COLOMBIA – New Special Stay Permit for Venezuelan Nationals
Effective 3 August 2017, certain Venezuelan nationals already in Colombia will be able to apply online for a Special Stay Permit (PEP), allowing them to stay and work in Colombia for up to two years.
The PEP will be issued to qualifying applicants between 3 August and 31 October 2017 and is part of the Colombian government's attempts to manage increased immigration from Venezuela as a result of the ongoing political stability in the latter country.
The PEP may be granted only to Venezuelan nationals who meet the following conditions:
Being in Colombian territory on 28 July 2017; Having entered the national territory with a regular immigration status and through an authorized immigration border checkpoint; Not having national or international criminal records; Not having a current deportation or expulsion order.
The PEP will not be granted to Venezuelans who entered Colombia with a border mobility card (a system of registration introduced earlier in 2017 with the aim of regularizing heightened border traffic).
The PEP will be granted for a period of ninety calendar days, and it may be renewed automatically without submitting a request, for ninety days at a time, without exceeding a maximum of two years. After this period, PEP holders must obtain a visa.
Extension of the PEP may be denied, at the discretion of the immigration authority, if for example there is improper use of the permit, if there has been an infraction of the legal system, if the foreigner exits Colombia and stays abroad for a term longer than ninety calendar days.
The PEP does not replace the passport as a travel document. It must be presented (if required) to the Colombian authorities along with the passport or the national identity document and it will be used as an identification document for Venezuelan nationals in Colombia. Individuals or companies that hire or receive a PEP holder are required to file reports about the foreigner’s activities in Colombia to the immigration authority through the SIRE system.
Employers wanting to hire Venezuelan nationals with PEP special stay permits should notify the SIRE. Employers of Venezuelan nationals in Colombia should consult with an immigration specialist to ensure immigration compliance.