VisaNew special permit for Venezuelans

By: Rodrigo Tannus Serrano

The Colombian government has continued simplifying the immigration regulations for Venezuelan nationals so they can continue to enter and regularize their immigration status in the country. Among the measures established by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs is the possibility of entering, transiting and leaving the national territory, even if their Venezuelan passport has expired.

Additionally, Resolution 3548 of 2019 created the Complementary Special Permit to Stay (PECP), which allows Venezuelan nationals to stay in the national territory for ninety days, and can be renewed for equal periods, but not exceeding a term of two years. The PECP will be issued by the Special Administrative Unit for Migration in Colombia, with the previous authorization by the Advisory Commission for the Determination of Refugee Status (CONARE), if the applicant has applied for recognition of refugee status between 19 August 2015 and 31 December 2018 and complies with the other provisions in force for the issue of this permit.

Recently, Migration Colombia began the process of renewing the Special Permits to Stay (PEP) until May 29, 2020. This new PEP will also be valid for two years from the date of issue.

It should be recalled that this permit authorizes the holder to remain in Colombia, without the purpose of settling in the country, carrying out any type of legal activity, including the possibility of working.

Likewise, the Ministry of Labor with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, joined forces to promote the formalization of labor and the regularization of the migration of Venezuelan citizens, creating a new Special Permit to Stay for the Promotion of Formalization (PEPFF), as an exceptional and transitory mechanism aimed at facilitating the regularization of the migration of Venezuelan nationals in Colombian territory, through the a labor or service contract.

The PEPFF will be granted only to Venezuelan nationals in an irregular migratory condition who meet the following conditions: be over eighteen years old, hold a Venezuelan identity card and/or Venezuelan passport even if expired, have no legal record in Colombia or abroad, have not been subject to administrative measures such as expulsion or deportation from the national territory, and have an employment offer through a labor contract or the provision of services by a natural or legal person in Colombia.

The validity of this permit may not be less than two months or more than two years and may be renewed only once. It should be noted that the PEPFF will automatically lose its validity if after thirty calendar days from its issuance, the registration to the Social Security System has not been made, as well as the notifications before SIRE platform of Migration Colombia and RUTEC of the Ministry of Labor.

If the foreign national changes their activity, job or contractual modality with the same employer, they will have to inform themselves of the change in order to process a new PEPFF, since the previous one will lose its validity.

As we may see, Colombia continues to promote migration benefits for this population, generating flexible measures in order to facilitate and regularize the entry of Venezuelan nationals.

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