COLOMBIA - New Deadline for Special Stay Permits for Venezuelan Nationals
A new deadline has been established for Venezuelan nationals to obtain a Special Stay Permit (PEP) allowing them to stay and work in Colombia for up to two years.
Venezuelan nationals who entered Colombia before 2 February 2018 can now apply for a PEP within four months of 5 February 2018. Previously, only Venezuelan nationals in Colombia by 28 July 2017 could apply for a PEP by 31 October 2017.
The PEP may be granted only to Venezuelan nationals who meet the following conditions:
- 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, or if the foreigner exits Colombia and stays abroad for a term longer than ninety calendar days.
- Current PEP holders cannot request a new PEP.
- 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.
- Applicants may apply online at www.migracioncolombia.gov.co.
- Employers of Venezuelan nationals in Colombia should ensure that the employees are authorised to work with either a work visa, a PIP-7 entry and stay permit, or a PEP Special Stay permit.
- Employers of Venezuelan nationals in Colombia should consult with an immigration specialist to ensure immigration compliance.