Aug 15

LEGAL NEWSLETTER #1: DRASTIC CHANGES TO COLOMBIA VISA PROCESS

LEGAL NEWSLETTER #1:  DRASTIC CHANGES TO COLOMBIA VISA PROCESS

SUMMARY: The Colombian government recently passed significant changes to the Colombian visa process. Changes do not technically take effect until November. Anyone planning to apply for/renewing a visa starting in October, 2017 should be aware of changes as these may impact application.

SOME KEY CHANGES
• All current categories (TP4/TP7/RE, etc…) are being regrouped as V, M, R.
• Certain new categories of visas will now grant recipients right to work (no need to apply for permit separately).
• “Visitor’s Visa” will now allow recipients right to engage in certain business activities (appears to be a replacement for certain NE1 activities).
• Getting what used to be a TP7 Independent Activities Visa will now require applicants to prove that they are licensed under COL law.
• Work visas (prior TP4) now require proving sponsoring company has bank balances of approx. US$33k each month over past 6 months (previously it was an average balance).

OBSERVATIONS
• These are Significant Changes: While new rules utilize the current rules as a basis, this represents the most significant change to the Colombian visa regime in 4 years.
• Expect Some Chaos in the Short Term: Keep in mind that there will be a period of “adjustment” as the Ministerio de Relaciones Exteriores/Migracion figures out how to implement these new changes. For comparison, the last time there was a major change to the visa regime back in 2013 it took them about 6 months to apply rules consistently
• Langon will be monitoring the implementation of these changes closely. We will be following up with additional information for the expat community over the next several days and weeks.

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