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 consular post abroad. Alternatively, visa-exempt nationals can apply for a post-arrival change of status. However, note that the applicant will not be able to begin work activities until issuance of the ID card. In addition, upon arrival to Colombia, applicants using the post-arrival change of status process will be required to obtain an Entry and Stay Permit (Permiso de Ingreso y Permanencia, PIP). The specific PIP type (PT, POA, PID) will depend on the activities the applicant will perform while their in-country work authorisation applications are in process; however, it is often type 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 duly apostilled or legalized as appropriate may need to be validated, which can take several months. Temporary Professional Permits are issued with validity 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 employees 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 which is valid for indefinite time; nevertheless, the visa label should be updated every five years through a "Visa Transfer" process.

Nationals of Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Ecuador, Paraguay, Peru and Uruguay may apply for a Migrant Visa for MERCOSUR nationals after their arrival in Colombia. 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 services provision 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 applicant 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. It is not renewable.