The Colombian government through Decree No. 0834 of 2013 modified the migration provisions, among which the ones related to visas to foreigners issued by the Colombian government.
Before referring to the new visas classification, it is important to mention that the decree defined the term visa as the authorization granted to a foreigner to enter into the national territory granted by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
The above mentioned new classification established three types of visas: Business (NE), Temporary (TP) and Resident (RE); an essential reduction, since the prior provision, Decree 4000 of 2004 established six (6) classes: Courtesy, Business, Crew Member, Temporary, Resident and Visitor.
In turn, the business visa and the Temporary Visa have a number of categories, namely, of reasons to request the visa. The business visa, for example has four (4) categories and the Temporary visa has thirteen (13) categories.
The Worker temporary Visa:
The Worker Temporary Visa as existed was modified. The first modification was made in its name, which now is called TE-4 (Temporary visa, category No. 4).
The second essential change is that this type of visa may be requested not only by virtue of a labor agreement, but also of an agreement for the rendering of services.
The third amendment and may be the most important is that the new provision repealed the provision that established that the first time work visa should be requested in a consular office of Colombia , namely, outside the country. Although it could be interpreted that it is possible to request for this type of visa for the first time being inside the country, we believe it is important that the government issues an opinion regarding this item in order to know if this visa may be processed for the first time in the Colombian territory or not.
Investor Resident Visa:
The visa for investor residents was also modified in several aspects. The first change was the change in its name, since it changed from Investor Resident Visa to Resident Visa.
However the most important change is the amendment to the amount of capital that must be entered into Colombia to be considered as investor.
Previously the government established that this visa was granted to individuals making an investment different to real estate, not below one hundred thousand (US$100.000) American dollars or due to investments in real estate for a minimum amount of two hundred thousand (US$200.000) American dollars.
Currently, the decree modified the amount of the investment to six hundred and fifty (650) minimum salaries, regardless if it is for real estate or not. This sum of money for the year 2013 is equivalent to COP$383.175.000.
Foreigner Identification Card:
The current provision establishes the issuance of the foreigner Identification card for all those foreigners with visas with an enforceability above three (3) months, regardless they are of age or not. The prior provision only established the foreigner identification card for those foreigners of age with a visa with enforceability higher than three (3) months.
Finally, it is important to emphasize that Decree 0834 will be in effect sixty (60) days following its issuance, which occurred last April 24, 2013.
The Law of Business Department of Cavelier Abogados could help you understand the new amendment and to know which new alternatives your company has to request visas for foreigners.
Tel (57-1) 347 3611 ext. 2415