What is the change? The four countries in the Pacific Alliance – Chile, Colombia, Mexico and Peru – have announced a Working Holiday visa program.

What does the change mean? Nationals of the four countries who are aged 18 to 30 will be eligible for Working Holiday visas that allow them to live and work in any of the Pacific Alliance member states for up to one year.

  • Implementation timeframe: An implementation schedule has not been set, but is estimated to take several months.
  • Visas/permits affected: Working Holiday visa.
  • Who is affected: Nationals from Chile, Colombia, Mexico and Peru who are between the ages of 18 and 30.
  • Impact on processing times: None.
  • Next steps: The program must be approved and implemented by each country.

Background: The four member states of the Pacific Alliance announced the program during a June 19-20 summit in Mexico. Each country will be allowed to issue up to 300 of the visas to qualified applicants, who will be allowed to travel and work in that country for up to one year. The countries currently have mutual visa-waiver agreements for business and tourist travel, but work permits have always been required.

The Alliance also announced its intention to negotiate with countries in the MERCOSUR bloc – Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay – to expand the program in those countries.

BAL Analysis: A Working Holiday program in the four countries will benefit employers with training programs in the region who hire and train student interns and others. Note that this program is separate from the Working Holiday programs in Europe, Asia and Australia.

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

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