As of January 21, 2014, nationals from Venezuela can now apply for a Mercosur visa at a Colombian Consulate abroad or at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Although Venezuela is a member of the Mercosur organization, its nationals were only recently granted Mercosur visa reciprocity treatment by the Colombian government.
The Mercosur visa, which is a temporary residence permit that may be granted by the immigration authorities for up to two years, may be granted to allow home activities or studies, to be hired by any Colombian employer, or to render independent services. This visa is available to citizens of Argentina, Brazil, Bolivia, Peru, Chile, and Ecuador.
As a consequence of the new functions and powers granted to the Special Administrative Unit of Colombian Immigration (the entity in charge of supervising and controlling the foreign nationals in Colombia), this entity now has the discretion to sanction foreign nationals who practice regulated professions in Colombia without the appropriate professional permit, and sanction companies that employs workers who will practice regulated professions without the appropriate permit. Sanctions may consist in fines between half and seven minimum legal monthly salaries (this is Col. Pesos for 2014 equivalent to COP 616,000 or approximately USD 280).
To remain in compliance, Colombian employers must always inform the Special Administrative Unit of Colombian Immigration when they have hired foreign nationals who will practice regulated professions in Colombia. This notification must be submitted within 15 calendar days of the date of hire, and must contain a copy of the professional permit granted to the foreign national by the professional council or of the document certifying that the permit is being processed.