previous to Colombia. In the letter you must authorize the Administrative Department of Security (DAS) to request from the Department of Foreign Affairs your criminal records check.

An authorized copy of your passport is needed.

Submit a photocopy of your passport authenticated by notary.

Submit a certificate of good conduct from the country you most recently lived in previous to Colombia for at least five years.

Submit certificate of military situation from previous homeland. Note that any person under the age of 50 will qualify for military service upon citizenship in Colombia, unless you prove yourself exempt.

Submit authenticated copies of your two previous income statements or certification of income by a public book-keeper. Alternatively, if you own a business in Colombia, submit a certificate from the Chamber of Commerce about the business.

Submit record of marriage to a Colombian citizen or record of birth of any Colombian children if applicable.

Submit six passport-sized photos (4 by 5 cm) of yourself.

Pass an oral test administered by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. This is a basic, required exam of knowledge of Spanish, the Colombian constitution, as well as Colombian history and geography. Exceptions are made to those who have previously obtained a graduate degree or a university education in Colombia.

About the Author

Sefira Fialkoff began her journalism career working at "The Hartford Courant" in 2004 and has since worked for "The Good Times" and "The Santa Cruz Sentinel." She holds a Bachelor of Arts in global economics from the University of California at Santa Cruz.