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QUESTION: my girlfriend live in cartagena colombian, she don't know were go get a colombian passport and visa. she would like know how much passport would cost her in colombian. and number to contact to get the information she need and could she apply for it online in colombia. thank you.

ANSWER: Hello Tarvis,

It should not be difficult at all.  She needs to speak with the state government of Bolivar, and it will only cost about 90,000 COP depending on the circumstances.

The general page for Colombian passports is www.pasaportes.gov.co

A link directly to the page with all the instructions in detail is http://www.bolivar.gov.co/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=184&Itemi

Best of luck, and I hope she gets her passport soon!

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QUESTION: being trying find site to rent apartment in bolivar colombia. can u give me some advise. so i know which one is legit and were to start. thank you

ANSWER: Tarvis,

Although I cannot give you specific references to agencies or owners (as I have never lived in that city), I can guide you a little bit as to where to look.  Consider the three options, and use your girlfriend to locally help you find them:

Local Colombian Rental Agencies - You will find the most selection and variety through them, but as a foreign you will have a hard time renting unless your girlfriend's family can help with the references, one of them needing being a property owner.  You may avoid complication by offering to pay a partial or full year of rent up front.

Local Colombian Owners - This in my opinion is the best, where I have had the most success.  Look for private "for rent" signs in windows and talk to the owners directly.  they will usually like if you are willing to pay 3 or 6 months "in anticipation" and every month or bimonthly after that.  Also offer to sign a 1 or 2 year contract, as they are used to only receiving 6 month offers.  both of these things will usually overshadow your foreign nationality and inability to provide references/banks/etc.

Foreign Owner - You can find a ton of stuff that is foreign or corporate owned, but will pay twice as much.  the benefit is usually that all services are included, the down side is the cost.  Foreigners will rape you on the price, even though you may be a fellow foreigner yourself.

Hope that helps a little...

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QUESTION: how does marriage process work in colombian?, were can i buy a laptop&cellphone at in colombia. will be in cartagena.

Answer
Tarvis,

1.  The marriage process is equal to the U.S. and Europe - there are many options, all of which can be explored by your girlfriend and you together while in Colombia.  Not sure that I could possibly begin to write all the option and explain each one.

2.  Regarding laptop and cellphone, yes I can help you a little more with that.  You should only buy your laptop from a reputable large retailer such as Carrefour or Flamingo.  Do NOT buy it from a small electronics shop, nor ever have it serviced at one of those, unless you know them personally.  Nowadays you will pay about the same price in Colombia as you would in the US!  As for a cellphone, if you don't have a Colombian cedula you'll need to buy one second hand that is registered to someone else or have your girlfriend buy one.  Whether you buy one with a plan, or prepaid, you need a local ID or to know someone in a shop who will get around that for you.  

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Expertise

Having lived in Colombia for almost 10 years, I currently live in the U.S. but maintain dual-residency. I am happily married to a Colombian and we have a preteen daughter who we are raising to be bilingual and bicultural. I can answer most questions about Colombia, including those about culture, travel, visas, passports, leisure and safety/security. If I don't know the answer, I'll do my best to point you in the right direction!

Experience

I have professional experience in foreign safety and security. I have personal experience living in Colombia, maintaining residence in Colombia and dealing with visa issues. I stay out of the "tourist crowd", so have developed real knowledge of Colombia and its' people.

Organizations
Multiple U.S and European security organizations.

Education/Credentials
College-educated, multiple professional certifications in my field.

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