IMPACT – MEDIUM

What is the change? Colombia has introduced visa-free travel for nationals of Montenegro and removed it for nationals of South Africa.

What does the change mean? Nationals of Montenegro may travel without a visa and apply upon entry for a temporary visitor permit (Permiso de Ingreso y Permanencia, or “PIP”). South African nationals are added to the list of “restricted nationals” who are no longer visa-waived and must apply for a visa at a Colombian embassy or consulate.

  • Implementation time frame: Immediate.
  • Visas/permits affected: Visa waiver.
  • Who is affected: Nationals of Montenegro and South Africa.
  • Impact on processing times: Visa waivers eliminate processing before traveling.
  • Business impact: Companies sending Montenegrin nationals to Colombia may take advantage of the PIP visas that are issued upon arrival; companies should anticipate longer time lines for South African nationals.

Background: In taking advantage of visa-free travel, companies and individuals using the PIP should be aware that activities are limited. Some permitted activities include attending business and sale meetings, touring a company facility and attending a trade show or training session.

South African nationals should be aware that as restricted nationals they are no longer eligible for a PIP and must apply for a visa. For business travelers, Colombia has four different categories of business visas, depending on the activities to be undertaken in the country.

BAL Analysis: Companies may use the PIP for Montenegrin nationals who intend to apply for a work permit if the intended activities are consistent with the PIP. Companies sending South African nationals to Colombia should factor in additional time and requirements to apply for a visa before travel and, if conducting business activities, choose the business visa appropriate for the activities of the foreign national.