What is the change? Venezuela has implemented new regulations affecting the processes for obtaining new and renewed transient labor (TR-L) visas.

  • What does the change mean? Foreign nationals applying for renewed transient labor (TR-L) visas must obtain a renewed work permit prior to submitting their application. They should be sure that if they obtain a new passport, their TR-L visa is transferred before travel and must make an appointment for visa stamping and pickup after receiving a visa authorization letter.
  • Implementation time frame: Immediate and ongoing. 
  • Visas/permits affected: Transient labor (TR-L) visas.
  • Who is affected: Foreign nationals who are applying for new or renewed TR-L visas or who have obtained a new passport before the expiration of their TR-L visa.
  • Impact on processing times: Failure to follow the new regulations could cause significant delays.
  • Business impact: Businesses should take note of the changes and make sure employees are following procedures correctly.

Background: The TR-L visa is the primary work visa in Venezuela. The Venezuelan government recently announced that:

  • Authorities will not accept TR-L visa renewal applications unless the applicant has already obtained a renewed work permit.
  • TR-L visa holders who obtain a new passport must have their visas transferred to their new passports before attempting to enter Venezuela. Those who fail to do so risk being denied entry even if the TR-L visa remains valid. The process of transferring a valid TR-L visa to a new passport requires the completion of a “Recuento de pasaport,” which must be obtained through the office of the Venezuelan Servicio Administrativo de Identificación Migración y Extranjería (SAIME).
  •  After a work permit is issued, applicants must make an appointment at the appropriate Venezuelan consulate for visa stamping and pickup. Generally, appointments must be made within four months of issuance, though this time frame may change from case to case, subject to the discretion of Venezuelan officials. Those who fail to make an appointment on time may have to start the application process over again.

BAL Analysis: The changes add more requirements to the TR-L visa application process in some instances. In order to avoid unnecessary difficulty, employers should take note of the changes and make sure procedures for affected foreign nationals are properly followed.

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

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