Some new trends and developments in Colombian immigration law include the following:
New Visa Category: TP-7 Visa - Pacific Alliance
This visa classification was made available in November of 2014 to foreign nationals between 18 and 30 years old from countries that are members of the Pacific Alliance (Chile, Peru and Mexico). Although these countries are exempt from the tourist visa to enter Colombia, the TP-7 visa – Pacific Alliance allows foreign nationals from these countries to enter Colombia, on a temporary basis, as tourists with the possibility to undertake certain remunerated activities destined to cover the costs of their accommodation and meals during their stay in Colombia. This type of visa also allows foreign nationals to study or perform training for up to two months; however, the “work or training activities” shall not be the main activity of the foreign national during his/her stay in Colombia.
The Pacific Alliance aims to solidify and consolidate the region of the Pacific Alliance created between Colombia, Chile, Peru, and Mexico. With this type of visa, the Colombian government seeks to promote tourism, integration, and development between the young population of such countries.
The visa will be granted for multiple entries to Colombia for up to one calendar year and will only be issued in Colombian Consulates abroad when requested for the first time. The application requirements for this new type of visa have not yet been established.
Colombia suspends the issuance of MERCOSUR visas to Venezuelan citizens
As of November 10, 2014, the Colombian government has decided to temporarily suspend the issuance of MERCOSUR visas to Venezuelan citizens because the Venezuelan government has not granted reciprocity in issuing MERCOSUR visas for Colombian citizens. While the measure is intended to be temporary, the Colombian government has not established its duration.
The decision affects the immigration options of Venezuelan citizens to Colombia, as the MERCOSUR visa allows Venezuelans citizens to work, study, or perform any type of activity in Colombia for up to three years. Therefore, Venezuelan citizens who intend to enter Colombia or renew their MERCOSUR visa must consider a different immigration option to enter or remain in Colombia, until the Colombian government decides to lift the measure. For the time being, Venezuelan citizens will have to apply for spouse, work or student visas, depending on the activities they intend to perform in Colombia.