Migración Colombia recently issued the Resolution 3167 of 2019, which establishes important changes with respect to the types of single-entry permits to enter and remain temporarily in Colombia. The changes take effect on December 1, 2019. In this blog, I will discuss some of the main modifications that this Resolution establishes. Read our recent alert on this topic.

Redefining single entry permits in Colombia

Single entry permits are now classified into three different categories and will continue to be applicable for those unrestricted or restricted nationalities that have some type of exception. It is important to remember that these permits are granted exclusively to those foreign nationals who do not have the intention of permanently staying in Colombia and who will engage in non-profit activities; otherwise, the applicable visa type to the case must be processed.

Thus, Migración Colombia regrouped the old PIPs into three broad categories: (i) Tourism Permit (PT); (ii) Integration and Development Permit (PID); and (iii) Permission for Other Activities (POA). The allowed period of permanence will depend on each permit and activities to be carried out by the foreign national; however, the stay of the foreigner in the country may not exceed 180 calendar days per calendar year.

  • Tourism Permit (PT): It is the new tourism permit that allows foreign nationals to engage in activities such as medical treatments and attendance at cultural, scientific, sports, conventions or business events.
  • Integration and Development Permit (PID): will be available to those foreign nationals who qualify under the international treaties and agreements signed by Colombia. Additionally, it will be granted to students who intend to attend non-formal academic programs or student practices, or to those who may qualify under an academic exchange agreement, or to those who will be trained in an art or trade. However, the duration of the course must be less than 180 days.
  • Permit for Other Activities (POA): will be granted to those foreign nationals who urgently need to enter the country to provide specialized technical assistance that cannot be obtained in the country, or to perform artistic presentations on tours or mass events, among others.

It is essential to mention that Migración Colombia expressly states that, at random, the immigration authority may request the presentation of physical or digital support documents or media that demonstrate or accredit the activity to be carried out by the individual in Colombia. This may include an invitation letter, lodging supports, return ticket and economic solvency.

What does the resolution mean for foreign nationals from CAN and Mercosur Countries?

The resolution refers to the entrance of nationals and residents of the following countries of the Comunidad Andina de Naciones (CAN) and Mercosur (Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Paraguay, Peru, and Uruguay).

Additionally, the Resolution also refers to the entry of nationals and residents of the Comunidad Andina de Naciones (CAN) and Mercosur (Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Paraguay, Peru, and Uruguay) countries. Foreign nationals from CAN and Mercosur countries can already enter Colombia using their national identification document instead of a passport. The resolution formalizes this eligibility and introduces a new type of entry document, Electronic Migratory Card, which they will receive on arrival for tracking purposes. Likewise, it is indicated that Venezuelan nationals may be admitted with their national identity document, accompanied by the immigration card in the event of force majeure or urgency, even though Venezuela is suspended from the Mercosur agreement.

What does the resolution mean for foreign nationals from Pacific Alliance Countries?

The resolution also establishes and authorizes entry to foreign national citizens of countries who require a visa (restricted nationalities) to enter Colombia, as long as they have a permanent permit or are a resident of Pacific Alliance (Mexico, Chile, and Peru) countries.

Lastly, another measure to highlight, which is included in the aforementioned resolution, is related to the reciprocity charges that will be made effective during the migration control process at the Colombia migration checkpoints. The resolution also explicitly outlines the payment for reciprocity for Nicaragua's nationals who intend to enter Colombia.

Looking ahead

The resolution demonstrates the government's efforts to meet the needs of an expedited, easy and flexible immigration process in order to adapt the Colombian legal system to the trends and realities of the region.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.