• Degree Validation Delays
  • April 26, 2018
  • The situation

    Foreign nationals are experiencing processing delays when seeking degree validation from the Ministry of Education.

    A closer look

    Background. Foreign nationals should validate their bachelor’s degrees through the Ministry of Education in Colombia as part of most immigration processes. Although degree validation does not usually need to occur prior to the commencement of work, Fragomen suggests that foreign nationals in fields that do not receive temporary professional permits from boards overseeing their occupation (known as ‘unregulated’ professions).

    • Extent of delays. Legally, the Ministry of Education has 30 business days to validate a foreign degree; however, it is currently taking up to 60 business days to complete this process.

    o Fragomen has also seen an increase in issues raised by the Ministry with the degree validation application. When this occurs, the applicant must submit additional documents remedying the situation and the Ministry of Education has an additional 30 days to adjudicate the application, which is contributing to the longer processing times.

    • Impact. Some foreign nationals with degrees in unregulated fields may need to postpone their assignment start date due to the delays. Furthermore, employees who already hold professional permits who are awaiting the validation of their degree to eventually secure a permanent professional license will also experience delays. Employers should contact their immigration professional to discuss the related implications and possible workarounds.

    Looking ahead

    It is not clear when normal degree validation processing times will resume.