What is the change? Colombian officials have begun asking for additional documentation from TP-4 and Mercosur visa applicants.

What does the change mean? First-time applicants should be prepared to provide a copy of a local employment contract with their application. Renewal applicants should be prepared to provide employment certification in addition to a local employment contract. For dependents, copies of marriage and birth certificates should be provided and must have been issued within the last three months.

  • Implementation time frame: Immediate and ongoing.
  • Visas/permits affected: TP-4 work visas, including renewals; Mercosur visas.
  • Who is affected: Employers sponsoring workers on TP-4 work visas or Mercosur visas.
  • Impact on processing times: Applications may be significantly delayed if they are submitted without proper supporting documentation.
  • Business impact: Employers should take note of the change and make sure all applications have the proper supporting documentation.

Background: The changes were not codified in any law or regulation, but rather were made under the Colombian Foreign Ministry’s discretionary authority to request additional documentation. The ministry began requesting the documentation described above in recent weeks in an apparent attempt to more aggressively check the accuracy of information as stated on applications.

BAL Analysis: The new requirements add a layer of red tape for employers sponsoring workers on TP-4 or Mercosur visas. But applicants who fail to gather and provide the proper documents could face significant delays. When proper documentation is not included, the ministry must conduct a second review, which can take up to 30 days.

This alert has been provided by the BAL Global Practice group and our network provider located in Colombia. For additional information, please contact your BAL attorney.

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