Some new developments in Colombian immigration law include the following:

New regulations for the Mercosur visa (TP-15 visa)

Decree 941, 2014 formally included the Mercosur visa (TP-15 visa) in Colombian immigration regulations.  The Mercosur visa, a temporary residence permit that may be granted for up to two years, allows foreign nationals to (i) perform home activities, (ii) study, (iii) be hired by a Colombian employer, or (iv) render independent services.  Currently, the Mercosur visa is granted to nationals from Argentina, Brazil, Bolivia, Peru, Chile, Ecuador, Paraguay and Uruguay.

Resolution 0532 of 2015 regulated the required documents for the application of this type of visa.  The primary requirement is a Criminal Record Certificate issued by the competent authority of the country of origin or the last place of residence where the foreign national has lived the last three years.

The mentioned Resolution also stated that foreign nationals who hold a Mercosur visa for at least two continued and uninterrupted years can apply for a residence visa (“RE visa”). For this application, they would need to submit the certificate of immigration background issued within the last three years and a document that certifies their source of income in Colombia.

New regulations for the Pacific Alliance visa (TP-16 visa)

Decree 2477, 2014 formally included the Pacific Alliance visa (TP-16 visa) in Colombian immigration regulations. This visa can be issued to citizens of Chile, Peru, and Mexico who apply for the program of holidays and work that promotes the expansion of recreation and culture.

New rules for visa applications

Resolution 0532, 2015 establishes certain new requirements for visa applications.  Now, foreign nationals who apply for a Colombian visa in a Colombian Consulate in a country different from their country of origin must demonstrate that their presence in that country is legal, regular, or authorized in accordance with the immigration law.  In addition, immigration authorities can now refuse to grant visas to foreign nationals who exhibit disrespectful or threating conduct towards the officer, the institution, the Colombian State, or national symbols.  Finally, holders of business visas in the categories of NE-1, NE-2, NE-3 and temporary visas in the categories of TP-4, TP-5, TP-7 and TP 16 can now also engage in study activities.