New immigration law to create new visas, processing requirements
3 Aug 22
IMPACT – HIGH
The Colombian government will implement a new immigration law on Oct. 20, introducing new visa types, visa processing changes and stricter requirements for certain visa holders, among other changes.
New Visa Types:
- Digital Nomad visa. A new digital nomad visa will be made available to foreign nationals who want to live and work remotely in Colombia for up to two years. Digital Nomad visa holders will not be able to work for companies registered in Colombia.
- Internationalization Promotion visa. Foreign nationals who hold a graduate degree in basic or applied sciences, engineering, mathematics or related fields, and whose work advances technology in Colombia or strengthens the country’s competitiveness, will be able to apply for the Internationalization Promotion visa to live and work in the country for up to two years.
- Other visas. Colombian authorities will also introduce visitor visas for seasonal agricultural workers and will amend visa requirements for journalists and students, among others.
- Colombian authorities will have 30 calendar days to review visa applications instead of five working days. The review period can be extended if authorities require additional information. Once an application is reviewed, authorities will have 10 business days instead of three business days to issue the visa.
- To be eligible to apply for a visa, applicants’ passports will be required to have at least six months of validity from the date the application is submitted.
- For most visa types, authorities will be able to request additional documents, such as an apostilled diploma or proof of medical insurance.
Stricter Visa Requirements:
- Foreign nationals will have 30 calendar days instead of 30 business days to obtain a new visa or leave the country if their visa was canceled or terminated early.
- Resident visa holders must conduct the visa transfer process every five years; those who hold Permanent Resident visas granted under previous regulations must conduct the transfer within two years of Oct. 20, 2022.
- Individuals will no longer be able to apply for the Resident Investor visa; instead, they must apply for an Investor Migrant visa and will only be able to apply for a Resident visa once they have lived in Colombia for an accumulated time of five years.
- The Student visa will be regrouped and named the “Visitor Visa for Students.”
- Parents of those who hold the Beneficiary visa will no longer be eligible for a visa through this category.
BAL Analysis: The Colombian government has passed the new immigration law with hopes of attracting foreign talent to the country while also protecting local workers. Once the law takes effect on Oct. 20, foreign nationals and employers should expect processing delays for new and outstanding visa applications as the government implements the changes.
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