The Mercosur Agreement is an economic and political agreement between several Latin American countries. The agreement affords nationals of Mercosur member states alternative immigration processes.
Several countries are political and economic members of the Mercosur Agreement. However, for immigration purposes, we will focus on the “Residence” section of the agreement. The Residence Agreement is applicable for Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Paraguay, Peru and Uruguay.
Each of the Mercosur member states remains sovereign, and the specific rules that allow foreign nationals to enter a specific country vary from one member state to another. Nationals of Mercosur member states are generally allowed visa-waivered entry to other Mercosur member states.
For non-Mercosur nationals, visa requirements and reciprocity fee requirements are determined by nationality and differ significantly from one member state to another. For example, United States nationals do not need a visa for Chile, but are required to obtain one for Brazil.
Immigration regulations for each Mercosur country will determine the duration of time non-Mercosur nationals can remain in country.
The member states of the Mercosur remain sovereign, and the specific rules regarding working in a specific country vary considerably. Mercosur nationals, from countries that are part of the Residence Agreement, seeking work and residence in other Mercosur member states that are part of the Residence Agreement, are generally eligible for a shortened work and residence permit processing procedure. In many cases, Mercosur nationals do not require sponsorship from an employer. Not all Mercosur member states offer a special Mercosur work and residence process, and currently a special Mercosur Residence process is offered only by Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia and Uruguay.