• MERCOSUR Residence Permits Temporarily Suspended for Colombian Nationals
  • November 8, 2012
  • Law Firm: Fragomen Del Rey Bernsen Loewy LLP - New York Office
  • Colombian nationals are temporarily ineligible for nationality-based MERCOSUR residence permits and will instead require employer sponsorship in order to work in Brazil until at least December 1 and possibly beyond. This is due to a temporary suspension of the MERCOSUR agreement for Colombian nationals.

    Brazilian authorities have not yet created internal laws to implement the agreement for Colombians. They have scheduled a meeting for December 1 to begin doing so.

    There are no pending MERCOSUR applications affected by the suspension at this time. However, Colombian nationals who are gathering documentation to apply for the MERCOSUR permit are advised to apply for a work visa under employer sponsorship.

    In Brazil, the MERCOSUR program allows citizens of Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Paraguay, Peru and Uruguay and their legal dependents regardless of nationality to obtain temporary residence through a simplified application process that can be completed in Brazil or overseas. Colombia is an associate MERCOSUR member but did not sign the agreement for issuance of MERCOSUR residence permits until June 2012. Permit holders are initially authorized to stay in Brazil for two years, after which they become eligible for permanent residence.