Colombia Immigration Services

Newland Chase offers full support with all aspects of corporate immigration to Colombia. Please find an overview of the typical corporate immigration processes below. Every situation is unique, so please do get in touch, either through your usual Newland Chase contact or using the details on the right hand side of the page. Our immigration experts will be glad to discuss your needs in greater detail.

Immigration Summary

Visa applications for work in Colombia can be submitted at the relevant Colombian consulate. Alternatively, visa-exempt nationals can apply for a post-arrival change of status, which often provides faster processing time until the applicant can begin work activities. However, note that the applicant will not be able to begin work activities until issuance of his/her ID card. In addition, upon entry into Colombia, applicants utilizing the post-arrival change of status process will be required to obtain a Temporary Visitor Permit (Permiso de Ingreso y Permanencia, PIP). The specific PIP type (PT, POA, PID) will depend on the applicant's activities to be performed while his/her in-country work authorisation applications are in processes; however, it is often PT allowing business activities.

Applicants qualified for working in one of Colombia's regulated professions (economics, law, medicine, business administration, engineering) must obtain approval from the relevant Professional Council or other regulatory body before they can practice in Colombia. Approval is issued in the form of a temporary professional permit or permanent professional ID card. Educational certificates may need to be validated, which can take several months. Temporary Professional Permits are issued valid for one year and must be renewed in that timeframe.

The Local Hire Migrant Visa is the correct category for companies in Colombia to sponsor qualified skilled workers to work in Colombia as local hires. It is valid for the duration of the employment contract (up to three years) and is renewable. After five years on this status, the applicant will be eligible for a residence visa valid for five years and renewable.

Nationals of Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Ecuador, Paraguay, Peru and Uruguay may apply for a Migrant Visa for MERCOSUR nationals after their arrival in Colombia. (Currently, due to reciprocity reasons, Colombia is not granting Mercosur Visas to nationals of Chile). This process is not employer-specific, i.e. applicants entering Colombia under this route will not be tied to a particular employer.

The Visitor Visa is the appropriate category for applicants to visit Colombia and/or to stay temporarily in the country without intention of long term residence. It allows short term intra-company transfer or temporary technical assistance in fulfilment of a service contract. The Visitor Visa can be granted with a validity of two years, taking into account the activity that the foreign national will conduct in Colombia. It can be extended/renewed.

The POA (Permit to Develop Other Activities) is an entry and stay permit intended for visa-exempt applicants who enter the country to provide urgent and specialised technical assistance to a private or public Colombian entity for a maximum of 30 days per calendar year.