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Colombia/Can my mother travel to Colombia?



My mother just booked a trip to Colombia where she hasn't travelled in more than 50 years. She recently became a U.S. citizen. She just learned that in order to travel, she needs proof of Colombia citizenship. She has an expired Colombian passport and a weathered birth certificate. She does not have a cedula since she was 13 years old at the time she travelled to the U.S. and you weren't required to have one if you were under the age of 18. My questions are, does she need to renew her Colombian passport and will she need a cedula? If so, can she get a cedula here in the states? She is due to travel on August 1st.

I would greatly appreciate your help in answering these questions.

Thank you.

Dear Ms. Natalie:

She is a dual citizen and Colombia wants to see/use her Colombian passport. Yes, she should get the passport so that she would not have trouble when she arrives to Colombia. Her American passport most likely say that she was born in Colombia and the immigration agent would ask for the Colombian passport if he notices that she is a dual citizen (that she was born in Colombia). They have let some people enter without it (while telling the person to get one), but it is better to avoid the hassle and risking being returned to the US (it is up to a supervisor or someone in immigration to secretly decide if he would let her in without the Colombian passport, but the law basically says that she needs to (or must) have it).

Your mother can get one at the nearest Colombian embassy. She can get the rush passport or the regular or executive passports. The rush passport only is valid for 7 months while the regular is valid for 10 years. The executive has more pages and is used for frequent travelers. If your mother intends to go back to Colombia or stay or prolong her stay for more than 7 months then she should get the regular passport. The rush passport is also more expensive. Therefore the regular passport would be her best choice.

You should visit the Colombian embassy's to find out the requirements for the passport. That includes paying the price of the passport, bringing passport size pictures (unless they take the pictures at the consulate), bringing some documents, etc. They would tell you about the cedula (the Colombian ID).


Cesar Pachon


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