Authors: Catalina Santos, Diana Monsalve

Firm: Brigard & Urrutia Abogados

Venezuelan nationals resident in Colombia and registered during the 2018 census have been granted new employment rights and social benefits. 

Venezuelan nationals who registered with Colombian authorities earlier this year during a nationwide census (the ‘RAMV’) have been granted new benefit entitlements under Decree 1288 of 2018.

What has changed?

Pursuant to this new decree, The Ministry of Foreign Affairs will modify the requirements and deadlines for the grant of a Special Stay Permit (PEP).

The PEP is an identification document for Venezuelan nationals that allows them to remain in Colombia temporarily and to access healthcare, education, work and care services for children and adolescents at national, departmental and municipal levels.

The 442,462 Venezuelans who registered in the RAMV will be allowed to obtain PEPs.

Within the next three months the Ministry of Education will also regulate the procedure to validate higher education degrees from Venezuela.

Venezuelans enrolled in the RAMV will be entitled to emergency care, vaccination within the framework of the Expanded Immunisation Program (PAI), prenatal care for pregnant women, affiliation to the General Social Security System for Health and to the system for the prevention of workplace accidents.

Venezuelans registered in the RAMV will also be able to access the guidance, information and referral services of the Public Employment Service Providers Network.

PEP conditions

The PEP is not a visa and has no impact on the eligibility period for applying for or obtaining a Residence or Migrant Visa.

The Immigration authority may cancel a PEP in the following cases:

  • inappropriate use of the PEP;
  • violation of the immigration regulations;
  • infringing the Colombian legal system after initial registration;
  • staying out of the country more than 90 calendar days;
  • when the presence of the foreign national in the national territory is considered problematic.

The Decree became effective on 25 July 2018.