By Resolution 1238, 2018, which came into force on 16 May: 

  • Where there has been a breach of the law caused by ignorance of the law or failure to report on time, there is now a period of 90 days in which the party responsible can try to rectify it. If rectified, the penalty for the breach will not be charged.
  • Deportation has become the primary sanction for ‘irregular stay’, but under special circumstances, the authorities can convert the penalty to a fine.  Voluntary departure may be requested so as to avoid deportation.

Moderate breaches of immigration law are now subject to much higher penalties, ranging from 8 to 40 minimum legal monthly salaries. Under the previous rules, the penalties were from 1 to 15 minimum legal monthly salaries.

Catalina Santos (partner) and Diana Monsalve (associate) at Brigard Urrutia